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Va. SNAP benefits not distributed May 1; some clients may wait 6 days

Posted at 12:28 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 19:09:26-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Recipients scheduled to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits on May 1 did not receive them, according to correspondence from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS).

Multiple clients leaving the Petersburg Department of Social Services on Monday said that they usually receive benefits on the first of the month, but were told today they would not get their benefits until May 7.

An email shared with CBS 6 from within the VDSS indicated that SNAP benefits were not issued to any clients who were supposed to receive benefits on May 1 and that “technical teams are working to resolve the issue.”

The letter, sent from Tom Steinhauser, Director of VDSS Benefit Programs, was sent to all local, state and Virginia call center staff.

Letter from VDSS

Since 2012, the VDSS has staggered the distribution of SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps. The benefits are now distributed four times each month.

Clients leaving the Petersburg DSS Monday said that their case numbers have been changed, but it is unclear if that is why they won’t be receiving benefits until May 7, and if they will continue to get their benefits on the 7th day of each month going forward.

According to a source within a local department, no one had been notified of any changes in case numbers, or that there was a technical glitch. The official letter from VDSS seems to supports this, as the director told people not to submit help tickets.

According to an online detection service based on system reports, SNAP benefits may have been affected in multiple states across the country; Oklahoma, Virginia, New York and Washington state.

Were you affected? Click here to share a tip with the CBS 6 newsroom.

This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day. CBS 6 Reporter Wayne Covil will have reports in the evening newscasts.