Carson City, Nevada - Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Director Richard Whitley has been informed by the US Department of Agriculture that for its efforts to reduce fraud and waste while improving customer efficiency and service in its Supplemental Assistance and Nutrition Program (SNAP), Nevada will receive nearly $2 million in additional federal funding as a bonus.
Nevada, which was recognized for being one of the most improved programs in the nation in 2015, will get a $1.4 million bonus for its efforts to better serve SNAP recipients. In addition, nearly $500,000 is also being awarded after it was determined that Nevada was one of two states with the most improved Case and Procedural Error Rates (CAPER) in 2015.
“The staff at the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services has worked very hard to achieve these improvements. Naomi Lewis, Deputy Administrator for Program and Field Operations and Robert Thompson, Field Operations Manager, have demonstrated exceptional leadership in identifying problem areas and executing effective program improvements. Staff at every level of the organization has contributed to this success. I am very proud of the work this team and their staff are doing.” said Steve Fisher, Administrator of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services. “Vulnerable Nevada families and all tax payers have benefited from the improvements in service time and benefit accuracy. This is an accomplishment we can all feel good about."
Money received from performance bonus awards must be reinvested in ways that will continue to improve program performance. DWSS is in the process of determining what the money will be spent on.
The purpose of SNAP is to raise the nutritional level among low-income households whose limited food purchasing power contributes to hunger and malnutrition among members of those households. Food benefit expenditures are 100% covered through federal funding, while administrative costs for SNAP are split 50% each between federal and state monies (General Fund).
A $1,453,911 bonus relates to Nevada’s improved Program Access Index (PAI), which showed an improvement rate of 8.28% from the previous year (76.55% in 2015; 68.27% in 2014), one of best improvement rates in the nation. The PIA is the number of SNAP participants as reported by the state, divided by the estimated number of eligible people in that state.
Nevada’s CAPER improved from 54.87% in 2014 to 32.06% in 2015, an almost 23% increase in SNAP case efficiency. CAPER measures the correctness of a state agency’s actions to deny an application or suspend or terminate benefits of a participating SNAP household, as well as the agency’s compliance with federal requirements, including timeliness. The 2015 national average CAPER was 23.27%.