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.
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.
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|
|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?
- 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.