UPDATE: Georgia fixes food stamps issue ahead of Thanksgiving
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The state of Georgia has informed Atlanta News First that they were able to update all pending accounts with their benefits before Thanksgiving. We confirmed with a local woman that she received her benefits.
Many families across Georgia have not received their food stamp benefits this month.
“It’s hard. Like I’m hoping and praying they post the stamps because it’s really a need,” said Lachelle Akins, in an interview with Atlanta News First on Tuesday.
Due to inflation and workforce shortages, the Department of Human Services is working through an increased volume of applicants and renewals for SNAP benefits, according to a department spokesperson, Kylie Winton.
Winton could not provide an estimate of how many people were impacted by the delays but said the issue had primarily impacted those who sought to renew their benefits from August to October.
“It’s leaving lots of people frustrated, and I’m one of them because here I am, I turned in all necessary paperwork, and still nothing,” said Akins, who said she tried to renew her benefits in October.
Winton said their staff is working to expedite the allocation of SNAP benefits this week.
“The federal government approved our waiver request to extend SNAP benefits for no more than six months for customers with pending renewals from August-October 2022 who have completed their paperwork,” said Winton, in an email.
“Deloitte, our vendor that administers the Gateway portal, is working on a technology solution where they project customers will be caught up by the Thanksgiving holiday,” Winton said.
According to the latest published data, 926,849 Georgians receive SNAP benefits, averaging $336 per household, per month.
Winton stressed that it’s important for those seeking to renew their SNAP benefits to continue to fill out the necessary paperwork to be eligible for food stamps.
“We continue to process cases, and all customers should still return their renewal packets, requested information, and any verification checklists (VCLs) the Department asks for, especially if they have not done so and if they are up for renewal in November,” said Winton.
Many people commented on the department’s social media page, detailing that they still had not received their food stamps as of Tuesday evening.
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