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Food Stamp Overpayment Error Rate Hits Record Low In 2003

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Publication Date: June 2004

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Dorothy Rosenbaum

Funder(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Funder(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Social conditions (Public welfare and social services)

Keywords: Federal budget; Economic projections; Economic inequality; Food costs

Type: Report


On June 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released state and national food stamp error rates for federal fiscal year 2005 calculated through the food stamp quality control (QC) system. The national overpayment error rate — the percentage of food stamp benefit dollars issued in excess of the amounts for which households are eligible — remained at record low levels of 4.5 percent for the second consecutive year. The overpayment error rate has dropped by more than forty percent from the 1998 overpayment rate. The underpayment error rate fell for the seventh consecutive year to the lowest level on record, 1.31 percent. The combined payment error rate, which is calculated by summing (rather than netting) the overpayment and underpayment error rates, improved slightly over last year’s record low of 5.88 percent, to set a new all-time low of 5.84 percent.