PA Food Stamp recipients may get a second payment this month

If you receive SNAP benefits, you may get an extra payment – a SNAP Emergency Allotment – on your EBT card later this month to help you buy food during the COVID-19 crisis.

The USDA has approved additional SNAP benefits each month for the duration of the crisis. (This will depend on how long both the federal and state government have issued an emergency or disaster declaration.) The rules have not yet changed as to who is eligible for them.

October 26 update: The Trump administration is appealing the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia’s early October lawsuit win against the USDA (which we supported). The lawsuit challenged the USDA’s denying extra SNAP benefits to the poorest households – those already receiving the maximum benefit amount for their household size. The win would have allowed all SNAP households to receive additional benefits for as long as there is an emergency declaration in place.

It is therefore not known if or when those extra benefits for Pennsylvania’s 700,000 lowest-income households already getting the max will be available. Once that is known, we will update this page.

December 3 update: SNAP benefits are federally funded, and the current federal budget is set to expire on Dec. 11. If Congress does not agree on a new budget in time it could disrupt SNAP benefits issuance. Because SNAP helps over 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, DHS is taking the step to issue all SNAP benefits by December 11 to avoid any possible delays.

Therefore ALL December SNAP benefits will be loaded to EBT cards by Dec. 11 in a one-time payment for the whole month.

  • Those receiving SNAP may get their benefits earlier than usual. It is NOT an added payment.
  • This one-time SNAP benefits issuance will include Emergency Allotments (EAs), the added SNAP some households have received in the 2nd half of the month due to COVID-19 (details below).
  • This amount may look larger or like an added benefit, but it is just the full benefit for December.

January 4, 2021 update: Congress’s December COVID Relief package approved a 15% increase to SNAP benefits for all recipients for the next 6 months (until June 30, 2021). SNAP recipients who weren’t receiving the maximum benefit for their household size will continue to receive the maximum benefit for as long as the federal and state emergency declarations are in place. This will continue to be determined on a month-to-month basis. We do not yet know whether there will be second payments in February.

  • PA’s Dept. of Human Services announced that all recipients will receive the January 15% increase mid-month on the second payment date (see the chart below).
  • Beginning in February, recipients will receive a 15% increase to their regular allotment at the beginning of the month.

All SNAP households who were not already receiving the maximum amount of food stamps will get these extra benefits.

For Jan. 1 – Jun. 30, 2021 (includes 15% increase)
Household Size Maximum Benefit
1 $234
2 $430
3 $616
4 $782
5 $929
6 $1,114
7 $1,232
8 $1,408
Each additional member $176

The extra payment will bring households who get a partial benefit up to the maximum benefit amount for their household size (see chart at right). We do not yet know if, or how much, extra SNAP benefits will be approved for households who were already getting the maximum. We will post that info here as soon as it is available.

If you live in Allegheny County and have any questions about your SNAP benefits, want to check your eligibility, or need help applying, call and leave your name and contact info and the best time to reach you, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at (412) 431-8960 (option 3) or by filling out the form on this page.

How much extra SNAP benefits will I get?

For example:

    • If you are a 3 person household, the maximum benefit is $509 per month. If your family currently gets $200 per month, you will get $309 to bring you up to the maximum benefit.

When will I get the extra SNAP benefits?

The extra SNAP will be loaded to your EBT card during the 3rd and 4th weeks of every month based on your payment date. For residents in Allegheny County, the payment date is based on the last number in your case record number.

  • Find the final digit (0-9) of your record number on a DHS notice, or using your MyCOMPASS Account online. Find your number on the top row of the chart below.
  • For example, if your record number ends in 5, you’ll get your extra November SNAP benefits on November 20.

If you recently were approved for SNAP benefits, the extra SNAP benefits may not appear on your card in the month that you were approved.  Because the state schedules these payments early in the month, people who are approved later in the month do not typically receive the extra allotment that same month. If this happens, you should receive a makeup payment two months afterwards when they identify households who were missed.

  • For example, if you were approved for benefits on October 14th, you might not start receiving the extra payments until the second half of December. For November and subsequent months, you would get your second payment in the second half of the months. You will receive both your regular and extra benefits in the same month for as long as there is an emergency declaration in place and you remain eligible for SNAP.


