States Giving Extra Food Stamps for March 2021

If you are wondering if there be extra food stamps this month, we can help. In this post, we will review in detail the Emergency Allotment SNAP benefits and provide a list of states giving extra food stamps for March 2021.

We will also provide an update on April 2021 extra food stamps benefits.

To learn if your state is giving extra food stamps and how much you are likely to receive, continue reading below.

"Will there be extra food stamps in March 2021"

This post will cover:

  • What are supplemental Emergency Allotment benefits?
  • Extra Food Stamp Benefits
  • How much in extra food stamps will I receive?
  • Emergency Allotment Benefits Calculator
  • Additional 15% Temporary Increase in Food Stamps in 2021
  • List of States Giving Extra Food Stamps for March 2021
  • Will there be extra food stamps in April 2021?
  • P-EBT Benefit Increase & Expansion
  • Extra Food Stamps FAQs

What are supplemental Emergency Allotment benefits?

The Families First Act (FFA) is a federal law that was passed to respond to the effects of the public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

Included in the law is a provision for emergency supplemental benefits to households receiving SNAP or Food Stamps.

This provision allows states to issue supplemental SNAP benefits, up to the maximum allowable SNAP benefit for a household’s size, during the emergency or disaster declaration.

These temporary supplemental SNAP benefits are also referred to as Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits.

States have to get waivers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) each month to issue these Emergency Allotment SNAP Benefits.

Extra Food Stamp Benefits

Since March 2020,  states have been issuing supplemental SNAP benefits monthly to households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Only households whose SNAP benefit for the month was less than the maximum benefit amount for their household’s size will get extra benefits for that month.

However, households who already received the maximum benefit amount for their household size in a month are not eligible.

Furthermore, households may not receive more than the maximum allowable amount for their household size.

Who Qualifies for Extra Food Stamps?

Here’s how to find out if you qualify for extra food stamps in your state:

If your household received a SNAP benefit for the months between March 2020 and this current month, here’s what you should know.

If the SNAP benefits you received during those months were less than the maximum benefit amount for your household’s size, then you will automatically get a supplemental EA SNAP benefit.

It is important to note that the supplemental EA SNAP benefit will only be provided for the months that your household received less than the maximum benefit amount.

How much in extra food stamps will I receive?

The amount of extra food stamp benefits you receive is determined by your household size.

Your Emergency Allotment benefit is the difference between the amount of benefits you are currently receiving and the maximum benefit amount for your household size.

As stated earlier above, if you are already receiving the maximum monthly benefit amount for your household size, then you will not receive any additional or extra SNAP benefits.

However, if you are not receiving the maximum benefit allotment for your household size, then you will receive extra food stamp benefits.

For help, check out our example on how to calculate your Emergency Allotment benefits below:

Emergency Allotment Benefits Calculator

The formula to calculate how much extra food stamps you will receive through Emergency Allotment (EA) benefits is provided below.

Maximum Monthly Benefit Allotment for Household Size – Current Monthly SNAP Benefits = Total Extra Allotment SNAP benefits

Example:

If you live in a household of 3 people and are currently receiving $400 in SNAP benefits per month, then you will receive $135 in extra food stamp benefits.

That’s because the maximum allotment amount for a household of three is $535 per month.

To find out the maximum SNAP benefit allotment for your household size, check out the tables below.

What is the maximum SNAP benefit amount for my family’s size?

The “Thrifty Food Plan” (TFP) is the maximum amount of SNAP benefits, per household size.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the TFP amounts of SNAP benefits per household size have increased.

Use the chart below to find the Maximum SNAP Allotment Amount for your household size.

The 2021 maximum SNAP allotments for the District of Columbia and all states other than Alaska and Hawaii are as follows:

Please note that a temporary 15% increase in SNAP benefits was authorized in the recently signed federal relief legislation and will be in effect for the months of January through June 2021:

March—September 2020

Below is the maximum monthly SNAP benefit amount by household size for the period March 2020 – September 2020.

This increase was due to The Families First Act (FFA) legislation.

Household Size
Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefit Amount
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional person +146

October — December 2020

The USDA announced a 5.3% increase in maximum SNAP benefits in response to rising food costs. This announcement was effective October 1, 2020.

Below are the new maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts based on that announcement.

Household Size
Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefit Amount
1 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $969
7 $1,071
8 $1,224
Each additional person +153

Additional 15% Temporary Increase in Food Stamps in 2021

Congress passed The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which authorized an increase in increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Specifically, the legislation raised the maximum allotments by 15% of the June 2020 amount.

The law also requires that the increased maximum allotments will only be effective from January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021.

However, on July 1, 2021, the maximum allotment for food stamps will revert to the fiscal year 2021 benefit allotments.

January—June 2021

Below are the new maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts based on the 15% increase, which is effective January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021.

