By Luz Adriana Santacruz Carrillo
Millions of Families Eligible for Extra SNAP Benefits
Millions of people in the United States receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps low-income individuals buy eligible food items at participating supermarkets and retailers. In response to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an additional $120 bonus for qualifying families.
This bonus, known as P-EBT, was initially implemented to mitigate the economic impact caused by the pandemic. Despite the absence of an ongoing emergency declaration, the USDA has decided to expand this benefit and transition it into a permanent program starting in 2024.
These extra benefits are available to households in the United States with school-age children who are already receiving SNAP coupons on their EBT card.
Starting from the summer of 2023, children who were enrolled in school during the 2022-2023 academic year will be eligible for the program. To qualify, their school must participate in the National School Lunch Program, which includes the provision of school lunches and free meals to eligible students.
It is important to note that not all states in the United States have approved the delivery of these additional benefits. The following states have implemented the program:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- District of Columbia (D.C.)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Can Families Receiving SNAP Qualify for the Extra $120?
According to the USDA guidelines, families that receive SNAP benefits will not be eligible for the additional $120. Furthermore, children under the age of six from SNAP households will no longer be included in this extra benefit. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these extra food benefits were available to all, but the rules have changed starting in 2023.
The extra assistance provides $120 to families across the United States, except for residents of Alaska who will receive $188. Similarly, residents of Hawaii, Guam, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Mariana Islands can access $139 in additional benefits.
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