Improvement of the Speed of SNAP Benefit Delivery

Official Title
Identifying Program Components and Practices that Influence SNAP Application Processing Timeliness Rates
Social Programs
Practice Areas
Food Access, Purchases & Health
Food Security
Data Collection & Operations
Analysis & Interpretation
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Sub To
WRMA, Inc.
Mixed Methods Research

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, are using a mixed methods approach to identify sustainable processes and process reforms that lead to quicker delivery of the correct SNAP benefits.

Our project lead brings more than 20 years of experience researching SNAP and food and nutrition issues. He is 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.