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Government & Politics

Government Shutdown Causes Confusion Over SNAP Benefit Checks

A sign advertising SNAP acceptance.
Ohioans on SNAP have been issued checks for next month.

Ohioans who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have been issued checks for February to ensure they don’t go without food during the partial federal government shutdown. But some needy Ohioans mistakenly think they have to use those benefits now.

Bret Crow with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says, because of the shutdown, state agencies had to make February SNAP benefits available to recipients by January 20th. But he says some who receive those benefits are confused.

“For some reason, that has been twisted to SNAP recipients that they have to spend that by January 20th and that’s not true,” Crow said.

Crow says SNAP recipients actually need to make those benefits last through the end of next month, since no food dollars will be added next month.  Because of the confusion, ODJFS has added a message to its automated phone system to remind recipients that these benefits are for February.

Here is clarification information released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: