Moffat County SNAP food assistance recipients may go hungry if federal shutdown persists | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County SNAP food assistance recipients may go hungry if federal shutdown persists

CRAIG — Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, also known as food stamps, might want to make sure their paperwork is in order during the federal government shutdown.

According to the Moffat County Department of Human Services, the government shutdown may impact local recipients of food stamps whose redeterminations are due in January.

“If your household is actively receiving food assistance and has a redetermination due in January 2019, it must be received by Jan. 15, 2019 at 10 a.m. in order for February benefits to be determined and issued,” the department said in a notice for clients. “Any redetermination received after Jan. 15, 2019 at 10 a.m. will not receive benefits until the shutdown is ended. All redeterminations will continue to be process, and benefits will be provided retroactively once the shutdown is over for households continuing to meet all eligibility criteria.”

In an interview late Friday afternoon, Janean Barva, self-sufficiency manager with Moffat County Department of Human Services, said the department is asking county SNAP recipients seeking redeterminations to drop their applications off at the county DHS office, 595 Breeze St., by 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, to allow staff time to process applications by the 4:30 p.m. state cutoff time.

Barva added that a dropbox is available in front of the DHS office, and applications may be deposited there throughout the weekend.

For new food stamp applicants, applications must be received by Jan. 30 to receive benefits.

“We need folks to understand how important it is to act quickly so they won’t see a disruption in their benefits,” said Ki’I Powell, director of Colorado’s Office of Economic Security, in a news release.

In Moffat County, there are currently 1,395 distinct clients receiving some sort of benefits for a total dollar amount of $179,246 in fiscal year 2018, according to state DHS data.

According to state DHS data, Colorado currently has about 220,000 food stamp recipients.

“Applications received Jan. 17, 2019 through Jan. 30, 2019 will be processed,” according to DHS. “If you are eligible for benefits, you will receive your January and February benefits at the same time in January. There will be no issuances in February until the shutdown is over. February benefits will be issued early for eligible households. Any applications received after 10 a.m. on Jan. 30, 2019 will not receive benefits until the shutdown is ended. All applications will continue to be processed, even if received after Jan. 30, and benefits will be provided retroactively once the shutdown is over for households meeting all eligibility criteria.”

Residents in need of additional information can contact the Moffat County Department of Human Services at 970-824-8282 ext. 2046.

Jim Patterson contributed to this report. Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or at cthorp@craigdailypress.com.