MDHS announces transition from pandemic-related emergency SNAP benefits

State

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Since March 2020, Mississippi has been granted monthly approval by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to issue Emergency Allotments (EA) to assist Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households during the COVID-19 pandemic. They issued families the maximum benefits allowed based on the number of people in the household.  

Officials said the issuance of EA, including additional temporary benefit enhancements, has increased the amount of SNAP benefits households would otherwise receive under non-emergency conditions. The Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) anticipates providing around 1.5 billion in SNAP benefits to Mississippi neighbors during the calendar year 2021.

Mississippi’s Emergency Proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic expired November 20, 2021. Without an emergency proclamation in place, MDHS officials said federal regulations prevent Mississippi from issuing additional emergency benefits to SNAP recipients beginning in January 2022.

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has approved time for Mississippi to transition from pandemic to non-pandemic (regular) issuance of SNAP benefits. The month of December 2021 will be a “transition” period, serving as the final month for SNAP households to receive emergency SNAP benefits. Recipients will receive their benefits on December 2, 2021.

Beginning in January 2022, the SNAP benefit amount a household receives will be based on the usual factors in determining eligibility – household size, income, and allowable deductions – and will not be supplemented with additional emergency benefits. The estimated average monthly reduction in benefits will be $80. 

For the month of December, households currently receiving SNAP benefits will be eligible for a supplemental benefit for December 2021. Similar benefits were provided for certified SNAP households for the previous months. 

To check eligibility for SNAP benefits, the SNAP pre-screening tool is accessible here.

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