Food Benefits

​​​​Frequently Asked Questions for the Emergency Allotment of SNAP Benefits

Answers to many commonly asked questions about the Supplemental Emergency Allotment (EA) of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits.

What are EA SNAP benefits?
A federal law, the Families First Act, responding to the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency, authorizes the issuance of emergency benefits to SNAP recipients. Based on the law, states are to issue supplemental SNAP benefits, up to the maximum allowable SNAP benefit for a household's size, during the emergency or disaster declaration. 

Each month during the state of emergency, Oregon must submit a request to Food and Nutrition Services to continue the EA SNAP benefits.

Who qualifies for the EA SNAP benefits?
SNAP recipients who receive a benefit payment less than the maximum benefit amount for the household's size qualify and will automatically get the EA SNAP benefit.  

What if my household gets maximum SNAP benefits?
If you get maximum SNAP benefits, you will not get EA SNAP benefits.

How much will I receive in EA SNAP benefits?
If you are eligible to receive the EA SNAP benefit, you will get the amount that brings your benefit to the maximum SNAP monthly benefit amount for your household size.

For example, the maximum SNAP allotment in October for a household of 4 people is $680. If that household received $400 in regular SNAP benefits, then on the day EA SNAP benefits are scheduled, they will get EA SNAP benefits of $280, which brings them to a total of $680, the maximum for 4 people.

The maximum monthly SNAP benefit amounts by household size are listed below. 

SNAP Benefits Income Limits table

Do I need to apply for EA SNAP benefits?
No, you do not need to apply for EA SNAP benefits. If your SNAP benefits are less than the maximum benefit amount for your household's size, the EA SNAP benefits will be automatically made available on your EBT card.

If you are not enrolled in SNAP, you can apply online​ for SNAP benefits.

What can I purchase with my EA SNAP benefits?

Like regular SNAP benefits, the EA SNAP benefits can be used to buy food at authorized retail food stores. A list of food items that you can buy with SNAP benefits can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items .

Do I have to use my emergency SNAP benefits right away?
No. Unused SNAP benefits, including EA benefits, remain available for up to one year from the date they are issued.​