• Tennessee residents rush to beat SNAP benefits deadline due to government shutdown

    Updated:

    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - Dozens stopped by the Tennessee Department of Health Services building on Monday to renew their benefits for February.

    The early deadline on Monday at 6:30 p.m. was due to the government shutdown, which has lasted for 24 days.

    Recipients will receive SNAP benefits on or before Jan. 20. 

    “People got kids, we have to feed our children it’s going to be hard because we don’t have stamps now,” said Corlisa Brown.

    Brown has two little boys and hopes the government shutdown ends soon.

    “I need food stamps to keep going and flowing,” said Brown.

    A spokesperson with TDHS said the benefits could be the last until at least March.


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    “Budgeting these early SNAP funds is especially important to those who receive their benefits towards the middle or end of the month,” said TDHS Press Secretary Sky Arnold. “We do not know how long the shutdown will last. Even if the government shutdown ends in February, individuals still won’t receive their March SNAP benefits until their standard disbursement date. 

    “Some customers could go up to two months in between SNAP dispersals.”              

    “I don’t know if they will see me, I hope they will see me today if they don’t have time I’m going to have to find another means to eat,” said Terri Smith.

    Officials want to emphasize you only need to renew your benefits if the DHS contacted you.

    If you are applying for SNAP benefits for the first time it’s important to do so as soon as possible. 

    You can apply for benefits online here.



    ORIGINAL STORY: 

    The Tennessee Department of Human Services just released very important information for people who use food stamps – related to the government shutdown. 

    A new deadline was just put in place for food stamps benefits because of the government shutdown. 

    Due to the shutdown, individuals who are renewing their benefits or filing for a six-month simplified report form need to have any required paperwork filled out and submitted by Monday, Jan. 14. 

    The Department of Human Services in the following counties will stay open until 6 p.m. Monday so that people have time to get the documents in:

    • Shelby
    • Davidson
    • Montgomery
    • Knox
    • Hamilton
    • Rutherford
    • Washington
    • Madison

    “Meeting this deadline is an important step to ensure February benefits are available to those who qualify during the government shutdown,” officials said in a release.Individuals who are not renewing their SNAP benefits and have not been notified by TDHS are not required to submit any additional documents.

    The USDA provided states with the option to provide early issuance of benefits, so now February food stamps will arrive weeks early for most people.

    Due to the shutdown, February SNAP benefits are expected to arrive on or before Jan. 20 for all customers.

    Officials did say, however, that those benefits are the only funds the more than 900,000 Tennesseans who depend on them should expect until at least March. 

    For more information on how to submit those forms, click here.

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