New schedule means most food stamps recipients will not receive their benefits on Friday

Big changes begin on Friday for the way food stamps benefits are delivered.

Starting then, food stamps will be delivered over the first 10 days of the month rather than only on the first. Because of this, most recipients will not receive their benefits on the first and will have to wait up to 9 additional days before their benefits are available, depending on the last number of the primary applicant’s birth year.

“It’s critically important for recipients to know when they will receive their benefits so they have enough food,” said Lori Wolff, administrator for the division of Welfare. “We have several options in place so they know when those benefits will load up on the cards and are available to use. We hope they have been using those tools and are aware of the change.” 

Recipients can figure out their date of delivery by the last number of the applicant’s birth year. If that number is 1, benefits will be available on the first of the month. If that number is 0, they will be available on the 10th day of the month.

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Recipients also can sign up to receive text alerts when their benefits are available by calling 1-800-432-4328 or by registering at www.ebtaccount.jpmorgan.com/chp.

They can also access their accounts online by setting up an account at idalink.idaho.gov. And anyone with questions can call Health and Welfare offices at 1-877-456-1233 until 5 p.m. Friday. After that, offices will be closed until Tuesday morning because of the Fourth of July holiday.

The Legislature passed a law in 2014 to require the Department of Health and Welfare to issue benefits over the first 10 days of the month rather than only on the first day of the month. Grocers had lobbied the Legislature to move to a 10-day distribution for benefits because of crowded stores, long lines and challenges with inventory on the first of each month.

The department has sent notices to recipients and has been working with grocery stores, food banks and pantries, and others since July 2015 to make this transition as seamless as possible. But it’s still possible some of the nearly 187,000 recipients will not be aware of the change.

“Because July 1 is on the Friday of a long holiday weekend, Health and Welfare offices and many food pantries will be closed from Saturday until Tuesday, so it’s important to plan ahead as much as possible at this point,” Wolff said. “We really hope people have gotten that message and are prepared.”

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One thought on “New schedule means most food stamps recipients will not receive their benefits on Friday

  1. Pingback: Rollout of new food stamps schedule was uneventful | DHW: Promoting and protecting the health and safety of Idahoans

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