The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Virginia to stagger SNAP benefits to needy
BY LINDLEY ESTES
Benefits for recipients of Virginia’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps, will begin a staggered payment schedule September 1.
Virginia is one of only nine states that currently issues SNAP benefits on the first day of each month.
The new process will spread out the issuance of benefits to four times each month, on the 1st, 4th, 7th or 9th based on the last digit in the household’s case number, located on letters from the Virginia Department of Social Services.
“About 60 percent of Virginia’s SNAP customers will initially experience a slight delay during the two month transition period. It’s important that they plan now for this change to ensure they have enough food” Thomas Steinhauser, state social services director of benefit programs, said in a press release. “Also, with this transition coming during the time children are returning to school, it will be helpful for parents to know that their children automatically qualify for the free school breakfast and lunch program if they are receiving SNAP benefits.”
For case numbers ending in 0, 1, 2 or 3, recipients can expect benefits of the first day of the month beginning in September.
Those with case numbers ending in 4 or 5 will receive benefits on the fourth day of the month in September.
Case numbers ending in 6 or 7 will receive benefits on the seventh day of the month beginning in October and those ending in 8 or 9 can expect benefits on the ninth day of the month in October as well. Both groups will receive benefits on the fourth day of the month in September, before the change takes full effect in October.
The state Social Services Department sent out a letter explaining the changes to all SNAP recipients earlier in the summer.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976