COVID-19 & Extra Emergency SNAP Benefits:
What You Need to Know
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is issuing emergency SNAP (food assistance or food stamp) supplements to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis.
If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP for your household, you will get a supplemental benefit up to the maximum SNAP grant. If you already get the maximum SNAP benefit, you will not get extra SNAP benefits. This is because of a decision made by the federal government, not DCF.
See below for maximum benefit based on household size:
- $194/ 1 household member
- $355/ 2 household members
- $509/ 3 household members
- $646/ 4 household members
- $768/ 5 household members
- $921/ 6 household members
- $1,018/ 7 household members
- $1,164/8 household members
- +$146/Each addl' member
Examples with supplement:
- Family A gets $200/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will get a SNAP supplement of $309 – boosting SNAP to $509 (max for 3).
- Individual A gets $16/mo in SNAP. This individual will get a supplement of $178 – boosting SNAP to $194 (max for 1).
Examples with NO supplement:
- Family B gets $509/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will NOT get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 3.
- Individual B gets $194/mo in SNAP. This individual will NOT get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 1.
Eligible households who get SNAP for March and April 2020 will get 2 emergency SNAP supplement payments on their EBT card.
- The first supplement will come on about April 3 or 4.
- The second supplement will come on about April 8 for households that usually get SNAP between April 1-7. For households that regular benefits after April 7, the supplement will be part of their scheduled benefit allotment
DCF will not send you a notice if you get extra SNAP benefits. Check your balance and your monthly SNAP benefit amount by:
- Checking your EBT balance online or by calling 1-888-356-3281.
- Calling DCF’s Customer Call Center at 1-866-762-2237 or 850-300-4323.
Any member of your household can use the SNAP EBT card to food shop. Their name does NOT need to be on the card. You can also give your EBT card temporarily to a trusted friend or relative who can food shop for you. The store should not inspect the card. The store should not refuse to serve any customer with an EBT card and PIN.
If you are low-income, apply now. If you are approved, you may also qualify for an extra SNAP payment. There are several ways to apply:
- The fastest way to apply is online.
- DCF says that you can use a paper application by downloading and printing from this site: https://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access/common-access-florida-forms.shtml.
The completed paper application can be mailed to ACCESS Central Mail Center, P.O. Box 1770, Ocala, FL, 34478-1770, or it can be faxed or hand-delivered to a customer service center.
- In some areas, community partners may be open and able to help you apply. Call to confirm.
- DCF mails applications upon request.
Many of Florida's low-income children will still be able to get free and reduced-cost meals even though their schools are closed because of the pandemic. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered with 2-1-1 to activate a text line and call center open 24/7 which Florida families can contact to find free meals for children under 18 during the current COVID-19 school closures. To find a site, simply text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211, dial 2-1-1 to speak with a live operator, or click the link Summer BreakSpot website. For most sites, no application is required.
- DCF COVID-19 information: https://www.myflfamilies.com/covid19/
- For information for workers who have lost pay: http://www.floridajobs.org/Reemployment-Assistance-Service-Center/reemployment-assistance/claimants
- For updated information on food resources: https://www.floridaimpact.org/covid-19
- For help with emergency food resources in your community:
- Find a local food bank through https://www.feedingflorida.org/taking-action/find-food-now/?foodSource=Food%20Banks
- Call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.my211florida.org/
- If your benefits are wrong, find free local legal help at https://thefloridabarfoundation.org/