Extra SNAP Benefits Issuance Day
Last digit of your record # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0
Date in December of 1st & 2nd payments 2 2 3 4 4 5 8 9 10 11
Date in January of 2nd payment 19 20 21 22 25 26 27 28 29 29

Will I need to turn in paperwork or apply to get the extra SNAP benefits?

No. You don’t need to fill out extra paper work. The extra SNAP benefits will be added to your EBT card and you’ll be able to use it just like regular SNAP. 

This extra benefit is a result of the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (H.R. 6201), which was signed into law on March 18, 2020. Thanks to our ally, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, for laying out much of the information in this post.

, , ,

36 Responses to PA Food Stamp recipients may get a second payment this month

  1. Avatar
    Randy Boal April 16, 2020 at 2:26 pm #

    They give 15 dollars a month im on fixed income does this mean ill get more

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 17, 2020 at 4:58 pm #

      Hi Mr. Boal,

      Yes, if you are the only person in your household you will get $179 to bring you up to $194 for the month.

  2. Avatar
    ANASTACIA HOWZE April 17, 2020 at 12:52 am #

    This is tragic news to read. This is the reason why black and brown have been so deeply and disproportionate ravaged by this deadly virus. It all stems from a deep rooted systemic racial inequality; leaving those who have the most needs left with little or no resources or options. This is a crisis, an emergency. How and why are substantial segments of the population pushed through the cracks and recieve no help from their elected officials? It conjures up feelings that make me want to chant “black lives matter”. But a heart-felt thank you for any people that your organization haa been able to help.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 17, 2020 at 3:40 pm #

      Thank you for your comment, Ms. Howze. We fully agree that this is a crisis, and it is affecting people of color, low-wage workers, and women disproportionately. The people who struggle and are vulnerable in the “best of times” are the ones hardest hit in the worst of times. So helping people must mean more than direct assistance. It requires working to undo this country’s long history of systemic inequality. Which is why we advocate at all levels of government to improve key public policies and programs that address hunger and hardship. For more on our advocacy efforts, check out and

  3. Avatar
    Thomas April 20, 2020 at 2:40 pm #

    I received food stamps in march and april i usually get them on the 7th of each month. I am a single person…How much more will I receive and when?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 20, 2020 at 7:16 pm #

      That would depend on how much you’re receiving right now.

  4. Avatar
    Stephanie April 20, 2020 at 6:11 pm #

    Hello..Is the entire Pa going to receive extra Benefits..or is certain areas in Pa?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 20, 2020 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks for asking. All of PA, though not all PA food stamp recipients.

  5. Avatar
    Denise April 21, 2020 at 7:27 am #

    How long will we recieve extra snap food stamps?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 21, 2020 at 2:48 pm #

      So far the federal government has only approved additional benefits for April. We are waiting to hear from the USDA as to whether there will be additional benefits in future months as well during this crisis. We are also advocating at the state level regarding PA’s efforts to make additional food stamps available for households with children. We will post separately on that when we know more.

      • Just Harvest
        Just Harvest April 22, 2020 at 2:59 pm #

        We learned today that the USDA has approved additional SNAP benefits each month for the duration of the crisis. (This will depends on how long both the federal and state government have issued an emergency or disaster declaration.) We’ll be working with our allies to try to get them to provide extra monthly beneits for the 40% of households that were already getting the max.

  6. Avatar
    Stephanie Ripley April 21, 2020 at 10:38 am # the residents that receive the maximum is not going to get extra Benefits..but the rest are?

  7. Avatar
    Ashalea N Binney April 21, 2020 at 11:12 pm #

    What if you get 194 already I dont understand this will I get extra benefits

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm #

      What is your household size? If you are already receiving the maximum for your household size then you will not get extra benefits this month. Advocates will be working to try to address this problem for future months.

    • Avatar
      Jenni Baker July 17, 2020 at 12:01 am #

      What happens if they declare the emergency over? Do we just drop back to where we were? I’m glad for the extra help but groceries have gotten so expensive it’s now like we aren’t getting extra. I’m worried about being able to feed my Granddaughter. I’m raising her. Thank you for the information and keeping us updated.

