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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Federal COVID Extra SNAP Ending

Learn more about the extra COVID Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ending from answers to these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Table of Contents

1. What are the extra COVID SNAP benefits?

The extra COVID SNAP benefits are the difference between your normal benefit amount and the maximum amount for your household size, with a minimum amount of $95 a month. These benefits are known as SNAP Emergency Allotments.

These extra payments have been put on EBT cards at the beginning of each month.

Since March 2020, Massachusetts has elected to utilize this temporary benefit program that was made available under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.

2. Why are the extra SNAP benefits ending?

Recent action by the federal government (through the Congressional Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023) ends the extra COVID SNAP benefits as of February 2023. This means that households will receive their last payment on March 2, 2023.

3. When will I get my last extra COVID SNAP payment?

You will get your last payment on March 2, 2023.

4. How will this impact my SNAP benefits?

The last extra COVID SNAP payment will be on March 2, 2023. Starting in April, your household will get only one SNAP payment. That amount is your normal monthly benefit.

You can get your normal benefit amount on DTA Connect or by listening to the information about your case by calling the DTA Assistance Line:

 

  1. Call 877-382-2363
  2. Choose your language
  3. Press 1 and authenticate
  4. Press 1 for SNAP
  5. Press 1 again to hear your case summary. This information includes your normal monthly benefit amount.

Important note: individuals who receive SSI or RSDI will see a change in their February SNAP benefit amount due to Social Security’s cost of living adjustment, which occurs in January.

5. How does the Administration’s supplemental budget proposal impact the extra COVID SNAP ending?

Due to action by the federal government, the extra COVID SNAP benefits are set to end February 2023. This means that you will receive your last payment March 2, 2023.

The state has proposed to provide a portion of these extra SNAP benefits for a certain period of time to lessen the impact of the abrupt end to the federal temporary program. This plan still needs to be approved by the state legislature. DTA will provide more information when available.

6. How do I check my balance/find out my normal monthly SNAP benefit amount?

You can check your balance and find your normal monthly SNAP benefit amount on DTAConnect.com, the DTA Connect mobile app or by calling the number on the back of your EBT card (800-997-2555).

 

You can also find this amount on the DTA Assistance Line by following these steps:

  1. Call 877-382-2363
  2. Choose your language
  3. Press 1 and authenticate
  4. Press 1 for SNAP
  5. Press 1 again to hear your case summary. This information includes your normal monthly benefit amount.

7. Do I have to use all my SNAP benefits in one month?

No, unused SNAP benefits roll over month to month. SNAP benefits will not be removed from your card if you use your benefits any time within 274 days.

8. How do I get the most out of my monthly SNAP benefit?

Maximum SNAP benefits are:

Household Size

Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefit

1

$281

2

$516

3

$740

4

$939

5

$1,116

6

$1,339

7

$1,480

 

If your normal SNAP amount is lower than the above, and you don't already claim the expenses below, your SNAP may go up if you tell DTA about these costs:

  • Medical costs over $35 a month for anyone in your SNAP household who is 60 or older or has a disability,
  • Increase to your housing costs (rent/mortgage), and
  • Child or disabled adult care costs (if anyone in your SNAP household is working, looking for work, or in school).

We don’t need proof from you about these costs – just tell us the information. If we need any proof, we will tell you.

Tell DTA about these changes that may increase your SNAP by:

  • Writing down the information and sending it to DTA through DTA Connect
  • Calling the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363
  • Visiting a local DTA office
  • Mailing the written information to DTA Document Processing Center, PO Box 4406, Taunton, MA 02780
  • Faxing the written information to DTA Document Processing Center, 617-887-8765
  • Working with one of DTA’s over 100 SNAP outreach community partners

Learn more about contacting DTA at Mass.gov/ContactDTA

Learn more about how you may be able to increase your normal monthly SNAP benefit amount.

9. Can I use HIP to boost my SNAP benefits?

Massachusetts households who get SNAP benefits automatically can participate in the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). HIP puts money back on your EBT card when you use SNAP to buy local fruits and vegetables from HIP farm vendors, up to $40, $60 or $80 a month depending on your household size.

Find a HIP vendor at DTAFinder.com. Learn more about HIP at Mass.gov/HIP.

10. Where can I find tips for shopping on a budget ?

DTA’s SNAP Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-Ed) website has tips for shopping on a budget, healthy and culturally appropriate recipes, cooking videos, and resources to find an activity near you: MASNAPEd.org

Tips for shopping on a budget

11. Who do I contact for additional food help?

  • If you have children under age 5/are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be eligible for the WIC nutrition program: Mass.gov/WIC or call 800-942-1007
  • If you are age 60 or older, you may be eligible for senior nutrition programs. Check your eligibility and apply.

12. I am a community organization looking to help spread the word, where can I find materials?

Download the SNAP Emergency Allotment Ending Partner Toolkit for flyers, social media graphic/text, and sample robocall/text/email in 16 languages, as well as videos (English, Spanish, and American Sign Language ASL).

Date published: January 6, 2023
Last updated: January 24, 2023

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