The USDA has officially announced that SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) emergency allotments, which were implemented as a temporary increase to monthly SNAP benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic have officially ended.
This means for remaining residents in states who received a USDA waiver to participate in the temporary SNAP expansion program (see list below) will see benefit payments to local households return to normal (lower) levels from March 2023.
These SNAP Emergency Allotments (SNAP EA) allowed all eligible households to receive an additional $95 in (food stamp EBT) benefits or an additional benefit valued up to the maximum benefit for their household size, whichever value was greater.
How Much Will Benefits Drop?
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP households getting the extra boost will receive at least $95 a month less; while some lower income larger households will see reductions of $250 a month or more.
|Household size||Average SNAP EA Decrease Impact|
Further, households that received both SNAP and Social Security benefits may experience a significant decrease in their “normal” SNAP benefits due to the recent COLA for Social Security benefits that took effect at the start of this year.
For some seniors this will mean their average monthly benefit will drop to $23 in 2023! See more in the SSA section below.
Which States are Ending Extra SNAP Benefits in 2023?
While your local SNAP office will have specific details that pertain to your SNAP Emergency allotment (EA) payments, here is a state-by-state summary from the USA news release on upcoming changes.
|States ending EA in Feb 2023 – Normal benefits from March 2023||Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Guam, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West, Virginia, Wisconsin|
|States ending EA in Jan 2023 – Normal benefits from Feb 2023||South Carolina|
|States where SNAP EA Have Already Ended|
(already paying normal amounts)
|Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming|
SNAP benefit amounts will return to normal for all SNAP households by the end of March and your updated allotment, accounting for SS/SSI benefits, will be provided by your local SNAP agency.
Why Are Extra SNAP Benefits Ending?
The SNAP emergency allotments were always meant to be a temporary strategy authorized by Congress to assist low-income individuals and families in coping with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. They just lasted for longer than expected due to the ongoing COVID funding bills.
However funding for SNAP EA was not part of the 2023 government spending bill and as a result, all household benefits will return to their normal amounts after March 2023, without the added supplement.
Lower SNAP benefits for Social Security Recipients
The Social Security Administration (SSA) annually adjusts the amount of its benefits to account for inflation, a process known as the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). As a result when a household’s income, including Social Security benefits, increases, SNAP benefits may decrease as those are paid based on income.
This year the COLA was the largest in 40 years, which meant many SNAP households that also receive Social Security benefits (around 47%) will or have experienced a decrease in their SNAP benefits due to the significant increase in their Social Security benefits.
However, these households should still see an overall increase in their income, as the increase in Social Security benefits will be greater than the decrease in SNAP benefits.