Exploring the Causes of State Variation in SNAP Administrative Costs

Research Report

Exploring the Causes of State Variation in SNAP Administrative Costs

Abstract

The Federal Government fully funds SNAP benefits, but FNS and State agencies share administrative expenses, with each paying about 50 percent. State administrative expenses (SAE) per case—total annual SAE costs divided by the average monthly number of households receiving SNAP benefits—varies widely by state. Using state reported data from FY 1999 to FY 2016 for the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), this study explores a number of factors, including state economic conditions, SNAP caseload characteristics, and state SNAP policies, to try to explain the variation by state.

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