Greensburg Daily News
---- — INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) has informed the more than 926,000 SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in Indiana about important changes that will impact them starting in January.
Information on the date changes is available at www.SNAP.IN.gov, as is a video featuring George Hill of the Indiana Pacers helping to explain the changes.
Payment dates for SNAP depend on the first letter of the client’s last name, and benefits have previously been made to clients during the first 10 days of each month. Starting in 2014, SNAP payments will be spread from the fifth through the 23rd of every month, on odd days.
However, to phase in the change, in the month of January 2014 only, SNAP clients will receive half of their benefits on their current date and the other half on their new date.
The amount of recipients’ SNAP benefits is NOT changing – but the day on which benefits are applied to their Hoosier Works EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards will change.
The changes are the result of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 530, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, and will change the dates recipients will receive their monthly benefits beginning with a one month transition in January.
December 2013 benefits - issued Dec. 8, 2013
January 2014 benefits – half issued Jan. 8, 2014 and half issued Jan. 19, 2014
February 2014 benefits – issued on new date of Feb. 19, 2014
Having distribution days spread throughout the month will mean fewer shoppers on any of those days, making shopping easier for SNAP clients and for all food shoppers. Additionally, spreading distribution days will also ease the burden on grocery stores and other food sellers, as well, as those merchants can spread demand throughout the month.
In addition to the website, www.SNAP.IN.gov, FSSA has undertaken several different communications to inform SNAP clients of this important change. Those include:
FSSA has assembled – and been sharing information with – a team that includes the Indiana Association of United Ways, Indiana 211, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (a group representing food pantries around the state), the Indiana Retail Council, the Indiana Independent Grocers and Convenience Stores and various individual retailers.
These organizations and retailers have posted and shared information about the changes in their various locations.
Each SNAP recipient has received at least two mailings announcing the change.
FSSA has launched a statewide advertising campaign including radio advertising as well as ads on and inside city buses.
FSSA has created two videos to be used as public service announcements and to raise awareness of this important change in social media.
SNAP clients received a voice recording alerting them to this change, via telephone, sometime between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides food assistance to low and no income people and families living in the United States. It is a federal aid program administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, distribution of benefits occurs at the state level. In Indiana, the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is responsible for ensuring federal regulations are initially implemented and consistently applied in each county. Approximately 926,000 Hoosiers from approximately 418,000 households across Indiana – or nearly one-sixth of the population of Indiana – receive SNAP benefits.
More information about SNAP is available at http://www.in.gov/fssa/dfr/2691.htm.
– Daily News