ASSEMBLY, No. 5881

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JUNE 9, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  ELIANA PINTOR MARIN

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DHS to stagger issuance dates of SNAP benefits to newly eligible enrollees.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the issuance schedule of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and supplementing Title 44 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  The Division of Family Development in the Department of Human Services shall implement an issuance schedule for newly eligible enrollees of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in which the issuance of benefits is staggered throughout the month, provided that each household shall be issued benefits on or near the same date once a month.  The issuance schedule implemented by the division shall comply with the federal regulations outlined at 7 CRF s.274.2.

     b.    The Commissioner of Human Services shall apply to the Food and Nutrition Service within the United States Department of Agriculture for any necessary waivers or approvals to implement the provisions of this act.

     c.     As used in this act, "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" means the supplemental nutrition assistance program, established pursuant to the federal "Food and Nutrition Act of 2008," Pub.L.88-525 (7 U.S.C.s.2011 et seq.).

 

     2.    The Commissioner of Human Services shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month  next following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Human Services may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as may be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Division of Family Development in the Department of Human Services to implement an issuance schedule for newly eligible enrollees of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program, in which the issuance of benefits is staggered throughout the month, provided that each household is issued benefits on or near the same date once a month.  The issuance schedule implemented by the division is required to comply with the federal regulations outlined at 7 CRF s.274.2, which, among other things, allows state agencies to stagger the issuance of benefits as long as no more than 40 days elapses between the issuance of any two allotments for a household.

     The issuance of SNAP benefits refers to the date when a household’s SNAP benefits are uploaded onto their electronic benefits transfer card each month and are available for use at authorized food retail locations. Currently, all SNAP enrollees in New Jersey are issued benefits within the first five days of the month.  Under this bill, new enrollees would be issued benefits through the month.  In doing so, this bill codifies a best practice for SNAP recommended by the Food Research and Action Center.  By staggering the issuance of benefits, the State can help reduce congestion and product availability limitations at local grocery stores and SNAP offices during the existing five-day monthly issuance period. 

     The bill also direct the Commissioner of Human Services to apply to the Food and Nutrition Service within the United States Department of Agriculture for any necessary waivers or approvals to implement the provisions of the bill.  The bill is to take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following the date of enactment, but the commissioner may take such advance anticipatory administrative action as may be necessary for the implementation of the bill.