Threat of shutdown delays welfare payments

Posted at 10:22 PM on June 29, 2011 by Jon Gordon (0 Comments)

From MPR News reporter Madeleine Baran:

Thousands of low-income families had to wait an extra day to receive their monthly welfare payments this week as a government shutdown approaches.

The state's Department of Human Services delayed payments by one day for about 18,000 households who receive funds from the Minnesota Family Investment Program.

Most households receive their benefits electronically from the Department of Human Services. The department released a statement Wednesday acknowledging the delay.

"Because the state did not have an approved budget for Fiscal Year 2012, some cash benefits for Minnesota Family Investment Program clients were delayed," the statement said. "Counties were notified today that issuance did not occur."

The ruling by Judge Kathleen Gearin preserved funding for welfare programs and allowed the department to resume payments. "The department will work immediately to issue benefits to clients," the statement said.

Two weeks ago, the department sent out letters to welfare recipients explaining that benefits could end if lawmakers and the governor fail to reach a budget deal by June 30.

Other welfare recipients could encounter similar delays this week. The Department of Human Services provided a list of all delays. It states:

"Minnesota Family Investment Program clients receiving benefits issues through Electronic Benefit cards will be able to access benefits on June 30. This is a one-day delay for about half of the Minnesota Family Investment Program clients, but the normal day of issuance for the other half.

Clients receiving all other cash assistance (Minnesota Supplemental Aid, Refugee Cash Assistance and General Assistance) issued on Electronic Benefits Transfer cards will receive their benefits on the usual schedule, July 1.

Clients receiving benefits through direct deposit for any cash programs will receive them on time, July 1, or one day late, July 2; however some may not receive them until July 5, due to the holiday."


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