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Emergency Allotments (EA) Ending

SNAP Emergency Allotments are ending due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2023 law recently passed by Congress, which ends the Virginia Department of Social Services' authorization to issue benefits through this temporary federal program that was originally put in place in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The last issuance of these additional benefits will automatically load to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards on Thursday, February 16. SNAP households can expect to receive a letter by mail regarding the final February 2023 Emergency Allotment issuance.

Households will return to receiving their regular SNAP benefit amount on the 1st, 4th, or 7th day of the month as normal, beginning March 2023.

For more information, please refer to the below frequently asked questions. You may also contact the temporary information line at 1-855-635-4370, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. beginning Monday, January 30, 2023.

SNAP Emergency Allotments: Questions and Answers

 Q. What are SNAP Emergency Allotments?
 A. SNAP Emergency Allotments were a temporary change to SNAP benefits that began in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Emergency Allotments raised SNAP households' existing monthly benefit amount to the maximum allowable based on household size, rather than income limits.

 Q. Why were people able to receive SNAP Emergency Allotments?
 A. The enhanced SNAP Emergency Allotment benefit was available through a public health emergency declaration that required government agencies to request an extension of emergency allotment issuances on a month-to-month basis. The authorization of the benefit was provided through the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.

 Q. Were people able to apply for SNAP Emergency Allotments?
 A. No. This supplemental benefit was only available for active SNAP households. Residents of Virginia could not apply to receive SNAP Emergency Allotments.

 Q. Did everyone receive SNAP Emergency Allotments?
 A. Active SNAP households were eligible to receive the emergency allotments, which raised the monthly benefit amount to the maximum allowable based on household size. Starting in April 2020, some households received a blanket benefit of $95.00 if the SNAP benefit they received was already the maximum monthly amount OR the difference in the maximum allotment and the supplemental benefit was less than $95.00.

 Q. Why are the SNAP Emergency Allotments ending?
 A. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 law recently passed by Congress ends emergency allotments after the February 2023 issuance. This means by March 2023, all SNAP households' benefits will return to normal amounts, without the added supplement.

 Q. How can I find resources for food?
 A. To access information regarding resources statewide and in your local community please contact 2-1-1 Virginia or visit our food and other nutritional assistance page.

 Q. Will SNAP Emergency Allotments ever happen again?
 A. Unfortunately, we do not know the answer to this question. The approval of additional benefits is unprecedented in the history of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and subject to decisions at the state and federal level.

 Q. Do SNAP Emergency Allotment benefits expire?
 A. The benefits from this issuance follow the same rules of the regular SNAP. Customers are encouraged to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card at a minimum monthly to ensure the account remains active. Failing to use the card regularly to access benefits may result in benefits being lost permanently. Unused benefits will be expunged after 9 months (274 days) of inactivity from the oldest date of issuance.

 Q. When is the last month of SNAP Emergency Allotments?
 A. The last issuance of SNAP Emergency Allotments will occur February 16, 2023.

 Q. Where can I get more information about SNAP Emergency Allotments ending?
 A. For more information, please visit Or you may contact our temporary information line at 1-855-635-4370, Monday - Friday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. beginning Monday, January 30, 2023.

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