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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP COVID-19 Waivers

Key Flexibilities

Emergency Allotments (EA): FNS is approving states to issue emergency supplements to SNAP households that normally receive less than the maximum benefit.

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): FNS is allowing states to provide benefits (similar to SNAP or “food stamps”) to children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.

SNAP Online Purchasing: FNS rapidly expanded SNAP online purchasing to support social distancing, bringing access to nearly three-quarters of the states, covering 90% of SNAP households.

Additional State Flexibilities: The Continuing Appropriations Act 2021 allows states to adopt certain options without FNS action.


Additional Flexibilities

Able-bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) Time Limit Suspension: FNS issued guidance to states suspending the time limit associated with ABAWD work requirements during the national emergency.

Additional Funding for Block Grants: FNS is providing up to $300 million in additional funding to nutrition assistance program block grants in Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa.

Application Processing: Adjustments to support application processing by state agencies given pandemic conditions.

Claims: Flexibility in establishing or disposing of claims.

Fair Hearings: Flexibility regarding fair hearing timeframes.

Flexibility for States With Increasing Workloads: As states experience increased workload due to the COVID-19 impact, USDA is reminding states that, very recently on February 6, FNS issued the Revised Guidance for Use of Vendor/Private Staff in Call Centers.

Quality Control: Adjustments related to quality control processes and procedures.

Reporting: Adjustments related to participant reporting requirements or timelines.

Suspend Issuance of Excessive Card Replacement Notices: FNS will allow states to temporarily suspend issuance of replacement card notices due to office closures and mandated remote work. At the conclusion of this waiver period, the state agency will send the delayed notices to affected households.

Other: Adjustments related to other elements of SNAP administration.

View SNAP waivers


End of the Public Health Emergency Unwinding Efforts

Preparing for the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Opportunities to Support Medicaid and SNAP Unwinding Efforts: This slide deck outlines key requirements for returning to normal operations in Medicaid & SNAP when the COVID-19 PHE ends.

SNAP Temporary Administrative Waivers Available to State Agencies to Support Unwinding from the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: FNS issued guidance to assist SNAP state agencies planning for the expiration of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).


Other Resources

SNAP Provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: This information memorandum describes the SNAP-related COVID-19 relief previsions in the Act.

Extension of SNAP COVID-19 Administrative Flexibilities, January 2022 and Beyond: This memo replaces the previous guidance, SNAP Extension of COVID-19 Administrative Flexibilities: May 2021 and Beyond, and provides information on how states can request certain SNAP COVID-19 administrative flexibilities beginning January 2022 under authority of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Questions & Answers: Information on SNAP flexibilities in response to COVID-19, including authorities as provided through FFCRA.