Enhancing Completion Rates for SNAP Quality Control Reviews

Project Overview

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is subject to a number of efforts to maintain the accuracy and integrity of payments. The SNAP Quality Control (QC) system requires States to conduct monthly quality control reviews of households participating in SNAP to assess the validity of SNAP cases and ultimately the payment error rate for SNAP. The completion rate of sampled QC reviews has decreased nationally over the last few decades. Although the completion rate has increased somewhat in recent years, it has not returned to previous levels and remains below the levels targeted by FNS. Completion rates vary considerably among States as well. In response to this overall decline and interstate variation in SNAP QC completion rates, the current study seeks to identify factors associated with incomplete QC reviews in active SNAP cases and best practices related to completing SNAP QC reviews. This exploratory descriptive study assesses the processes by which QC reviews of active SNAP cases are conducted at the State and regional levels.

This study has 4 major goals:

  1. Assess the processes followed by State QC reviewers that led to designating cases as incomplete and by Federal Regional Office QC reviewers who examine all incomplete cases.
  2. Describe the characteristics of the incomplete cases.
  3. Assess the potential problems QC reviewers face when trying to complete cases and identify possible solutions.
  4. Examine whether incomplete cases are more likely to be error prone and determine the value of the payment error associated with these cases.

Insight’s approach for this study involves a mixed-methods design that includes both primary data collection and analysis of administrative data. The final report will include a description of the State-level QC review process and how it varies within and among States; a description of the Regional-level QC review process in examining incomplete cases; best practices by States with higher completion rates; analysis of the characteristics of incomplete cases as compared to completed cases; an analysis of the QC re-review of incomplete cases; and an analysis of the extent to which incomplete cases affect the overall payment rate (including whether the current adjustment to the payment error for incomplete cases is adequate and the extent to which these cases bias the data in the QC database).

Core Activities

Administrative Data Collection and Analysis; Qualitative Research, including Site Visits and SemiStructured Interviews; Policy Analysis; Report Development and Presentation


The final report will be submitted in August 2015.