SNAP Allotments Issued During Covid-19 Pandemic

Posted on Jan 25, 2021 in Main

SNAP Allotments Issued During Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions & Answers

 

1. What is Emergency SNAP Supplement?

Section 2302(a)(1) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, allows States to request COVID-19 emergency allotments “for households participating in SNAP to address temporary food needs.” The State must support its request with enough data, as determined through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) guidance. A household’s emergency allotment (EA) cannot increase the current monthly household SNAP benefit allotment beyond ‘the applicable maximum monthly allotment for the household size.” Accordingly, SNAP households that already receive the maximum monthly allotment for their household size are not eligible for the emergency allotment (EA).

In Hawaii, emergency allotment is called emergency SNAP supplement. Emergency SNAP supplement for a benefit month is issued the following month once FNS approved the request for issuance of emergency allotment. Example, emergency allotment approved for the benefit month of December is issued the following month of January. An announcement will be posted in the DHS website.

 

2. What if I have income and is receiving SNAP? Will I receive the emergency SNAP supplement?

Yes, if your household is eligible for SNAP and your case is open (active). Example, household size of 3 with countable income and received $720.00 SNAP allotment for the month of December. The maximum allotment allowed for this household size based on the current Thrifty Food Plan is $986.00. This household will receive emergency SNAP supplement in the amount of $266.00 in January. (986-720 = 266). Issuance date is announced in the DHS website.

 

3. How about if my household has no income? Will we receive the emergency SNAP supplement?

 Households with no income are already receiving the maximum SNAP allotment and are therefore, not receiving the emergency SNAP supplement. 

4. I heard there’s an increase in SNAP maximum allotment effective January 1, 2021. What this means?

Yes, there is an increase in the temporary SNAP maximum allotment. This is temporary only and will end on June 30, 2021. It is a 15% increase based on the current maximum allotment. Example: current maximum allotment (fiscal year 2021) for household size of 1 is $375.00. The 15% increase will bring this allotment amount to $432.00. Again, this is temporary only and will end on June 30, 2021. On July 1st, maximum allotment will revert to the fiscal year 2021 amounts. That means from the example mentioned, household size of 1 will have a maximum allotment of $375.00 effective July 1, 2021. 

5. My household of 3 already received SNAP this month of January, we have no income and is getting the full allotment amount of $986.00. How can we get the new (increased) allotment?

Household who already received the January SNAP benefit amount will receive a supplement on January 13. For this household of 3 who received $986.00, expect to receive a SNAP supplement of $148.00. A notice will be mailed. This will bring your maximum allotment temporarily from $986.00 to $1,134.00. Beginning February (until June 30, 2021), your temporary maximum allotment will be $1,134.00. In July, your maximum allotment will revert to $986.00 unless the federal government extends the allotment increase. 

6. With the 15% temporary allotment increase, how will it affect my emergency SNAP supplement?

Two things, first, if your household is eligible to receive the maximum allotment due to no income or zero net income, your maximum allotment amount will be reflective of the 15% temporary increase which is good until June 30, 2021. Surely, you are not receiving the emergency SNAP supplement as you are already receiving the maximum SNAP allotment for your household size.

 Second, if your household has countable income and your net income is not zero, your SNAP allotment will temporarily increase. This is based on the 15% increase mentioned. Yes, your benefit will increase and because your household is not getting the maximum allotment amount due to your income, you will receive the emergency SNAP supplement as mentioned in Q&A #1 to bring your SNAP allotment to the full maximum amount. Again, this is dependent on monthly approval granted by the federal government through FNS.