The federal government's food stamp program mistakenly overpaid recipients $2.1 billion— out of its $74.6 billion budget— in 2013, according to the Department of Agriculture annual report.
The government also underpaid food stamp recipients to the tune of $500 million because of mistakes by case workers or the clients themselves.
All in all, $2.6 billion of the food stamp program was misspent, according to Breitbart
By its own criteria, the Department of Agricultural wrongly spent $6.2 billion from its various programs including the National School Lunch Program ($1.8 billion), School Breakfast Program ($831 million), Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Program Fund ($566 million), and Women, Infants, and Children food program ($198 million).
The USDA describes an improper payment as occurring "when a participating household is certified for too many or too few benefits compared to the level for which they are eligible. This can result from incomplete or inaccurate reporting of income and/or assets by participants at the time of certification and from changes subsequent to certification, or errors in determining eligibility or benefits by caseworkers."
The New York Times
estimated that "more than $3 billion is lost to trafficking, fraud and overpayments" in annual food stamp expenditures.
Kevin Concannon, the USDA under secretary in-charge of the food stamp program said, abuse represents a small percentage of the program.
"But I don't tolerate it, and I worry about it because I don't want the American public to unfairly paint the millions of people who play by the rules," he told the Times.
The Agricultural Department obtained over 600 indictments for fraud last year.
Food stamp overpayments in 2013 were slightly less than the $2.7 billion erroneously spent in 2012, Breitbart reported.
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