Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
|Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
July 31, 2020
Revision of a currently approved collection
Section 16 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, provides the legislative basis for the operation of the SNAP QC system. Part 275, Subpart C, of SNAP regulations implements the legislative mandates found in Section 16. Section 11(d) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (the Act), requires each state agency administering SNAP to submit a plan of operation specifying the manner in which the program is conducted and Section 11(e) of the Act authorizes the inclusion of other provisions as required by regulation. In Part 275, there are four components of the Quality Control (QC) system that are covered in this required information collection. They are: (1) The sampling plan; (2) the arbitration process; (3) the good cause process; and (4) QC-related New Investments.
Each state agency is required to develop a sampling plan that demonstrates the integrity of its case selection process. The QC system is designed to measure each state agency's payment error rate and case and procedural error rate based on a statistically valid sample of SNAP cases. A state agency's payment error rate represents the proportion of cases that were reported through a QC review as being ineligible, as well as the proportion of SNAP benefits that were either overissued or underissued to SNAP households. A state agency's case and procedural error rate represents the correctness of a proportion of cases that were measured in a QC review in which the state agency took an action to deny an application or suspend or terminate the benefits of a participating household. It also includes the accuracy of measuring a state's compliance with Federal procedural requirements for those actions, which include the timeliness of the action and adherence to notice requirements.
The QC system also contains procedures for resolving differences in review findings between state Agencies and FNS. This is referred to as the arbitration process. As part of the arbitration process, state agencies must defend, in writing, their disagreement with the Federal re-reviewer's finding or disposition of a case and submit their defense to the arbitrator for a decision to be made on their disagreement.
The QC system also contains procedures that provide relief for state agencies from all or a part of a QC liability when a state agency can demonstrate that a part or all of an excessive error rate was due to an unusual event that had an uncontrollable impact on the state agency's payment error rate. This is referred to as the good cause process.
Finally, when a state agency is unable to demonstrate that a part or all of an excessive error rate was due to an unusual event that had an uncontrollable impact on the state agency's payment error rate and chooses to settle with FNS by investing fifty percent of their total QC liability using new state agency funds into the SNAP program to target the root causes of their errors, the state agency must submit a new investment plan and, after approval, new investment progress reports every six months until the plan is complete.
Burden for the QC system includes reporting and recordkeeping burden for state agencies to create a QC sampling plan and participate in the arbitration, good cause, new investment plan and new investment progress report processes.