Because most New York State SNAP recipients received their February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits early, on January 17th, due to the federal government shutdown, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has asked the states to compress the normal recurring benefit issuance cycle for March SNAP benefits.
USDA asked the states to do this to minimize the length of time between issuances for SNAP recipient households, and to mitigate the effects that the long period between benefit issuances may have on recipient households.
Normally, recurring SNAP benefits are issued to SNAP recipient households in “upstate” counties (all the New York State counties outside of New York City) during the first nine (9) days of each month. For March, no matter what your normal pick up date, your SNAP benefits will be made available to you on March 1st.
If you completed your recertification for SNAP benefits in February and do not receive your March benefit on March 1st, this does not mean that you will not get a March benefit. It may mean that the processing of your recertification has not yet been completed. Your March benefit should be available when the processing of your recertification has been completed.
The benefit you receive on March 1st is your entire benefit for March. This is not an extra SNAP benefit for March. You will not get another benefit on your regularly scheduled pick up date. So, it is important that you budget and spend your March benefit with that in mind.
Currently, nothing else about SNAP has changed. All program requirements remain in place. If you get a recertification notice and application, or a periodic report form, please complete it and return it to your Department of Social Services (DSS) promptly so you may continue to receive SNAP benefits in the future. Your requirement to report changes to your DSS has also not changed.
We will continue to provide up-to-date information about any changes to your SNAP benefits availability on the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website at www.otda.ny.gov. The website also includes some frequently asked questions and answers about these changes.
For any ongoing concerns, please contact Tompkins County DSS at 274-5680.