The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has had a few significant updates in recent weeks and they are positive for food stamp recipients in Maryland and around the country.
It was just over a year ago, on January 27, 2020, that a public health emergency was officially declared and brought about the institution of Emergency Allotments (EA) to all SNAP beneficiaries. EAs allowed every recipient to receive the maximum monthly amount of food stamps for their household size. The provision was set as a temporary arrangement and now has to be approved on a monthly basis. In Maryland the EA has been approved for February as the state still meets the criteria necessary to receive the issuance.
That update provides some relief to all, but there’s more good news as there was a designation back in July 2020 that maximum household allotments should have Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) as of October 2020. A household of one would now receive $204 a month, and a household of 4 would see an increase to $680. On December 27, 2020 the Consolidates Appropriations Act was signed into being and allowed for a temporary increase in that maximum allotment to 115% of the original designation. Those new allotments, which for example now allow a household of four to receive $782 a month, went into place on January 1. The plan is for the increase to stand until June 30; from July onwards the maximum allotment will revert to the originally established 2021 amounts.
It is also worth noting that at present Maryland plans to begin having re-determinations again. The state had postponed all interviews and updates by six months. For those who were originally booked for an October re-determination you are set to go through one in April. The DHS will be sending out appointment dates with two months notice, so recipients may begin to receive those letters in the mail this month. To see the announcement you can go here: https://dhs.maryland.gov/blog/wp-content/uploads/RedetFlyer_Oct_Recertification-1.png