The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is helping food stamp beneficiaries access February benefits beginning January 20. The USDA is taking advantage of a provision in the expired legislation that allows SNAP to be funded for an additional 30 days, despite the shutdown.
About 200 DHHS employees worked throughout this past weekend (January 12 and 13) to process applications and redeterminations submitted by thousands of beneficiaries. According to a statement from DHHS, staff contacted beneficiaries and encouraged them to submit their requests as quickly as possible. Staff also conducted interviews that were scheduled for the coming weeks, so that those beneficiaries receive their SNAP benefits without interruption.
“Our state employees have done remarkable work in a short amount of time to ensure that the impact of the partial federal government shut down on New Hampshire is as minimal as possible,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “Their efforts will ensure those who rely on the SNAP program will have access to those services through February. My administration will continue to do everything we can to help minimize as much as possible the impact the dysfunction of Washington has on New Hampshire.”
“Payments will be disbursed on January 20th but it is critical for recipients to understand that this is their February allotment and not a supplemental payment so they must budget accordingly,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey A. Meyers. “The USDA has identified a way to make funding available to continue the SNAP program in February, and SNAP is important to ensuring the nutritional needs of beneficiaries and their families are met. We will continue to communicate with USDA to learn more about the continued availability of SNAP benefits after February.”
Beneficiaries with specific questions about their cases should contact DHHS at (800) 852-3345, ext. 9700.