January 16, 2019 DHS Will Issue February SNAP Benefits Early On January 8, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) notified states that February benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be fully funded. In order to receive funding however, February benefits must be issued by January 20, 2019. The Department of Human Services (DHS) has determined that they will be able to issue February SNAP benefits by January 20 in order to meet the federally imposed deadline. Below is what you need to know about SNAP benefits in January and February. Receiving February Benefits All SNAP recipients who did not have a renewal due in January, or whose renewal for January was completed by January 14, will receive their February benefits on their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards on January 18, 2019. For those (with January renewals due) who completed their renewal after January 14, February benefits will be available on their EBT card one day after their renewal is processed. What This Means for SNAP Recipients These benefits will be the only benefit payment SNAP recipients will receive for the month of February. Recipients will not receive a payment on their regularly scheduled February payment date. This payment is not a bonus or increase in a recipient’s monthly payment. Rather, this payment is their benefit for the month of February. Recipients will need to make this early payment last through an undefined period of time if the government shutdown persists. DHS is awaiting further guidance from the USDA regarding the availability of benefits for March. Because of this, recipients experiencing food insecurity may have greater challenges during this period. This will likely result in a higher number of individuals seeking aid from charitable food organizations around the commonwealth. Applications and Renewals DHS will continue to accept SNAP applications and process renewal applications. Recipients should continue reporting any changes and should submit the semi-annual reviews or renewals that they receive. DHS will continue to issue benefits to applicants found eligible in February until they are told to stop issuing by USDA. Questions and Concerns All County Assistance Offices remain open and staff are available to assist applicants and recipients during this time. For any questions about benefits, please contact the statewide customer service center at 1.877.395.8930. For residents of Philidelphia, contact 1.215.560.7226. Resources For any individual seeking additional food assistance, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has compiled a list of community resources and organizations.