ATLANTA — Choosing between paying bills or buying groceries for Thanksgiving is the ultimatum for many Georgia families after SNAP benefits were delayed in November.
“It was a struggle,” said receiver Alexis Lorren. “There are a lot of people there who say they didn’t receive (their benefits). You should get them on the fifth and then the 13th.”
SNAP, a federally funded program, helps low-income households pay for groceries.
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Alexis Lorren, a Haralson County SNAP recipient, says they have waited weeks to receive their SNAP benefits for their family of three.
A spokesman for the state Department of Human Services says the delay in issuing funds is due to inflation and labor shortages.
While this also had to do with an increased volume of snap applications, it directly impacted those waiting for renewals from August through October.
This was announced by an employee of the human resources department Channel 2’s Ashli Lincoln Difficult to retain staff over the phone given the demand. The employee says it takes processors well over an hour to process applications, as opposed to the recommended 30 minutes.
You’re also seeing an increase in foreign language applications that need to be translated by a third party. And longer processing times for applicants with large families.
The full statement from the State Department of Human Services, which writes:
“Benefits have been processed for customers with pending renewals from August through October 2022 who have completed their paperwork. Renewals for these customers have been postponed to February and they will receive benefits in the meantime.
Due to inflation and labor shortages, we are working towards an increased volume for SNAP applications and renewals.
Last Friday, the federal government approved our waiver request to renew SNAP benefits for no more than six months for customers with outstanding renewals from August through October 2022 who have completed their paperwork. Deloitte, our vendor managing the gateway portal, is working on a technology solution where customers are likely to be caught up by the Thanksgiving holiday.
We continue to process cases and all clients should continue to return their renewal packages, requested information and any Department-requested verification checklists (VCLs), particularly if they have not done so and are scheduled to be renewed in November.”
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