Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) will receive a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) High Performance Bonus from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the amount of $1.7 million. Virginia is also recognized as having the lowest payment error rate in the country at .44 percent.
“This award underscores Virginia’s dedication to serving those in need throughout the Commonwealth while ensuring a high level of program integrity,” stated Governor McAuliffe. “Through this program, more Virginia families have access to the resources they need to live strong and successful lives, which will contribute to a thriving Virginia economy.”
Currently, more than 908,000 Virginians receive SNAP. More than one in every 10 Virginians depend on SNAP for their basic subsistence needs. In state fiscal year 2013, Virginia issued $1.4 billion in SNAP benefits. “Receiving a bonus award for the third consecutive year reflects Virginia’s commitment to ensuring needy families receive the benefits they are entitled to,” said Margaret Ross Schultze, Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Social Services. “It’s encouraging that the USDA recognizes our efforts to achieve and maintain high performance.”
Each year, USDA awards performance bonuses to the eight states with the best and most improved program access index. USDA also awards bonuses to the states with the highest rate of timely processed applications, an important indicator of customer service in administering the program. VDSS will reinvest the bonus funds into SNAP to continue to enhance program performance, bolster training and automation, and streamline local administration of the program.