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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 25, 2023 11:14 AM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Addressing High Balances in the SNAP Program
The accumulation of high account balances on the federally administered Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is an issue that has been brought to my attention in my district for some time.

SNAP is a federal program that is administered by the state Department of Human Services (DHS). Unfortunately, federal regulation or policy do not require an eligible individual to spend SNAP benefits in order to maintain eligibility. Therefore, there is the potential for high balances to accumulate in accounts.

The Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General (OIG) started an investigation in 2013 concerning allegations of high balances of 20 Pennsylvania SNAP accounts with an excess of $5,000. The investigation uncovered evidence of potential fraud in six of those accounts. Most recently, a May 24, 2023 article in PennLive states that “More than $400 million in federal aid intended to help feed low-income Pennsylvania families went unspent last month.”

I intend to introduce a resolution urging the Biden Administration to adopt regulations that place limits on the amount of SNAP benefits that may be accumulated in an individual’s account.

The failure by the federal government to provide appropriate accountability measures to its programs that proactively prevent fraud and abuse should not stop Pennsylvania from enacting and encouraging program integrity measures.

Please join me as a co-sponsor of this resolution.