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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2010

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Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Health and Human Services Receives Performance Bonus for Excellence in SNAP Program

Reckling acknowledges state employees

Lincoln – Nebraska ranks first in the nation with a 0.00 negative error rate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) distribution and fifth in the nation for payment error rate (payment accuracy), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). SNAP was formerly called ‘food stamps.’

While Nebraska’s negative error rate was 0.00 percent, the national average negative error rate was 9.41 percent. Nebraska’s payment error rate of 1.54 percent compares with the national average payment error rate of 4.36 percent.

“The SNAP program is critical in meeting the nutritional needs of children, older adults, and people with disabilities,” said Todd Reckling, director of the Division of Children and Family Services in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “Our achievement is a direct result of the outstanding job staff are doing and their commitment to making sure clients receive the best, most accurate services possible.”

Nebraska will receive a performance bonus of $850,986 for these accomplishments: $312,031 for the low negative error rate and $538,995 for the low payment error rate.

“The low error rate means recipients receive the full extent of their benefits,” said Jill Schreck, DHHS Economic Assistance administrator. Last month, the SNAP program distributed more than $20,202,000 in benefits to buy nutritious food and served approximately 165,500 individuals, with over half of these individuals being older adults and people with disabilities.

SNAP payment accuracy has been an ongoing focus for several years, Schreck said.

The USDA report includes all 50 states and three territories.

Best Negative Error Rate (measures the correctness of the agency to deny an application, or suspend or terminate benefits of a participating household):

  • Nebraska - $312,031
  • South Dakota - $214,062
  • New Hampshire - $241,959
  • Maine - $467,482

Best Payment Accuracy Rate (measures the correctness of the agency to approve an application and determine the level of benefits):

  • Florida - $7,754,744
  • South Dakota - $336,136
  • Wisconsin - $1,894,828
  • Delaware - $407,494
  • Nebraska - $538,955
  • Washington - $2,969,984
  • Georgia - $4,187,866
  • Ohio - $4,875,956

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