The percentage of SNAP benefit dollars issued to ineligible households or to eligible households in excessive amounts fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 to 2.61%, newly released USDA data show. That’s the lowest national overpayment rate since USDA began the current system of measuring error rates in 1981. The underpayment error rate fell to 0.6%, also the lowest on record. The combined payment error rate — that is, the sum of the overpayment and underpayment error rates — fell to an all-time low of 3.2%. Less than 1% of SNAP benefits go to ineligible households. The net loss (overpayments minus underpayments (which reduce federal costs)) to the government last year from SNAP errors was about 2% of benefits. In comparison, 16.9% of taxes legally due in 2006 (the most recently studied year) went unpaid, according to IRS estimates.
Source: Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/2/14, SNAP Errors