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SNAP emergency allotments end in March, state says, and regular monthly benefit will go down

Supplementary payments that helped Pennsylvania families navigate the pandemic and subsequent high inflation are coming to an end. Additionally, regular monthly SNAP payments will be smaller.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The state Department of Human Services announced Friday that emergency allotments to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits will stop at the end of February.

As of March 1, households will receive one check only.

  • Pennsylvania households will stop receiving a second monthly SNAP check
  • Delivery of one check per month begins March 1
  • The remaining check monthly check will be smaller than before

Additionally, also beginning in March, SNAP recipients will see a decrease in their base SNAP benefits of about $40 per household, DHS said in a release.
The reason is that although the cost of living adjustment for Social Security Income rose 8.7% for 2023, SNAP eligibility thresholds did not rise proportionally, it said.

"We anticipate approximately 5,000 to 20,000 households will be disenrolled from SNAP due to the SSI increase," it said.

Seniors and older Pennsylvanians will be most affected, according to the release.

The additional monthly checks began in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Pennsylvanians who need to report changes to household size, income or expenses can report changes either online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS, via the myCOMPASS PA mobile app, or by calling DHS’s Customer Service Center at 877-395-8930 (or 215-560-7226 for Philadelphia residents).

Reporting adjustments will help make sure households are getting the maximum SNAP benefit based on their individual circumstances.

DHS listed several places families can seek additional help:

  • SNAP recipients who are pregnant or have children younger than 5 may be able to get help buying food from PA WIC. You can call 1-800-WIC-WINS or apply online at www.pawic.com
  • You can call 211 or visit www.pa211.org to connect with various local food resources
  • Visit www.feedingpa.org to find local food banks and other food assistance programs
  • Go to www.dhs.pa.gov/ending-hunger and www.agriculture.pa.gov/Food_Security for information on assistance programs and other resources 
  • If you are a SNAP-eligible senior citizen, apply to receive additional vouchers redeemable at more than 800 farm stands and more than 200 farmers markets in Pennsylvania. The Senior Food Box Program also can provide you with additional shelf-stable groceries. Learn more about these programs from the state Department of Agriculture.  

"We know this additional SNAP payment has been a lifeline for people over the past three years and that ongoing economic uncertainty and high food prices are contributing to food insecurity for many Pennsylvanians," Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh said in a statement.
"There is help available for you and your family through Pennsylvania’s heroic charitable food partners.

“I urge anyone who can donate food or resources, now is the time to help your local food assistance programs as they prepare to meet this potential additional need."

For more information about SNAP Emergency Allotments, visit dhs.pa.gov/SNAPcares.