Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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June 17, 2011

DSS Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Recognized for Exceptional Administration

PIERRE, S.D. – For the 19th consecutive year, the South Dakota Department of Social Services' Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been recognized nationally for its quality in administration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

South Dakota will receive a total of $524,744 in funding for being the second in the nation for both the lowest payment error rate and the lowest negative error rate in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2010. The national average payment error rate for FFY 2010 was 3.81 percent; South Dakota's rate was 1.31. The national average negative payment error rate during FFY 2010 was 8.43 percent; South Dakota's rate was 0.25.

“Even when record numbers of individuals and families in South Dakota need help through SNAP, Department of Social Services staff who work with the program continue to provide exemplary public service through accurate and effective administration of the program,” stated Department of Social Services’ Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon.

The error rate measures the correctness of a state agency's action to deny an application or suspend or terminate the benefits of a participating household. The rate also measures whether a state agency correctly determined a household's eligibility in terms of the state's compliance with Federal procedural requirements.

Over the past 27 years, South Dakota has received over $16 million in performance money from the USDA for accuracy and timeliness in providing SNAP benefits to state citizens. The measures of performance are directly related to program integrity and customer service.

As of May 2011, the SNAP program has served 102,247 individuals, of which 48,403 were children with an average monthly benefit of $310.65 per household.

The Department of Social Services administers the SNAP program which helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence. Benefits are provided to supplement the recipient’s food budget. The amount of benefits a household receives is based on its size, income, and allowable expenses.

For more information about SNAP, call 1-877-999-5612 or visit SNAP.