Mississippi Tracks Possible Misuse of SNAP Program

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State officials say 1,705 people in Mississippi were disqualified last budget year from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for making false claims and improperly taking more than $2.7 million in benefits. That's according to information obtained by the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

The newspaper reports hundreds more people routinely report benefits cards lost or stolen, which the federal government cites as a potential sign of fraud.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services first began tracking multiple replacement card requests during the budget year that ran from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012.

DHS says 263 households reported cards missing five or more times. The highest number of replacements requested by a single cardholder was 17.

Mississippi enrollment in SNAP is 698,279, or 23 percent of the state's population.