This Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Quality Control (QC) Annual Report presents official quality control error rates and other statistical data derived from SNAP QC reviews conducted for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007.
Each State agency conducts monthly QC reviews of a statistical sample of households participating in the SNAP (active cases) and households for which participation was denied or terminated (negative cases). These reviews measure the validity of SNAP cases at a given time. The reported State dollar and case error rates are based on these reviews. The State reviews also provide information on the error cause and characteristics of the household.
Additionally, Federal reviews of each State’s sample are conducted annually to validate each State agency’s error rate. The official active and negative error rates listed in this report are based upon the Federal validation reviews of the State agency samples.
In a program that provided $30.3 billion in benefits in FY 2007 to needy Americans, more than half of whom are children and the elderly, efficient and effective program administration is essential.
Local agencies certify households for SNAP benefits and, along with the State agencies, are directly responsible for operating the SNAP. While the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) can assist States through a variety of methods, the States themselves must ultimately make the commitment to conduct accurate and efficient program operations. FNS remains committed to supporting the ongoing efforts of States to increase the accuracy of SNAP certification actions.
To help support these efforts, FNS has undertaken special initiatives designed to increase payment accuracy. Activities in FY 2007 included: 1) continued funding for State Exchange activity; 2) FNS national and regional payment accuracy conferences; 3) technical assistance to States; and 4) National and regional publications publicizing successful payment strategies implemented across the country.
FY 2007 was another year of excellent performance in payment accuracy in the SNAP. The payment error rate in the SNAP for FY 2007 is 5.64 percent. This is lower than last year’s FY 2006 rate of 5.99 percent and exceeds the historical low FY 2005 rate of 5.84 percent.
The SNAP negative error rate for FY 2007 is 10.94 percent. The FY 2006 negative error rate is 8.02 percent. While this is a significant increase, FY 2007 marks a year in which FNS took steps to improve the quality and consistency of negative QC reviews. To that end, revised review policies were issued that required closer adherence to the regulatory framework for negative reviews and an increased emphasis on certain procedural errors. Measuring the impact of complying with these procedural errors reflects in part an increased emphasis in improving customer service, one of FNS’ overarching goals.
In addition to efforts to increase the accuracy of SNAP certification actions, FNS is also continuing to make improvements to the SNAP to ensure that it is responsive and effective in its support of those individuals and families who rely on its benefits. This includes making the SNAP more visible and accessible to needy individuals and working families. (author abstract)