COVID-19 and extra Emergency SNAP Benefits: What you need to know

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 13, 2021

The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is issuing emergency SNAP (food stamp) supplements to many SNAP households to help buy food during the pandemic crisis. Congress approved special SNAP supplement benefits in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will I get extra SNAP benefits?

If your monthly SNAP benefit is less than the maximum SNAP for your household, you will get a supplemental benefit up to the maximum SNAP grant. If you get the maximum SNAP benefit, you will not get extra SNAP. This is because of a decision made by USDA (the federal government), not DTA.

Supplement No Supplement
Family A gets $200/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will get a SNAP supplement of $416 -boosting SNAP to $616(max for 3). Family B gets $616/mo in SNAP for one adult and 2 kids. This family will not get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 3.
Individual A gets $19/mo in SNAP. This individual will get a supplement of $215 – boosting SNAP to $234 (max for 1). Individual B gets $234/mo in SNAP. This individual will not get any extra SNAP, because they already get the max for 1.
Household size Max. SNAP benefit
1 $234
2 $430
3 $616
4 $782
5 $929
6 $1,114
7 $1,232
8 $1,408
each additional person $176

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

⇒ Eligible households will get extra SNAP payments on their EBT card each month until the state and federal public health emergency ends.

⇒ Extra SNAP will be put on cards around the end of the month (for example, extra September SNAP will be issued around October 2).

How do I learn how much I get in SNAP and if I get extra SNAP?

  • DTA will not send you a notice if you get extra SNAP. Check your balance and your monthly SNAP benefit amount by:
    • Going on the DTA Connect mobile app or
    • Calling the DTA Assistance Line at 877-382-2363. Enter your SSN/year of birth to hear an automated messaged with your monthly SNAP amount.
    • Call the EBT Customer Service number to check your balance: 800-997-2555 (thenumber on the back of your EBT card).
  • If you have urgent questions for a DTA worker, you can also call the DTA Assistance Line. There may be disconnects due to high call volume or long wait times to speak with a worker.

What if I need help food shopping?

Any member of your household can use the SNAP EBT card to food shop. Their name or picture 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.

What if I do not get SNAP?

If you are low-income we encourage you to apply. If you are approved, you may also qualify for an extra SNAP payment. To apply:

  • The fastest way to apply is to apply online/on your smartphone at
  • Go to to print a paper SNAP application and learn where to send it.
  • Call DTA: 1-877-382-2362 to apply by phone.
  • Or, call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 to apply over the phone.

What if I need meals for my school age children?

While schools are closed, many school districts are providing pre-packaged school meals for children. To find out what your school district is doing and when you can pick up meals, go to: Also, children who  are approved for free or reduced-price meals may be eligible for Pandemic EBT. benefits, likely in April or May or in both months. More details to follow.

What other resources can help me?

➢ DTA COVID-19 information and FAQ:

➢ For information for workers who have lost pay: SNAP Benefits and Job Loss during COVID-19

➢ For help with emergency food resources in your community:

This information is up to date as of  10-01-20, information subject to change.

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