Good news from Missouri: Plaintiffs have started receiving SNAP benefits

Plaintiffs in our lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Social Services have received interviews and started receiving benefits after months of being unable to get through to the State Agency’s failing call center— a barrier that has caused thousands of eligible households to be unlawfully deprived of their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits each month.  

At the temporary restraining order hearing last week, the court urged the parties to reach a practical solution to the Agency’s interview problems, noting that one plaintiff, Ms. Holmes, “had to starve for the last 60 days”. The court also told the defendant that the call center wait times were unacceptable.  

“It’s wonderful that Ms. Holmes and L.V. are receiving their SNAP benefits once again and that the Court recognizes the importance of SNAP access. We will continue to fight to ensure that all Missourians who rely on SNAP have meaningful access to this essential program,” said Katharine Deabler-Meadows, Staff Attorney, NCLEJ. 

Individuals who have applied for SNAP and been unable to complete the required interview portion of the application process can continue to contact Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) for help documenting the problems with the Department of Social Services and seeking resolution of their cases.   

Read background on the lawsuit, filed on February 22, 2022, on behalf of Empower Missouri and two low-income Missourians against the state’s Department of Social Services (DSS) and Acting Director Robert Knodell.