News...
July 24, 2007

DSS Food Stamp Program Recognized for
Exceptional Administration

PIERRE, S.D. — For the 14th consecutive year, the South Dakota Department of Social Services’ Food Stamp Program has once again been recognized nationally for their quality in administration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). South Dakota will receive a total of $617,664 in funding for being among seven states with the lowest payment error rate and for being among four states with the lowest negative error rate in FY 2006. The award funds are benefited by the citizens who utilize the Food Stamp Program as these funds are invested back into the Food Stamp Program.

“I am proud of our staff who work with the Food Stamp Program for having earned this award for the department. It reflects upon their dedication and commitment to helping the citizens of South Dakota,” stated Department of Social Services’ Secretary Deb Bowman. “The staff do a tremendous job of consistently administering the Food Stamp Program and our department is well-deserving of this award.”

South Dakota is among seven states with the lowest payment error rate during FY 2006, which stands at 1.83 percent. The national average payment error rate for FY 2006 is 5.99 percent. South Dakota is also among four states with the lowest negative payment error rate during FY 2006, which stands at 0.76 percent. The national average negative payment error rate during FY 2006 is 8.02 percent.

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 24 years, South Dakota has received $13,513,465 in performance money from the USDA for accuracy and timeliness in providing food stamp benefits to state citizens. The measures of performance are directly related to program integrity and customer service.

As of June 2007, the South Dakota Department of Social Services’ Food Stamp Program has served over 25,447 households, which included 62,431 individuals. The program has given out over $6 million in benefits in the past year.

The Department of Social Services administers the Food Stamp Program which helps low-income South Dakotans buy the food they need to stay healthy while they work to regain financial independence. Food stamp 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 the South Dakota Food Stamp Program, call 605-773-3493 or visit www.dss.sd.gov/foodstamps.