Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: 2012–2014

Trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits occurs when SNAP recipients sell their benefits for cash to food retailers, often at a discount. Although trafficking does not increase costs to the Federal Government, it is a diversion of program benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. This report, the latest in a series of periodic analyses, provides estimates of the extent of trafficking during the period 2012 through 2014.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Enhancing Completion Rates for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Quality Control Reviews

National completion rates for SNAP QC reviews have generally declined since peak levels in the 1980s, and State-level completion rates vary widely. This study examines the factors contributing to incomplete reviews of cases and describes best practices associated with high SNAP QC completion rates.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: 2009-2011

Trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits occurs when SNAP recipients sell their benefits for cash to food retailers, often at a discount. Although trafficking does not increase costs to the Federal Government, it is a diversion of program benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. This report, the latest in a series of periodic analyses, provides estimates of the extent of trafficking during the period 2009 through 2011.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Building a Healthy America: A Profile of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

As the time for reauthorization of SNAP again approaches, it is useful to take stock of its accomplishments, identify those features that have contributed to its success, and look for new opportunities to strengthen operations to achieve program goals more fully. To that end, this is a summary of past research on program operations and outcomes.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): 2006–2008

This is the fifth report in a series of periodic analyses to estimate the extent of trafficking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Trafficking – selling SNAP benefits to food retailers for cash - impedes the mission and compromises the integrity of SNAP. While not a cost to the Federal Government, trafficking diverts benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) aggressively acts to control trafficking by using SNAP purchase data to identify suspicious transaction patterns, conducting undercover investigations, and collaborating with other investigative agencies.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: 2002–2005

Trafficking – selling food stamp benefits to food retailers for cash – impedes the mission and compromises the integrity of the Food Stamp Program. While not a cost to the Federal Government, trafficking diverts benefits from their intended purpose of helping low-income families access a nutritious diet. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) uses a set of EBT-based administrative tools and undercover investigations to identify and sanction trafficking retailers, and to estimate the extent of trafficking. The estimates of the amount of trafficking, the trafficking rate, and the store violation rate reported here are based on information from almost 33,000 stores subject to administrative or undercover investigation from late 2002 through 2005.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Making America Stronger: A Profile of the Food Stamp Program

A summary of past research on program operations and outcomes related to the Food Stamp Program.

Resource | Research | Food Security
Impact of Food Stamp Payment Errors on Household Purchasing Power

Most discussion of payment accuracy in the Food Stamp Program focuses on the overall level and cost of payment errors. Rarely does the discussion focus on the impact of payment errors on individual households affected. This analysis – based on 2003 food stamp quality control data – leads to two broad conclusions. First, virtually all households receiving food stamps are eligible. Thus, the problem of erroneous payments is not so much one of determining eligibility, but rather one of attempting to finely target benefits to the complicated and changing circumstances of low-income households. Second, most overpayments to eligible households are small relative to household income and official poverty standards. As a result, most food stamp households are poor, and they remain poor even when overpaid.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in The Food Stamp Program: 1999 - 2002

Food stamps are intended for food. When individuals sell their benefits for cash it violates the spirit and intent of the Food Stamp Program as well as the law. This practice, known as trafficking, diverts food stamp benefits away from their purpose. It reduces intended nutritional assistance and undermines public perceptions of the integrity and utility of the program. To combat trafficking, the Food and Nutrition Service conducts undercover investigations of authorized food stores. In addition, the agency has developed powerful new EBT-based administrative tools to identify and sanction traffickers.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: An Update

Food stamps are intended for food. When individuals sell their benefits for cash it violates the spirit and intent of the Food Stamp Program as well as the law. This practice, known as trafficking, diverts food stamps away from their purpose. It reduces intended nutritional benefits and undermines public perceptions of the integrity and utility of the program. A crucial question, therefore, is the extent to which trafficking exists. Several years ago, a method to calculate data-based estimates of the prevalence of trafficking was developed by USDA. The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program used this method to analyze over 11,000 completed undercover investigations of trafficking and gene rate an estimate for calendar year 1993. This report duplicates the precise methodology of the earlier analysis with more than 10,000 new investigations to generate an estimate for the 1996 - 1998 calendar year period.