This article will tell you how the coronavirus is affecting the rules for food stamps and recipients. President Trump signs the historic $ 2 trillion stimulus plan after Congress passed it on March 27. The bill provides over $ 100 billion to expand existing aid programs like Medicaid and grocery stamps.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal agency responsible for the SNAP (Food Stamps) program, made the following adjustments to the program to provide benefits to those in need. In addition, you will learn in detail how Disaster Food Stamps (DSNAP) are processed and how you can obtain emergency food stamps in your state due to coronavirus.
How coronavirus affects food brands
Below are adjustments made to provide benefits to those in need due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Increase the benefits of food brands
The USDA has granted exemptions to states to give them more flexibility in their grocery stamp program so that current grocery stamp recipients receive more benefits. Several states have begun to provide additional grocery stamp benefits to existing recipients.
This is based on an emergency statement from the Department of Health and Public Health Human Services when a state has also made an emergency or disaster statement.
- Extended certification periods
The USDA has given states the flexibility to adjust participant re-enrollment (i.e., re-certification) deadlines in order to continue to receive SNAP benefits.
- The Time Limit for Adults Without Disabilities (ABAWD)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, temporarily and partially suspends the deadline for ABAWD to participate in SNAP.
This means that ABAWDs can only get food stamps for a period of 3 years for a maximum of 3 months unless they:
- Job; OR
- Participate in a work program for at least 20 hours per week. OR
- You are participating in a work program, or;
- Are otherwise excluded.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has suspended the deadline for ABAWDs except in certain circumstances.
- Adjustments to the interview requirements
USDA currently allows state food branding agencies to adjust interview requirements, provided an applicant’s identity has been verified and other mandatory checks are performed.
Based on this, states can conduct telephone interviews with quick applicants instead of face-to-face interviews.
Emergency food stamps due to coronavirus
If you have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and are not receiving food stamp benefits, you may be eligible for food stamps for disaster emergencies. Assuming you’re fired from work due to the coronavirus and having difficulty buying groceries, you can apply for Disaster Food Stamps or D-SNAP.
ALSO SEE: How To Use Your SNAP Benefits To Search For Food Online
Before filing for Disaster Food Stamps, you need to know if your state has received a President’s Disaster Statement on Individual Aid (IA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Once FEMA announces a major disaster declaration for your state, your state can provide the following assistance to individuals and households, including:
- Disaster Food Stamps or D-SNAP.
- Program for individuals and households.
- Crisis advisory program.
- Disaster Management.
- The disaster relief.
- Legal advice for disasters.
Use this link to check the scope / status of the FEMA Major Disaster Statement. On March 29, 2020, President Trump announced important disaster statements for various states due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Once your states have received approval to operate the D-SNAP program, you will learn about program eligibility guidelines and the application process, including how to apply online. Provided you are entitled to D-SNAP benefits, you will receive benefits within 72 hours of submitting the application.
This article will teach you how to apply for emergency food stamps in your state.
If you have any further questions about how coronavirus is affecting food stamps, or if you need help applying for emergency food stamps, please use the comments section below.