Update to College Student Expanded SNAP Rules
Frequently Asked Questions for the End of Temporary COVID-19 SNAP Student Eligibility Exemptions
Answers to many frequently asked questions about the end of temporary COVID-19 SNAP student eligibility exemptions:
- What are the temporary student eligibility exemptions for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)?
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 created two temporary SNAP eligibility exemptions for students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation expanded SNAP eligibility by providing temporary exemptions from SNAP student eligibility requirements to two groups of college students:
- Students eligible for a work study program (actual participation in a program was not required);
- Students with an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Why are the temporary student eligibility exemptions ending?
The temporary student eligibility exemptions are scheduled to end because the federal public health emergency (PHE) is expiring on May 11th, 2023. Once the PHE declaration ends, the temporary exemptions will remain in effect for an additional 30 days. This means that the temporary student exemptions end for initial SNAP applications filed on or after June 10, 2023. For ongoing households, the temporary exemptions end at the household's next recertification, beginning July 1, 2023.
- Who is affected by the end of the temporary student eligibility exemptions?
Only students who were determined eligible for SNAP because they met one of the temporary eligibility exemptions listed above are impacted. However, these students may still be eligible for SNAP because they meet the criteria for one of the other, permanent student eligibility criteria (see below).
- When do these changes go into effect?
Following the PHE expiration on May 11, 2023, there is a period for which SNAP applications and recertifications can continue to be processed using the temporary exemptions.
For new applications, the temporary student exemptions can be applied to applications submitted on or before June 9, 2023. After that date, only the permanent exemptions can be considered when determining eligibility.
For students recertifying, the temporary student exemptions can be applied to recertifications submitted by June 30, 2023. Recertification applications submitted through June 30, 2023, must be processed using the temporary student exemptions, regardless of when the recertification is processed or the household's expiring certification end date. Recertifications submitted on or after July 1, 2023, must be processed using only the permanent exemption criteria. Students in households that submit their recertification application by June 30, 2023, and are recertified retain their temporary student exemption until their next recertification.
- What do these students have to do when the temporary eligibility exemptions end?
Students already receiving SNAP under one of the temporary student eligibility exemptions will continue to be eligible for and receive SNAP until their next recertification. Students in households that submit their recertification applications after June 30, 2023, will need to meet one of the permanent student eligibility exemptions (listed below) to continue to qualify for SNAP benefits.
- What are the permanent student eligibility exemptions?
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 and enrolled at least half-time at an institution of higher education are generally ineligible for SNAP unless they meet a student exemption. By meeting any of these ongoing exemptions, an individual can be determined an “eligible student” and may be determined eligible for SNAP provided they meet all other program criteria.
- Students qualify for a permanent student exemption if they:
- Are under age 18 or are age 50 or older.
- Have a physical or mental disability.
- Work at least 20 hours a week in paid employment.
- Participate in a State or federally financed work study program.
- Participate in an on-the-job training program.
- Care for a child under the age of 6.
- Care for a child between the ages 6 to 11 and lack the necessary child care enabling you to attend school and work 20 hours a week or participate in work study.
- Are single parents enrolled full-time in college and taking care of a child under 12.
- Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
- Are assigned to, placed in, or self-placed in a college or other institution of higher education through certain employment and training programs, such as the SNAP Employment & Training program.
- Where can I find additional food resources in my community?
Food pantries provide free food to people in their communities. To connect to a local food bank or pantry, visit: Need Food?—Feeding New York State (feedingnys.org) or the Food Pantries Food Connect Map.
To learn more about student support available through: