Because of the federal government shutdown, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says it will be issuing February benefits for the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) on Sunday, January 20.
“All households approved and re-evaluated by Tuesday, January 15, will receive their February food stamps on January 20,” according to Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr.
“Households that complete a re-evaluation and are approved after January 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,” she said.
Everyone who is eligible for SNAP assistance in February will receive their benefits. However, officials say, 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,” Forbing-Orr said.
“This is a fluid time for federal government services,” added Division of Welfare administrator Julie Hammon. “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.