(WALB) - The state of Georgia has issued monthly food stamp benefits early to help low-income families after Hurricane Michael.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services announced on its website that food stamp benefits have been released to all Georgia SNAP recipients.
Now, those 1.6 million Georgians who receive SNAP benefits no longer have to wait until their regularly scheduled issuance date later this month.
October benefits are available now via electronic benefits transfer or EBT cards.
DFCS wrote that this is mainly to help those in counties covered by the state’s emergency declaration.
This will help those low-income families quickly replace food lost in storm-related power outages.
The state said it also hopes to help ease the burden on power companies, which would normally have to verify recipients' power outages for them to replace food lost in an extended power outage.
The state is also offering replacement SNAP benefits to recipients who lost food because of a power outage for four or more hours.
This is only for food purchased with food stamps.
Recipients should fill out a Form 841 and give it to their local county DFCS office.
DFCS is working with power and utility companies to verify that the recipients lost power for four or more hours.
That form has to be filled out and filed within 10 days of the loss.
If you’re having trouble with your EBT card, call 1 (888) 421-3281.
The SNAP benefit issuance cycle will return to normal in November.