According to the US Department of Agriculture, emergency allotments were authorized under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to assist SNAP households in meeting temporary food needs during the pandemic. EA amounts are calculated by subtracting the maximum benefit for the household size from the monthly base benefit.
State SNAP agencies can issue emergency allotments to all SNAP households that normally receive less than the maximum benefit on a monthly basis. Households receiving the maximum SNAP benefit, on the other hand, receive little or no additional assistance.
States may continue to provide monthly emergency allotments as long as there is a national public health emergency, or PHE, in effect — and the state has a state-level emergency declaration in effect.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra has extended the COVID-19 federal public health emergency until April 16. A PHE declaration is valid for 90 days or until the secretary declares that the PHE no longer exists. The current PHE will expire on July 15.
The USDA has granted waivers to the following states until May 31, 2022:
- The city of Washington, D.C.
- State of New Hampshire
- State of New Jersey
- North Carolina (NC)
- Providence, Rhode Island
- South Carolina (SC)
All households in states that offer these benefits will receive at least $95. Households receiving $95 or more will keep receiving that amount. Supplemental EA SNAP benefits will be issued in the form of state EBT cards, which can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers.