Frequently Asked Questions for the Emergency Allotment of SNAP Benefits
Answers to many commonly asked questions about the Supplemental Emergency Allotment (EA) of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits.
- What are supplemental EA SNAP benefits?
The Families First Act (FFA) is a federal law that was passed to respond to the effects of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19. The law authorized the issuance of emergency supplemental benefits to households receiving SNAP. Based on the law, states are to issue supplemental SNAP benefits, up to the maximum allowable SNAP benefit for a household’s size, during the emergency or disaster declaration. New York is issuing the supplemental benefits for the months of March, April and May 2020. Only households whose SNAP benefit for the months of March, April, and/or May was less than the maximum benefit amount for their household’s size will get a supplemental EA SNAP benefit.
- Who qualifies for the supplemental EA SNAP benefits?
If your household received a SNAP benefit for March, April, and/or May that was less than the maximum benefit amount for your household’s size, then you qualify for, and will automatically get, a supplemental EA SNAP benefit. The maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts by household size are listed below:
Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefits SNAP Household Size Maximum Monthly Benefit Amount 1 $194 2 $355 3 $509 4 $646 5 $768 6 $921 7 $1,018 8 $1,164 Each additional person $146
- What if my household already got the maximum benefit for my household’s size for March, April, and/or May?
If you got the maximum SNAP benefit for your household’s size for March, April and/or May, then you will not get a supplemental EA SNAP benefit for the month you receive the maximum benefit.
- How much will I receive in supplemental EA SNAP benefits?
SNAP households are eligible to receive supplemental EA SNAP benefits for March, April, and/or May 2020 in the amount that will bring them up to the maximum SNAP monthly benefit amount for a household of their size.
For example, a household of 4 people may currently receive a maximum monthly allotment of $646. If that household received $400 in monthly SNAP benefits, they will receive supplemental EA SNAP benefits of $246.
- Do I need to apply for supplemental EA SNAP benefits?
No, you do not need to apply for supplemental EA SNAP benefits. If you already get SNAP and received a SNAP benefit for March, April and/or May that is less than the maximum benefit amount for your household’s size, the EA benefits automatically will be made available on your EBT card.
- When will I receive my emergency SNAP benefits if I am eligible?
Supplemental EA SNAP benefits for May will be available on you EBT card by the end of May. If you were eligible for supplemental EA SNAP benefits in March and/or April, they were made available on your EBT card by the end of April. For more information on how to check your available SNAP balance on your EBT card visit: http://otda.ny.gov/workingfamilies/ebt/
- What can I purchase with my emergency SNAP supplemental benefits?
The supplemental EA benefits are SNAP benefits. Like regular SNAP benefits, the supplemental benefits can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. A detailed list of food items that may be purchased with SNAP benefits can be found at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items/.
- Do I have to use my emergency SNAP supplemental benefits right away?
No. Unused SNAP benefits, including supplements, remain available and accessible on your EBT card for up to one year from the date they are issued.
This page contains links to PDF documents. Download Acrobat Reader to view these documents.