The Erie County Department of Social Services announced the allocation of Supplemental emergency allotments of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for households receiving SNAP benefits in October 2020. Maximum SNAP benefit amounts per household size have increased as of Oct. 1, as well.
The Families First Act (“FFA”), a federal law passed to respond to the effects of the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, authorized the issuance of emergency supplemental benefits to households receiving SNAP. Based on the FFA, New York state will issue supplemental SNAP benefits, up to the maximum allowable SNAP benefit for a household’s size, during the month of October. Only households whose SNAP benefit for the month of October was less than the maximum benefit amount for their household’s size will receive a supplemental emergency allotment SNAP benefit.
“SNAP is an essential program that thousands of Erie County residents rely on,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “The increase in benefit amounts and the emergency supplement will help our low-income families during this uncertain time.”
“The SNAP program allows thousands of low-income Erie County seniors and working families to afford healthy, nutritious food,” Erie County Social Services Commissioner Marie Cannon said. “The 2020 increase in maximum benefit amounts and the emergency supplement program will make food dollars stretch farther for families and children in need.”
The newly increased maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts by household size are listed below:
SNAP Household Size/Maximum Monthly Benefit Amount
If a household already received the maximum SNAP benefit for their household size for October, then that household will not get a supplemental SNAP benefit for that month. If the household did not receive the maximum SNAP benefit for their household size for October, they will receive a supplemental emergency allotment SNAP benefit that will bring their SNAP benefit up to the maximum monthly benefit amount for a household of their size.
For example, a household of four people may currently receive a maximum monthly allotment of $646. If that household received $400 in monthly SNAP benefits, they will receive supplemental EA SNAP benefits of $246. SNAP recipients do not need to apply for these supplemental benefits; they will automatically be made available on the EBT card for the household.
SNAP recipients live in every municipality in Erie County. SNAP benefits allow individuals to purchase foods for the household to eat, such as breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, fish and poultry, dairy products, and seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat.
SNAP recipients cannot purchase beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco, food that will be eaten in the store, hot foods, or any nonfood item with their benefits.