Issue Brief 14-35
October 17, 2014

On October 10, 2014, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the second installment of fiscal year (FY) 2013 performance bonuses to state agencies administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Each year, FNS awards $48 million in performance bonuses to state agencies with the highest or most-improved performance on four measures: payment accuracy, case and procedural error rates (CAPER), participation rate, and application-processing timeliness.

The 2014 farm bill (P.L. 113-79) requires states to reinvest the bonuses in the SNAP program. Prior to the FY 2013 awards, there were no restrictions on how states could use the funds. This Issue Brief provides details on the FY 2013 awards and penalties, and examines recent improvements in SNAP payment accuracy.