Study: fingerprinting depresses food stamp use

September 16, 2011

Participation in California’s food stamp program — known as CalFresh — would increase by 7 percent while administrative costs would decline by 13 percent per family if the state eliminated its policy of fingerprinting applicants for the program, according to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

That’s significant, because the federal government pays for the benefits while the state pays the administrative costs, so the change would be a win for the state on both ends. Currently California lags most other states in the rate of participation in the food stamp program.

The study, however, does not rule out the possibility that some of the 7 percent increase in enrollment would be due to fraud.

Download the whole report here.

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