Quality Control Error Rates for the Food Stamp Program

RCED-85-98: Published: Apr 12, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information for use in the reauthorization of the Food Stamp Program and focused on the extent of the errors that states made when determining households' eligibility and benefit levels.

GAO found that: (1) the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and states developed error rates for food stamp overissuances, underissuances, and improper denials or terminations; (2) used the error rates as a basis for assessing financial penalties against states with high overissue rates and for providing incentive funding for states with underissue rates; and (3) based state sanctions on the official error rate developed during state quality control processes, which could amount to $6,697,300. GAO found that: (1) the nationwide overissuance rate has declined and the underissuance and denials or termination rates have remained stable; and (2) these trends occurred for both the official and the state-reported error rates.

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