St. Louis Public Radio News
6:18 pm
Tue December 15, 2009

Mo. could face financial repercussions from food stamp count

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri officials are concerned over potential repercussions due to over-reporting the number of food stamp recipients living in the state.

No one knows for sure what kind of sanctions the state may face. Missouri has received around an extra $14 million, based on the inaccurate data that dates back to 2002.

Scott Rowson with the State Department of Social Services concedes that Missouri may be facing financial repercussions.

"There are three different categories of performance bonuses that go out, one of which has to do with this particular problem, which is our participation rate...that's what led to the elevated number over the years," Rowson said.

Rowson blames the inaccurate count on a computer programming error. He also says that the error did not result in anyone ineligible receiving benefits.

State Representative Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) sits on the State House committee that oversees budgeting for Social Services.

"I never had to deal with a situation like this before, but I would think, if I were a citizen of another state, that I'd want Missouri to pay it back...I don't know," Schaaf said.

A spokesperson for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) says they're examining the data provided by the state of Missouri.