SNAP Questions & Answers

How long will SNAP Increase last in Pennsylvania?

SNAP recipients in Pennslyvania have been receiving a minimum of $95 in extra emergency allotments since March 2020. This increase has made a huge difference in providing SNAP households extra cash to meet their nutrition needs, especially with rising food prices. However, these extra allotment benefits are temporary. As a result, one of the questions we have been getting from readers is “How long will SNAP Increase last in Pennsylvania”?

It depends on several factors, including state and federal actions regarding COVID-19 emergency declarations.

In this post, we explain in detail how long the Pennslyvania extra SNAP allotments will last.

In addition, we will provide details about how much in SNAP benefits you can expect to get once the emergency extra allotments are discontinued.

Alert: See how you can get more food stamps in PA.

"How long will SNAP Increase last in Pennsylvania"

SNAP Emergency Extra Allotment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress created extra monthly payments for SNAP beneficiaries back in April 2020.

However, this required an emergency declaration to be in place at both the federal and state level, and the federal government had to approve Pennslyvania’s distribution plan every month.

The state of Pennslyvania has since been paying extra SNAP benefits to those eligible.

This has continued through 2022. As of writing this article, Pennsylvania is still paying extra SNAP benefits.

To find out when these extra benefits will end, continue reading below.

Pennsylvania Snap Increase for 2022

Pennslyvania SNAP beneficiaries saw a permanent increase to SNAP benefits starting on Oct. 1, 2021.

Benefit amounts have increased due to the cost of living increases to SNAP income eligibility guidelines and benefit amounts that happen every year on this day.

They also include the additional SNAP benefit increase of roughly 25% that the Biden administration put in place.

The new benefit levels will be in place until the next cost of living adjustment on Oct. 1, 2022.

However, when the SNAP Extra Allotmnenet come to an end, benefit levels will fall back to the level they would have been without them.

Currently, the average monthly benefit per person will rise to $251.

When the emergency allotment ends —the average monthly benefit per person will drop to $169.

Although it’s lower than what recipients are receiving during the public health emergency, it’s still higher than what they would have received without the permanent increase.

Adjusted for inflation, households would have only received $133 under the old SNAP guidelines.

The image below shows what will happen to average SNAP benefits once the 15% emergency allotments come to an end.

Update on Federal Emergency Declaration

The USDA will continue issuing emergency allotment waivers until the public health emergency declaration ends.

At that time, states will have one additional month to issue extra food stamps. After that, the SNAP extra allotment benefits will end.

States can continue to offer the emergency allotments as long as there’s a declared federal public health emergency and an emergency or disaster declaration issued in the participating state.

Only a handful of states, such as Arkansas and Idaho, have ended the emergency allotments.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that it will give states a 60-day notice before terminating the public health emergency declaration.

That 60-day notice, in addition to the one-month transition period, means that SNAP households will be notified approximately three months before the increase in food stamps will end.

However, this will remain true as long as their state doesn’t end the state’s public health emergency declaration sooner.

Federal Emergency Declaration Extension

On January 15, 2022, the Biden administration extended the federal emergency declaration due to the pandemic for an additional 90 days.

As a result, the SNAP emergency allotment payments will continue through May – due to an automatic extra month provided by the program rules.

The emergency allotment, grants households $95 or more in additional SNAP funds each month to reach the maximum benefit amount.

Unless the US Department of Health approves another extension past the April 15 deadline, states will no longer be able to provide the extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

How long will SNAP Increase last in Pennsylvania?

The state of Pennsylvania has been paying the extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients since March 2020.

As of April 2022, the state continues to issue extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients who are eligible.

The Number of Pennsylvania households that were eligible for extra SNAP benefits for April 2022 was 1,006,836.

Additionally, the state received $170,972,445 in Extra food stamps emergency allotments for the month.

Pennslyvania COVID-19 Emergency Declaration

The state of Pennsylvania declared a COVID-19 emergency on March 6, 2020 (Proclamation of Disaster Emergency).

The Proclamation of Disaster Emergency was originally declared by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and has had renewals since that time.

The last amendment to the Proclamation was on May 20, 2021, at which time the Governor indicated that the Proclamation shall remain in full force and effect until either rescinded by him or terminated by law.

