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New York state announces $210 million in food aid for April

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Mon, Apr 12th 2021 04:10 pm

All SNAP recipients will continue receiving the maximum food benefits for their household

Federal action also increases benefits for those households at or near the maximum level

The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) announced all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive the maximum allowable level of food benefits for April. Additionally, those households already near or at the maximum benefit level now will receive a supplemental payment of at least $95 per month for as long as the supplemental payments continue.

“The global pandemic continues to exacerbate hardship among New Yorkers – especially among those households that were already struggling with food insecurity,” said Mike Hein, commissioner of OTDA, which administers SNAP in New York. “These added food benefits are welcome relief for countless families and individuals across our state as we begin to mend our battered economy and look to the future.”

The emergency assistance supplement is provided to those SNAP households that do not ordinarily receive the maximum allowable benefit per month. The additional food benefits will be distributed starting this week and continuing through the end of the month.

Recent federal action will now provide a minimum supplement of $95 per month to all households already receiving the maximum level of food benefits. Households that had been receiving an emergency allotment of less than $95 per month also will now receive a minimum supplement of $95.

The passage of the American Rescue Plan last month also extended the 15% increase in SNAP benefits through September. Initially due to expire in June, the bump in food benefits will provide about $30 more per person, per month, or about $120 more per month for a household of four, according to federal estimates. With the 15% increase factored in, the maximum benefit level in New York for an individual is $234, and $782 for a family of four.

Nearly half of all households in New York that participate in SNAP will receive the supplemental allotment later this month, which will result in a $100 million infusion into the state’s economy. The additional benefits for the lowest income New Yorkers and the 15% increase for all SNAP recipients will result in roughly $210 million in additional federal aid to New York in April.

As with the prior months, the payments will be delivered directly to recipients’ existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account and can be accessed with their existing EBT card. Like regular SNAP benefits, the supplemental benefits can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. Any unused SNAP benefits will be automatically carried over to the following month.

A press release stated, “The additional SNAP benefits have provided more than $1.5 billion in much-needed federal dollars to local retailers throughout the state since last April. Struggling New Yorkers continue to rely heavily on SNAP as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As of January, there were more than 2.7 million SNAP recipients throughout the state, a 7.3% increase from the same month in 2020.”

For more information on the emergency supplemental SNAP benefits, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19. New Yorkers can check their eligibility for SNAP and apply online by visiting mybenefits.ny.gov.

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