COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has learned that some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients have misconceptions about when they must spend benefits issued earlier this month because of the partial federal government shutdown.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture instructed states to make February SNAP benefits available to recipients by Jan. 20, since no benefits will be issued in February. In Ohio, February SNAP benefits were issued on Jan. 16. February benefits do not have to be spent by Jan. 20. There is no change to the spending/usage requirements of these benefits. These benefits are intended to ensure recipients can shop for food in February.
Families are advised to plan accordingly and make any food assistance they receive in January stretch as long as possible. Because of this early issuance, SNAP recipients may have two months’ worth of food dollars issued to their accounts this month. No food dollars will be added in February.
Because of calls received and confusion expressed by SNAP recipients, ODJFS has added a message to its automated phone system to remind recipients that these benefits are for February.