For the most part, states have already paid out their second SNAP benefit payment for the year, and families are now planning for their third with March’s payment.
SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also referred to as food stamps), is a federally funded assistance program that provides cash directly to low-income households for fresh produce and groceries. The federal government supplies states with the funds, and then each state structures its own program and eligibility rules and requirements.
Most states distribute their monthly SNAP payments via a prepaid debit car with their specific benefit amount already preloaded onto the card. Some states call it an EBT or electronic benefits transfer card. Other states, like Montana, create custom names like the “Montana Access Card.” Individual states are responsible for their own SNAP payment schedules and each state is different, but in general, states will distribute money according to the identification number for their programs.
In order to find information for when your state in particular will pay out your benefit, you will need to access your state’s specific SNAP program/provider website. For example, for West Virginia. simply type “West Virginia SNAP” into your search engine and the first link provided is that for the West Virginia Health and Human Services Department, which administers the benefits. From there, you can sign up for benefits, check if you’re eligible and when you will get your card and payments.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted waivers allowing for emergency supplemental SNAP money based on the public health emergency declaration during the pandemic. States are able to receive the money when the state has also issued an emergency or disaster declaration as it relates to COVID-19. What this has done is effectively increase the allowance for recipients to receive the maximum allowable benefit amount for each household size, be it a household of 1 or 4 for example. The downside is that households that are at or near the maximum SNAP benefit amount anyways received little or no additional support, the USDA has stated.