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SNAP Updates

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COVID-19 SNAP Benefits Changes, Explained

What You Need to Know:

There have been a lot of changes to SNAP since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and we know it's confusing. Here is a breakdown of some information in answer to many questions we have received.

15% Increase

A 15% Increase in maximum SNAP allotments has been federally approved through September 2021, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • Every month through September, each SNAP household’s monthly allotment is calculated based on a higher overall maximum. This does not mean that every household is guaranteed to receive the maximum; only that each household’s allotment is calculated based on a higher possible maximum.
  • Households who do receive the maximum monthly allotment are receiving about 15% more in SNAP benefits each month due to this increase.
  • These increased benefits are loaded onto recipients’ EBT cards on their regular SNAP benefit issuance date.
SNAP Emergency Allotments
SNAP emergency allotments (also known as Supplements) are federally approved on a month-by-month basis, depending on the state’s status in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • For each month that the USDA Food and Nutrition Service approves these supplements, households who are not already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size will receive a supplement bringing them up to the max.
  • For each month that these emergency allotments are approved through September 2021, the supplement will bring households up to the increased (+15%) maximum.
  • These supplemental benefits are loaded on a specified date each month that they are federally approved. This date is shared each month on our website and via text message to SNAP recipients.
**NEW** SNAP Emergency Allotment minimum of $95
Starting in April 2021, for each month that SNAP Emergency Allotments (also known as Supplements; see above) are federally approved, households that receive less than $95 in supplemental benefits will be bumped up to $95 in supplemental benefits (on top of your regular SNAP issuance amount).

What this means:

  • If you DO NOT ordinarily receive the maximum amount for your household size, and the Emergency Allotment supplements you’ve been receiving each month are less than $95, your supplement will increase to $95 (on top of your regular benefit amount) for each month that SNAP Emergency Allotments are federally approved, starting in April 2021. For example, if the supplement you received was $75, your supplement will increase by $20, to $95, for any month in which supplements are federally approved, starting in April 2021.
  • If you DO ordinarily receive the maximum amount for your household size, you will now get a $95 supplement (on top of your regular benefit amount) for each month that SNAP Emergency Allotments (supplements) are federally approved, starting in April 2021.

Issuance Dates:

  • For April, these additional supplements bringing all households up to at least $95 in supplemental benefits will be loaded onto EBT cards on April 16.
  • For any month after April that Emergency Allotments (supplements) are federally approved, these additional benefits will be loaded on the regularly announced supplements date (announced on our website and via text message to SNAP recipients).

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COVID-19 SNAP Supplements - April 2021 

DCFS has received federal approval to issue supplemental SNAP benefits for April 2021. Families who are receiving SNAP for April, but who don't already receive the maximum allotment for their household size, will receive a supplement to bring them to the max. For current SNAP recipients, the supplemental allotments are scheduled to be loaded onto EBT cards on Friday, April 9


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LifeInCheck — SNAP EBT Card Mobile App

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Manage your SNAP EBT card account with the LifeInCheck mobile app.


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New Benefit Schedule - Effective February 2021

In December, DCFS began a three-month process of transitioning its SNAP benefits schedule to distribute benefits more evenly throughout each month. Rather than receiving benefits during the 1st through 14th, SNAP households will now receive them between the 1st and 23rd of each month.

The new regular schedule, which goes into effect in February 2021, will allow for more even stocking and staffing at grocery stores and more consistent access to a variety of foods for shoppers, as households typically do their shopping on or shortly after the day their benefits are issued. 

See the new schedule, along with examples that help explain what it means for you: http://dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/snap-updates-issuance-schedule-changes


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SNAP Benefits Increasing through September 2021

As a result of recent COVID relief measures passed by the U.S. Congress, SNAP benefits are increasing up to 15% through September. 

  • Maximum allotments will increase by roughly 15%, and the minimum allotment will increase from $16 to $19.
  • The temporary increase will be in effect through September 2021.
  • The additional benefits will be issued along with each household’s regular issuance amount on their regularly-scheduled issuance date.

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More Louisianans May be Eligible for SNAP
  • The $300 boost in federal pandemic unemployment benefits will NOT be counted as income or resources in determining SNAP eligibility.
  • This is different than the 1st round, under the CARES Act that passed last spring.
  • State unemployment benefits will still be counted in determining SNAP eligibility.
  • The $600 stimulus checks also won’t be counted as income or resources. Same as under the CARES Act.
  • College students enrolled at least half-time and either have an expected parental contribution of $0 or are eligible for work-study are now eligible for SNAP.
  • Before, $0 parental contribution was not enough for automatic eligibility.
  • Students should be prepared to provide their FAFSA paperwork or proof of eligibility for work-study when applying for SNAP.

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SNAP Interviews, Simplified Reports, Redeterminations

This fall, DCFS has been operating under federal waivers to allow staff to focus on additional applications associated with hurricanes and the pandemic. Some of these waivers will continue in 2021. Others will come to a close, as follows:

  • All SNAP Interviews Suspended Through June 30, 2021. DCFS will not conduct formal SNAP interviews until at least July 1, 2021. This includes interviews for new SNAP applications, simplified reports and annual redeterminations.
  • “No interviews” doesn’t mean automatic SNAP approval. To be considered for SNAP, you must first fully complete your application! DCFS staff cannot determine SNAP eligibility unless they have all the information they need to process an application. It’s important for you to include all income and resource information and respond quickly to any questions. If staff need more, they will contact you. Any missing information will affect your eligibility and lengthen the time it takes to approve your application.
  • SNAP Simplified Reports Resume in January 2021. After a three-month extension, SNAP simplified reports will resume in January. SNAP families whose simplified reports are due in January will receive a letter from DCFS in late December.
  • SNAP Redeterminations (Annual Recertifications) Resume in February 2021. Annual SNAP redeterminations begin again in February. DCFS will send letters in January to anyone who is scheduled for a February redetermination.

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Dial 211 for Food Assistance
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211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community.

It's single access point for details about food pantries and other food assistance sources near you.

Learn more about the 211 Louisiana Statewide Network


SNAP Information