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D.C. Mayor To Implement Increase In SNAP After Threat Of Lawsuit

The mayor has been threatened with a lawsuit for not following the law stating the implementation of SNAP increase benefits in 2024.

January 4, 2024

Bowser administration is set to implement an increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) after the threat of legal action from the D.C. Council on behalf of the recipients of the food assistance program.

Bowser revealed that she has no idea whether the SNAP recipients will witness an increase in January or not as directed by the law but her administration will make efforts to get money to the recipients.

Around 138,000 SNAP recipients are expected to get a 10% increase in their monthly benefits in 2024. However, the administration withheld the $39.6 Million the council gave for the SNAP boost due to administrative obstacles regarding implementation and other safety net programs in need of funding.

The Bowser administration also received pushback for not implementing the SNAP boost for weeks. The mayor needs to follow the law as directed by the council. The SNAP recipients also revealed to the Bowser administration that they are planning to file a lawsuit to compel them to pass the law.

Laura Green Zeilinger, Director of the Department of Human Services, unexpectedly announced on Wednesday night that an increase in SNAP benefits will be implemented. The exact timeline for when SNAP recipients will receive the 10% increase, averaging an additional $47 per month, remains uncertain. Despite previously advising the mayor against the SNAP benefit increase for several months, Zeilinger changed her recommendation on Wednesday evening.

The administration’s decision to implement the increase in SNAP was sudden and unexpected. A media call was also held by the Bowser administration to defend the decision not to implement the SNAP increase. The official argued that it was difficult to execute this benefit as other safety net programs require more funding compared to SNAP.

Cheadle, a mother of seven said, “It’s a lot of us that need that increase. It’s not a want. It is, for some people, a definite need”.

Cheadle revealed that she often runs out of benefits by the end of the month due to which she has to use her other cash assistance to purchase food.

Despite the Bowser administration agreeing to the implementation of the policy, several council members are still disbursed by the process.

Also, council members have repeatedly said that the Bowser administration had plenty of time and months to negotiate before not following the law.

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Gomez Michelle Amanda. “D.C. Mayor Agrees To Implement SNAP Increase After Threat Of Lawsuit”. DCIST, January 4, 2024,
DC Mayor Agrees To SNAP Increase After Threat Of Lawsuit | DCist

Last Updated: September 20, 2021