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SNAP Quality Control - Error Tolerance Threshold

The SNAP quality control system measures how accurately SNAP state agencies determine a household’s eligibility and benefit amount. It consists of both state agency reviews and federal reviews. When a reviewer finds that a household received an incorrect amount of benefits, the household had a payment error.

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 set a tolerance level, or threshold, for excluding small errors from calculation of the SNAP payment error rate. When a quality control reviewer finds that the household’s payment error is less than or equal to the tolerance threshold, the error is excluded from the SNAP payment error rate. When the error is greater than the threshold, it is included in the SNAP payment error rate.

Previously, the error tolerance threshold was adjusted by different amounts and at different points in time through legislation and regulation. However, the Agriculture Act of 2014 established a new formula for adjusting the threshold. Beginning with fiscal year 2015, the threshold has been adjusted annually to correspond with changes in the Thrifty Food Plan for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

Fiscal Year

Threshold Amount

Policy Memo

2024$56PM 23-04
2023$54PM 22-05
2022$48PM 21-01
2021$39PM 20-01
2020$37PM 19-04
2019$37PM 18-04
2018$37PM 17-04
2017$38PM 16-04
2016$38PM 16-01
2015$38PM 14-03
2014$37FR Notice
2009 (6 months only)$50 
2000 - part of 2009$25 
1979 - 1999$5 


Page updated: April 30, 2024