State Auditor's Report on Supplemental Nutrition Provides Blueprint for Fixing Eligibility System

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

March 30, 2010

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The State Auditor’s office released a report today on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). The report provides a blueprint for restoring access to SNAP (formerly called Food Stamps) and fixing the state’s eligibility and enrollment system for SNAP, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. HHSC’s Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs requested the audit to inform his efforts to end severe delays in SNAP application processing. The delays cause food hardship to tens of thousands of needy Texans struggling to feed their families in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

The center applauds Commissioner Suehs for requesting the audit and for his efforts to improve access to SNAP. Commissioner Suehs has demonstrated his commitment to make the changes that are needed to fix our eligibility system, and we urge the Legislature to commit the resources that he needs to be successful. Fixing the eligibility system is critical not only to prevent further hardship today, but also to lay a strong foundation for the successful implementation of national health care reform, which will add one million Texans to our Medicaid program over the next few years.