Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (SNAP) are a key source of financial assistance for families struggling to meet their basic needs, especially as prices rise across the board and inflation drives up food expenses.
SNAP, usually known as food stamps, is a federally sponsored program that is administered by individual states. Fortunately, the Biden administration prolonged the national covid-19 the public health emergency for another 90 days in April, allowing states to receive extra Emergency Allotment benefits.
California is one of the states that has filed a claim with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and people will continue to receive additional food stamp payments throughout June.
Check your CalFresh EBT Card balance if you’re not sure if you’ve gotten the extra SNAP benefits. On your planned deposit date, the Emergency Allotment benefits will be automatically applied.
Are you having issues getting your SNAP benefits? Do you have questions before applying for food stamps?
— USAGov (@USAGov) June 13, 2022
For poor families, a federal extension might be critical.
The decision to prolong the public health emergency means that more funds will be provided to a range of programs, not only food stamps, for at least another month. The government was empowered to use various monies to pay for initiatives that safeguard vulnerable Americans after declaring a public health emergency.
Apart from SNAP payments, the federal government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on everything from coronavirus testing to new telemedicine services. The emergency extension was announced in mid-April when the number of new hospitalizations was at its lowest level since the epidemic began in spring 2020.
— Center on Budget (@CenterOnBudget) June 15, 2022
At the time, healthcare authorities applauded the move and thanked the federal government for stepping in to help. The decision, according to Juliette Cubanski, deputy director of the Kaiser Family Foundation, “gave us a fantastic sense of security in an otherwise extremely anxious and uncertain moment.”
She also warned about the risks of eliminating the extra help too soon: “While we can’t be in a state of public health emergency indefinitely, there’s still some doubt about whether we’re ready as a health-care system to manage without the flexibilities.”
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Before allowing the emergency declaration to expire, the Department of Health and Human Services has promised to give at least two months’ notice. Given this, and the fact that the current time is slated to end in less than a month, it appears like another extension is in the works.