NEW JERSEY SOUTH — Since New Jersey’s federal emergency allotment for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from COVID-19 will run out at the end of February, on March 1, 2023, all households eligible for SNAP will begin receiving a minimum $50 monthly benefit.
In June of 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill into law creating the State SNAP Minimum Benefit Program, guaranteeing that SNAP recipients would continue to receive at least $50 per month in benefits after federal emergency allotments ceased.
For New Jersey to be the first state to mandate a minimum benefit, the state had to spend $18 million.
More than $2 billion in emergency allotments from the federal government have helped SNAP households cope with the COVID19 pandemic, according to the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Beginning in March, only regular SNAP payments will be loaded to EBT cards.
Commissioner Virginia Betteridge, liaison to the Camden County Board of Social Services, said in a press release that “these payments were and continue to be a lifeline for many New Jersey residents and families” after the global pandemic had a significant impact on everyone’s finances.
Director of the Gloucester County Board of Commissioners Frank J. DiMarco said in a press release that the state of New Jersey had established a SNAP minimum benefit guaranteeing that all SNAP recipients would receive at least $50 per month in assistance now that the federal emergency allotments were ending.
If a SNAP household is approved for less than $50 per month in SNAP benefits ($23 is the minimum federal SNAP benefit), they will receive their regular monthly benefit plus an additional state supplement to bring it to $50 under the new minimum benefit programme.
All SNAP households will receive notices from the NJ Department of Human Services in February explaining the reduction in benefits and reminding them that their original benefit amount will resume in March.
If you are a SNAP recipient who is concerned about the reduction in your benefits, you may want to see if you are eligible for any of the other food assistance programmes, such as WIC for women and children under 5, free or reduced school meals, or the commodity supplemental food programme for seniors over 60.
There were about 769,000 people from about 397,000 households enrolled in SNAP as of November 2022.