SNAP error rates continue to be at record lows

NE_Appleseed_Icons_FoodSecurity-128Error rates in food assistance programs nationwide continue to be at record lows according to an analysis from Stateline (a project of Pew Charitable Trusts).

This impressive accuracy comes even as the number of Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grew during the Great Recession, which began in 2007.

Stateline’s study credited the reduction in error rate to several improvements made by some states to simplify and streamline the enrollment process, plus a federal program that gives grants to states that have low-error programs as an incentive.

These statistics prove SNAP has historically low rates of inaccuracy or abuse. However, even though the program helps nearly 180,000 Nebraskans put food on the table each year, there are still efforts by Congress to slash funding from the program.

In 2013 Nebraska’s error rate (2.87 percent) was even lower than the national average of 3.2 percent, but a separate, troubling issue is many Nebraska families who are eligible for SNAP are not receiving their benefits in a timely manner. Appleseed recently filed a lawsuit against the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for unlawful delays in processing SNAP payments.

SNAP has proven to be an effective tool to fight hunger, and these low error rates prove it can be administered to a very accurate degree. Nebraska Appleseed will continue to fight for SNAP to be administered quickly and efficiently in Nebraska so all the people in our state can get the prompt, stable access to the food their families need.

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