  8. Avatar
    LaTinna April 23, 2020 at 4:07 pm #

    Will we still get benefits I’m May even though we got Extra in April?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 23, 2020 at 4:31 pm #

      Yes. If you’re supposed to receive benefits in May then you will still receive them. You will also receive an extra benefit allotment for May too, and every month for as long as there is an official emergency declaration in place. But because this is a new policy, the extra May payment may not show up until June. Hopefully by June they will have the two payments set to be regular every month, or perhaps combined into one lump payment. We will be working on this issue and will share info on this page as we have it.

  9. Avatar
    Jessica April 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm #

    Hi, if we received the benefits april 16th, must they all be used by the end of April, or will the extra benefits roll into May? Thank you.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest April 24, 2020 at 5:58 pm #

      In PA, unused benefits roll over to the next month but must be used within three months. But for these extra payments, as long as you are using your card, they won’t take back the extra benefits.

  10. Avatar
    sissy April 26, 2020 at 9:17 pm #

    Will there be an extra allotment of food stamps because of the coronavirus emergency for May 2020.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest May 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm #

      Yes! There will be additional SNAP benefits each month for the duration of the crisis, as long as there is an emergency or disaster declaration. So we are expecting extra SNAP payments in May and likely in June as well at this point.

  11. Avatar
    Shaylinn April 27, 2020 at 8:21 am #

    If I only received partial Mar and all April and my number end in 8. Would I see a extra disbursement?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest May 1, 2020 at 12:03 pm #

      Yes. You should have received the extra disbursement by now. Please contact us if you didn’t by calling (412) 431-8960 x602.

  12. Avatar
    Missy Dorsey May 1, 2020 at 7:31 am #

    We don’t receive the maximum amount for our family size but we didn’t receive any extra either? Is there other reasons why you may not get the extra?

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest May 1, 2020 at 12:07 pm #

      If you never received it that’s likely because you were approved for food stamps after early April. That’s when it was determined who in PA would be receiving a second payment. Unfortunately, this means DHS has decided you won’t be getting this second payment for April. If you continue to be eligible for SNAP in May and June then you should get second payments in those months to bring your household up to the maximum benefit level.

      We are still advocating that DHS issue second payments to everyone who received food stamps for any part of April so that they receive the maximum allotment for this month as well.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest May 28, 2020 at 3:40 pm #

      This policy has been changed. New SNAP applicants who are processed after the 10th of the month (or around then) will not receive their second SNAP payments that same month, but they will receive it. Late March applicants should have received their SNAP emergency allotment in May; April’s should post sometime in June; May’s should post in July; and so on.

  13. Avatar
    Kelly May 12, 2020 at 12:49 pm #

    All recipients should be allowed the extra allotment weather tgey are at the max or not. The max dosen’t mean that those families don’t need tge extra help as well. We are at the max because of our household sizes and income guidelines. Which mean all those at the max should still receive the same help.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest May 28, 2020 at 3:44 pm #

      We completely agree and are advocating that the Trump administration change their policy on this as well as increase the maximum benefit for all households. If you would like to submit a statement about why being denied extra SNAP benefits because you were already at the maximum has hurt you, and how extra food assistance would help you right now, it will help us in our advocacy efforts with federal officials.

      Please also use our easy form to send a letter to Sen. Casey and Toomey urging them to pass the HEROES Act, which would increase SNAP benefits for everyone, and to make sure extra benefits go to *all* SNAP households during this emergency:

  14. Avatar
    Martha Gammino September 29, 2020 at 1:46 pm #

    The maximum SNAP allotment are supposed to increase as of October 2020. For a family of one (my circumstance) the benefit is supposed to go from $194 to $204. Does JH have any information on that? Thanks!

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest October 1, 2020 at 4:58 pm #

      Yes — this page has now been updated with that information.

  15. Avatar
    Pittsburgh James October 20, 2020 at 10:31 am #

    Have not received October’s increase yet. These increases have really helped. I think every month it comes a few days later so if the the COVID-19 last a really long time the payments will lapse.

    • Just Harvest
      Just Harvest October 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm #

      The SNAP payment schedule varies month to month but these second payments always take place in the second half of the month (generally starting the 15th or later) on weekdays that aren’t federal holidays. So depending on what the last digit of your case number is, you may in fact get your second payment on the 29th one month and the 31st the next. But unless you have just been approved for SNAP in the latter half of a month (in which case the state will deposit the second payment for that month on your card two months later), those second payments will always take place within the month and will not lapse for as long as these max benefits are continued.

Leave a Reply

Site design by OrgSpring