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Payments roll out for Georgians in certain social benefit programs

All eligible Georgians should log into their Georgia Gateway accounts and verify their personal information and contact preferences are up-to-date.

ATLANTA — Editor's note: This story has been updated to better reflect how recipients will receive their payment.

There's good news for Georgians enrolled in statewide benefit programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, and PeachCare for kids.

The first batch of assistance payments have started rolling out. They're one time payments of $350.

According to the department of human services, those who have email as their contact preference should receive money first.

One thing to note is that those receiving payments this way will receive them as a virtual gift card that can be loaded into a digital wallet, whether it be through Apple, Google, or Samsung.

The Department of Human Services explained that these "digital cards" can be used in stores, "just open the Wallet/App on your device and follow the on-screen instructions, including entering your virtual card number manually."

In addition, they noted that, if your virtual card is being declined, "the most common reason is that the merchant does not accept digital cards." 

It's also possible the card "could show “declined” if a cashier runs it as the wrong type of transaction. Make sure your virtual card is being run as a debit transaction in store. You may be required to enter your debit PIN."

What if you're trying to use it over the phone?

In this case, the department said you "may be asked to provide a name and address. You’ll need to use the name and address of the person whose name appears on the virtual card as listed in Gateway."

Finally, they noted that there could be an issue if you accidently "touch more than one virtual card on a reader at a time" and added that it does not allow for cash access.

Those who have email and U.S. mail listed as contact will start receiving payments beginning next week.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced last month that he dedicated more than one billion dollars to help vulnerable Georgians deal with inflation and the economic impact of COVID-19.

How eligibility works

  • If you were enrolled Medicaid, SNAP, and/or TANF government benefit programs by July 31, 2022, you are eligible (this includes anyone in the active enrollees' assistance unit).
  • Cash assistance will not be provided to those enrolled after the aforementioned cutoff date.
  • Georgians who are enrolled in more than one of the previously mentioned programs will received one cash assistance payment.
  • DHS will be communicating with eligible Georgians through the Georgia Gateway portal - it appears you won't need to do anything on your end, the state will arrange the payment.
  • All eligible Georgians should log into their Georgia Gateway accounts and verify their personal information and contact preferences are up-to-date

Funds for this revenue award are coming from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund which was part of the American Rescue Plan act, his team announced.

For more assistance, eligible Georgians should contact the DHS.

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