Iowa DHS: Contingency plan available during EBT outage - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa DHS: Contingency plan available during EBT outage

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The Iowa Department of Human Services says a contingency plan is available in times when there is a system malfunction with SNAP assistance.

Here's a news release issued Saturday afternoon by DHS:


The Iowa Department of Human Services has its contingency plan in place and is working with its vendor to repair an issue with electronic access to food assistance benefits.
"Our contingency plan makes certain that people have access to food each day, and that no SNAP recipients go hungry," said Wendy Rickman, who administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for DHS.
The Iowa Grocery Industry Association has been notified of the issue. Iowans who receive SNAP benefits and find that their electronic benefit card isn't working are able to fill out a voucher and receive $50 daily in food assistance. The contingency plan has no financial impact to grocers.
The system issue, which began late Saturday morning, is affecting food assistance benefits throughout the country.
More than 400,000 Iowans receive food assistance each month. People who are eligible for food assistance must be residents of Iowa, citizens or legally qualified non-citizens such as refugees, and have a household income that does not exceed 160 percent of the federal poverty level, which for a household of three would be a gross annual income of about $24,000.
The Family Investment Program, or FIP, was down for a short amount of time and has been repaired. Under that program, low-income families with children are able to access financial support and services. Eligibility is similar to food assistance, as well requiring the family to take part in work, education or training to help them become self-sufficient.
"We anticipate the electronic benefits system will be up and running again soon," Rickman said. "We had a contingency plan in place for just such emergencies."


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