SNAP (Food Stamps) recipients in New York will see an unexpected increased balance on January 20. Please note … this will be an advance payment of your usual February allocation, not an actual increase in benefits.
Early payment of February’s allocation is happening because of the partial federal government shutdown. SNAP program administrators have managed to secure February’s funding, but it must be distributed early. The important thing for SNAP recipients to remember is that this is not an increase. You are not getting more than you usually get. You are just being paid for February early.
That means that you will need to take extra care to budget your SNAP benefits carefully. Don’t spend it all now, or you won’t have enough left over in February. Your best response to the early payment should be to do nothing different. Only spend what you were normally planning on spending, in January first, then February.
The SNAP program, previously known as Food Stamps, helps 1 in 7 American families afford nutritious food. In New York State it’s 1 in 8 families. The program is especially vital to people with disabilities. in 2015, 1 in 4 SNAP recipients had some kind of disability. In New York, almost half of the families receiving SNAP include someone with a disability.
If you have any questions about this, call your office of Social Services, or NCCI at 518-563-9058.