Food Assistance:

Reducing Benefit Overpayments in the Food Stamp Program

T-RCED-95-94: Published: Feb 1, 1995. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed benefit overpayments in the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Stamp Program. GAO noted that: (1) although the Food Stamp Program is under the Food and Consumer Service's (FCS) jurisdiction, states are responsible for carrying out the actual day-to-day administration and operation of the Food Stamp Program; (2) FCS uses the Food Stamp Program Quality Control System to help monitor states' performance in issuing benefits; (3) in 1993, about $1.8 billion in food stamp benefits were paid out annually to individuals that either should not have received any benefits or received more benefits than they were entitled to receive; (4) most benefit disbursement errors are caused by inaccurate information provided by beneficiaries during the application process or when beneficiaries update their financial or household condition information; (5) states have not pursued as many claims against possible fraudulent or erroneous food stamp beneficiaries as required; (6) FCS and states have undertaken initiatives to reduce benefit overpayments; (7) some states have been successful in reducing overpayments and have qualified for additional food stamp funding from USDA; (8) although numerous factors contribute to states' success in reducing overpayments, the most critical factor is the commitment of food stamp program managers to aggressively pursue error rate problems; and (9) USDA has worked with states to reduce error rates by granting states waivers to a number of program regulations that exacerbate errors.

Feb 25, 2021

Feb 18, 2021

Jan 8, 2021

Dec 18, 2020

Dec 1, 2020

Nov 18, 2020

Oct 1, 2020

Aug 21, 2020

Aug 13, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here