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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent a total of $4 billion on improper food stamp payments to those receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the USDA confirmed with Breitbart News on Friday.
The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced this week that improper payments made up 6.3 percent of SNAP money in the fiscal year (FY) 2017—the latest data available from the agency.
Breitbart News analyzed the USDA’s data on food stamp spending and found that $4,007,026,532 of the $63,603,595,754 the agency spent on SNAP in FY 2017 went to improper payments.
The USDA told Breitbart News that “it is important to note that improper payments include both overpayments and underpayments,” meaning that households on SNAP that received less than what they were supposed to receive for the month are also included in the percentage rate.
Brandon Lipps, the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services at the agency, said that most improper payments are due to “human errors”—either because of state agencies miscalculating benefits or benefit recipients giving state agencies the wrong information.
The USDA said that state agencies cause about 60 percent of these errors while the remaining 40 percent is due to benefit recipients not providing the proper information about their income, place of residence, and other necessary details the agency needs to provide them the right amount in benefits.