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SNAP Case and Procedural Error Rates

Resource type
Technical Assistance
Resource Materials
PDF Icon FY 2022 (142.48 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2019 (142.09 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2018 (142.26 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2017 (142.02 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2016 (142.13 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2015 (142.25 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2014 (142.04 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2013 (142.17 KB)
PDF Icon FY 2012 (142.04 KB)

It is essential that SNAP state agencies accurately determine who is eligible for benefits and how much they are eligible for. One of the ways this is measured is through payment error rates, which assess the accuracy of state eligibility and benefit determinations for households that received SNAP benefits. Another way is through case and procedural error rates, or CAPER, which assess cases when a household is denied SNAP benefits or has their benefits terminated or suspended.  

A case and procedural error occurs when a state takes one or more inaccurate or procedurally incorrect actions when denying, terminating, or suspending a household’s SNAP benefits. CAPER reflects both the accuracy of the state agency’s determination and their compliance with federal procedural requirements around the determination. For example, states are required to notify households if their SNAP benefits may be denied, terminated, or suspended. They are required to do so via a clear notice that includes specific required language and is sent within a certain timeframe. If the state does not provide the notice, or the notice does not meet the other requirements, a case and procedural error has occurred, which will be reflected in the state’s overall CAPER.

FNS works closely with state agencies to minimize case and procedural errors through technical assistance, training for caseworkers, improving data systems, and implementing new policies and procedures.

graphic depicting the four aspects of caper: accuracy of action (was the decision to deny, terminate, or suspend accurate?), accuracy of procedures (were the procedures accurately followed?), accuracy of household notice (was the household notified in a clear and accurate way?), timeliness of action and notice (was the state's action and notification to the household made in a timely manner?)


Case and Procedural Error Rates by Fiscal Year

National Rates
national rates of caper data from fy16-fy22; fy16 (23.27%), fy17 (28.55%), fy18 (37.73%), fy19 (34.01%), fy20/21 no data; fy22 (44.12%)
Note: CAPER rates for FY20 and FY21 could not be determined due to COVID-19.


Fiscal Year 2022 CAPER Data

The graphs below illustrate the components of the FY22 national CAPER, which was 44%1. This means that in 44% of cases where a household’s SNAP benefits were denied, terminated, or suspended:

  1. The decision was inaccurate;  
  2. The notice provided to the household was inaccurate, unclear, insufficient;
  3. The notice provided to the household was not timely; and/or  
  4. The procedures followed related to these decisions were inaccurate or not timely.
Accuracy of Action
horizontal bar chart showing the accuracy of action data for fy22; 81% accurate, 17% inaccurate, 2% insufficient


Accuracy of Household Notice
horizontal bar chart showing the accuracy of household notice for fy22; 78% accurate, 18% inaccurate, 16% not specific, clear, or understandable, 4% required language not included
Figures do not add up to 100%, as one notice could have more than one issue. For the purpose of calculating the overall CAPER, this would be considered one error.


Accuracy of Procedures
horizontal bar chart showing accuracy of procedures for fy22; periodic report (98% accurate, 2% inaccurate), request for verification (82% accurate, 18% inaccurate), request for contact (86% accurate, 14% inaccurate), notice of missed interview (86% accurate, 14% inaccurate)


Timeliness of Action and Notice
horizontal bar chart showing timeliness of action and notice for fy22; action (86% timely, 4% early, 10% late), notice (90% timely, 4% not sent, 6% late)

1Individual state data is available for accuracy of the action; accuracy of the household notice; accuracy of procedures, when those procedures were required and completed; accuracy of procedures, when those procedures were required but not completed; and timeliness of the action and notice.

Page updated: December 04, 2023