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Latest Updates Regarding COVID-19 & SNAP

New York State to distribute “Emergency Allotment” SNAP benefit to certain SNAP households in May

Emergency Allotments (EA) for SNAP recipients were authorized by Congress under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.  The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) previously approved New York State’s plan to distribute EA of SNAP benefits in March and April.  FNS recently released additional guidance allowing states to continue to provide EA for SNAP recipients in the month of May.

In New York State, nearly 750,000 low-income individuals and families enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum allowable benefit for May to help them avoid food insecurity. 

This Consumer FAQ explains who will receive the May EA supplemental benefit and what SNAP clients ought to know about this supplemental SNAP benefit.

Important highlights include:

  • Only households that receive less than the maximum SNAP benefit for their household size in May are eligible for the EA supplemental SNAP benefit. It is estimated that about half of all households receive less than the maximum benefit and are eligible for the emergency allotment. 
  • The EA supplemental benefit will be automatically added to the SNAP EBT card of each eligible household and can be used just like regular SNAP benefits.
  • Families and individuals who get SNAP and who are eligible to receive the EA supplement do not need to do anything. SNAP recipients do not need to apply for these benefits, and are being asked not to call their local SNAP office to inquire about the benefit.
  • The EA supplemental benefit does not need to be spent immediately. Unused SNAP benefits, including the EA supplement, remain available on the EBT card for up to one year from the date they appear on the card.

For more information, including dates for benefit distribution across the state, and additional details about the EA SNAP supplemental benefit for eligible households, click here.