Food stamp benefits are going up for New Yorkers struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance announced New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive a 15-percent increase in their monthly food benefits for January through June.

“The pandemic has caused immeasurable economic hardship for so many New Yorkers and this additional assistance will help people continue to feed themselves and their families,” Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said. “This temporary increase in benefits will bring some measure of relief to vulnerable New Yorkers as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”

For January, SNAP recipients will receive the additional 15 percent as a separate issuance that will be distributed starting in mid-January and continue through the end of the month. The federal legislation authorizing the increase was not approved in time to include the additional amount as part of the regular benefits for SNAP.

Emergency assistance will also be issued to any SNAP household that does not ordinarily receive the maximum allowable benefit per month, which will be $234 for an individual and $782 for a family of four over the next six months.

Commissioner Mike Hein added, “SNAP provides vital assistance to help struggling New Yorkers overcome food insecurity, enabling them to purchase healthy, nutritious foods. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York has consistently expanded access to SNAP and will continue to seek ways to maximize benefits for eligible individuals and families.”

Payments will be delivered directly to existing Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) accounts and can be accessed with existing EBT cards. Like regular SNAP benefits, the supplemental benefits can be used to purchase food at authorized retail food stores. Any unused SNAP benefits will be automatically carried over to the following month.

Struggling New Yorkers continue to rely heavily on SNAP as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. As of October, there were nearly 2.8 million SNAP recipients throughout the state, an 8 percent increase from 2019.

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