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DHHS Among the Best for SNAP Program Administration
Nebraska Ag Connection - 10/08/2018

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is getting bonuses totaling nearly $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for effectively delivering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Nebraskans in need in recent years.

"These bonus awards from USDA come as a result of our team's consistent focus on improving customer service at ACCESSNebraska," said Governor Pete Ricketts. "These additional resources will help enhance the operations of ACCESSNebraska to better serve our customers and to help Nebraskans live better lives."

The USDA's Case and Procedural Error Rate, or CAPER, measures procedure compliance, timeliness and adherence to notice requirements. It also measures the correctness of a state agency's action to deny an application or suspend or terminate the benefits of a participating household.

Nebraska ranked second lowest in the nation in CAPER rate in 2017 and fourth lowest in the nation in 2016.

- Nebraska's CAPER rate for FY 2017 is: 7.09 percent

- The National CAPER rate for FY 2017 is: 28.55 percent

- Nebraska's CAPER rate for FY 2016 is: 9.26 percent

- The National CAPER rate for FY 2016 is: 23.27 percent

The FY 2017 bonus is $1,349,491. The FY 2016 bonus amount is $335,846. DHHS was also awarded a $639,063 bonus for FY 2017 in July for an active error rate that ranked eighth in the nation.

"These bonus payments represent a constant commitment to excellence among the Eligibility Operations Team members, including field staff, those in customer service centers, policy staff, program accuracy personnel and information technology team members," said Matt Wallen, DHHS Division of Children and Family Services Director. "Continuously improving the level of customer service offered to the people of Nebraska is truly a team effort. This is a team award."

The performance bonus funds must be used to further improve the SNAP program.

"Past bonus awards have been used to purchase technology, software and equipment to better serve the 166,000 Nebraskans currently enrolled in SNAP," said Wallen. "Plans are to use the most recent bonus funds to increase mobility of web applications, such as applying online, reporting changes and accessing personal account information."

Call wait times for SNAP and other economic assistance programs through ACCESSNebraska have been under five minutes for 20 months running, SNAP application processing timeliness has been at 96% or better for 31 months and in August, 99% of SNAP cases were processed in a timely manner, based on federal guidelines.

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