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Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Last Published: 08/16/2016

“Churning” in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is defined as when a household exits SNAP and then re-enters the program within 4 months. Churning is a policy concern due to the financial and administrative burden incurred by both SNAP households and State agencies that administer SNAP. This study explores the circumstances of churning in SNAP by determining the rates and patterns of churn, examining the causes of caseload churn, and calculating costs of churn to both participants and administering agencies in six States.