SNAP Emergency Allotments will end in February 2023
|As older adults who are enrolled in SNAP face reductions to their benefits, PDA and the aging network are letting their consumers know about other food and meal resources that are available.
Due to a recent change in federal law, SNAP Emergency Allotments (EA) that have been issued as a second monthly payment to SNAP recipient households since the pandemic started in 2020 will end on March 1.
Currently, SNAP benefits are paid in two payments: a regular SNAP benefit in the first half of the month and the EA payment in the second half of the month. SNAP recipients will now only receive the regular payment starting in March.
Another federal change affecting older Pennsylvanians is the 2023 cost of living adjustment for Social Security Income (SSI), which prompted an increase to SSI income. SNAP eligibility thresholds – also set at the federal level – did not rise proportionally. Because of this, approximately 249,000 households will see a decrease in their base SNAP benefits by an average of $40 per household, which will take effect in March when Emergency Allotments end. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) anticipates that 5,000 to 20,000 households will be disenrolled from SNAP due to the SSI increase.
There is additional food assistance available for older Pennsylvanians over 60 who received SNAP, who have concerns about paying for food once those EA payments stop, or who may lose their SNAP benefits altogether due to the SSI cost of living adjustment.
Assistance programs include the Pennsylvania Senior Food Box Program and congregate meals at the more than 500 Senior Community Centers across the commonwealth. Find out more about the food assistance programs available for older adults by visiting the Department of Aging’s website.
Learn more about the end of the SNAP extra payments by visiting the DHS website.
Just last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided some good news to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture regarding two of its food assistance programs that specifically benefit older adults.
Due to its proven track record of serving older Pennsylvanians through its Senior Food Box Program, the department will be able to serve more than 4,000 additional older adults who can benefit from the program.
The department will also receive $8.8 million in federal funding to increase the dollar amount from $24 to $50 for vouchers for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program in 2023 and 2024.
The 52 Area Agencies on Aging issue the vouchers every year starting in June until the end of September for older adults to redeem fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs from participating farmers markets. You can find out more about the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program by visiting the Department of Agriculture’s website.
PDA has created flyers with information and resource to share with older adults. These materials are also available in Spanish.
PDA is also sharing SNAP information on its Facebook page – follow us at www.facebook.com/PennsylvaniaAging and share!