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Shutdown Creates New Deadline For Those Who Depend On SNAP

Department of Human Services needs paperwork submitted by Monday to ensure February SNAP benefits remain available during the federal government shutdown.
Friday, January 11, 2019 | 04:58pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is taking steps today to alert SNAP recipients of a very 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, January 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 our website https://apps.tn.gov/dhsaccess/ or at any of our 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.” 

SNAP provides nutritional assistance benefits to more than 900 thousand people in Tennessee. The program helps supplement the monthly food budgets of families with low-income to buy the food they need, maintain good health and allow them to use more of their income for essential living expenses.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.   

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CONTACT:  Sky Arnold
OFFICE:  615-313-5551