More than 100 furloughed federal government workers have applied for SNAP benefits across Nevada, and that number is slowly rising after it was announced that SNAP payments for February will be issued on Sunday, Jan. 20.
Staff at the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services say they stay busy.
“We’re placing more emphasis on SNAP cases over the last few days,” said Eduardo Ramirez, a social services manager.
They’re working quickly to process applications for theSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is a government food assistance program.
“We’re making every effort to approve cases,” said Ramirez.
A top priority to ensure hundreds of thousands of people receive benefits, including new clients impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.
“We have processed SNAP applications for government employees over the last few days,” said Ramirez.
Due to the demand, funds for next month will be loaded on EBT cards this weeked instead of on Feb. 1. But the early release has caused some concerns about money management.
“Clients will see their benefits early,” Ramirez said. “It is important to keep in mind that once they get their early benefits, they’re not going to get any more in February.”
“How people will be able to budget those benefits all the way through February, and what might happen on March 1 if we still don’t have a government in operation,” said Jodi Tyson, the vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Three Square Food Bank.
Three Square Food Bank continues to monitor the shutdown, so according to Tyson, partner agencies aren’t seeing an increase of people seeking food but worries about SNAP benefits ending.
“The food that the bank can put on our shelves and distribute out to the community will never reach the level of which SNAP benefits can provide, so that is a scary situation here in our community,” Tyson said.
The organization is developing a contingency plan as DWSS staff maintain their focus on SNAP benefits. DWSS will continue accepting SNAP applications, but funds may not be distributed after Feb.1 if the shutdown continues.
— NOTE: The Division of Welfare and Supportive Services isn’t the only place where you can apply for SNAP benefits. Learn more below.