The combined payment error rate for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments went from 7.3 percent in fiscal year 2019 to 11.5 percent in fiscal year 2022.
During those years, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service says states were providing pandemic-related benefits while coping with staff shortages. The individual state error rates varied dramatically. The report says Alaska was the highest state at almost 57 percent, while many other states were far below the national average.
”As part of the flexibilities granted to states beginning in the spring of 2020, Congress removed the requirement for states to conduct quality control reviews, which resulted in USDA being unable to publish the annual national and state payment error rates for fiscal years 2020 and 2021,” FNS said in a release.
Stacy Dean, USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, says, “The circumstances put an incredible strain on program administration. The rates reflect those challenges.”