News

December 3, 2020

Temporary Change to the Timing of SNAP Benefits in December

What you need to know: ALL December SNAP benefits will be loaded to EBT cards by Dec. 11 in a one-time payment for the whole month. This means:

• Those receiving SNAP may get their benefits earlier than usual. It is NOT an added payment.
• This one-time SNAP benefits issuance will include Emergency Allotments (EAs), the added SNAP some households have received in the 2nd half of the month due to COVID-19 (details below).
• This amount may look larger or like an added benefit, but it is just the full benefit for December.
• DHS does not have time to mail notices. Please spread the word to avoid potential confusion!

When will my SNAP benefits come? The date your SNAP benefits will be loaded to your EBT card is based on the last digit of your case record number. To find your Dec. payment date:
• Find the final digit (0-9) of your record number on a DHS notice, or using MyCOMPASS online.
• Find your number on the top row of the chart below.
• For example, if your record number ends in 5, you will get your SNAP benefits on December 4.

Last digit of Record #   1                2                3                4                5                6
Issuance Date               Dec. 2       Dec. 2       Dec. 3       Dec. 3       Dec. 4       Dec. 5

Last digit of Record #   7                8                9                 0
Issuance Date              Dec. 8       Dec. 9       Dec. 10      Dec. 10

Why is this happening? SNAP benefits are federally funded, and the current federal budget is set to expire on Dec. 11. If Congress does not agree on a new budget in time it could disrupt SNAP benefits issuance. Because SNAP helps over 1.8 million Pennsylvanians, DHS is taking the step to issue all SNAP benefits by December 11 to avoid any possible delays.

Details on Emergency Allotments (EAs)
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, those who do not get the maximum SNAP benefit have been getting an “Emergency Allotment” (EA) in the second half of the month. The EA brings those who get a partial SNAP benefit up to the maximum for their household size (see below).

Household Size                1          Maximum Benefit            $204
Household Size                2          Maximum Benefit            $374
Household Size                3          Maximum Benefit            $535
Household Size                4          Maximum Benefit            $680
Household Size                5          Maximum Benefit            $807
Household Size                6          Maximum Benefit            $969
Each Additional member              Maximum Benefit            $153

• You do not need to fill out extra paperwork. The extra SNAP benefits will be added to your EBT card to use it just like regular SNAP.
• For December only, your EA will come at the same time as your regular SNAP benefit. Funds will be loaded to your EBT card by December 11.
• If you already get the maximum benefit for your household size, you will not get an extra benefit.*

* As a result of Community Legal Service’s of Philadelphia successful legal challenge to USDA’s interpretation of Emergency Allotments in the “Families First Act” (H.R. 6201), DHS may soon be able to issue EAs to all Pennsylvania SNAP households.

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