New deadline issued for food stamp applications

The state is way behind in the backlog of applications for food stamps and the federal government is saying to fix it or else.
January 24, 2014 3:21:02 PM PST
The Department of Health and Human Services is responding to renewed threats by the federal government to cut off funding for the food stamp program in North Carolina, which is known as NCFAST.

The state is way behind in the backlog of applications for food stamps and the federal government is saying to fix it or else.

The feds have repeatedly said that if the DHHS, which oversees the food stamp program, doesn't cut down on what is a substantial backlog of cases it will cut off funding to the state.

That may sound counterintuitive, but it's basically the stick the government is using to force the state to get its act together.

The USDA sent the state a letter Thursday with the new cut-off date of Feb. 10 saying if DHHS doesn't cut its food stamp backlog by then that the state will get a formal warning and have 30 days until the federal spending spigot gets turned off.

The McCrory administration put out a statement Friday saying, "We strongly disagree with the federal government's threat to withhold food and nutrition service administrative funds, which could adversely impact counties' abilities to assist families in need."

The Association of County Social Services agreed saying, "The latest USDA letter poses a significant challenge to the county DSS offices. We have a multi-faceted plan to meet the Feb. 10 and March 31 deadlines."

The bottom line is the state has been put on notice. They have work to do to clear a backlog of food stamp cases quickly or else life could get even harder for folks caught in the middle.

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