Emergency allotments were authorized to help address temporary food needs during the pandemic for SNAP households. State SNAP agencies can issue EA payments on a month-to-month basis to all SNAP households that normally receive less than the maximum benefit. Through January 2023, 32 states (and counting) have extended emergency SNAP allotments.
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Based on a public health emergency declaration by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act related to an outbreak of COVID-19 when a state has also issued an emergency or disaster declaration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted waivers to the following states (plus the District of Columbia and Guam):
The emergency extended SNAP benefits mean households can receive the maximum benefit for their size, and those already getting the maximum benefit can receive an additional $95.
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Every year, SNAP is adjusted for inflation through a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). SNAP benefits were boosted by 12.5% for the 2023 fiscal year. The COLA kicked in on Oct. 1, 2022, and will run through Sept. 30, 2023. Because of the recent COLA, benefits increased by $104 each month for the average family of four. The maximum benefit for a four-person household is now $939 a month, up from $835.
SNAP benefits can be used to purchase the following food items:
Fruits and vegetables
Meat, poultry and fish
Breads and cereals
Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat
Among the items you can’t buy with SNAP are alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vitamins, medicines, supplements, live animals, pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products and cosmetics.
For further details, updates and to distinguish which benefits have been extended in your state, be sure to visit the official USDA pages for Emergency Allotments.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Food Stamps Update: 32 States Extended Additional Emergency SNAP Money Through January