UPDATED November 17, 2020--Special measures to assist SNAP enrollees during the Covid-19 public health emergency
- No Periodic Review Forms--we are suspending the requirement to submit Periodic Review Forms (PRFs) for all SNAP enrollees from December 2020 through June 2021. This means that you will not be receiving PRFs in the mail to fill out during this time period.
- Automatic renewals for six months—we are automatically extending eligibility for SNAP enrollees whose normal annual certification is scheduled to end in November or December 2020. In other words, you will not have to go through a renewal process, and your eligibility will be extended six months (to May or June 2021). Please note: SNAP enrollees whose eligibility was previously extended will still need to go through the renewal process. We will send you a notice when you need to take any action to keep your SNAP eligibility.
NEW! Additional SNAP benefits coming November 19 to 110,000 households in Connecticut
The Department of Social Services will provide $16 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits to more than half of Connecticut SNAP-eligible households on Thursday, November 19, 2020 – adding to the $137.8 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.
Authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, the extra food benefits will go to approximately 110,000 households not currently receiving the maximum benefits allowed for their household size. This means that all households enrolled in SNAP will receive the maximum food benefit allowable for their household size, even if they are not usually eligible for the maximum benefit.
- The Department of Social Services reports that approximately 110,000 of 213,541 SNAP-participating households statewide will receive the emergency benefits in November.
- With this additional $16 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $153.8 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide during April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November with commensurate spending in the food economy.
- The average emergency benefit amount a household will see on its electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card on November 19 is $153.
- All participating households also received their normal SNAP benefits on the first three days of each month they normally do, according to last name.
- If a household is granted regular SNAP benefits after November 19 and is also eligible for the emergency supplemental benefits, the latter benefits will be added to the EBT card on a Friday, depending on the date of granting.
Emergency benefits allowed the household’s SNAP benefit to increase to the maximum allotment for a household of that size as follows:
|Household Size||Maximum Benefit Amount|
Each additional person: add $153
For example, if a household of two normally received $274 of SNAP benefits in November, $100 would bring this household up to the maximum benefit for its size. This household will receive a $100 emergency benefit on November 19.
Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
The Department of Social Services is pleased to announce a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) demonstration project for older adults and those with disabilities. Once enrolled in SNAP, eligible households qualifying for the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) will experience additional flexibilities to support continued enrollment.
Flexibilities in ESAP include:
- An expanded three-year SNAP certification period of eligibility;
- No periodic report form will be due halfway through the certification cycle, as is usually the case for SNAP enrollees;
- Revised reporting requirements (explained in greater detail below); and
- The opportunity for some relaxed renewal flexibilities, when households meet additional requirements.
ESAP Eligibility Criteria:
- All adult (18 years or older) household members must be determined elderly (60 years or older) or with a disability, per SNAP regulations and
- No household members can be employed (i.e., receive countable earned income).
Revised Reporting Requirements:
Please note that ESAP-eligible SNAP households need to report information to DSS before their renewal is due if they experience a household change that would disqualify them from ESAP (for example, if the household no longer includes an older adult or adult with disability, or if they start working). All SNAP households must report if they receive lotto/gambling winnings equal to or in excess of $3,500.
SNAP Definition of a Disability:
An individual who meets one or more of the following:
- Receives disability or blindness benefits from any of these programs: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or SSI-related Medicaid.
- Receives a federally or state administered SSI supplement based on disability or blindness, or section 212(a) of PL 93-66.
Receives a disability retirement benefit from a government agency for a disability considered permanent by SSA.
- Is a veteran the VA considers totally disabled or permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
- Is a veteran’s surviving spouse who the VA considers:
- in need of regular aid and attendance,
- permanently housebound, or
- approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA.
- Is a veteran’s surviving child who the VA considers:
- incapable of self-support, or
- approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA
- receives interim assistance benefits pending the receipt of Supplemental Security Income, receives disability related medical assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act, or receives disability-based State general assistance (SAGA) benefits provided that the eligibility to receive any of these benefits is based upon disability or blindness criteria established by the State agency which are at least as stringent as those used under title XVI of the Social Security Act.
