Kemp addresses SNAP program in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

Kemp addresses SNAP program in wake of COVID-19 pandemic
On Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp addressed a number of issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the SNAP program.

ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - On Monday, Gov. Brian Kemp addressed a number of issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the SNAP program.

The governor said over the past few weeks, the program has seen a large increase in the number of applications.

“Last week alone, the Division of Family and Children Services received nearly 12,000 online applications, up from 6,400 online applications two weeks ago,” Kemp said. “Those numbers do not include paper applications. Requests for medical assistance, such as Peachcare for Kids and Medicaid, have also increased. Last week, applications for medical assistance increased by 50 percent. Without question, families are facing hardship in this time of need.”

Kemp said state officials are working on plans to support the nutritional needs of its most vulnerable residents.

The state is allowing families who participate in SNAP to access the maximum benefit amount for their household in March and April.

“Right now, the average monthly SNAP benefit per Georgia household is $225,” Kemp said. “About $200 million in SNAP benefits is distributed to Georgians every month. This supplement will allow them to get the maximum benefit amount for their household size, which is $194 for a household of one, in March and April. In March and April, approximately one million Georgians who receive SNAP will get an additional $100 in nutrition benefits.”

Kemp said this change could be a major support to senior citizens in the state, who typically receive about $15 in SNAP benefits each month.

“This supplement will allow them to get the maximum benefit amount for their household size, which is $194 for a household of one, in March and April,” the governor said.

Kemp also said state officials are also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to issue the increased supplement for March as soon as possible.

“March benefits have already been issued, so the supplement will come in the form of a second allotment at the end of the month,” Kemp said. “The supplement will be included as part of the regular monthly benefit in April.”

Which Georgians, who already receive SNAP, will receive the additional $100 in nutrition benefits?

All Georgians who are current SNAP recipients will receive the additional funds allowed by P-SNAP. The maximum benefit per household depends on each household’s current allotment, their household size and whether they are receiving the maximum allowed. The additional $100 referenced in the Governor’s press conference is the average benefit amount across all household issuances in Georgia.

And if you could clarify: the allotments will go up to the maximum for each household, not over?

Yes, the additional allotment slated for issue by month’s end will cover the difference between what has already been issued for March and any additional funds allowed under P-SNAP guidelines. As referenced above, P-SNAP allows for all households to automatically receive the maximum benefit for the household size. If a household is already receiving the maximum allotment, they will not receive an additional allotment.

Ex: I’m on SNAP and live alone (1 person household). I would receive an additional allotment for March which would bring the amount up to $194 and in April my benefit amount would also be $194? This assessment is correct. The additional allotment for March will provide funds to cover the difference between what was already issued to the recipient to get them to the maximum allotment to ensure all current recipients received the total eligible amount for their household size.

April benefits will match this amount and are slated to be issued based on regular distribution schedule. No household will receive more than the maximum allotment for their household size. If the household already receives the maximum allotment, they will not receive an additional allotment.

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