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Walker Introduces Legislation to Fight Abuse and Fraud in SNAP Program

February 1, 2018
Press Release
“Through responsible reforms, we can ensure every individual has the opportunity to improve their economic circumstances, escape the cycle of poverty and achieve their full potential."

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) tomorrow will introduced the SNAP Abuse and Fraud Prevention Act of 2018. This legislation will provide an improved, nationwide system to help states identify Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who receive assistance in two or more states - known as "dual enrollment."
 
"To make certain SNAP is serving whom it was intended, we have to eliminate fraud and abuse and focus on what works," Walker said. "Through responsible reforms, we can ensure every individual has the opportunity to improve their economic circumstances, escape the cycle of poverty and achieve their full potential."

SNAP is one of the largest components of the safety net in the U.S. at almost $71 billion in benefits per year. Rolls have exploded in recent years, growing 57 percent since 2008 to more than 44 million participants in 2016, while spending on the program has increased by 89 percent. Since 2001, enrollment in SNAP has grown by 155 percent and spending has increased by 299 percent.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found more than $2 billion in SNAP benefits were paid in error in 2009.

The SNAP Abuse and Fraud Prevention Act would target wrongful payments by fixing flaws in reporting systems. Currently, the Public Assistance Reporting and Information System (PARIS) is used to detect participants who are dually enrolled. PARIS only identifies a dually enrolled individual within a 3-month period and after the assistance is disbursed.
 
This legislation implements the National Accuracy Clearinghouse (NAC) nationwide, a program proven to reduce improper payments that occur due to dual participation in SNAP following a 2014 pilot project.

NAC would result in an estimated savings of $114 million per year and ensures SNAP benefits are properly disbursed, getting to whom it was intended to serve.


Read the full text of the SNAP Abuse and Fraud Prevention Act here.