Notice to Stakeholders: FNS Updates SNAP Keys to Payment Accuracy
Best Practices for States

Reflecting the responsibility that USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) shares with state SNAP agencies to operate the program with integrity, today the agency released an updated edition of its Keys to Payment Accuracy information resources.

The Keys highlight best practices and provide strategies and opportunities enabling states to improve and maintain the accuracy of SNAP payments. The new version updates these strategic tools based on the experiences, needs, and challenges of state agencies to encourage a comprehensive approach to improving SNAP payment accuracy.

“The new edition of the Keys captures and shares best approaches in ensuring that SNAP participants receive accurate benefit levels – not too much, not too little – as the law requires,” said Pam Miller, Administrator of FNS. “Congress and the American people expect USDA to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent as intended. The Keys are part of our continued commitment to work with states to ensure SNAP households are receiving proper benefits.”

Under federal law, each state agency is responsible for monitoring its administration of SNAP, including payment accuracy, and preventing errors. Ensuring the accuracy of SNAP payments requires close collaboration among responsible partners. This includes those whose work directly impacts payment accuracy, those who must consider potential accuracy impacts in system development and upgrades, those responsible for monitoring and oversight, and top state and federal agency leadership The Keys provide summaries and best practices for what FNS considers the 10 most important operational areas to assist states in maintaining and improving payment accuracy:

  • Call Centers
  • Case Reviews
  • Communication
  • Corrective Action Plans
  • Data Analysis
  • Modernization
  • Organizational Culture
    (Leadership)
  • Policy Options and
    Waivers
  • State Systems
  • Training

The Keys complement other parts of FNS’s robust SNAP payment accuracy strategy, including:

  • Rulemaking to further strengthen the SNAP quality control payment accuracy measurement process, including reforms enacted by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill
  • Enhanced review of preliminary quality control data to target technical assistance proactively
  • Early communication between USDA and senior state government leadership to address problems as they emerge

In transmitting the updated materials to state SNAP agencies, SNAP Associate Administrator Jessica Shahin asked that “[a]ll state agency staff whose work affects SNAP payment accuracy – eligibility workers, systems development professionals, and top state agency leadership – should be provided with the Keys to enable their opportunities to collaborate and work together to ensure SNAP payment accuracy.”

The Keys to Payment Accuracy can be found on the web here.

For more information, see also: