Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in SNAP
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
The quantitative and qualitative evidence points to multiple factors contributing to churn. These include: changes in address; changes in earnings or employment status; changes in other program benefits, other unearned income, or assets; changes in household size or composition; and issues of language, literacy, age, and disability.
SNAP churn has adverse consequences to agencies and clients that are sufficient to warrant consideration of actions to reduce churn. Although some amount of churn is unavoidable in light of fluctuating circumstances among low-income households, a lower rate of churn is clearly a desirable goal, to improve benefit access and service quality for program clients. A lower churn rate may be difficult to achieve, however, without some risk of compromising other objectives, such as maintaining low error rates and keeping total program costs within budget constraints.