Congress approves Additional Food Stamps Benefits due to Coronavirus

Here’s some great news for all food stamps recipients. Congress has approved additional Food Stamps benefits due to Coronavirus. This applies to current food stamps recipients and was part of the coronavirus stimulus package that was signed into law by President Trump last month.

In this post, we will walk you through what the additional money means for current food stamps recipients and when you can expect to see the extra funds on your EBT Card.

If you are not currently receiving food stamps but have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and need food stamps benefits, see our post on how to apply for emergency food stamps.

"Congress approves Additional Food Stamps Benefits due to Coronavirus"

This post will cover:

  • Additional Food Stamps Benefits due to Coronavirus
  • How much you will receive in additional Food Stamps?
  • When additional food stamps will be distributed?
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Food Stamps Benefits due to Coronavirus

Congress approved supplemental funding for food stamps recipients in March and April 2020 due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19.

This was part of the Coronavirus response package signed into law in March.

The bill includes an additional $1 billion in food benefits. The measure allows states to use money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps Program to boost aid for families with kids who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

Increase in Food Stamps Benefits

USDA will be granting waivers to states to provide them more flexibility with their food stamps program so current food stamps recipients get more help.

This includes allowing states to issue additional food stamps benefits to existing recipients.

This will be based on a public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services when a state has also issued an emergency or disaster declaration.

Free Lunch for Kids

As a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, children who would receive free or reduced-price meals if not for school closures are still eligible to receive assistance under this provision.

Many local school districts have rolled out plans for meal pick up stations for free lunch for kids. Check with your school district for more information.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided the WIC Program with $500 million to remain available through September 30, 2021 for increases in program participation.

In addition, due to the Coronavirus safety rules, participants and applicants for WIC do not have to physically come into a WIC clinic to enroll or re-enroll, including the ability to defer certain requirements used to determine nutritional risk.

Furthermore, WIC program participants do not have to physically come into the WIC clinic to pick up WIC EBT cards and/or paper coupons.

This ensures participants have what they need to receive continued nutrition assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Check with your local county WIC office for more information.

Extended Certification Periods

The USDA will give states the flexibility to adjust deadlines for participants to re-enroll (i.e., “recertify”) to continue receiving SNAP benefits.

Time limit for Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, temporarily and partially suspends the time limit for ABAWD participation in SNAP.

In general, ABAWDs can only get food stamps for no more than 3 months over any 3-year period unless they:

  • Work; OR
  • Participate in a work program at least 20 hours a week; OR
  • They participate in a workfare program, or;
  • Are otherwise exempt.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act suspends the time limit for ABAWDs, except in certain circumstances.

How much you will receive in additional Food Stamps

If you are currently receiving food stamps as of March 2020, you will get more benefits to bring your March and April benefits amounts up to the maximum for your household
size.

The table below shows the maximum food stamps benefits by household size

Food Stamps Maximum Monthly Allotment Based on Household Size

People in Household Maximum Monthly Allotment
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional person +$146

What does this mean for my benefits?

Here’s what this means for you. If you are a household of one person and you currently receive say $120 a month in benefits, your benefits for March and April will be increased to $194, meaning you will get $74 extra benefits per month for the two months.

Similarly, if you are a household of 4 and currently receive $400 a month in food stamps benefits, for the months of March and April, you will receive $646, which is an extra $246 per month for the two months.

When additional food stamps will be distributed?

March benefits will be distributed in April. You will receive your benefits according to when food stamps are deposited in your state. If you are not sure, check out our food stamps deposit schedule by state.

What about April benefits? Are there changes to those amounts?

If you’re already getting benefits in April, you’ll get the maximum amount for your household size on your regular benefit date.

I didn’t apply until April. Will I get extra benefits?

You won’t get extra benefits for March if you didn’t apply until April. But, you’ll get the maximum amount for your household size if approved in April.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the additional Food Stamps benefits from the stimulus bill.

Why is this happening?

Congress approved extra benefits to give people the ability to buy more food as they deal with the Coronavirus pandemic and stay at home directives, which prevents many people from being able to work.

In addition, the extra benefit is to help reduce the number of times people need to go shopping for groceries.

It will also limit the number of people at stores and lower the chance for COVID-19 contact.

I already get the maximum amount for March or April. Will I get extra benefits?

If you already get the maximum benefit amount, you won’t get additional benefits in March or April.

I am eligible for food stamps but I don’t get any benefits. Will I get extra benefits?

Yes. You will get an extra benefit of the maximum amount for your household size if you usually get $0.

Will I have to pay back these additional benefits?

These are extra benefits meant for your use. There is no reason you’d have to pay them back.

Will these extra benefits affect my immigration status?

No.

Will there be more maximum amounts for May or June?

Congress approved extra benefits for March and April 2020 only. If Congress approves more months, you will receive the extra benefits for those months.

Additional Food Stamps Benefits due to Coronavirus Summary

We hope this post on additional Food Stamps benefits due to Coronavirus was helpful to you.

If you have further questions about the additional Food Stamps benefits approved by Congress, leave those in the comments section below.

Check out some of our most popular articles, including how you can save more with your EBT Card or How to get 50% OFF Amazon Prime for EBT Cardholders

Comments

comments

13 comments

  • hungry

    I get SNAP in IL.
    WILL MY $1200 CORONAVIRUS “STIMULUS” CHECK BE AVAILABLE ON MY SNAP CARD???

  • Lisa Arlott

    We have been getting food stamps for 3 people total of 140dollars! We haven’t gotten any more than that! When can we see any additional stamps?

  • Ellen J Posey

    I did not receive extra food assistance for March and April during the conovirus. What do I do to get them.?

  • Wendy

    I applied in April and only got 78.00 for a family of 3 for April Am I still eligible for the extra for April?
    I was approved last week. I’m confused as to how this works.

  • Helen Dominguez

    I applied in March 18 and was approved on April but in didn’t receive the maximum amount for April or March. I’m confused?

  • the amount I receive from snap is only $16 for my husband and,myself.Will I be getting any extra money ?

  • Tracy Rimas

    I applied April 1 and was approved to get them April 22. But I’m only getting 212 for a family of four. Why am I not going to get the maximum benefit? Or will I get it at the end of April?

  • Amanda Rose

    We should have received for March and April, but only received additional EBT for the month of April. So, will we receive April’s in May? If we were receive two mom the worth I think something screwy is going on, since we only received for one of the two months

  • Jessica H. Bowen

    How can I use the food stamps through the use of the ebt card, when I am quarantined, Have high risk condition as it relates to Covid 19. and do not go out to grocery shop.

    Is there a way that the EBT amounts could be made by direct deposit into my bank account?

    • Food Stamps Expert

      Hi Jessica,

      Many states are now allowing you to use your EBT Card online at Walmart and Amazon to help accommodate this common circumstance. Check and see if your state has been approved for EBT use online!

  • I stay in Georgia so will in received any extra benefits for May or June,I was just wondering because the coronavirus is still going strong here in Georgia,and we’ll still needs the extra food stamps to simply get me bye.I’m on a very fixed income for about 5yrs now and getting very hard to maintain my quality of life on a daily basic for sure,but! I’m very thankful for any little help for congress……