Food stamp recipients should receive benefits early due to Hurricane Irma

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Those who are scheduled to receive their food stamp benefits later in the month should have received them early, according to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

“To help families prepare for Hurricane Irma, SNAP benefits for the month of September have been released to customers who would normally receive benefits later in the month,” DCF said in a statement.

The early disbursement applies to recipients in all 67 Florida counties.

Officials also said that there have been reports of mobile apps trying to get personal information and access to EBT balances. They are urging customers to never give out banking information, ID, password, card number, or PIN to an unauthorized website or mobile app.

Authorities said that fraudsters often prey on victims of a disaster.

“There have been reports of web sites hosting fake online application assistance. The sites are using ads on the internet, sometimes on the side of legitimate articles, offering help filling out applications for public assistance benefits,” DCF said.

DCF said, “DCF, its employees or service providers, will never ask for credit card information. Do NOT provide this information for application assistance. This may allow others to make unauthorized purchases on your credit card, access your bank accounts, or steal your identity. If you see an ad on the internet offering application assistance for public assistance with a link, do NOT click on it.”

State offices are closed in all 67 counties Friday, September 8, to help families prepare for Hurricane Irma. This means ACCESS service centers and the customer call centers are also closed.