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MDHS awarded $421K to improve SNAP fraud prevention

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The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) has been awarded $421,471 to help improve recipient fraud prevention, detection, and investigation efforts by implementing principles from the SNAP Fraud Framework.

The grant funding, which was awarded by the Southeast Regional Office of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), is designed to support Mississippi as officials develop new efforts or improve on existing ones.

“FNS values the ability of SNAP in helping people afford nutritious food that is essential to their health and well-being,” Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor stated. “The SNAP Fraud Framework Grant will help provide MDHS with the tools they need to reinforce and intensify their efforts to prevent, detect, and eliminate fraud in Mississippi.”

The SNAP Fraud Framework provides states tools and options they can implement to improve program operations and outcomes.

“This Grant will allow MDHS to develop and implement a SNAP Fraud Prevention Training and Education Program aimed to decrease SNAP fraud within the state by informing, educating, and training MDHS staff, SNAP applicants and recipients, and the general public on how to prevent, detect and deter SNAP fraud,” Sandra Griffith, MDHS Inspector General and Principal Deputy Executive Director, explained.

MDHS will use the funding to educate SNAP recipients on fraud through various channels.

Additionally, MDHS will establish semi-annual training for county offices to equip them with the information needed to proactively prevent and recognize fraud during the application stages and develop e-training modules to educate and inform staff on how to handle client complaints regarding EBT skimming.

The awards will support new projects under any of the seven components of the SNAP Fraud Framework, which include organizational management, performance measurement, recipient integrity education, fraud detection, investigations and dispositions, analytics, data management, and learning and development.

Grantees plan to use their funds in a variety of ways, including:

  • Utilizing media campaigns to educate recipients about the security of their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards
  • Establishing training for county offices to proactively prevent and recognize fraud during the application stages
  • Implementing new features in EBT technology to reduce the impacts of stolen SNAP benefits through electronic methods, including card skimming, card cloning, and other similar methods

MDHS begins process of replacing SNAP benefits for fraud victims

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