The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, issues benefits via a preloaded debit card that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP is intended to help low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families. The pre-loaded debit cards, known as EBT cards, can be used at most grocery stores to purchase basic grocery items like fruits and vegetables; dairy; meat, fish and poultry; breads and cereals; and food-producing seeds and plants.
What it cannot be used for is:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco
- Foods for in-store consumption
- Hot (prepared) foods
- Nonfood items, such as:
- Pet food
- Soap, paper products
- Household supplies
- Vitamins and medicine
New York’s payment schedule is a little different from the rest of the country. In all of New York’s counties, but not in New York City, SNAP benefits are sent out over the first nine days of the month, based on the last digit of your case number, or as referenced sometimes in NYC, your “toe number.” For NYC cases, recipients receive their SNAP benefits within the first 10 business days of the month, except Sundays and holidays.
Here is the February schedule for SNAP benefits in all New York counties, excluding NYC:
|Case Number Ending in:||Deposit Date|
|0 or 1||February 1|
Here is the February schedule for SNAP payments in NYC:
|Toe Number||Payment Date|
|0 or 1||February 1|
The U.S. Department of Agriculture adjusts SNAP maximum allotments, deductions and income eligibility standards at the beginning of each federal fiscal year. The fiscal year begins on October 1st, and the changes are based on changes in the cost of living.
Last year, households received an increase in benefits as part of COVID emergency relief. It is important to remember that SNAP pandemic emergency allotments will end when the federal public health emergency or individual state emergency designations end. This might result in households receiving a substantial cut in monthly SNAP benefits, so it’s important to check with the state for updates.
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