Shutdown creates new deadline for SNAP recipients

Shutdown creates new deadline for SNAP recipients
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, says people who depend on food stamps will face hardship if the partial shutdown stretches on.

NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is taking steps to alert SNAP recipients of an important deadline imposed by the USDA.

Individuals who are renewing their benefits or filing a 6 month Simplified Report form need to have any required paperwork in by the end of business Monday, Jan. 14. Meeting this deadline is an important step to ensure February benefits are available to those who qualify during the government shutdown.

Individuals can submit this paperwork online at any time on the TDHS website or at any of the state offices on Monday. To assist with this, TDHS plans to keep offices open until 6:30 p.m. Monday in Davidson, Shelby, Montgomery, Knox, Hamilton, Rutherford, Washington and Madison Counties.

Individuals who are not renewing and have not been notified by the Department are not required to submit any additional documents.

February SNAP funds were made available earlier this week when the USDA provided states with the option to provide early issuance of benefits. Because of this, February SNAP benefits will arrive weeks early for most people.

SNAP recipients typically see their monthly benefits arrive on their EBT cards the same day each month, anywhere from the first of the month to the 20th depending on their Social Security number. February SNAP benefits are expected to arrive on or before January 20, for all customers.

TDHS is reminding the more than 900,000 Tennesseans who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that these benefits are the only funds they should expect until at least March.

“Budgeting these early SNAP funds is especially important to those who receive their benefits towards the middle or end of the month,” said TDHS Press Secretary Sky Arnold. “We do not know how long the shutdown will last. Even if the government shutdown ends in February, individuals still won’t receive their March SNAP benefits until their standard disbursement date. Some customers could go up to two months in between SNAP dispersals.”

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