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Food stamps available early in Washington due to shutdown

Most Washington food stamp recipients will receive their basic food benefits for February by January 20.

Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services is making February Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits available in January due to the government shutdown.

According to DSHS, most clients in the state will receive their basic food benefits for February by January 20.

Kelly Stowe with DSHS said this is to minimize the potential impacts of a lapse in funding because of the government shutdown.

SNAP recipients normally see their monthly food benefits arrive on their EBT cards from the first of the month to the 20th.

The Department of Health and Welfare in Idaho is also issuing February benefits on Jan. 20 for all households that were approved and re-evaluated by Jan. 15. Those who completed this process after their date will receive benefits on their regular date, according to the department.

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According to the department, households that receive their February benefits in January will not receive additional benefits next month. Recipients are encouraged to budget their food stamps to last until they receive March benefits.

DSHS is also encouraging clients who receive February benefits early to budget carefully.

“Some recipients--those who get their benefits on the 20th of each month, for example--will be going two months between SNAP disbursements,” DSHS Economic Services Administration director Babs Roberts said. “People will want to ensure that the benefits they are receiving now last as long as possible.”

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