March SNAP benefits will be early
Published 12:07 am Saturday, February 16, 2019
All Louisiana Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients can expect to receive their March SNAP benefits by March 2.
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) officials said the agency is adjusting its usual SNAP issuance schedule in March, in order to help close the gap for clients who have been stretching benefits since January as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. The March schedule is as follows:
• Recipients who usually receive SNAP benefits between the 1st and 4th of each month (days set aside for SNAP households classified as elderly and disabled) will receive their benefits on March 1.
• Recipients who usually receive SNAP benefits between the 5th and 14th of each month will receive their benefits on March 2.
To take advantage of a funding loophole, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service advised states to issue most clients’ February benefits in January. Accordingly, on Jan. 17, DCFS announced it had issued $88.5 million in federal SNAP benefits to 337,927 households and encouraged these recipients to closely budget their benefits to make them last into March.
Without the schedule change, the early issuance would have created a gap in benefits of up to 57 days.
“This extended period between SNAP issuances has been challenging for SNAP recipients, about 66 percent of whom are elderly, disabled or children,” DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said.
Roughly 50,000 cases, including new applications and those still under review on Jan. 14, were processed to receive benefits in February according to the regular schedule.
Should there be another shutdown in Washington D.C., March SNAP benefits will not be affected. DCFS will continue to provide updates on the status of SNAP benefits for Louisiana residents as needed.
For more information about the issuance of SNAP benefits due to the partial federal government shutdown, visit the DCFS website at www.dcfs.la.gov.