The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) is reminding recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, that benefits will begin a staggered payment schedule September 1, 2012.
To lessen the impact of the change, the Department encourages recipients to plan accordingly. “About 60 percent of Virginia’s SNAP customers will initially experience a slight delay during the two month transition period. It’s important that they plan now for this change to ensure they have enough food” said VDSS’ Director of Benefit Programs, Thomas Steinhauser. “Also, with this transition coming during the time children are returning to school, it will be helpful for parents to know that their children automatically qualify for the free school breakfast and lunch program if they are receiving SNAP benefits.”
Currently, Virginia is one of only nine states to issue SNAP benefits once a month. The new process will expand the issuance of benefits to four times each month. This summer VDS sent letters to all current SNAP customers in Virginia explaining the new schedule.
The new schedule will be based on SNAP recipients’ case numbers:
The transition to staggered payments will be fully implemented in October, the same time in which some families can expect to see a slight increase in benefits. This potential change is due to a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA).