Benefits Integrity Program Division completes 5,172 investigations into misuse of SNAP

The Benefits Program Integrity (BPI) division completed 5,172 investigations in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, involving some form of benefit recipient overpayment or fraud allegation. Ninety percent of all investigations completed involved unreported income or an issue with the reported household composition. Household composition cases usually deal with an unreported household member who has income or could also include a reported household member who does not actually live in the same residence. Both instances cause the household to receive more benefits than they are eligible for. For this quarter, BPI referred 20 investigations for prosecution and 181 investigations for administrative disqualification hearing.

BPI resolved a trio of cases in South Texas, each involving a different Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient who failed to include her husband and his income as part of her household on her benefits application. Investigators compiled witness statements, driver license information, Department of Motor Vehicle records, property deed information, and payroll information to prove their cases. The clients in all three cases waived their rights to an administrative hearing to contest the findings, and each was disqualified from SNAP for 12 months. The client in Pecos County had received a total of $24,405 in excessive benefits over a 20-month period and agreed to repay that amount. The client in Hidalgo County agreed to repay $22,525, and the client in Bexar County agreed to pay $34,661.