Poverty & Safety Net
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COVID-19 & Emergency SNAP Allotments: What You Need to Know

Rachel Cahill
Visiting Fellow | Public Benefits
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April 10, 2020
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On April 7, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced the issuance emergency SNAP (food stamp) payments to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis.  

Will I get extra SNAP benefits?  

If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP for your household size in the table below, you will get an extra benefit on your SNAP card. If you get the max SNAP benefit, you will NOT get extra SNAP. This is because of a decision made by the USDA (the federal government), not ODJFS.  

If I qualify for extra SNAP, when will I get it?

  • During the first two weeks of April, the first extra SNAP payment will be added to your SNAP card for households enrolled in SNAP in March 2020.
  • A second extra SNAP payment will be added to SNAP households enrolled in April. Details are unknown at this time about the date this will happen.How can I learn how much I get in SNAP and if I get extra SNAP?  

You can check your balance and your monthly SNAP benefit amount at: Ohio Benefits at 844-640-OHIO. Enter your social security number and date of birth to hear an automated messaged with your monthly SNAP benefit amount OR call EBT Customer Service at 866-386-3071 to check your balance.

 You do NOT need to call JFS to receive extra SNAP payments.

Should I call my local JFS office?  

You do NOT need to call JFS to receive extra SNAP payments. They will automatically be added to your EBT card. Local offices are very busy right now helping new households apply for SNAP and wait times may be very long.  

What if I need help food shopping?  

Any member of your household can use the SNAP EBT card to shop for food. The name of the person shopping does NOT need to be on the card. You can also give your EBT card temporarily to a trusted friend or relative to food shop for you. The store should not inspect the card or refuse to serve any customer with an EBT card and PIN.

 The store should not inspect the card or refuse to serve any customer with an EBT card and PIN.

Can I order my groceries online and pick up outside the grocery store?  

Yes, if your local grocery store has curbside pickup. Many grocery stores do not yet have this option. Contact your local store for information.  

What if I do not get SNAP?  

If your gross income is below 130 percent of the federal poverty line (see chart below) you should apply for SNAP. If you are approved, you may get an extra SNAP payment this month. To apply:

  • Apply online at ohio.gov OR
  • Apply over the phone at 1-844-640-OHIO
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