New Yorkers Receive More than $800 Million in Emergency SNAP Benefits Since April
Food Assistance Brings an Average Additional Benefit of $145 per Household Each Month
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today announced more than $100 million in additional emergency food assistance to help New Yorkers avoid food insecurity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. About 700,000 low-income individuals and families enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive additional food benefits this month to bring them up to the maximum allowable amount for November.
“As our state continues to navigate this unprecedented public health crisis, we must ensure that all New Yorkers have the resources to avoid food insecurity,” said OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein. “This added food assistance is providing needed relief to those households with strained budgets and giving a welcomed influx of federal dollars into communities across the state.”
Administered by OTDA, the emergency assistance is issued to any SNAP household that does not ordinarily receive the maximum allowable benefit per month, which varies by household size, and is $204 for an individual and $680 for a family of four. OTDA began distributing these benefits to households this week and will continue the distribution through the remainder of the month. About half of all households receiving SNAP will receive additional benefits for November.
This will mark the ninth consecutive month all SNAP recipients in New York State have received the maximum benefit. Under the direction of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last spring, OTDA submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide emergency supplemental payments to any SNAP household getting less than the maximum monthly benefit.
Since that time, approximately $800 million in additional benefits have been distributed, bringing much needed federal dollars to local retailers throughout the state. The supplement has brought an average additional food benefit of about $145 per household each month.
Struggling New Yorkers continue to rely heavily on SNAP as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As of September, there were nearly 2.8 million SNAP recipients throughout the state, a 7.9 percent increase from the same month in 2019. An additional 33,000 New Yorkers received food assistance in September than in August.
As with the prior months, the payments will be delivered directly to recipients’ existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account and can be accessed with their existing EBT card. Like regular SNAP benefits, the supplemental benefits can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. Any unused SNAP benefits will be automatically carried over to the following month.
For more information on the emergency supplemental SNAP benefits, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19. New Yorkers can check their eligibility for SNAP and apply online by visiting mybenefits.ny.gov.