Food Stamps Schedule: When Can I Anticipate December 2022 SNAP Payments?

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will receive another sizable payment in December, which includes the 12.5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) approved for fiscal year 2023. The COLA kicked in on Oct. 1, 2022 and will run through Sept. 30, 2023, which will help SNAP recipients offset rising food costs.

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When you’ll receive your December payment hasn’t changed from previous months. As usual, it depends on your state. Although SNAP is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the program itself is administered at the state level, and each state and U.S. territory has its own monthly deposit schedule for when payments are made.

SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, provides food-purchasing assistance to low-income households. If you are eligible for SNAP benefits, they will be deposited monthly into your SNAP account. Payments are now made with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards instead of food stamps, although some states might have a different name for the cards.

Cards can be swiped at checkout in grocery stores, major retailers and other outlets, similar to debit cards. You will need to enter your PIN to complete the transaction. Depending on your state, you might also be able to purchase eligible foods online at participating retailers. Visit the USDA page to see which retailers accept online EBT payments.

Make Your Money Work for You

To find out when you’ll receive your December 2022 payment, the USDA provides information on monthly payment schedules for all states and territories. In most states, payment dates are staggered throughout the month based on SNAP case numbers, last names or Social Security numbers. The payment schedule is usually the same every month.

In very rare cases, all recipients get payments on the same date, such as in Alaska, which makes SNAP benefits available on the first day of every month for all recipients. In more populous states like Florida, benefits might be paid on 20 different days. States also have different rules regarding payment days that fall on weekends or holidays.

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SNAP benefits can be used to purchase the following food items:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry and fish
  • Dairy products
  • Breads and cereals
  • Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat

Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP benefits are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics. In most states, you also can’t buy hot meals. The exceptions are states that have signed up for the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program, including Alaska, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Make Your Money Work for You

You can apply for SNAP through your state’s local SNAP office or on its website. You can also visit SNAP’s Application and Local Office Locators page to learn how to apply in your state. To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state in which you currently reside and you must meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits. Depending on your state, there may be additional requirements.

To locate nearby SNAP-authorized offices, use the SNAP Retailer Locator tool.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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