PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Social services workers are putting in overtime so citizens can get their February SNAP benefits early.
Time is running out, though. If you are applying for or are currently receiving SNAP benefits in Portsmouth, you must provide all requested verifications, renewal applications and interim reports by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15.
City employees are staying late to process all the paperwork. The building will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., but you are encouraged to stop by before 5 p.m.
“We’re looking at the amount of citizens that we service and how much time; even staff in the building needs to actually process those applications," Pamela Little-Hill, Director of Social Services in Portsmouth said.
If you submit your paperwork by the January 15 deadline, you will receive February SNAP benefits by January 17.
"The state will use [regular] allocated funds [for those who meet the deadline on the 15th]. Anything after that will come from [SNAP reserve funds]," Little-Hill said.
The state hasn't said exactly how much money is in the reserve funds.
City officials know that not everyone can physically make it before the deadline. If you are elderly or disabled, staff members can pick up your paperwork directly from your home. Contact B'Onka Hill, the Chief of Benefits at (757) 405-1800 ext. 8421.
If you are able to meet the deadline and get your February benefits early, Little-Hill suggests you look at your finances and budget accordingly.
“Even though you get [the check] in January, you need to plan how you’re going to use that money because you wouldn’t get another check in February," she said.
If you don't meet the deadline, the paperwork will still be processed, but you have to wait until February 1, 4, or 7 to get your benefits.
If you are currently receiving SNAP benefits in the City of Virginia Beach, the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services urges you to drop off renewal applications and any other associated documentation in person.
All documentation should be brought to the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services Administration Building (3432 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va. 23452) by Tuesday, January 15 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The department will continue to have extended hours until 7 p.m. through Thursday, January 17. However, to ensure your February benefits are processed early, please bring any necessary documentation by the close of business on January 15.
Those who submit their documentation should be able to access their February benefits by Sunday, January 20.
The federal government shutdown is causing SNAP benefit funds to be processed early. Those currently approved for ongoing SNAP benefits will receive their February 2019 allotment on Thursday, January 17th.
Residents who have pending applications, renewals or interims should provide all required verification's as soon as possible. Once eligibility has been determined, those approved will receive their benefits the first week of February.
For more information, contact the Newport News Department of Human Services at (757) 926-6300.
*Note that this will be an early issuance of February benefits and will not be in addition to funds normally dispersed in February.