Some Erie County residents who were reported to have received larger than usual allotments of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – or “food stamp” – benefits were entitled to the payments, county officials said today.
Peter Anderson, a spokesman for County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, said the payments were the result of a class action suit.
“From what we understand, so far, the unexpectedly large payments that certain individuals received were authorized by New York State as a result of the Richard C. vs. Berlin lawsuit, which entitles a one-time SNAP benefit for certain individuals,” Anderson said.
The class action lawsuit covers tens of thousands of residents across the state who were either denied SNAP benefits, or had their benefits reduced or cut off as a result of an employment sanction that was imposed between Aug. 3, 2009, and Dec. 14, 2012.
Benefits received by the recipients are transferred electronically onto individual SNAP cards.
News of the larger than usual payments was brought to the county executive’s attention by private citizens and County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, and the county was investigating, according to a press release put out by the county executive Sunday.