Food Stamp Program:

Relatively Few Improper Benefits Provided to Individuals in Long-Term Care Facilities

RCED-99-151: Published: Jun 4, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 22, 1999.

Additional Materials:


Lawrence J. Dyckman
(202) 512-9692


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the extent to which individuals residing in long-term care facilities are improperly included as members of food stamp households, focusing on: (1) how many individuals were included as members of food stamp households while they were residing in long-term care facilities and the estimated value of the overpayments to those households; and (2) whether computer matching is a practical means for identifying such overpayments.

GAO noted that: (1) in the seven states GAO reviewed, GAO identified about 4,500 individuals who were potentially improperly included as members in households receiving food stamps while residing in long-term care facilities; (2) these households could have received an estimated $500,000 in food stamp overpayments during calendar year 1997; (3) these potential overpayments represented a very small percentage of the $8.5 billion in benefits distributed in the seven states during fiscal year 1997; (4) GAO has provided the states with its computer match results for their use in eliminating or recovering the overpayments; (5) in view of the relatively small amount of potential food stamp overpayments made to households that included residents of long-term care facilities compared to the cost of computer matching, routine computer matching may not be practical for all the states included in GAO's review; (6) none of the seven states GAO visited were using computer matching to identify such overpayments; (7) officials in California and Kansas, which had the smallest amount of potentially improper benefits--in one case less than $25,000 and in another about $1,800--said that computer matching for these types of overpayments would not be practical or cost-effective to them; and (8) officials in the remaining five states said they would assess the potential benefits of computer matching, either as a tool for routinely identifying overpayments or as a means for periodically evaluating the effectiveness of procedures used to prevent such overpayments.

Apr 28, 2017

Mar 16, 2017

Feb 13, 2017

Dec 7, 2016

Nov 28, 2016

Nov 17, 2016

Jun 9, 2016

May 26, 2016

May 19, 2016

Apr 14, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here