State to receive nearly $1.5 million in bonus payments
Wisconsin will receive nearly $1.5 million in bonus payments for having one of the highest FoodShare accuracy rates in the nation, according to an announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A USDA review found that 98 percent of the benefits issued in Wisconsin were for the correct amount. In FY2010, food stamp benefits totaled $1 billion in Wisconsin and $64.7 billion nationally.
Receiving the bonus award for its low payment error rate means Wisconsin is paying FoodShare benefits more accurately compared to other states. Nationally, nearly $2.5 billion in benefits were issued in error. Wisconsin over-issued $13.7 million in benefits and under-issued $5.9 million in benefits.
“While we are pleased to have outperformed the national standards in the past two years, clearly the federal government and states must do more to reduce errors,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis G. Smith.
Wisconsin’s error rate exceeded the national rates in 2006, 2007 and 2008. “There are still states with lower error rates and we actually performed better in 2009 than in 2010,” Smith said. “We will strengthen our efforts to ensure recipients receive the correct amounts for which they are eligible and develop new strategies to prevent issuance to and use of benefits by those not eligible.”