How the Shutdown is Affecting Your Monthly SNAP Benefits

Attention: SNAP recipients in the United States will receive full February benefits *early* this year. They will be loaded on EBT cards on or before Jan. 20, 2019.  

What’s happening?

Due to the ongoing partial government shutdown, most SNAP recipients in the United States will receive their full February benefits on or before Jan. 20. These benefits will be automatically loaded on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards and will need to last through the month of February.

Why is this happening?

The SNAP program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a result of the partial government shutdown, new spending was halted. SNAP was fully funded through January and the USDA subsequently identified a process through the previous budget resolution to allow funding for February benefits as long as they were paid during a 30-day window (before Jan. 20).  As a result, the USDA is able to pay out February benefits as long as states requested early SNAP benefit issuance by the 30-day cut off (Jan. 20).

Is there a bonus SNAP payment for January on my EBT card?

No. The funds loaded onto your EBT card this week are not extra benefits. They are an early distribution of your February benefit and will need to last until the end of February.  Additional SNAP benefits will not be loaded on your EBT card in February.

Where can I turn if I’m having trouble putting enough food on the table for my family?

Please contact your local food banks and other emergency food providers. Here is a link from Feeding America that connects you to food banks in your state: simply insert your zip code and state for information.

Where can I find more information on SNAP benefits?

For more information, please contact your state SNAP offices directly. Here is a link from the USDA that connects you to SNAP offices at the state and local level.