Are Food Stamps Extended

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s ability to work and access food, U.S. federal legislation extended the maximum monthly allotment of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This temporary increase in benefits, commonly known as food stamps, began in January 2021 and was originally set to end in June 2021. However, due to the continued economic impact of the pandemic, the government extended this increased benefit program until September 2021. This extension aims to provide additional support to individuals and families struggling to meet their food needs during these challenging times.

Details of Food Stamp Extension

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States government implemented several measures to assist individuals and families facing financial hardship. One of these initiatives was the extension of food stamp benefits, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

  • The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program was introduced in response to school closures and disruptions to children’s access to free or reduced-price meals.
  • Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals received P-EBT benefits to help cover the cost of food while schools were closed.
  • The P-EBT program provided temporary benefits on an EBT card, which could be used to purchase food items at authorized retailers.

The extension of food stamp benefits, including the P-EBT program, provided crucial assistance to individuals and families experiencing economic difficulties during the pandemic. This support helped ensure that families had access to adequate food and nutrition during challenging times.

SNAP and P-EBT Participation and Benefits
ProgramNumber of Participants (June 2020)Average Monthly Benefit Per Person (June 2020)
SNAP42.3 million$230
P-EBT10.8 million$121

Food Stamp Benefits Extended and Increased

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, has been extended and the benefits have been increased to provide additional support to individuals and families facing food insecurity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Extension of Food Stamp Benefits

  • The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was signed into law in December 2020, extended the increased SNAP benefits through September 2021.
  • This extension ensures that SNAP recipients continue to receive the maximum allowable benefit amount, which is typically higher than the standard benefit amount.

Food Stamp Benefit Increase

In addition to the extension, the Consolidated Appropriations Act also increased the SNAP benefit amount for all recipients by 15%.

  • This increase is effective from January 2021 through September 2021.
  • The average SNAP benefit per person increased from $232.94 to approximately $266.86 per month.
  • This increase is intended to help SNAP recipients offset the rising costs of food and other essential expenses during the pandemic.

Table: SNAP Benefit Increase

Household SizeOld Benefit Amount (January – December 2020)New Benefit Amount (January – September 2021)


The extension and increase of SNAP benefits are significant steps taken by the government to address the ongoing food insecurity crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures provide much-needed assistance to millions of individuals and families, helping them afford nutritious food and meet their basic needs during these challenging times.

Eligibility Changes for Food Stamps

In response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has made several changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. These changes are designed to help more people qualify for benefits and to provide more support to those who are already receiving them.

Income Limits:

  • The income limits for SNAP have been increased. This means that more people will be eligible for benefits.
  • The gross income limit for a family of four is now $3,012 per month. The net income limit is $2,244 per month.

Asset Limits:

  • The asset limits for SNAP have also been increased. This means that people with more savings will still be eligible for benefits.
  • The asset limit for a family of four is now $2,500. The asset limit for a single person is $2,000.

Benefit Amounts:

  • The benefit amounts for SNAP have been increased. This means that people who are receiving benefits will get more money each month.
  • The maximum benefit amount for a family of four is now $835 per month. The minimum benefit amount is $15.

Other Changes:

  • The work requirements for SNAP have been temporarily waived. This means that people who are able to work but cannot find a job will still be eligible for benefits.
  • The SNAP application process has been simplified. This makes it easier for people to apply for benefits.

The following table summarizes the key changes to SNAP:

CharacteristicBefore COVID-19During COVID-19
Income Limit (Family of 4)$2,460$3,012
Asset Limit (Family of 4)$2,250$2,500
Maximum Benefit (Family of 4)$646$835
Work RequirementsRequired for able-bodied adultsTemporarily waived
Application ProcessComplexSimplified

These changes are expected to help millions of people who are struggling to put food on the table. If you think you may be eligible for SNAP, you should apply today. You can apply online or at your local SNAP office.

Food Stamp Reauthorization

The Food Stamp Program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a federally funded program that provides food assistance to low-income individuals and families. The program is designed to help people buy nutritious food and improve their overall health and well-being. SNAP benefits are distributed through electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, which can be used to purchase eligible food items at authorized retailers.

SNAP Reauthorization Process

The SNAP program is authorized by Congress through the Farm Bill, which is a comprehensive piece of legislation that governs agricultural and nutrition programs. The Farm Bill is typically renewed every five years, and during the reauthorization process, Congress has the opportunity to make changes to the SNAP program, such as adjusting benefit levels, eligibility criteria, and program administration.

  • Step 1: Introduction of Legislation:
  • Members of Congress introduce legislation to reauthorize the Farm Bill, including provisions related to SNAP.

  • Step 2: Committee Consideration:
  • The legislation is considered by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, which hold hearings and mark up the bill.

  • Step 3: Floor Vote:
  • The House and Senate vote on their respective versions of the bill.

  • Step 4: Conference Committee:
  • If the House and Senate bills are different, a conference committee is appointed to reconcile the differences and produce a single bill.

  • Step 5: Final Vote and Enactment:
  • The final bill is voted on by the House and Senate and sent to the President for signature. Once signed, the bill becomes law and the SNAP program is reauthorized.

The SNAP program has been reauthorized several times since it was first enacted in 1964. Recent reauthorizations include:

  • The 2014 Farm Bill (P.L. 113-79) extended SNAP through September 30, 2018.
  • The 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334) extended SNAP through September 30, 2023.

Current Status of SNAP Reauthorization

The current SNAP authorization expires on September 30, 2023. Congress is expected to begin work on the next Farm Bill in 2023, and the SNAP program will likely be a major focus of the reauthorization process. It is unclear what changes, if any, will be made to the program during the reauthorization process.

YearSNAP Reauthorization
1964Food Stamp Act of 1964
1977Food and Nutrition Service Act of 1977
1981Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
1985Food Security Act of 1985
1990Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990
1996Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
2002Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002
2008Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
2014Agricultural Act of 2014
2018Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018

Well, friends, that’s all we have for you today on the food stamp extension topic. We know that it can be a lot to take in, so we appreciate you sticking with us. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. In the meantime, keep an eye out for more updates from us. We’ll be back soon with more need-to-know information that affects your daily life. Until then, take care and stay informed.