Washington, DC – The Department of Human Services (DHS), Income Maintenance Administration (IMA) announced today that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has presented the agency with its fifth significant performance bonus award in the last three years in recognition of superior service delivery by the District’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), for a total of $2,083,154 in bonus awards for program performance in fiscal years 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The SNAP program assists low-income residents and families in purchasing the food they need to maintain good health and nutrition. Residents apply for benefits by completing the District’s Combined Application. Benefits are provided on an electronic card that is used like an ATM card and is accepted at most grocery stores, convenience stores, and farmer’s markets. As of Oct. 1, 2008, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program.
DHS is being recognized as achieving the Most Improved Negative Food Stamp Error Rate for FY 2010. The negative error rate measures improper denials of Food Stamp eligibility. In just one year, DHS slashed its negative error rate from 35.10% to 7.92%. Recognizing that achievement, the District will receive a $347,086 bonus check from the USDA.
This Most Improved Award is another indication that the District of Columbia’s SNAP Program continues to achieve increasingly high performance standards and follows closely on four other recent awards, in which the DHS SNAP Program was awarded:
1. $476,947 for FY 2008, for the highest SNAP participation rate in the region at 82%.
2. $359,358 for FY 2008, for the highest application timeliness rate in the nation of 95.41%;
3. $540,954 for FY 2009, for the third highest SNAP participation rate in the nation at 86.96%;
4. $358,809 for FY 2009, for the highest application timeliness rate in the nation of 97.14% and
5. Recognized in FY 2009 as being a “Star Performer” under the Best SNAP Application Processing Timeliness Rate for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
“As was the case in 2009, 2010 and now 2011, these awards continue to be a tribute to the dedication and professional excellence of the staff and leadership of DHS to serve the most vulnerable residents of the District of Columbia,” stated Deborah A. Carroll, Income Maintenance Administrator for DHS. In March 2010, the District implemented broad based categorical eligibility which raised the income eligibility limits for SNAP to 200% of the federal poverty rate. This mirrors certain other states, including Delaware and Maryland. In the District of Columbia, 128,000 individuals receive Food Stamp benefits.