Federal Low-Income Programs: Use of Data to Verify Eligibility Varies Among Selected Programs and Opportunities Exist to Promote Additional Use, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the (Government Accountability Office) Highlights: "Various federal programs provide billions of dollars in assistance to low-income beneficiaries whose eligibility is partially based on their income and, in some cases, assets. Administering agencies, including federal, state, and local agencies, typically verify beneficiaries' income and asset information by comparing it against other sources. To improve program administration and integrity, agencies have increasingly used electronic data to conduct this verification. GAO was asked to review such verification among low-income programs. This report examines the federal requirements for verifying beneficiaries' income and assets for selected programs and reported data sources used, and reported advantages and challenges for administering agencies and beneficiaries when using data verification. GAO selected six federal programs that provide assistance ranging from tax credits to housing, were among the largest in terms of spending, and varied in administrative structure. GAO reviewed relevant federal requirements and confirmed them with the federal agencies, identified data sources reported in state plans, and reviewed research studies. GAO also interviewed federal officials, officials with associations representing state or local program administrators, and researchers."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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