SNAP benefits to return to pre-pandemic levels in March

woman in mask in grocery store holding a lemon (Source: Pexels/Anna Shvets)
woman in mask in grocery store holding a lemon (Source: Pexels/Anna Shvets)

(KBSI) – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will return to pre-pandemic levels beginning in March 2023.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) made that announcement Tuesday per the federal USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

These federal changes impact one million families and two million people in Illinois.

Nearly half of the states across the country have already ended their SNAP emergency allotments ahead of the federal change. Illinois will sustain benefits through February when the federal increases expire.

SNAP emergency allotments have been issued since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency to address food insecurity challenges.

The increased benefits will end after February 2023 and return to pre-pandemic levels in March.

SNAP participants will see benefits reduced anywhere from $95 to $25o per person per month.

This reduction in SNAP benefits is a result of a federal policy change, not because of changes in individual SNAP cases, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Grace B. Hou, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services says they are working with food pantry partners across the state to meet residents’ needs during this adjustment period.”

Since April 2020, all Illinois SNAP households received both the regular monthly benefit and an emergency SNAP allotment.

Beginning in March 1, 2023, each SNAP household will receive benefits based on the normal eligibility determination process that considers the household size, income, and deductions.

The decrease in the amount of the benefits will vary. It will also depend on each household’s size and financial circumstances.

The amount of benefits customers will receive starting in March 2023 will be listed on a client notice letter sent out to all SNAP recipient households.

IDHS recommends SNAP customers visit abe.illinois.gov and update their account if there is a change in address, increase in housing costs, or decrease in income. This will ensure SNAP customers receive the maximum benefit for which they are eligible.

There is also a resource page to help SNAP households with the transition.

Customers will receive their regular normal SNAP benefits through their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card beginning in March 2023 on their regularly scheduled issuance date.

Visit abe.illinois.gov/abe/access for more information.

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