OKLAHOMA – The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is implementing a new policy for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program clients after a budget shortfall of $100 million.
According to DHS’ Adult and Family Services Director Jim Struby, SNAP clients who need a replacement electronic benefits card will now receive the card from the vendor rather than going into a local DHS office.
“In the past couple of years, budget cuts have resulted in the agency losing more than 1,200 employees,” Struby said. “Today, we have a much smaller workforce still trying to provide critical services to thousands of Oklahomans in need. While we are trying to limit the impact of fewer employees on our clients, we are forced to reduce some nonessential services.”
Struby said it will now take up to seven days for clients to receive a replacement card mailed to their home from Xerox, the state vendor.
However, EBT cards for Child Care Subsidy, first-time SNAP applicants and households eligible for emergency or “expedited” SNAP benefits will still be issued in the DHS office.
Struby said nearly 25,000 cards are issued each month and roughly 15,000 of those are replacement cards.
Clients needing to replace a lost card will now go online or call 1-888-328-6551.