Agriculture and Food:

Food Stamp Program Eligibility Determination

T-RCED-88-7: Published: Oct 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1987.

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GAO discussed on the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Stamp Program, specifically: (1) the extent to which states are improperly denying or terminating eligible persons; (2) USDA procedures for penalizing states when they fail to review the required number of eligibility determinations; and (3) the National Academy of Sciences' recommendations for resolving the backlog of outstanding food stamp sanctions for states' certification errors. GAO found that: (1) 5 million households either had their applications for food stamps denied or their participation in the program terminated; (2) 3 percent of these food stamp denials were improper; (3) USDA adjustments to states' error rates were not effective, since they resulted in penalties for only one state; and (4) the National Academy of Sciences' recommendations could reduce total sanctions from 138 to 43, the number of sanctioned states from 49 to 25, and total liabilities from $508 million to $300 million.

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