SNAP Program Loses $1B Monthly to Fraud and Errors

( – An estimated $1 billion each month is being lost by the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) owing to mistakes and fraud. This includes benefits being delivered to entirely ineligible applicants, excess payments, and double-dipping, according to a study by Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

SNAP is also known as food stamps.

The nationwide overpayment rate for SNAP operated by the states is ten percent. This includes states with rates as high as fifty-seven percent in Alaska and as low as thirty-three percent in Maryland.

According to Ernst, taxpayers are not allowed to make mistakes like these when filing their taxes, so mistakes about how their money would be spent shouldn’t be allowed either.

She has been a major voice in the fight against waste, and on September 26, she submitted a bill to reduce excessive payments by doing away with the tolerance level, which now exempts mistakes of $54 or less from reporting and hence certainly underreports this matter. She said that the state of Maryland has already disbursed payments to over 86,000 people who weren’t eligible for SNAP and has no intention of recovering the funds, using the pandemic as an excuse.

Individuals aren’t the only ones committing fraud against SNAP; large-scale, well-planned scams are also at work. Seven state officials in Delaware who worked at the agency managing SNAP have been accused of embezzling $1 million by inventing phony recipients and keeping the money for themselves.

According to the GAO, criminal organizations are stealing upwards of $3 billion from SNAP every month.

The LexisNexis Risk Solutions CEO, Haywood Talcove, has said that thieves have discovered the government to be an easy target. They will continue until the government strengthens its defenses.

Ernst has stated her desire for benefits to go to those who are qualified while also wanting to eliminate wasteful practices like administrative mistakes and fraud. Instead of boosting payments to people who are already being served or providing billions to those who don’t need them, we could help the families who are eligible but suffering because of the wait.

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