The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been expanded to better meet the needs of low-income families struggling financially. In this article we’ll share how SNAP has been expanded in the last year and explain how recent changes may positively impact the size of your SNAP benefits.
What Has Changed in the Last Year
Over the last several months, states administering SNAP have been given the flexibility to provide families receiving TANF with a higher level of benefits in two ways.
First, states have been able to increase the amount of benefits a recipient receives through emergency allotments and a temporary 15% increase in SNAP benefits. Second, states began providing meal replacement benefits through SNAP called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) for households with children who attended a school that was closed for at least five days and who otherwise would have received free or reduced-price meals.
In addition to providing more money to most SNAP families, the early changes to SNAP also temporarily removed the three month time limit on receiving benefits for unemployed adults under the age of 50.
Updates as of Spring 2021
With the passage of the American Rescue Plan this year, SNAP and P-EBT recipients will see increases in and extensions of their current level of aid. When the emergency allotments were initially implemented some of the lowest-income families were excluded from receiving these benefits because they were already receiving the maximum SNAP benefits. Now, all families receiving SNAP will receive an emergency allotment of at least $95. Additionally both the 15% increase in SNAP benefits and P-EBT have been extended through September of 2021.
What This Means For You
If you receive SNAP it’s likely that you’ve seen an increase in the size of your monthly payment. To ensure you are getting all of the money you are eligible to receive, it is important that you report any changes that may impact your regular SNAP amount, such as loss of income or an increase in the number of dependents in your household.