In this week's Advocacy and Policy Updates we have information about the new increased SNAP Income Guidelines, as well as the increased SNAP maximum benefits, when to expect to receive your SNAP Emergency Allotment this month, which children ages 0-5 will get retroactive P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year, and information on how to make sure you are ready to vote in the upcoming Nov. 8th election.
New SNAP Income Guidelines
If you saw our recent email, you will know that, starting October 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) increased the SNAP Income Guidelines to 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG) for all households. This change means that individuals previously denied due to their income might be eligible for SNAP benefits. In addition, the SNAP Maximum amounts will also be increasing. See the chart above for the new income guidelines and SNAP Maximum amounts.
While the income guidelines previously distinguished between two separate types of households, those with elderly or disabled members and those without, all households will now have the same income guidelines, regardless of household makeup. DHS estimates that, with this change, more than 420,000 additional Pennsylvanians in more than 174,000 households will be newly eligible for SNAP and will receive, on average, $63 a month.
While the income guidelines are changing, households will still need to meet all other SNAP rules in order to receive benefits. It is possible that some families of 3 or more members with high incomes and low expenses might not qualify for benefits, even if their income is under the limits. We will be sharing additional information about this in the coming weeks.
If you think you might qualify, it can’t hurt to apply! Call our Coalition Against Hunger SNAP Hotline at 215-430-0556 to speak to a knowledgeable Hotline Counselor who can walk you through the process.
SNAP Emergency Allotments (EAs)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Pennsylvania’s request to issue EAs in October. EAs are the extra SNAP payments issued in the second half of the month. Remember, Emergency Allotments ensure that everyone receiving SNAP gets at least the maximum benefit amount for their household size. With the increase in the SNAP maximum benefits, this means that families will get a little bit more in EAs through the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). For more information, including payment dates, see our EA Flyer for October.
P-EBT for Kids 0-5 Update
Good news! While we know it's fall of a new school year, Pennsylvania has been approved to issue P-EBT benefits to kids ages 0-5 who were receiving SNAP in the 2021-2022 school year.
To be eligible for this benefit, your child must:
- Be between the ages of 0-5 as of September 1, 2021.
- Have received SNAP at some point between September 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022.*
*Note: Your child will only receive a P-EBT benefit for months in which they were receiving SNAP. If your child did not receive SNAP for every month of the school year (September-May), they will get a partial P-EBT benefit only covering the months they were on SNAP.
The P-EBT for kids ages 0-5 will be sent in two stages:
- Payment 1: This payment covers September 2021 through January 31, 2022 and is scheduled to be distributed the last week of September. See how much P-EBT your child will get depending on how many months they received SNAP below:
- Payment 2: This payment covers February 1, 2022- May 31, 2022 and is scheduled to be distributed the second or third week of October. See how much P-EBT your child will get depending on how many months they received SNAP below:
You can check your SNAP balance to see if your P-EBT Payment has been deposited on the MyCOMPASS PA phone app or by visiting www.connectebt.com.
Voter Registration Deadline
The deadline to register to vote for the upcoming November 8 election is October 24! You can register to vote online, in person at your county voter registration office, or you can mail your application to your county voter registration office. If you mail your application, it must be received by October 24. The upcoming election will be an important election, and we would encourage everyone to register and participate! And if you are already registered to vote, please remind your friends about the upcoming deadline!