February SNAP Benefits Paid Early Amid Continued Federal Shutdown State Continues to Urge End to Federal Shutdown

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Human Services announced today that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for February have successfully been paid early amid the continued federal government shutdown.

Recipients who received a SNAP benefit in January and who were approved for continued assistance received their February benefits Thursday on their Families First Card.

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New Jersey has about 730,000 SNAP recipients. After Thursday’s payments, there is no guarantee of additional SNAP payments until the federal shutdown is resolved.

“I appreciate the hard work of everyone involved who helped to ensure this vital assistance was delivered,” said Governor Murphy. “The SNAP program is one of several federal programs critical to many New Jerseyans that are at risk should President Trump’s shutdown continue. We remain committed to stand with our residents and urge an immediate end to this shutdown.”

“I thank the state and county employees and leadership who worked so hard to make sure this vital assistance was delivered, and continue to call on the Trump Administration to end the federal shutdown,” said Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson. “We need to return to regular order for the sake of the families in our state who depend on these important benefits. Until that happens, SNAP recipients should budget accordingly as there is no guarantee this crucial assistance will be available beyond February.”

SNAP is a federal program administered by the Department of Human Services. It offers nutrition assistance to eligible individuals and families with low incomes.

Amid the shutdown, states worked to issue February SNAP benefits earlier than usual, relying on a provision in the government budget bill that expired Dec. 21 that allows the federal government to make certain payments up to 30 days after the budget’s end.

Meanwhile, residents who owe documentation to their county social service agency should bring it in as soon as possible so their case can be processed.

Also, county agencies continue to work on the cases of residents who are applying or recertifying for SNAP who did not receive benefits today. These residents should check their accounts daily.

“While the successful early payment of the February SNAP benefit is important for New Jersey families, it’s uncertain when the next benefit will be paid so recipients should budget with that in mind,” said Human Services Deputy Commissioner Elisa Neira. “We are also continuing to work with our county partners to ensure that residents who are in the midst of applying for SNAP get the help they need.”

“We continue to monitor this situation and stay in close touch with the federal government as the shutdown continues,” said Natasha Johnson, director of the Department’s Division of Family Development, which administers the state’s SNAP program. “We’re working with the county social service agencies to assist NJ SNAP recipients with any questions they have and provide any help that is needed.”

For more information, recipients can visit www.njsnap.gov