February SNAP Benefits Will Be Available On January 20th Due To Shutdown

Matt Briscoe

AUSTIN—The Texas Department of Health and Human Services said on Sunday that the hundreds of thousands of Texans who receive SNAP benefits will receive their February benefits early due to the partial government shutdown that is in effect.

The USDA sent what DHHS calls “guidance” to states instructing them to issue February benefits on January 20, 2019 in order to allow clients to prepare and better manage their resources.

The Texas Department of Health and Human Services said that clients should stagger out purchases through February and avoid making mass purchases.

The federal government has told states that they can continue to issue benefits until the money runs out, though there is no clear indication of when that might be.

WIC and TANF clients are not impacted by the move, the agency said. Though that could also change at some point.

SNAP benefits are totally federally funded through the USDA and administered by Texas DHHS. It is estimated that as many as 3.5 Million Texans utilize the benefit and some $410 Million dollars worth of assistance comes to the state every month through the program. In addition, the administration cost for the program is shared between the state and federal government at a cost of $30 million dollars each month.

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