|DATE:||June 1, 2016|
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
As you are aware, the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) offered state agencies the opportunity to test whether using Quarterly Wage Report (QWR) data was sufficiently accurate to verify and project earned income in certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cases. Two state agencies, Texas and Utah, agreed to participate and run projects that ran through 2014 and 2015. FNS was interested in exploring this opportunity to test a procedure that would better align SNAP processes with Medicaid and whether such a procedure would improve application processing timeliness.
We appreciate the time and attention that Utah and Texas put into this project. The evaluation information they submitted has assisted FNS in determining the potential for using QWR data in the SNAP eligibility process.
Overall, the data indicates that the QWR data is less accurate than current verification practices for earned income. About two-thirds of the time, the month of application provided a better estimate of income than QWR data during the certification period. Please see the attached summary of the evaluation results from the pilots. Consequently, FNS cannot view QWR as a practical option for the accurate certification of SNAP households. Therefore, states should be aware that using QWR data to verify income for SNAP purposes may lead to inaccuracies in the SNAP benefit determination and that any Quality Control (QC) errors that result will be included in the state agency's error rate.
FNS is committed to continuing to working with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicaid assistance to find ways to allow states to streamline administration of SNAP and Medicaid, including the ability to soon share information from all data sources available to either program.
Please share this memo with your state agencies.
Program Development Division