Press Release

Press Release Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Receives Federal Bonus for Strong Performance in Program Accuracy and Quality Control in Administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

United States Department of Agriculture Awards Bonus to DTA Three Years Running
For immediate release:
7/02/2018
  • Department of Transitional Assistance

Media Contact for Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Receives Federal Bonus for Strong Performance in Program Accuracy and Quality Control in Administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Brooke Karanovich, Director of Communications, Department of Transitional Assistance

Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Receives Federal Bonus for Strong Performance in Program Accuracy and Quality Control in Administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

United States Department of Agriculture Awards Bonus to DTA Three Years Running

BOSTON, Mass. (July 2, 2018) – The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) will receive a $3.1 million program bonus for its administration of the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bonus funds, awarded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), are for program accuracy and quality control, specifically DTA’s achievement of a low Payment Error Rate.

“SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger in Massachusetts. We currently serve about 766,000 people across the Commonwealth, 271,000 of whom are age 18 or under,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Monitoring the program and ensuring accuracy at every step is critical to delivering a better program for our clients. I am proud of the work DTA staff has done to improve its administration and oversight of the SNAP program.”

Under federal law, each state is responsible for monitoring the administration of SNAP, including a rigorous quality control process in which thousands of cases are reviewed. FNS, which administers the program at the federal level, then double checks a sampling of those cases to ensure payment accuracy and compliance with program eligibility requirements.

The USDA released the official Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program overpayment, underpayment, and payment error rates for Fiscal Year 2017 under the quality control provisions of Section 16(c) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. Massachusetts’ Payment Error Rate for FY 17 is 4.04%, coming in 2.26% below the national average.

Fiscal Year 2017

National Average Payment Error Rate

6.30%

Massachusetts’ Payment Error Rate

4.04%

The performance bonus payment will be used for SNAP related expenses including investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution, and actions to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

“Stabilizing the administration of the SNAP program has allowed us the room to focus on the transitional nature of our agency’s work – helping people take steps on their path to economic stability and economic self-sufficiency,” said DTA Commissioner Jeff McCue. “We provide people with assistance – both nutritional and economic assistance – during difficult times, but our work goes beyond that. We try to maximize our time together to the benefit of our clients’ futures, helping them further their education, train for careers, and learn skills that they can carry forward to support them and their families down the road.”

In the Commonwealth, one in every nine people receives SNAP benefits, including working families, children, elders, and people with disabilities. Of all SNAP households in the state, 72% earn less than the federal poverty limit – or $24,300 for a household of four.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance Receives Federal Bonus for Strong Performance in Program Accuracy and Quality Control in Administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Department of Transitional Assistance 

The Department of Transitional Assistance assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in eight residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance (cash benefits) and food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as workforce training opportunities.

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