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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, May, June, July, August, September, and October 2020. Only households whose SNAP benefit for the months of March, April, May, June, July, August, September and/or October 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, May, June, July, August, September and/or October 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.

What is the maximum SNAP benefit amount for my family’s size?

The “Thrifty Food Plan” (TFP) is the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, per household size. Beginning October 1, 2020, the TFP amounts of SNAP benefits per household size have increased. The newly increased maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts by household size are listed below:

Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefits
SNAP Household SizeMaximum Monthly Benefit Amount
1$204
2$374
3$535
4$680
5$807
6$969
7$1,071
8$1,224
Each additional person$153
What if my household already got the maximum benefit for my household’s size for March, April, May, June, July, August, September and/or October?

If you got the maximum SNAP benefit for your household’s size for March, April, May, June, July, August, September and/or October, 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, May, June, July, August, September and/or October 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, May, June, July, August, September and/or October 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.

If you are not currently enrolled in SNAP, the quickest way to apply for SNAP benefits is online at: myBenefits.ny.gov or https://access.nyc.gov/ (if you live in New York City).

How will I know when my emergency SNAP benefits are available?

You can find information about how to check your available SNAP balance on your EBT card at: https://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.

Print the Supplemental Emergency Allotment SNAP FAQs.

Last updated: October 7, 2020, 4:00 PM

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