ESAP is designed to increase the efficiency of SNAP and reduce food insecurity among a population whose household circumstances generally stay the same and can have additional barriers associated with age or disability, such as transportation or mobility. The Connecticut Department of Social Services was approved for this demonstration project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers and funds SNAP nationwide. We look forward to serving you! [updated 10-30-20]
UPDATED June 17, 2020--Online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits. The Department of Social Services is working with participating food retailers—Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite--to offer online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut.
After federal approval and successful system testing by the state’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendor, online food purchasing was fully implemented on Wednesday, June 3. SNAP enrollees are be able to use SNAP benefits available on their EBT debit-type card to purchase eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup at participating food retailers.
Retailers approved for the initial launch of online SNAP purchasing are Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh; 12 Walmart stores (please click here for list); and Wakefern Food Corp., with 21 participating ShopRite stores (please click here for list).
- Online contact points are www.amazon.com/snap-ebt; www.walmart.com/grocery; and https://shoprite.com/Store-Locator
- For FAQ, please click here.
SNAP enrollees will be able to place food orders online by using the identifying numbers on their EBT cards and individually selected PINs.
Please note that only SNAP benefits on EBT cards can be used for online purchases. At this time, cash assistance benefits on EBT cards cannot be used for any part of online shopping, including shipping, delivery or service fees.
Federal rules do not allow any SNAP benefits to be used for shipping, delivery or service fees, but some food retailers may choose to waive fees (as Amazon does for orders over $35). Online shopping customers using SNAP benefits will be able to use other debit or credit cards to pay for any fees and/or any non-SNAP-eligible items they wish to purchase.
SNAP benefits are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which also regulates which foods are eligible for purchase with the benefits. FNS is the authorizing agency for food retailers participating in the program. For information about enrolling in SNAP EBT and online food sales through SNAP, food retailers can visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-requirements-provide-online-purchasing.
UPDATED October 28, 2020--Children enrolled in school meals program received additional, emergency SNAP benefits through the ‘Pandemic EBT’ program
The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) provided the families of approximately 287,743 public school students and 2,219 private school students who participated in the free or reduced-price meals program during the 2019-2020 school year with additional, emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits under the federal Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program to ensure that the children continued 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 $105.7 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 participated in the free or reduced-price meals program was authorized by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Altogether, DSS estimates that it issued approximately $34 million in additional food benefits to nearly 55,200 SNAP-eligible households and $71.7 million in food benefits to about 140,000 households not currently enrolled in SNAP. DSS partnered 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.
- 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 (TFA), but not currently enrolled in SNAP, also received Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits in their EBT accounts at that time.
- Pandemic EBT SNAP debit cards were mailed on Friday, June 5, to over 73,000 households currently enrolled in Medicaid (Husky A) with DSS. Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits were deposited in these EBT accounts on Sunday, June 7.
Pandemic EBT SNAP debit cards started being mailed beginning on Friday, June 19, to over 85,000 children not currently enrolled in SNAP, TFA, or Medicaid, but who were receiving Free or Reduced Priced Meals at school, and DSS deposited Pandemic EBT SNAP benefits into their new EBT accounts on Sunday, June 21. This part of the Pandemic EBT program involves the Community Eligibility Program, or CEP. Authorized by the federal government as a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, CEP allows schools or school districts that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students enrolled in that school or school district through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).
- CEP fact sheet: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/cn/CEPfactsheet.pdf
- CEP participating schools: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Nutrition/CEP/CEPschoolslist.pdf
- CEP fact sheet: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/cn/CEPfactsheet.pdf
Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards. This includes famers’ markets and direct market farms. Pandemic EBT participants also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup implemented in the overall SNAP program, now available for all households.
Families did not need to apply for Pandemic EBT benefits, as children were automatically eligible because in-person classes were not in session. The one-time benefit was $364.80 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
Food Resources for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency: Special information from the Office of Early Childhood (En Espanol)
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
If you're enrolled in SNAP, you can now take care of your
'periodic report form' online! Check out www.ct.gov/dss/snapreportform
For your safety, ALL Aquarium visits now require a timed ticket and must be reserved online. Follow this link to Learn More.