According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, emergency allotments were authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to help address temporary food needs during the pandemic for SNAP households. EA amounts are equal to the maximum benefit for the household size, minus their monthly base benefit.
State SNAP agencies can issue emergency allotments on a month-to-month basis to all SNAP households that normally receive less than the maximum benefit. However, households that are at or near the maximum SNAP benefit receive little or no additional support.
As long as there’s a national public health emergency, or PHE, in place — and the state has a state-level emergency declaration in place — states may choose to continue to provide monthly emergency allotments.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra extended the COVID-19 federal public health emergency effective April 16. A PHE declaration lasts until the secretary declares that the PHE no longer exists or 90 days after the PHE was declared. The current PHE is set to expire on July 15.
The USDA has granted waivers to the following states through the end of May 2022:
- The District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
All households in states with these benefits will receive emergency allotments of at least $95. Households receiving $95 or more will continue to receive that same amount. Supplemental EA SNAP benefits will be issued through state EBT cards and can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized locations.
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