It was roughly a month ago that the Inquisitr reported February food stamp benefits would release early – on varying days for each state – prior to January 20th to avoid the expiration of the funding contract resulting from the partial government shutdown.
While many rejoiced in knowing they would get their February food stamps despite the shutdown, the early release didn't come without its own set of problems. The biggest problem being those who failed to budget properly quickly spent the February benefits and were forced to go several weeks waiting for their March benefits to come in.
Fortunately, it appears as if the Agriculture Department officials are well aware of this issue as the SNAP (Supplemental National Assistance Program) has in many states started to announce an early release of March benefits to help those who didn't properly budget their January and February food stamps.
According to Indy Star, there are just shy of 600,000 residents in the state of Indiana who received their February food stamps on January 16th. Just yesterday the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration announced they would release half of the March food stamp benefits on February 22 to help curb the issues the early release of February food stamps caused.
WQAD 8 reports the state of Illinois is also slated to release March food stamp benefits early.
Meghan Powers, a representative of Illinois Department of Human Services, also revealed that the early benefit release would play a role April's benefits as well.
"In April, we plan to issue benefits between the first and the 10th of the month. We are waiting on the federal budget to be approved for that plan. But at this point, we plan for the first through the 10th of the month," Powers explained.Fox 17 reports the state of Michigan also has plans to release both March and April food stamp benefits early because of the government shutdown aftermath.
According to the outlet, residents of Michigan can expect to receive March food stamps between March 3rd and 5th and their April benefits between April 3rd and 12th.WCBE reports the state of Ohio plans on operating on a similar schedule as the state of Indiana and releasing half of the March benefits early and half on the normal schedule.
Recipients of food stamp benefits are encouraged to check with their local SNAP office or their Family and Social Services website for any information regarding an early release of benefits.States planning to release food stamp benefits early hope to return to a normal release schedule by the months of April and May (depending on whether they are releasing half or all of the March benefits early.)