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Many Households to Receive Temporary Increase in Existing SNAP Benefits in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Approximately half of households receiving SNAP, also known as food stamps, will get supplemental benefits automatically loaded on EBT cards to help purchase critical food resources

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Department of Human Services (DHS) announced that many District residents who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits received an additional payment automatically loaded onto their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the District’s request to implement a provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to provide SNAP customers with this temporary increase in food resources during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These additional benefits will deliver more than $5 million per month in federal food assistance to about 34,400 District households, approximately 55% of all SNAP households in the District. There is no action from customers needed to receive these payments.

USDA’s approval allows the temporary increase for SNAP households who are not currently receiving the maximum SNAP allotment for their household size. At this time, the temporary increase will be applied for the months of March and April 2020 for existing SNAP households and newly certified SNAP households. The Emergency Allotments for March are being automatically loaded on EBT cards between April 3 and April 7 and the Emergency Allotments for April will come later this month.

“We are pleased that the federal government recognized the importance of giving states options to bolster the SNAP program during this unprecedented time. We are committed to maximizing opportunities that allow District residents to meet their nutritional needs. These supplemental funds are an essential resource for District residents at this time," said DHS Director Laura Zeilinger.

The additional payment will bring these households benefit to the maximum allotment and will be automatically loaded onto recipients’ EBT cards.

The maximum monthly SNAP allotments per household size are as follows:

Household Size

Maximum Monthly Allotment

1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional member  +$146

For the latest information on the District Government’s response to COVID-19, please visit