Governor Wolf has not rescinded his Proclamation.

However, in Pennsylvania’s May primary election, voters approved giving the state legislature new and broad powers over emergency declarations.

On June 10, Pennsylvania’s legislature exercised these new powers and voted to end the Governor’s emergency declaration through Senate approval of Pennsylvania House Resolution No. 106.

Will Pennslyvania Extra Allotments Continue?

As mentioned above, the state of Pennsylvania continues to issue extra allotment benefits even though the state’s emergency declaration was ended by the state legislature.

The governor’s office has stated that “To avoid serious consequences, the administration will do everything it can to work with the federal government to try to maintain federal funding in the absence of a declaration.”

Therefore, SNAP recipients in Pennsylvania can expect to receive extra emergency allotment as long as the federal emergency declaration remains in place.

Pennsylvania SNAP Benefits FAQs

Below are the most frequently asked questions about Pennsylvania SNAP Benefits.

How much will I get in Extra SNAP benefits?

The SNAP extra payment will bring households that are only eligible for a partial benefit up to the maximum benefit amount for their household size.

Therefore, households that are already eligible for the maximum benefit amount will receive an extra $95 per month.

Households that are close to the maximum (less than $95 away) will be guaranteed emergency allotments of $95 per household.

Below is the SNAP Maximum Benefit per household size:

Household Size/Maximum Benefit

  • 1/$250
  • 2/$430
  • 3/$658
  • 4/$835
  • 5/$992
  • 6/$1,190
  • 7/$1,316
  • 8/$1,504

Each additional member/$188

What Can I Buy with Pennsylvania Food Stamps?

Not all food items can be paid for with food stamps benefits.

The following is a list of examples of both eligible and ineligible foods.

Here’s what you can purchase with SNAP benefits in Pennslyvania:

  • Any food intended for human consumption including soft drinks, ice cream, coffee, spices, and candy
  • Seeds/plants to grow food for personal consumption
  • Meals that are prepared and served by an authorized meal delivery service, a communal dining facility for the elderly and/or SSI household, or a group living arrangement.

Here’s what you CANNOT purchase with SNAP benefits in Pennslyvania

  • Any non-food item, including paper products, household supplies, soap, medicines, and cigarettes
  • Alcoholic beverages, pet food, hot foods for immediate consumption

Can I use PA SNAP Benefits at Restaurants?

Yes. Some restaurants accept Food Stamps benefits from some homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.

To access this benefit, Contact your County Assistance Office for a list of these restaurants.

However, SNAP benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

How long will SNAP Increase last in Pennsylvania? Summary

Here’s the bottom line about Pennsylvania Extra SNAP Emergency Allotments:

As of April 2022, the state of Pennsylvania continues to issue extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients who are eligible.

Biden administration extended the federal emergency declaration due to the pandemic for an additional 90 days – which means extra benefits will be issued through May 2022.

The state of Pennsylvania can continue to offer the emergency allotments as long as the state does not end its own public health emergency declaration.

Questions?

We hope this post on the Pennsylvania Extra SNAP Emergency Allotments was helpful.

If you have further questions about Pennsylvania SNAP or EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

For more help on what and where you can use your Pennsylvania EBT Card, check out our other articles here:
Pennsylvania SNAP Benefits FAQs
How to Create COMPASS Online Account
My COMPASS Account Login
How to get a Pennsylvania EBT Card Replacement
February Extra SNAP Benefits for PA
Does Whole Foods Accept Food Stamps in PA?
Using SNAP Benefits at Costco
Food Stamps in Philadelphia Guide

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Kwame Kuadey

Kwame Kuadey writes about personal finance and the social safety net. His career started in banking but he caught the entrepreneurial bug and has spent the last decade building successful businesses, including an Inc. 500 Company. Kwame believes everyone has the power to improve their quality of life by seeking knowledge and taking action. In 2012, Kwame founded Empower Media to help low-income households improve their financial situation. His expertise is in topics relevant to low-income households, including government benefits and assistance, banking products, access to credit, plus tools & resources to help reduce income volatility and build wealth. Kwame has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, ABC, and NPR.

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