Almost $10 billion was spent in SNAP overpayments last year, new data shows

SNAP benefits have been a major hurdle for lawmakers as they work to get a new Farm Bill passed.

New data from USDA shows massive amounts of money were spent last year in overpayments within the program, to the tune of around $10 billion.

The overpayment rate came in just over 10 percent for last year. Error rates varied by state with Alaska coming in the highest at 60 percent. Some states like South Dakota had overpayments as low as 3 percent.

Ag Republicans have criticized the program which makes up most of the spending for the Farm Bill, saying the ag legislation needs more support for farmers.

In response, House Ag Committee Chair Glenn GT Thompson says, “While SNAP is a critical nutrition program for households in need, any level of erroneous payments is a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Today we learned that, with more than $10 billion in overpayments in 2023, the level of erroneous payments remains shockingly high.”

Senate Ag Committee Chair, Debbie Stabenow, also released a statement saying, “While states faced many challenges ensuring access to SNAP during the pandemic and unwinding temporary pandemic benefits and flexibilities, the national error rate reported today is unacceptable.”

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