Are They Giving Out Emergency Food Stamps?
Are they giving out emergency food stamps?
SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits are designed to help low-income households stretch their food budget. They are administered by states, which set their own payment dates and rules. Applicants pay with EBT cards, which are used like debit or credit cards.
Benefits are issued in monthly allotments, which can vary depending on the state. In New York, the OTDA started issuing emergency supplemental benefits in April 2020 to help households whose SNAP benefits were below the maximum monthly benefit amount.
This supplemental allotment is available to all SNAP households, including those that already have the maximum level of SNAP benefits. It helps families with limited incomes to purchase essential foods amid shortages of certain items or recalls of others.
The supplemental allotments are delivered directly to recipients’ existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts, which can be accessed using their SNAP EBT cards. Any unused SNAP benefits can be carried over to the following month.
During the pandemic, some SNAP households that qualified for a monthly emergency allotment received at least $95 in extra funds each month. While that allotment has since expired in most states, 11 states and the District of Columbia have continued to provide monthly emergency allotments as long as there is a national public health emergency.
To be eligible for the supplemental allotment, households must meet several criteria:
They must be enrolled in SNAP; they must have been unable to receive their full SNAP benefits due to a state or federal public health emergency, such as COVID-19; and they must be able to demonstrate a need for assistance. In addition, households must qualify for a state-level SNAP program such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or General Assistance.
Many SNAP participants have struggled to afford food and other basic needs while the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their lives. As a result, many state SNAP agencies have had to adjust their operations to help manage the increasing volume of applications and maintain benefits for those struggling with the impact of the pandemic.
As a result of these changes, some SNAP households may experience a benefit cut starting in February 2023. If you were receiving an emergency allotment, you will no longer receive that amount or the maximum benefit for your household size starting in February 2023.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for SNAP or if you have any questions, call the Delaware Division of Social Services at 302-533-4612. You can also stop by one of our processing centers to apply for SNAP. The application process takes 30 days but can be faster if you are applying for an emergency like a shutoff notice.