The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) programs. The Food and Nutrition Act requires initial SNAP applications to be processed and benefits provided within 30 days of the application date or within seven days for expedited applications. There are four critical SNAP program performance measures, of which application processing timeliness (APT) is one.
To monitor states’ performance, FNS receives quarterly reports based on the SNAP Quality Control System, produces annual reports on each state’s average APT rate, and conducts on-site case reviews. These monitoring activities show that a majority of states do not meet the acceptable performance criteria of 95 percent APT.
IMPAQ and its partner, WRMA, used a mixed-methods approach to identify sustainable processes and process reforms that lead to quicker delivery of the correct SNAP benefits.
Our project lead brought more than 20 years of experience researching SNAP and food and nutrition issues. He was supported by researchers who understand the SNAP application processes and the business re-engineering techniques that are most useful for creating a culture of continuous improvement.