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Government Shutdown 2021: Will SNAP Benefits for December Be Paid Without Debt Ceiling Extension?

GOBankingRates
GOBankingRates
 2021-11-30
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Congress is running out of time to avoid a government shutdown. Lawmakers have until the Dec. 3 deadline to raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. defaults on its debt (although the estimate has recently been revised to Dec. 15 by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ). Many are questioning whether a government shutdown will impact December federal benefits, especially those who depend on payments to pay bills, buy food and other necessities, and secure healthcare.

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This has been especially troubling for families that rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the nation’s most essential anti-hunger program. Roughly 42 million families depend on the SNAP program to feed their households, according to the latest government data. SNAP benefit amounts are updated each year based on the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan, one of four USDA-designed food plans that estimate the cost of a healthy diet across various price points.

Beneficiaries of SNAP and child nutrition do face a major risk if a government shutdown occurs, primarily because of the program’s funding structure, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This was evident after the month-long shutdown in December 2018.

The Department of Agriculture asked states to issue February 2019 SNAP benefits prematurely. If the shutdown had continued, the USDA had suggested that SNAP benefits would have fallen short by about half for March 2019 benefits. In addition, 5 million SNAP households experienced a gap of more than 40 days between monthly payments.

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However, there are protections in place to ensure that SNAP benefits go out in the event of a shutdown, at least temporarily.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service does have a contingency plan in the event of a shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations. The plan calls for the continuation of essential federal activities and funding, such as SNAP, but this plan only covers a few days after the shutdown begins.

In a letter to lawmakers earlier in November, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote that the federal government has until Dec. 15 to pay its bills . After that, there are “scenarios in which Treasury would be left with insufficient remaining resources to continue to finance the operations of the U.S. government beyond this date.”

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Both parties must come to an agreement on a stopgap measure by Dec. 3 to continue funding federal operations.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com : Government Shutdown 2021: Will SNAP Benefits for December Be Paid Without Debt Ceiling Extension?

Comments / 656

Rhonda Chafin
12-01

I PRAY WE WILL GET THEM or THERE WILL BE " NO CHRISTMAS DINNER " AT MY HOUSE. MANY HOUSEHOLDS WOULD SUFFER IF THAT HAPPENS.. PLEASE LORD HEAR MY PRAYER. NOT JUST FOR ME BUT FOR ALL THE FAMILIES THAT DEPEND ON THE SNAP PROGRAM. SOME PEOPLE SAY ALL WE WANT IS A FREE GOVERNMENT HANDOUT....NOT TRUE, I AM 70 YEARS OLD AND WORKED SINCE I WAS 15 YEARS OLD. I PAID MY TAXES AND INTO THIS PROGRAM FOR MANY YEARS. I FINALLY RETIRED JUST 1 YEAR AGO..PEOPLE DON'T BE SO EAGER TO JUDGE WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT OTHERS. GOD BLESS and MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄🌹💖

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Alex Cooper
12-01

worked my whole life, and now disabled. and been waiting for my disability for sixteen months. no help from any part of our government. for something I paid into for 53 years. it's such bs and our so called leaders don't care because they are rich and they are getting richer. while we the people are hurting. time limits for people in the government is absolutely necessary

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Constance Davis
12-01

Words of wisdom! I totally agree ! I'm 64yrs old and I too have paid my dues. I started working when I was 11yrs old. And I still work part time.I get $24.00 a month. And it helps, as much as it can. I can't make it as it is. But people really do need to not judge because you don't know what others are going through.

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