The 926,000 people in Indiana receiving what used to be called food stamps will get their benefits on new dates with the new year.
Indiana‘s Family and Social Services Administration is making the change based on a law passed by the legislature earlier this year. Lawmakers had heard complaints from stores which serve a large number of people receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. “It was becoming difficult for some grocery stores to maintain a balance of stock in their stores for all shoppers every month,” said Marni Lemons, spokeswoman for FSSA.
Rather than distribute SNAP benefits between the 1st and the 10th of each month, recipients will get their benefit on a date determined by the first letter of their last name. To keep people from having to wait until late in the month to receive their SNAP money, the benefit will be divided in half in January. “In January, you will get the first half of your benefits on your current date and the remainder of your benefits on your new date,” Lemons said. Starting in February, the entire SNAP benefit will be delivered on the new date.
The FSSA has been trying to advertise the change widely in the media, but says SNAP recipients should know about the change even if they haven‘t seen or heard one of the ads. “All SNAP recipients have received at least two mailings. Also, everyone that we have a phone number for received an automated message between the 13th and 16th of December,” said Lemons.