NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Department of Human Services is alerting SNAP recipients of a very important deadline next Monday.

TDHS said people renewing their benefits or filing a 6-month simplified report need to have all their required paperwork in by the end of business Monday, Jan. 14.

The department said the deadline is important to ensure February benefits are available to those who qualify during the ongoing partial government shutdown.

Individuals can submit this paperwork online by clicking on this link.

People can also head to any of the state offices on Monday. TDHS said it plans to keep them open until 6:30 p.m. in Knox, Davidson, Shelby, Montgomery, Hamilton, Rutherford, Washington and Madison counties. 

People who are not renewing or have not been notified by the department are not required to submit any additional documents.

February SNAP funds were made available earlier this week when the USDA provided states with the option to provide early issuance of benefits. Because of this, February SNAP benefits will arrive weeks early for most people on or before Jan. 20. 

“Budgeting these early SNAP funds is especially important to those who receive their benefits towards the middle or end of the month,” said TDHS Press Secretary Sky Arnold. “We do not know how long the shutdown will last. Even if the government shutdown ends in February, individuals still won’t receive their March SNAP benefits until their standard disbursement date. Some customers could go up to two months in between SNAP dispersals.”

SNAP provides assistance to more than 900,000 people in Tennessee to help supplement monthly food budgets of low-income families.