Jefferson City, MO— The Department of Social Services (DSS) assures Missourians that Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card are functioning and will continue to function in February, despite the partial federal shutdown. “There are many rumors out there that confuse and alarm those who get Food Stamp benefits,” said Steve Corsi, Psy.D., Director, Department of Social Services. “The simple fact is that EBT cards are working and will continue to work in February.”
Food Stamp or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are placed each month on an EBT card issued to the eligible Food Stamp recipient. The Food Stamp recipient uses the EBT card to make eligible grocery purchases at retailers who are authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). On January 11th the Department of Social Services informed the public of the early issuance of February Food Stamp benefits which Missourians received by January 20th. As of today, more than 316,000 Missouri families have received a February benefit and FNS is allowing Missouri to continue to submit cases for February benefits. DSS cautions Missourians during the partial federal shutdown to spend Food Stamp benefits very carefully to ensure they have food to last through the end of February.
Although the Department of Social Services, Family Support Division continues to accept and process Food Stamp applications and eligible applicants will receive a February Food Stamp benefit, the Departments does not know if Food Stamp benefits for future months will be available. The Family Support Division encourages those Missourians who are going through their Food Stamp recertification to respond timely to the request for updated information and to provide the required verification documents to keep their case current so their benefit will continue once the federal government is re-opened.
Please note that a very small number of individual Missouri retailers failed to submit their documentation to FNS to continue as a current authorized retailer to accept Food Stamp benefits before the partial federal shutdown. This means the specific retailer cannot accept an EBT card and is not a reflection on the EBT cardholder’s benefit status. The EBT card is functioning and the cardholder can spend the benefit at any other store that is a current authorized retailer.
Visit dss.mo.gov or follow the Department of Social Services on Facebook andTwitter for the latest updates. Missourians who have questions or who need information can visit their nearest FSD Resource Center, or call the FSD Info Center: 1-855-FSD-INFO (855-373-4636).