Georgia will distribute $22 million to thousands of families after a massive failure in the state food stamp system, state officials confirmed Monday.
The Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS), a subdivision of the state Department of Human Services (DHS), will distribute $22 million to about 48,000 families. The state settled with families in federal court in August over illegal food stamp restrictions, reports the local affiliate of NPR. The restrictions blocked thousands of eligible families from getting or even renewing their benefits.
“Our goal is to actively seek to eliminate poor management practices, fraud, waste, and abuse within DHS programs and to uncover criminal conduct,” the office of inspector general for DHS noted. “In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, a class action lawsuit, certain Food Stamp recipients identified in the settlement are entitled to one-time retroactive Food Stamp benefits.”
Food stamp applications were not processed in the proper amount of time, resulting in the families being illegally denied, according to reports. The National Center for Law and Economic Justice filed the lawsuit against the state DHS, and the DFCS mailed entitlement notifications Jan. 8 to inform the families. Each family will receive $463 on average.
Officials also established a phone number and website so families can check if they are eligible for payment.
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