SNAP benefits to be issued early due to shutdown

*This article has been updated to reflect that the MDHS has changed the issuance date from January 20th to January 17th. 

February’s SNAP benefits will be issued early due to the current government shutdown, and long-term benefits may be affected. 

In a news release, the Mississippi Department of Human Services has announced the early issuance of February 2019 SNAP benefits. 

“Due to the partial government shutdown, February 2019 SNAP benefits will be available by January 17. These benefits are not an extra payment or bonus and are intended to cover food purchases for February 2019. No additional SNAP benefits will be issued in February to households who received their February SNAP benefits on the early issuance date.”

Households who have submitted SNAP recertification applications that have not been processed or approved by January 15 will not receive the early issued SNAP benefits for February. The MDHS warns that there are limited funds that will be available after January 20; however, they will continue to process applications as they are received and SNAP benefits will be issued based on available federal funds. 

With no resolution to the shutdown in sight, the MDHS stated that is important to be prepared for the possibility that SNAP benefits may not be available for several months.

If you are enrolled in SNAP, they also recommend purchasing non-perishable foods to sustain you through this period of uncertainty.