• NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services took steps Friday to alert recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps, of an important deadline imposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    People who will renew their benefits or file a six-month simplified report form need to have any required paperwork in by Monday at the end of business. Meeting the deadline is an important step to ensure February benefits are available to those who qualify during the government shutdown.

    Individuals can submit the paperwork at any time at apps.tn.gov/dhsaccess or Monday at any of the state offices. To assist with this, TDHS plans to keep offices open Monday until 6:30 p.m. in Davidson, Shelby, Montgomery, Knox, Hamilton, Rutherford, Washington and Madison counties. People who will not renew and were not 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 to the 20th day, depending on their Social Security number. February SNAP benefits are expected to arrive on or before Jan. 20 for all customers.

    TDHS officials reminded the more than 900,000 Tennesseans who depend on the SNAP that the 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 toward 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 900,000 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 tn.gov/humanservices.

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