Enhanced Emergency SNAP Allotments Beginning April 1, 2021

Illinois Department of Human Services Logo

04/28/2021

Policy Memo

  • This memorandum supersedes the previous Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) guidance for the issuance of Emergency Allotments (EA) and policy memo, Emergency SNAP Allotments Extended Effective December 2020 and Ongoing Until Further Notice, dated 12/08/2020 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. This policy change is effective 04/01/2021 and does not require any action by the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC).
  • Under this new policy, all SNAP households must receive at least $95 in EA benefits, even when the maximum monthly allotment has been received. SNAP households who did not qualify for EA payments because they were already receiving the maximum benefit amount and those whose EA payments were less than $95 per month will receive increased benefits. EA payments will not change for households who have been receiving EA benefits of $95 or more per month. 
  • System changes to adjust the EA calculation in IES as described in this memorandum begins with the April 2021 EA issuance.

Emergency Allotments (EA) Overview

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized emergency allotments to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households to help with food needs during the pandemic. Since March 2020, SNAP households have received Emergency Allotments (EA) in an amount equal to the maximum monthly allotment for the household size, minus their regular monthly benefit amount. This means that a household that is at or near the maximum SNAP benefit received little or no additional food assistance.
  • This memorandum supersedes the previous Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) guidance for the issuance of Emergency Allotments (EA) and policy memo, Emergency SNAP Allotments Extended Effective December 2020 and Ongoing Until Further Notice, dated 12/08/2020 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households.

Emergency Allotment of at least $95

  • The new FNS guidance requires that all SNAP households must receive at least $95 in EA benefits, even when the maximum monthly allotment has been received. SNAP households who did not qualify for EA payments because they were already receiving the maximum benefit amount and those whose EA payments were less than $95 per month will receive increased benefits. EA payments will not change for households who have been receiving EA benefits of $95 or more per month. 
  • This policy change is effective 04/01/2021 and does not require any action by the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC). System changes to adjust the EA calculation in IES as described in this memorandum begins with the April 2021 EA issuance. IES will calculate EA Minimum Benefit as follows:
  1. Determine the household's regular monthly SNAP benefit level using the current temporary increased allotments.
  2. EA is the difference between the SNAP household's regular monthly benefit calculation and the maximum benefit for the household size; except that
  3. All households will receive EA of at least $95.
    1. Households currently receiving $95 or more will continue to receive that same amount. There will not be a change in EA for these households.
    2. Households receiving the maximum monthly SNAP benefit for their household size at the current temporary increased allotment will receive EA of $95 per month.
    3. Households with a calculated EA amount less than $95 will receive EA totaling $95 per month.
  4. Eligibility Summary in IES will only display the maximum allotment per household size once EA is issued.  Any EA amount issued in excess of the maximum allotment will be visible in the Benefit Issuance Summary.
    1. Example:  A one-person SNAP household receives $200 in regular SNAP benefits for April 2021.  EA is issued at $95 (due to EA minimum allotment).  Eligibility Summary will display the maximum allotment of $234 for the April allotment.  Customer will actually receive $295 in benefits.  Benefit Issuance Summary will show the regular issuance of $200, and the EA issuance of $95.
  5. EA that is issued in excess of the maximum allotment should not be considered when performing a calculation for a supplemental issuance due to an increased household size.
    1. Example:  A one-person household receives $234 in regular SNAP benefits for April 2021.  EA is issued at $95 (due to EA minimum allotment). After EA is issued, customer reports a member add in April 2021.  When calculating the supplement for the member add, the system will use new allotment ($430) less $234=$196 supplemental issuance.

  6.  Emergency Allotment amounts should be included in any overpayment claim calculation if the household was found to be completely  ineligible. 

[ signed copy on file]

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services

Forms Referenced: