Food Assistance Resources and Support for Maryland Families
If your household has experienced a loss of income or an increase in housing costs, childcare fees, or child support payments since your last SNAP recertification, please immediately report those changes to our Department in person at your local Department of Social Services, by telephone, or online using your myMDTHINK account. If you are disabled or 60 years of age or older, you should also report any medical expenses over $35/month. These changes may result in an increase in your monthly SNAP benefit amount.
Changes for Maryland SNAP Households
Why are SNAP Emergency Allotments ending?
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.
What are emergency allotments?
Maryland SNAP households have been getting an extra amount of benefits every month since March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These extra benefits are called “emergency allotments” or “max allotments” and most households have been getting this on top of their regular SNAP benefits. These emergency allotments were authorized by Congress, but they are temporary and will end on February 28, 2023.
Can I still apply for a SNAP emergency allotment?
Emergency allotments are ending due to recent congressional action. Maryland was approved to issue additional SNAP benefits due to the state and federal emergency declarations that were in place during the pandemic. There is nothing the state or counties can do to extend the emergency allotment benefits once they have ended.
How will this impact me?
A final emergency allotment will be issued in February. You will see a reduction in your monthly SNAP benefits beginning in March. This may have a significant impact on you or your family.
Will I still get SNAP benefits after the emergency allotment ends?
Yes, you will continue to receive your regular SNAP benefits as long as you remain eligible for this program. Your benefit amounts are based on a number of factors, including household size, income and your specific circumstances.
When will SNAP emergency allotment end?
February will be the last month households will receive emergency allotments. Beginning in March, SNAP households will see a reduction in monthly SNAP benefits.
I received a notice that my SNAP benefits will be reduced/closed. Can I appeal?
The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) and your local Department of Social Services can not continue the additional benefits once maximum allotments have ended in February, even if you appeal the action to end the additional benefits. You are able to appeal if you believe the base benefit calculation is incorrect.
How much will my benefits be after the emergency allotments end?
You should receive a notice any time your benefit changes to inform you of your current benefit level. You can access your notices via the myMDTHINK.maryland.gov consumer portal.
Tips to Help Stretch Your Food Dollars
We know this change may have a significant impact on many SNAP families. To help reduce the impact on households, families can:
Roll over unused SNAP benefits to the next month. Unused benefits will remain on EBT cards for up to nine months. This may help cushion the impact of the reduction in benefits. English or Spanish.
Stock up on non-perishable items now, while you have the additional benefits. View tips on stocking your pantry in English or Spanish.
Plan, Shop, and Eat Smart. Stretch food ingredients and plan to use food ingredients in more than one meal. Look at unit prices to compare similar products at the grocery store. This helps to save money and reduce food waste. Here are some tips on stretching ingredients in English or Spanish.
Consider freezing produce to make fruit and vegetables last longer. Use these tips for freezing fruits and vegetables to stretch your food dollars in English or Spanish.
Try a quick and tasty one-pan meal. Here are some main dish ideas to create a healthy meal on the stovetop, in the oven, or the slow cooker. English or Spanish.
Resources for Food Assistance
Do you need help buying Healthy Food? Click SNAP to learn more about applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Maryland. If you continue to experience food insecurity, please contact one of the following resources:
For additional support, contact USDA’s Hunger Hotline. The Hunger Hotline connects callers with emergency food providers in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services. 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish) Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET.
Learn more about changes to your SNAP Benefits
Need to know more about changes to your SNAP benefits? For additional information or questions, contact your local SNAP office or visit mymdthink.maryland.gov to view details of your SNAP and Cash benefits! With a myMDTHINK account, you can see the status of your application, access notices that your local department of social services has sent to you, view documents you have submitted, apply for new programs, renew your benefits, report a change, and much more!
SNAP Emergency Allotments Ending: What You Need to Know. In English and Spanish.