- Department of Transitional Assistance
Media Contact for Massachusetts Residents Will Receive Increased SNAP Benefits to Help Buy Groceries During COVID-19: SNAP benefit amounts will increase 15% starting in February
Alana Davidson, Director of Communications
Recent federal action increases Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit amounts by 15% from January 2021 through September 2021. SNAP is a monthly food benefit that helps individuals and families buy healthy, culturally appropriate food, supporting households, farmers, and local grocery and corner stores.
Food insecurity remains a daily struggle for many households across the Commonwealth as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 public health emergency and its economic impact. SNAP is the first line of defense against hunger and the increase to these benefits will be a vital support for many low-income Massachusetts families and the communities in which they live and work.
Since March 2020, people who do not get the maximum SNAP benefit amount for their household size have received a special payment (emergency allotment) at the beginning of each month to bring their benefits up to the maximum monthly amount for their household size. This will continue so long as there is a federal and state declaration of emergency.
Starting February 2, 2021, all current SNAP recipients started to see the 15% increase to their SNAP benefits. Households will receive this increase from February through September. The first week of each month, households will get a payment equal to the increase for the prior month’s regular SNAP amount. For example: in February, recipients will receive the increase for their January benefits.
- If you have already been getting the special payment the first week of each month, you will see the 15% increase payments with that payment.
- If you have not been getting the emergency allotment payment each month, you will get this as a standalone payment.
Household Size Maximum SNAP Allotment
Regular Adjusted (+ 15%)
1 $204 $234
2 $374 $430
3 $535 $616
4 $680 $782
5 $807 $929
6 $969 $1,114
7 $1,071 $1,232
8 $1,224 $1,408
Each additional $153 $176
Household Size Minimum SNAP Allotment
Regular Adjusted (+ 15%)
1 - 2 $16 $19
As a result of the emergency allotments, $389 million of federal funds have been brought into the local economy. The 15% increase in SNAP benefits is estimated to bring over $30 million per month of additional funds into our state and local economies.
SNAP helps one in eight Massachusetts residents to buy food, helping households with limited or strained resources keep food on the table while meeting other basic needs. In the beginning of the pandemic, SNAP applications increased by 400%. The Center for Disease Control has labeled those with obesity at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. During this pandemic, access to essential needs like food is more important than ever to stay healthy. Residents can also use their SNAP benefits to shop for groceries safely online at Walmart, Amazon and recently select ALDI stores.
The Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 also made Federal Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) not countable as income when determining SNAP eligibility. Those who applied for SNAP in the past, but were ineligible due to the extra unemployment, are encouraged to check their SNAP eligibility now at DTAConnect.com/screening. Do not include this income when entering income information.
*Note: this is an updated news article to reflect the expansion of the 15% increase included in the March 2021 COVID relief from June to September 2021.