Since March 2020, SNAP households have received emergency allotments equal to the maximum benefit for the household size, minus their monthly base benefit. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized these emergency allotments to help address temporary food needs during the pandemic.
Individual states were also granted permission to issue the supplements as long as the federal public health emergency caused by the pandemic remains in effect. Beginning April 2021, all households in states with these benefits have received emergency allotments of at least $95.
“The emergency SNAP increases authorized by Congress last year were not being distributed equitably, and the poorest households — who have the least ability to absorb the economic shocks brought about by COVID — received little to no emergency benefit increases,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement last year. “As part of President Biden’s commitment to deliver economic relief, and ensure every family can afford to put food on the table, today’s actions will provide much-needed support for those who need it most.”
The USDA has granted waivers to the following states, allowing for the issuance of emergency allotments through March 2022:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
Households do not need to apply for supplemental EA SNAP benefits. Households will automatically receive their supplemental EA SNAP benefits on their EBT card.