Household Size
Maximum Monthly SNAP Benefit Amount
1 $234
2 $430
3 $616
4 $782
5 $929
6 $1,114
7 $1,232
8 $1,408
Each additional person +176

List of States Giving Extra Food Stamps for March 2021

Below is the list of states and U.S territories that have been approved as of today to issue extra food stamps for March 2021.

California
District of Columbia
Hawaii
New Jersey
Wisconsin

Will there be extra food stamps in April 2021?

Yes, the USDA has approved states that have applied for waivers to provide extra food stamps in April 2021.

To see if your state is on the list, click here.

P-EBT Benefit Increase & Expansion

As of January 22, 2021, the Biden Administration passed a law to increase Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits by 15% to help fight childhood hunger.

Previously, the P-EBT program was capped at $5.86 per child per school day.

Furthermore, the 15% increase to the P-EBT Program will help tackle the growing problem of food insecurity among children during the school year.

Extra Food Stamps FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about the extra food stamps benefits due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If I qualify for extra SNAP, when will I get it?

If you are eligible to get extra SNAP payments, you will receive benefits on your EBT card each month until the state and federal public health emergency end.

To find out if your state has been approved to issue extra SNAP benefits for March, see the list above.

How do I learn how much I will receive in extra SNAP? 

Your state’s food stamps agency WILL NOT send you a notice if you are eligible for extra SNAP.

However, if you qualify, the extra benefits will be automatically deposited into your EBT account.

Also, there are ways you can find out if you are going to receive extra SNAP benefits or have received one.

First, you can check the balance on your EBT Card or login into your EBT account.

See our EBT Card balance check by state for information on how to check your EBT card balance.

Second, you can call your state’s food stamps agency for more information.

Lastly, you can also contact your SNAP caseworker for details.

What if I need meals for my school-age children?

While schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, many school districts are providing pre-packaged school meals for children.

In addition, your state may be approved for the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program.

Children who are approved for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic EBT due to school closures.

Contact your local school district for more information on Pandemic assistance your child may be eligible for.

See our post on how to apply for P-EBT in your state.

Do I have to use my emergency SNAP supplemental benefits right away?

No. Any unused SNAP benefits, including extra SNAP benefits, remain available and accessible on your EBT card for up to one year from the date they are issued.

How long will the increase in food stamps last?

Congress extended the duration of the emergency food stamps allotment in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

This new legislation raised the maximum allotments by 15% percent of the June 2020 amount.

The law also requires that the increased maximum allotments will only be effective from January 1, 2021, through June 30, 2021.

Therefore the increase in food stamps will last through June 30, 2021.

Why Did I get Extra Food Stamps This Month?

States have been issuing extra food stamps to those eligible since March 2020 to help SNAP recipients during the Pandemic.

For any giving month while the program is running, here’s what happens:

If you are not receiving the maximum SNAP benefit amount for your household size, then you will receive extra food stamp benefits for that month.

Furthermore, the USDA announced a 5.3% increase in maximum SNAP benefits effective October 1, 2020.

Additionally, Congress passed legislation that provides an additional 15% increase in maximum benefits from January – June 2021.

To calculate how much you are likely to receive each month in SNAP extra benefits, see our calculator above.

What is Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools have shut down throughout the country.

Many children are missing out on free or reduced school meals.

Congress passed the P-EBT program to help address this issue.

P-EBT is a food benefit that helps families with children ages 5-18 buy extra food while
schools are closed.

How do I get P-EBT? 

Here’s how to get P-EBT for your family:

If you currently get SNAP or TANF, you do not have to do anything.

Your P-EBT benefits will be added to your monthly benefit beginning in May 2020.

However, if you do not currently get SNAP or TANF, but your child got free or reduced lunch you can apply for this extra help by calling your state’s food stamps agency.

Also, if your child was not receiving free or reduced meals before your school
closed, you can apply now by calling your local school district.

After your child is eligible for school meals, call your state’s food stamps agency to apply for P-EBT.

Extra Food Stamps for March 2021 Summary

Here’s the bottom line:

If your household is already getting the maximum monthly SNAP benefit amount for your household size, then you will not receive any extra SNAP benefits.

However, if you are not receiving the maximum benefit amount for your household size, then you will receive extra food stamp benefits.

The USDA announced a 5.3% increase in maximum SNAP benefits effective October 1, 2020.

Furthermore, Congress passed legislation that provides an additional 15% increase in maximum benefits from January – June 2021.

Questions?

We hope this post on Extra Food Stamps for March 2021 was helpful.

If you have further questions about the Extra food stamps, P-EBT, SNAP Benefits, or EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about SNAP and EBT, including:
Free Admission with EBT in all 50 States
How to check ebtEDGE balance
ConnectEBT card balance
What you can buy with an EBT Card
How much in food stamps can I get?
Extra food stamps Schedule – Texas
Extra food stamps Schedule – California

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