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SNAP Quality Control: Safeguarding Taxpayers’ Funds Through FNS Support

USDA throws light on the ways FNS protects the loss of taxpayers’ dollars and ensures that eligible individuals are receiving SNAP benefits.

May 24, 2023

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) plays a crucial role in providing nutritional support to millions of families in need across the United States. The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) collaborates with state partners to ensure that SNAP accurately delivers benefits to eligible families within the specified timeframes.

One of the ways using which FNS maintains the integrity of the program is SNAP quality control. Each month, SNAP state agencies randomly select a specific number of SNAP cases for a comprehensive re-evaluation of eligibility and benefit levels. If the household is receiving more benefits than it is entitled to or less benefits, the state takes the desired steps to rectify the situation. FNS validates the findings of the state by reviewing the sample of the state.

The improper payments typically occur unintentionally due to human errors. For instance, a staff member might miscalculate a household’s expenses, or a recipient may be unaware of the need to report even slight changes in their hourly wages.

Annually, as mandated by law, FNS analyzes the final data collected from the states to determine the payment error rate for each state. By doing so, the states come to know how often and why their calculations are getting wrong. States with high payment error rates collaborate with FNS to reduce the number of mistakes they are currently making. If a state maintains a high error rate for two consecutive years, penalties may be imposed.

Besides this, FNS works closely with states to identify the root causes of payment errors and establish plans for enhancing the accuracy of benefit payments. This encompasses various actions, such as offering training to caseworkers, enhancing data systems, and establishing new policies and procedures.

The reasons why goals are identified are to enhance the program’s effectiveness and prevent the loss of taxpayer dollars, ensuring that SNAP benefits are provided only to eligible individuals and families. It would not be wrong to say that SNAP continues to be a vital lifeline for Millions of Americans.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Buhrig Cathy. “SNAP Quality Control: How FNS Helps Protect Taxpayer Dollars”. USDA, May 24, 2023,
SNAP Quality Control: How FNS Helps Protect Taxpayer Dollars | USDA

Last Updated: September 20, 2021