News

How the COVID Relief Bill affects SNAP, unemployment, economic impact payments, and housing

(updated December 30, 2020)

The new COVID Relief bill signed on 12/27 will impact SNAP and other benefits. We don’t know when benefit changes will happen, but we’ve highlighted some of the pending changes below. We will update this page as we learn more.

If you haven’t already, download the Fresh EBT app to get information about important changes and track your EBT balance: Download Fresh EBT

Food stamp (SNAP) benefits.

SNAP payments will increase by 15% from January - June 2021 for all SNAP participants.

  • Timeline: This change may not happen for several weeks. We will update here when we have more information.
  • Action required: None. These benefits should come automatically.

Please note: P-EBT, the benefits to replace school meals, is a separate program. We will update information about P-EBT here.

Economic Impact Payments.

Economic Impact payments of $600 will be available for individuals making less than $75,000 a year, plus $600 per child under 17.

  • Timeline: We do not know when these payments will begin and will update here when we know more.
  • Action required: No action needed at this time. Payments will be sent automatically beginning the week of December 28. The IRS will use the data already in their systems to send the new payments. Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file will receive the payment that way. For those without current direct deposit information on file, they will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. More information here.

Unemployment.

Many changes have been made to expand UI; however, we do not know how quickly changes will be made. Please contact your state for more information.

Please note: There may be a delay in unemployment benefits as states work to implement the new legislation. We do not know if these will be available and applied retroactively for the week of Dec 27. We will update when we know more.

  • Additional $300 a week:
    • Everyone who receives an unemployment check will get an additional weekly payment of $300 through March 14.
    • The additional $300/week payment should not count as income for your SNAP eligibility. But regular UI compensation is counted as income.
  • An additional 11 weeks of UI will be available:
    • Individuals receiving or having recently received unemployment may be eligible to receive an additional 11 weeks of unemployment. If your unemployment benefits have already run out, check your state’s website for further instruction about whether you are required to do anything to receive the additional 11 weeks of aid.
  • Part-time, self-employed, and those without recent work history still qualify for unemployment insurance.
    • Unemployment benefits (known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) that are available to the self-employed, gig workers, part-timers, and others typically ineligible for regular insurance ended on December 26 but has been restarted to extend through March 14. There may be a lapse or delay in benefits. We will update here as we learn more. Please check with your state for more information.

Action needed: Information not yet available. Some changes may be applied automatically, but you should check your state website for additional information.

Timeline: We don’t know how quickly these changes will be applied. Check with your state for updates. Find your state

Housing.

Extends the federal eviction moratorium through the end of January 2021.

  • Action Needed: If you are at risk of eviction, you can take these steps to prevent eviction (steps below).
  • Timeline: This eviction moratorium ends on January 31, 2021.
Take these steps to prevent eviction:
  1. Review the eligibility criteria and FAQ.
  2. Use this tool to generate and email a declaration to your landlord or property manager (Each adult listed on the lease, rental agreement, or housing contract should complete the form).
  3. Connect with a legal aid organization in your state to discuss your specific situation.

Have questions? Is this information incorrect or out of date? Email help@freshebt.com and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

You can read the entire COVID Relief bill here.

Fresh EBT is not part of the government and we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information. If you have specific questions about your SNAP case, please contact your caseworker or local human services office.

Path 3Created with Sketch.See all articles