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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a QA Review?  What is a QA Review?


Each State agency is responsible for conducting QC reviews as part of its Performance Reporting system.  The State agency shall review cases against the SNAP standards established in the Food Stamp Act.  The objectives of QC reviews are to provide:

  • A systematic method of measuring the validity of the SNAP caseload;

  • A basis for determining error rates;

  • A timely, continuous flow of  information on which to base corrective action at all levels of administration; and

  • A basis for establishing State agency eligibility for enhanced funding for state agency eligibility or State agency liability for excessive error rates (sanctions)


What is an error rate?


The active error rate is completed by dividing the amount of error dollars for the cases pulled for review by the total benefits paid for all of the cases pulled for review.  The negative error rate is completed by dividing the number of invalid cases by the total of cases that were pulled for review.


What is a sanction?


If the State of Colorado's (all 64 counties) error rate is above the national average then the State will be sanctioned by USDA FNS.  The sanction will depend on the number of percentage points above the national average and misspent dollars.  The amount of the sanction will then be shared with all 64 counties.


What is enhanced funding?


The State of Colorado will receive enhanced funding from USDA FNS if the total statewide error rate is below 6% AND the prior year's negative case error rate is below the national average.  If the State of Colorado becomes eligible for enhanced funding this benefit will be shared with the counties.


How is a case pulled?


A statistical sample of households shall be selected (statewide) from households which were participating in the SNAP during a particular point in time.  Reviews shall be conducted on cases to determine if a households are eligible and receiving the correct coupon allotments.


Why are County agency records audited?



The reviewer must review the certification record (case record) to determine what action was taken on the case by the County agency.  Reviewers should be able to ascertain how the eligibility worker determined household eligibility and the benefit amount for the review month from documentation contained in the case record as of the review date.


What is the purpose of a field review/home visit?


The purpose of a field review/home visit is to obtain all relevant information about the household's actual circumstances which relate to the household's eligibility and benefit level for the sample month's issuance and to verify and document the information.  A field review must be conducted.


Does a QA reviewer have to complete a field review in the household's home?



FNS encourages reviewers to interview households in their homes.  A home visit can be important in determining whether the household lived at the address given.  A. home visit also enables the reviewer to make visual observations of pertinent living circumstances.  The State agency determines the location of the face-to-face interview in most cases. For most reviews the interview may take place at:


  • The household's home;

  • The appropriate certification office; or

  • A location that is mutually agreeable to both reviewer and household


What if a household does not want to participate in a QA review?


If a household refuses to cooperate after being noticed of a QA review, the reviewer shall report the household's refusal to the State agency for termination of benefits.


Why does a QA reviewer need to contact landlords, employers, banks, etc.?


For QA purposes,  collateral contacts (landlords, employers, banks, etc.) is a source of information, which can be used to verify household circumstances.  Collateral contacts are needed when verification is not present in the case record or from the household.