Cattaraugus County residents can be assured they can continue to apply for SNAP benefits at the county's Department of Social Services for now, despite the federal government shutdown.
Department of Social Services Commissioner Anthony Turano said the county will continue to take applications for the program in person, by mail, and online using myBenefits.ny.gov., despite the shutdown, until given direction by federal and/or state authorities not to process the forms.
Turano said he wants to stop concerns of area residents receiving SNAP, who may have heard otherwise. SNAP is the largest DSS income program with about 13,000 people in Cattaraugus County receiving benefits to purchase food, under federally-set income guidelines. He said concerns about the shutdown have led to some of those people worrying about their food supply. Despite that, he said, the county's staff has received no direction to stop taking the applications for the federally-funded program at this time.
Some SNAP recipients may receive their February allotment the end of January, and will need to budget these benefits to last through February.
SNAP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and New York officials report there is funding for SNAP, at through February. It is uncertain if the shutdown situation will be resolved by then, but SNAP applications will continue to be processed by Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services staff until given direction otherwise.
For more information, contact Tammy Hinman, Director of Income Programs at 716-701-3470