BLOG: Governor Wolf Announces Avoided Costs, Waste Prevention as Result of Significant Reduction in SNAP Error Rate (ROUND-UP)
By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary
January 21, 2016
Yesterday, Governor Tom Wolf joined the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) to announce a significant reduction in the error rate of the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is the latest success in the Wolf Administration’s “Government that Works” effort to spearhead initiatives that save costs, reduce waste, improve efficiency, and reform government programs.
Nationally, the SNAP payment error rate was 3.66% in 2014. Since coming into office in January, the Wolf Administration has reduced the food stamp error rate by 58% to 2.01%, which is well below the national average. Furthermore, this reduction represents the largest percentage decrease in the SNAP error rate in a single year in the 29 years that these records have been kept. The change in error rate is estimated to equal a cost avoidance of nearly $35 million.
Check out the coverage of the announcement below:
Reading Eagle: Gov. Wolf says reduced fraud, errors cut cost of food stamps.
“The state’s efforts to modernize the food stamp program and root out fraud has resulted in big savings for taxpayers, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday at a press conference surrounded by food security advocates. The governor said his administration has avoided handing out $35 million in erroneous payments by reducing the percentage of Pennsylvanians mistakenly receiving too much or too little under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He credited case workers for the success… ‘This is really a win-win for everyone involved,’ [Joanne Glover, a special assistant in the department of human services,] said shortly after the press conference. ‘Being accountable to those we serve and to the taxpayers was our mission when we started these initiatives.’… Wolf touted the success as one of the many ways his administration is cutting costs and improving efficiency.” [01/20/16]
WITF: Food stamps program cutting errors, says Wolf.
“The Wolf administration says the state’s food stamps program is making fewer mistakes, marking its lowest error rate in 29 years of keeping records. ‘We’re not giving anything to the wrong people and we’re doing this the right way,’ said Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday. The lower error rate is estimated to save as much as $35 million in federal money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Computer system updates have helped drive down instances of overpayment, underpayment, and fraud. Regular bureaucratic check-ups have also helped administrators avoid the most common errors.” [01/20/16]
WTAJ: PA reports millions in food stamp savings.
“Governor Tom Wolf says a reduction in errors in Pennsylvania’s food stamp program has saved $35-million dollars this year. The governor says erroneous payments in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have dropped by 58 percent , thanks to better training of staff. The administration says the state’s Department of Human Services implemented a bi-weekly “Knowledge Check” for staff who work on food stamps to ensure they’re well-versed on issues that account for the highest number of errors. DHS also provided in-depth training to staff in areas of the state with higher error rates.” [01/20/16]
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: State says error rate for food stamps drops to lowest recorded level.
“The state has reduced its food stamp error rate to what officials say is the lowest ever in the 29 years it has been keeping records, to just slightly over 2 percent. Department of Human Services staff credited the improvement to improved technology and better staff training. ‘People from time to time need help … we’re trying to do our best to make this program work for the people who need it,’ Mr. Wolf said. ‘We’re also trying to do our best to make it work for the people who fund it, the taxpayers who fund this program.’” [01/20/16]
FOX43: Governor: Pennsylvania SNAP error rates well below national average.
“‘Today, we are thrilled to announce that the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services is administering SNAP at historically accurate levels,’ said Governor Wolf. ‘This is an exciting announcement, as it shows success in our work to combat hunger and food insecurity in our state, as well as in our push to create a government that works in Pennsylvania… What all of this means is that not only are the people of Pennsylvania who are eligible for assistance the ones receiving it – and in the correct amount — but we are avoiding $35 million in federal costs by appropriately allocating the funds… This is no small number, and we are proud of the improvement in accuracy and efficiency this represents in a system that Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable populations truly need.’” [01/20/16]
LNP: State saves $35 million by cutting errors in food assistance program.
“Pennsylvania has cut errors in the administration of the federal government’s main food assistance program by a record amount, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Wednesday in Lancaster… Wolf said cutting the error rate saved taxpayers about $35 million, while ensuring that the Pennsylvanians who receive assistance eligible and that the dollar amounts they receive are correct.” [01/20/16]
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