NOTICE:

The Department of Social Services has suspended in-person visits to our field offices as a protective measure for customers and staff. We are continuing to provide services. Customers can access benefit and application information, 24/7, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or 1-855-6-CONNECT. Full information on ways to contact DSS online, by phone, by mail, and at office dropboxes is at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices. Information and updates about child support is available at www.ct.gov/dss/childsupport. Please also visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus for latest State of Connecticut updates; and www.ct.gov/dss/covid for DSS-specific updates. Thank you.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP

Overview

UPDATED May 26, 2020—Children enrolled in school meals program receiving additional, emergency SNAP benefits through the ‘Pandemic EBT’ program

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) advises that because of the cancellation of in-person, pre-K to grade 12 classes at all schools in the state for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, the families of approximately 265,631 public school students and 1,748 private school students who participate in the free or reduced-price meals program are receiving additional, emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits under the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals while learning from home during the pandemic.

Initially, when schools were slated to reopen on May 20, the state received federal approval to provide $71.3 million in EBT benefits.  That amount, however, increased to $97.5 million when the decision was made to cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the academic year.  The emergency SNAP funding for children who participate in the free or reduced-price meals program was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Altogether, DSS estimates that it will issue approximately $34.5 million in additional food benefits to nearly 55,200 SNAP-eligible households and $63 million in food benefits to about 80,800 households not currently enrolled in SNAP. DSS is partnering with the Connecticut State Department of Education on the plan, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

Specifically:

  • Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits were deposited in the EBT accounts of nearly 55,200 households currently enrolled in SNAP on Sunday, May 24.  An additional 800 households enrolled in the Temporary Family Assistance Program, but not currently enrolled in SNAP, also received Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits in their EBT accounts at that time.
  • DSS will mail EBT debit cards to about 80,000 households not currently enrolled in SNAP and will deposit Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits into their new EBT accounts on Sunday, June 7, for Medicaid-enrolled households and on Sunday, June 21, for all other households. These are households that do not currently have EBT cards because they are not enrolled in SNAP or cash assistance.

Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes famers’ markets and direct market farms. Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup when it is implemented in the overall SNAP program, now scheduled for early June.

Families do not need to apply for Pandemic EBT benefits, as children are automatically eligible because in-person classes are not in session.  The planned one-time benefit is $364.80 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.

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UPDATED May 21, 2020--Preparing for online access to food with SNAP benefits.  DSS is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the state’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendor, and participating food retailers to implement SNAP online purchasing in Connecticut.

Federal approval of the state’s plan was received May 20, and system testing is scheduled to be completed on May 29.  Beginning of online food purchasing is tentatively scheduled for June 2.  When activated, enrollees will be able to use SNAP benefits on their EBT card to purchase eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup at participating food retailers.

Participating food retailers to start are Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh; 12 Walmart stores (please click here for list); and Wakefern Food Corp., which has 22 participating ShopRite stores in state (please click here for list).  Based on successful system testing, online SNAP access is currently scheduled to begin on Tuesday, June 2, with all participating outlets online by June 3.  A full schedule and contact points will be announced closer to June 2.

For a copy of the federal approval announcement, please visit www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2020/05/20/snap-online-purchasing-cover-90-households

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Food Resources for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency:  Special information from the Office of Early Childhood  (En Espanol)

Extra SNAP Benefits Provided to Over 107,000  Connecticut Households in May

The Department of Social Services (DSS) provided over $16 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to over half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Friday, May 8, 2020 – adding to the $32.7 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April.

Authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the extra food benefits went to households not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size.  This means that all households enrolled in SNAP are receiving the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they aren’t usually eligible for the maximum benefit.

Specifically:

  • Over 107,000 of 222,000 SNAP-participating households statewide received the emergency benefits in May.
  • With this additional $16 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling nearly $50 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide during April and May, with commensurate spending in the food economy.
  • The average emergency benefit amount a household saw on its electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card on May 8 is $150. 
  • All participating households will also receive their normal SNAP benefits on the first three days of each month they normally do, according to last name.
  • Emergency benefits will allow the household’s SNAP benefit to increase to the maximum allotment for a household of that size as follows:

Household size

Maximum Benefit Amount

1

$194

2

$355

3

$509

4

$646

5

$768

6

$921

7

$1,018

8

$1,164

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each additional person: add $146

For example, if a household of two normally received $255 of SNAP benefits in May, $100 would bring this household up to the maximum benefit for its size. This household would receive a $100 emergency benefit on May 8. [updated 5-20-20]

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Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements.  ABAWD work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut has been suspended for the duration of the public health emergency, per Congressional action (ABAWD=Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

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Extension of SNAP eligibility.  If your SNAP renewal form or periodic review form (PRF) was due in March 2020—benefits are automatically continued through September 2020.  If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in April 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through October 2020.  If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in May 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through November 2020.  If your SNAP renewal for or PRF is due in June 2020—benefits will automatically be continued through  December 2020.

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NEW!  Many Application Interviews Being Waived.  For SNAP applications received March 1 through May 31, 2020, the Department of Social Services is no longer conducting telephone interviews in many situations.  This change will help speed eligibility determination for SNAP during the COVID-19 emergency.  Please see details below.

As authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and guidance received from the federal Food and Nutrition Service, the Department will not be required to interview SNAP households at initial application or redetermination through May 31, 2020, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

  • Identity is verified;
  • The SNAP application or redetermination is complete, not questionable and all information needed to approve the application or redetermination is provided;
  • Mandatory verifications are provided, complete, and not questionable (this includes proof of income or job loss);
  • The household will be approved for ongoing benefits; and
  • The household does not request an interview.

When an application or redetermination is received, and all of the criteria above are met, a DSS eligibility services worker will process the case without attempting an interview.

DSS will make every reasonable attempt to verify the information needed by utilizing available resources, data match sources, and collateral contacts prior to attempting an interview.

If one of the criteria above are not met, or verification cannot be done, a DSS worker will attempt to call the household two times.  If the DSS worker is unsuccessful, he/she will send an interview notice, along with whatever information is needed to complete the application or redetermination.  If the household then responds with the needed information before completing the interview , and all the criteria above are met, the DSS worker will process the case without the interview.

For Expedited SNAP cases:  DSS will still issues SNAP benefits for one or two months, depending on whether the application was received before or after the 15th of the month, while the interview and verifications are pending.  Just as above, If the household then responds with the needed information before completing the interview, and all the criteria above are met, the DSS worker will process the case without the interview.  Please note:  Expedited SNAP cases are those where the household has gross income less than $150 and liquid assets less than $100 in the month of application, whose combined income and assets are less than their combined rent/mortgage and utility expenses, or who are migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute and have liquid assets less than $100 while residing in Connecticut.

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps eligible individuals and families afford the cost of food at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

SNAP Time Limits for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs): What you should know

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SNAP recipients in Connecticut must report when their household’s total monthly gross income goes above 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Please follow this link to learn more about income reporting requirements.

Mensaje Importante sobre SNAP

Beneficiarios de SNAP en Connecticut tienen que reportar cuando el total del ingreso bruto mensual de su hogar exceda el 130% del nivel federal de pobreza (FPL) Oprime aquí para obtener más información.

 

Please follow this link to view the CT SNAP Policy Handbook.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement 

For full information about getting delicious, healthy foods at Connecticut farmers’ markets and farms, please follow this link.

 

If you're enrolled in SNAP, you can now take care of your

'periodic report form' online!  Check out www.ct.gov/dss/snapreportform