Issue Brief 11-26
June 30, 2011

On June 16, 2011, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released federal fiscal year (FY) 2010 error rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The error rates indicate the percentage of SNAP benefit dollars that were incorrectly issued to recipients. The combined national payment error rate was 3.81% in FY 2010, a record low for the measure.

The 2002 Farm Bill (P.L. 107-171) authorized USDA to award performance bonuses to states with the best or most improved performance in the administration of SNAP based on states’ program error rates. It also included provisions for assigning penalties to states with extremely poor program performance and administration. This Issue Brief provides an overview of these regulations along with states’ FY 2010 error rates and performance bonuses.