The decision to release February food stamp benefits early was a universal decision that all states in the U.S. took part in to avoid a funding issue resulting from an expired contract, thanks to the partial government shutdown.
Unfortunately for those receiving assistance through SNAP, there was a bit of miscommunication between the program and the recipients. Some recipients did not realize they received two payments and others feared when the funding ran out, because of the shutdown, the benefits currently sitting on their card would not be any good. Moreover, there were also recipients of food stamps that just didn’t budget their benefits properly and ended up running out of food assistance weeks before their EBT cards were set to reload with funds.
As the Inquisitr reported recently, many states have recognized the aftermath caused by the government shutdown and the early release of February benefits and decided the solution to the problem was to release some – or all – of the March food stamps early as well.
The decision to release March benefits early, however, is a decision being made on an individual state-by-state basis. So, recipients of food stamps are encouraged to contact their local food stamp office to ask about the release schedule for the month of March.
According to NEWS10 ABC, the state of New York has become one of the latest states to make the decision to release March food stamp benefits early. SNAP benefits for the state of New York are scheduled to release a week earlier than their typical schedule.
March Food Stamps To Come Early For Some States. Several states plan to release some, or all, of the March food stamp benefits early to curb the downside of February's early release. #News https://t.co/IXtI54sMTV
— INQUISITR (@theinquisitr) February 16, 2019
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo explained the decision to release March benefits a week early, as to help those who struggled to stretch February benefits after receiving them so early as a result of the partial government shutdown.
Cuomo went on to explain that all SNAP beneficiaries in the state of New York will receive their March benefits on – or before – March 7 to help ease the issues caused with what some are referring to as the “SNAP gap.”
All recipients of food stamps in New York will receive their March benefits a week earlier than scheduled. https://t.co/ZYkx4TqFjW
— News 4, WIVB-TV (@news4buffalo) February 17, 2019
With the state of New York only releasing benefits for March a little ahead of schedule, it is unlikely plans will be made for the state to join other states such as Michigan and Illinois, which already have plans in place to release April benefits early.
The decision to release February food stamps three weeks early forced many recipients to go over six weeks before receiving additional food assistance.