Child Care Subsidy: UpdatedImproper Payments Error Rate Process

The Improper Payments process is a federally mandated review of randomly selected child care subsidy cases that occurs every three years.  A total of 276 cases (23 each month) are reviewed by Office of Inspector General auditors to determine if an improper payment occurred during the pull month.  The auditors review the most recent application or renewal prior to the pull month to determine if a payment error occurred.  The review is a desk audit which means no external contacts are made to verify the accuracy of the information in the case file.

The most recent Improper Payments Error Rate Review Process for Federal Fiscal Year 2022 is now complete.  See audit results in the table below:

Audit Results

Audit Result
Number of cases sampled 276
Total number of cases with an Improper Payment** 11
Percentage of cases with an Improper Payment 3.99%

There were 4 error types for the 11 cases that resulted in improper payments as shown in the table below. Staff responsible for processing child care subsidy cases should review the Quest training for each of the error types. In addition, staff should attend the upcoming Go Live Child Care Trainings on the AFS Child Care Subsidy Teams channel for comprehensive trainings and discussions on the error types.

Error Types Resulting in Improper Payments

Cause Number of Cases Example Suggested Training
Missing documentation of need 5 The eligibility worker did not verify the school schedule of the parent. Best Practices | Quest

Need Factor | Quest

Missing documentation of income 4 There were no paystubs or other documentation to justify the eligibility worker’s income calculation. Income Verification Sources | Quest
Incorrect case processing 1 The eligibility worker correctly calculated the earned income but did not code it on the case. Household Composition & Income Consideration | Quest

Income – Earned Income Handling | Quest

Misapplication of policy 1 The eligibility worker approved a self-employed household for child care benefits even though the minimum wage requirement was not met. Self-Employment Income for Child Care | Quest

**The reviews also discovered 13 administrative errors based on income calculation that would have normally resulted in payment errors in prior Improper Payment cycles but were prevented due to this cycle’s waiving of family copayments as a part of the covid initiatives. Examples include: recurring bonuses not included, unearned income not added to case, and available tax return not used for self-employed household. These error types will also be covered in the upcoming Go Live Child Care Trainings. In addition, the following training articles should be reviewed.

Key Elements of Pay Stubs | Quest

Self-Employment Income for Child Care | Quest

As always, program integrity remains a top priority at the federal level and everyone’s efforts to ensure good stewardship of our child care funds is most appreciated! Case accuracy ensures families receive the benefits they are entitled to and providers are paid correctly.

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