What’s the cost of an error on income eligibility forms?

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

What’s the cost of an error on income eligibility forms?

It’s easy to make little mistakes when making determinations on Income Eligibility Forms (IEFs). Among the common errors discovered during reviews or audits are:

  • missing case number
  • missing social security number
  • classified in the wrong eligibility category
  • no followup on “zero income” eligibility forms
  • no determination was made on the IEF
  • no IEF on file

These types of errors or oversight can add up to a significant overclaim during a review or audit.

Below is an example of the overclaim when meals for one child are claimed in the Free category and the IEF was in error and meals must be reclassified to the Paid category. This is based on reimbursement rates for FY 2007.

Meal Free Rate Paid Rate


Breakfast $1.31 $.24 $1.07
Lunch $2.40 $.23 $2.17
Snack $.65 $.06 $.59

If meals must be reclassified from the Free category to the Paid category, the overclaim for one child for one day would be $3.83. If the child was present for these meals for an average of 22 days a month, the overclaim for one month would be $84.26. Over a period of one year, the overclaim amounts to $1,011.12. If “only” one error is made on an IEF, this can quickly add up to thousands of dollars.

Double check those income eligibility forms before coding meals in the Free and Reduced categories. It could save you a costly overclaim in the future.


Updated August 22, 2017 7:10pm