Additional SNAP benefits: which states will deliver them and when?
As states wind down their emergency measures implemented for the covid-19 pandemic, families are losing an emergency allotment for SNAP benefits.
As part of the CARES Act passed in March 2020, funding was set aside to provide emergency allotments SNAP benefits to address temporary food needs during the pandemic. In January 2021, President Biden directed the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to consider allowing larger emergency allotments for the lowest income SNAP households.
SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is designed to supplement the food budget of low-income families to ensure that they can afford to purchase healthy food and avoid periods of food instability. The Food and Nutrition Service from the USDA outlines its central aim to improve “access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.”
During the pandemic that goal has been particularly crucial with millions of households losing their main source of income and the soaring inflation of recent months. However, not all the states sign up to receive the additional funds for their residents, and as emergency programs wind down, states are dropping the emergancy allotments.
Boosted SNAP benefits are now available
Only 40 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands signed up to make their residents eligible for extra SNAP benefits in January 2022, as part of the Emergency Allotment (EA) program. There are currently 23 states and the District of Columbia, approved by the USDA, that are still boosting food stamp payments for their residents in May this year.
The EA benefits do not apply to all recipients, but instead are used to boost the entitlement of households who would not otherwise be eligible to receive the full amount. If you were not previously receiving the maximum entitlement for your house size then the EA benefits will increase your total monthly benefits to the maximum. Under the revised guidance by the Food and Nutrition Service, households who had not been receiving EA payments and those whose EA payments were less than $95 per month saw their benefits increase.
You do not need to do anything to trigger the payment of the extra SNAP support, the additional money will be automatically added to your regular monthly payment. For a full breakdown of when you can expect your SNAP benefits payment for January, check out What is the SNAP schedule for 2022 for each state?
Here’s the full list of the states included in the EA program through May 2022:
Source: USDA Food and Nutrition Service