The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) erroneously overpaid in nearly 10% of food stamp benefit payouts in the 2022 fiscal year, according to new data.
The department’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) overpaid in a total of 9.84% of benefit payments in the 2022 fiscal year, as compared to data from the 2019 fiscal year which had a 6.18% overpayment rate, according to the USDA. Some states had higher rates of erroneous payments than others, with Maryland overpaying in 32.65% of payments, Tennessee overpaying in 19.04% of payments and Alaska overpaying the highest at 56.69% of the time.
“The national error rate as reported today is unacceptable and threatens the integrity of the program,” read a Full Committee on Agriculture statement from Friday. “We urge governors and administrators to promptly establish corrective action plans and continue to work with USDA to address the root causes of these errors to improve their program operations, remain accountable to the taxpayer, and most importantly, ensure that benefits are targeted to the people who are the most in need.”
An error is counted if it is above or below the target payment by at least $48.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) July 5, 2023
The USDA found that the total payment error rate across all states was 11.54%, which included 9.84% of cases being overpayments and 1.7% of cases being underpayments. SNAP gave out nearly $114 billion in total assistance to low and no-income people for the purpose of food in the 2022 fiscal year.
Data from the Office of Management and Budget found that $528 billion was improperly paid by the federal government in the Biden administration’s first two years, according to a report from Open The Books. In the report, the USDA was found to have made $1.9 billion in total improper payments for the 2022 fiscal year.
The Biden administration previously gave $6 million in grants to state agencies for the purpose of advancing “racial equity” in their SNAP programs. The grant requires employees who administer food stamps to undergo training to help participants “gain skills, education, training, and experience that lead to good, stable jobs and greater economic stability.”
The USDA did not immediately respond to a request to comment by the DCNF.
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