The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is informing the more than 926,000 SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) recipients in Indiana about important changes that will impact them starting in January.
The changes are the result of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 530, passed by the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year, that will change the dates recipients will receive their monthly benefits beginning with a one-month transition in January 2014.
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.
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. SEA 530 dictates that, 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.
FSSA has developed a website to explain the date change at www.SNAP.IN.gov. There is also a chart showing clients’ current date and future date, based upon the first letter of their last name. In addition, on the website, clients can gain a clearer picture of exactly how SEA 530 will impact them and their families by typing in their last names to determine their exact payment dates.
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.