Because of the federal government shutdown, the Department of Health and Welfare will be issuing February benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on Sunday, Jan. 20.
All households approved and re-evaluated by Tuesday, Jan. 15, will receive their February food stamps on Jan. 20. Households that complete a re-evaluation and are approved after Jan. 15 for February will receive their benefits on their regular issuance date. The department is continuing to accept and process applications normally through January and February and doesn’t anticipate any delays in SNAP issuance.
Everyone who is eligible for SNAP benefits in February will receive their benefits. However, households that receive their February benefits in January will not receive an additional issuance in February. Recipients are encouraged to budget their food stamps to last until they receive their March benefits.
“This is a fluid time for federal government services,” said Julie Hammon, administrator of the Division of Welfare. “Until we know more, please consider a donation to your local food banks and pantries – February will be tough month for many because of the length of time between benefits.”
Letters to recipients were sent by first class mail on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Department staff also have been communicating with grocery stores and other community partners on the schedule change.
If recipients have questions about the early issuance or SNAP benefits in general, they can call the Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 in Idaho or the Self-Reliance call center at 1-877-456-1233.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is administered in the Division of Welfare in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Benefits are paid entirely with federal funds. Learn more about the program here.
Media Contact: Niki Forbing-Orr
Public Information Manager
(208) 334-0668 or Niki.Forbing-Orr@dhw.idaho.gov
Idaho’s transition to a 10-day schedule for the distribution of food stamps benefits was smooth, with minimal issues being reported for the 180,000 citizens enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Food stamp recipients, grocery stores and food pantries proved to be informed and prepared for the change, which took place from July 1-10.
“Based on what has happened in other states, this had the potential to be an extremely difficult transition,” said Welfare Administrator Lori Wolff. “But there were very few issues, thanks to the collaboration and efforts of all of our partners in feeding Idahoans who need help to put food on their tables. Most of the calls we received were from people who knew but had forgotten about the change. We were able to help them get the information and resources they needed until their benefits were available.” Continue reading
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.” Continue reading
Starting July 1, food stamps benefits will be delivered on a different schedule. They will be delivered over the first 10 days of the month, instead of only on the first of the month. It’s very important that everyone involved understands how they may be affected so they can plan ahead and avoid a food shortage as much as possible. Participants who do not receive their benefits on the first of the month will need to have a plan for how they will address the extra days until their benefits are available.
Why is the schedule being changed?
The Legislature passed a law in 2014 to require the department 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 been working with grocery stores, food banks and pantries, and others since July 2015 to make this transition as seamless as possible. Continue reading
The workgroup met earlier this week to discuss the communications plan for the staggered issuance for benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP (also known as the Food Stamps Program).
Starting July 1, participants will receive their benefits based on the last number in the birth year of the cardholder. If a person was born on Dec. 30, 1970, for example. they would receive their benefits on the 10th day of the month. If they were born in 1972, they would receive them on the second day. Benefit will be distributed for the first 10 days of each month.
The group is working on emails, posters, fact sheets and other tools the Department of Health and Welfare, its partners, SNAP retailers and participants will use to exchange information about the schedule change over the next several months. Continue reading
Lots of communication and extra food donations at community pantries and the Idaho Foodbank will be needed as Idaho transitions from issuing benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on the first day of the month to issuing them over the first 10 days of the month.
Planning for the change continued this week as the multi-day transition work group met to determine how grocery stores and community organizations such as the Idaho Foodbank and other food pantries across the state would be affected, and what can be done to support them if SNAP recipients run out of food or are unaware that their benefits are not available before they shop.
“More than anything, we don’t want anyone to be surprised,” said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of the Idaho Foodbank. Continue reading
The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) and its partners are preparing for a major change in how food stamp benefits are distributed. An initial meeting this week kicked off the planning process to implement the changes on July 1, 2016.
DHW is required by legislation passed in the 2015 session to issue benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) over the first 10 days of the month rather than only on the first day of the month. The change will begin on July 1, 2016, but an adjustment period is likely for grocers and participants. Grocers lobbied the Legislature to move to a 10-day distribution for benefits because of crowded stores, long lines and inventory challenges on the first of each month. Continue reading