2023 COVID-19 Benefits Update
The federal government recently announced significant changes that impact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid programs. The changes will end some benefits and services that were temporarily made available to customers due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) during the COVID -19 Pandemic. The federal decision returns benefits to the eligible amount a household of your size received before the pandemic crisis.
It’s important to note that these federal changes can not be appealed by states. This specific change in SNAP benefit amount is the result of a recent federal law; therefore, it is not subject to the fair hearing regulations. 7 CFR 271.7(f)
Please read this page carefully so that you are aware of the changes and how they may impact you.
IMPORTANT: SNAP- Emergency Allotments (EA) Ending on February 28. 2023
Since March 2020, Congress temporarily increased SNAP benefits by providing Emergency Allotments to help low-income individuals and families across the US deal with the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 law recently passed by Congress ends emergency allotments after February 2023 SNAP EA benefits are issued. This means that by March 2023, all SNAP households’ benefits will return to standard SNAP benefit amounts, without the added supplement.
|EA Start Date||EA End Date|
|March 2020||February 2023|
If you are impacted by your SNAP benefits returning to the standard federal allotment amount and need emergency food assistance, we encourage you to contact the Maryland Food Bank at https://mdfoodbank.org/find-food/ or Capital Area Food Bank at https://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/find-food-assistance/.
Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)
ABAWD Time Limits Continue to be Suspended!
In response to the pandemic, our Department requested and successfully secured federal approval to suspend the ABAWD time limit policy in Maryland. This policy required all SNAP recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 who did not have dependent children may only receive benefits for 90 days (three months) within a three-year period unless they were working or participating in an approved work activity.
We are pleased to inform you that our Department has successfully continued to suspend this policy with authorization from the federal government. IMPORTANT: The ABAWD time limit policy will be reinstated statewide after the federal government has ended the National Public Health Emergency declaration. To date, nothing has been communicated by the federal government as to when the National Public Health Emergency declaration will end.
There is no immediate impact as the policy remains suspended.
If you believe that you may be impacted after the time limit requirements resume, we encourage you to click here to learn more about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training. This program is designed to help you obtain the training that you need to obtain jobs with family-sustaining wages.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which became law in March 2020, prevented states from closing Medical Assistance (MA) cases except in the case of death of the recipient, the establishment of out of state residency, or closure request by the recipient or a representative. A recent federal law will end the above policy, effective April 2023, at which time states will begin closing MA cases for recipients who fail to submit the information required to renew their benefits.
|Medical Assistance Recertifications Temporarily Federally Suspended||Medical Assistance Recertification Requirements Federally Reinstated|
|March 2020||April 2023|
Our Department will continue to send out redetermination/renewal notices to Maryland individuals receiving Medicaid. Starting May 2023, Medicaid recipients will be subjected to a federal requirement to renew their benefits every year. Failure to submit a renewal application and required documents could result in case closure and potentially a lapse in health insurance coverage. The department will also be required to close cases that are no longer eligible based on changes in their household’s circumstances.
You will receive a redetermination (renewal) package approximately 60 days before the renewal due date. Upon receiving your redetermination package, please immediately submit your application online (preferred) or by mail before the due date.
Avoid mail delays by creating a myMDTHINK account. All correspondence (i.e. notices, redetermination packages, etc.) can be viewed in the myMDTHINK customer portal under the “Correspondence” tab.