There are a lot of programs that can be used to help you and your family during this difficult time.
The stimulus package that was pushed through Congress and the Senate offered the US population a stimulus check, and it also gave relief assistance to other government programs like SNAP.
SNAP is a very effective program that assists low-income households, but what relief was in the package and how does it help you?
Temporary Relief Benefits Details
In the stimulus package, the government approved a $4.5 billion increase to the SNAP benefits that have been being paid out to low-income families monthly.
The USDA increased benefits for every American by 40% during the national emergency. On top of this, many other government representatives are calling for even more increase through the end of the pandemic.
There is also an expedited process for approval. The US government has given states the ability to waive some of the typical requirements, like proof of employer or loss of a job. Applicants might also be able to forgo state requirements for training or classes while using SNAP benefits.
There was also a clause for children who have experienced a loss of access to food due to schools being closed. Most children who are eligible will receive $5.70 a day added to the regular SNAP benefits.
How Do They Work?
The relief benefits rolled out in the stimulus package are easy to use. If you are out of work and need assistance, you can call the customer service center. The number is 1-877-716-1212, and you can set your benefits up this way.
You can also use the online application process or go to an office, though that will require setting up an appointment with the safety measures put in place. You will ask for expedited benefits. Once the information has all been filled out, the process is complete.
A few days later, you will get an EBT card that you will need to activate. Once it is activated, the money should be loaded on the card, and you will be able to use it to help stock your fridge and pantry.
People who have SNAP benefits already have also had their benefits extended during the period of emergency.
The number of benefits you receive will be determined by the USDA Thrifty Food Plan. This plan estimates the cost of buying food and nutritious meals that can be made at low cost. This is then weighed against the number of people in your household.
If you have more questions about the stimulus relief package and SNAP benefits, or you want to get more information on your case, you should visit the USDA website.
Who Qualifies and How?
The next question you may be asking is who is eligible to apply and receive this aid. If you have already been receiving SNAP benefits that were less than the max benefits for the months of March, April, and May, then you are eligible for the supplemental SNAP benefits.
This increase in SNAP funds will last for the course of the emergency. Those that are out of work and need assistance are also eligible. This process may take a little time, though, as there is an influx of applications.
Here are some other reasons you might be eligible to apply for SNAP assistance.
- Low wages
- Receiving welfare or other public assistance
- Disabled or elderly living on a low income
All you have to do is apply at your local welfare office or online and wait to be approved.
The stimulus relief package was made to help low-income households and American citizens across the nation during this crisis.
SNAP benefits were raised and the requirements for application waived to ensure that millions of people out of work can help their families survive.
Hopefully, this relief information has helped answer all the questions that you had. With the crisis continuing, there may be further packages and more changes to the SNAP benefits that are available, but for now, here is everything we know.