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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Quality Control

Last Published: 11/21/2016

The SNAP Quality Control System measures the accuracy of State eligibility and benefit determinations. Data collected by quality control are also used for program improvement and analysis.

Quality Control Handbooks  

Maintaining Integrity within the Quality Control System

Quality Control Forms

  • Automated FNS-380 -- Worksheet for SNAP Quality Control Reviews. Revised January 2012 (Microsoft Access 2003 or 2007 required.)   
  • FNS-380 -- Worksheet for SNAP Quality Control Reviews  
  • FNS-380-1 -- Quality Control Review Schedule   
  • FNS-245 -- SNAP Case and Procedural Case Action Review Schedule

Quality Control Error Rates

The SNAP national payment error rate for fiscal year 2014 is 3.66 percent.  This indicates a 96.34 percent accuracy rate of providing benefits to low income people.  In fiscal year 2014, over 99 percent of participating households  were eligible for SNAP as determined by income and other program criteria. The fiscal year 2014 error rate of 3.66 percent is a combined rate that reflects an overpayment rate of 2.96 percent and a rate of underpayment of 0.69 percent.  The overpayment and underpayment error rates may not add up to the exact payment error rate due to rounding.  

Note: this is the first year in which Section 4019 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, which lowered the Quality Control tolerance threshold from $50 to $37, is reflected in the payment error rate calculation.  Generally, errors above the tolerance threshold are included in the payment error rate calculation and errors below are not.  Lowering the tolerance threshold meant that more errors were included in the calculation than in the prior year. The tolerance threshold only determines what is included in the calculation, all errors regardless of magnitude are still evaluated by FNS and States in determining what areas of performance require improvement.

Achieving high rates of payment accuracy is the result of years of aggressive work and a nationwide commitment to reduce improper payments and improve administration of SNAP. Since 2000, we have reduced the rate of improper payments by more than half, and the SNAP error rate is among the lowest in the Federal government.  

States receiving fiscal year 2014 performance bonuses were also announced with the release of the quality control error rates on June 26, 2015.  The awardees for best and most improved payment accuracy will divide $24 million based on caseload.  These States are: Alaska, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Washington for best payment accuracy, and Rhode Island and Vermont for most improved payment accuracy.  For more information, see the High Performance Bonus Page.

Application Processing Timeliness

Application Processing Timeliness Rates. FNS evaluates application timeliness as part of the Quality Control review process.