Questions and Answers

How long will SNAP Increase last in California

SNAP recipients in California have been receiving a minimum of $95 in extra emergency allotments since March 2020. This increase has made a huge difference in providing SNAP households extra cash to meet their nutrition needs, especially with rising food prices. However, these extra allotment benefits are temporary. As a result, one of the questions we have been getting from readers is “How long will SNAP Increase last in California”?

It depends on several factors, including state and federal actions regarding COVID-19 emergency declarations.

In this post, we explain in detail how long the California extra SNAP allotments will last.

In addition, we will provide details about how much in SNAP benefits you can expect to get once the emergency extra allotments are discontinued.

Alert: See How to Get Grocery Delivery with CalFresh EBT.

SNAP Emergency Extra Allotment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress created extra monthly payments for SNAP beneficiaries back in April 2020.

However, this required an emergency declaration to be in place at both the federal and state level, and the federal government had to approve California’s distribution plan every month.

The state of California has since been paying extra SNAP benefits to those eligible.

This has continued through 2022. As of writing this article, California is still paying extra SNAP benefits.

To find out when these extra benefits will end, continue reading below.

California Snap Increase for 2022

California SNAP beneficiaries saw a permanent increase to SNAP benefits starting on Oct. 1, 2021.

Benefit amounts have increased due to the cost of living increases to SNAP income eligibility guidelines and benefit amounts that happen every year on this day.

They also include the additional SNAP benefit increase of roughly 25% that the Biden administration put in place.

The new benefit levels will be in place until the next cost of living adjustment on Oct. 1, 2022.

However, when the SNAP Extra Allotment come to an end, benefit levels will fall back to the level they would have been without them.

Currently, the average monthly benefit per person will rise to $251.

When the emergency allotment ends —the average monthly benefit per person will drop to $169.

Although it’s lower than what recipients are receiving during the public health emergency, it’s still higher than what they would have received without the permanent increase.

Adjusted for inflation, households would have only received $133 under the old SNAP guidelines.

The image below shows what will happen to average SNAP benefits once the 15% emergency allotments come to an end.

Update on Federal Emergency Declaration

The USDA will continue issuing emergency allotment waivers until the public health emergency declaration ends.

At that time, states will have one additional month to issue extra food stamps. After that, the SNAP extra allotment benefits will end.

States can continue to offer the emergency allotments as long as there’s a declared federal public health emergency and an emergency or disaster declaration issued in the participating state.

A growing number of states have ended their emergency allotments. They include:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that it will give states a 60-day notice before terminating the public health emergency declaration.

That 60-day notice, in addition to the one-month transition period, means that SNAP households will be notified approximately three months before the increase in food stamps will end.

However, this will remain true as long as their state doesn’t end the state’s public health emergency declaration sooner.

Federal Emergency Declaration Extension

On January 15, 2022, the Biden administration extended the federal emergency declaration due to the pandemic for an additional 90 days.

The emergency allotment, grants households $95 or more in additional SNAP funds each month to reach the maximum benefit amount.

Unless the US Department of Health approves another extension past the April 15 deadline, states will no longer be able to provide the extra Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

As of June 2022, it appears the emergency declaration will likely be renewed one last time.

How long will SNAP Increase last in California?

The state of California has been paying the extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients since March 2020.

As of June 2022, the state continues to issue extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients who are eligible.

The Number of California households that were eligible for extra SNAP benefits for June 2022 was 2,628,631.

Additionally, the state received $456,712,889 in Extra food stamps emergency allotments for the month.

Governor Newsom not ready to End COVID-19 Emergency

In February 2022, California Governor Newsom signed an order ending 12 state of emergency declarations.

However, he offered no timeline for ending the statewide coronavirus emergency, meaning he will continue to wield broad authority to change or suspend state laws in response to the pandemic.

As a result, it should be expected that California will continue to issue Extra SNAP benefits as long as the federal declaration remains in place.

If the federal emergency declaration is renewed after the July 15 deadline of the current extension, it is likely California will issue Extra SNAP benefits at least through the fall of 2022.

California SNAP Benefits FAQs

Below are the most frequently asked questions about California SNAP Benefits.

How much will I get in Extra SNAP benefits?

The extra payments have changed unless you received more than $95 a month in extra SNAP before.

Here is a helpful way to know if you are affected by the change:

I currently get more than $95 in extra SNAP each month: No Change

My household receives the maximum SNAP amount for our household size: You will get $95 a month in extra emergency SNAP payments.

My household does not get the maximum amount for our household size, but we receive less than $95 a month in extra SNAP each month: You will get $95 a month in extra emergency SNAP payments.

Below is the SNAP Maximum Benefit per household size:

Household Size Maximum SNAP Allotment
1 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
For each additional member over 8 add $188

What stores accept California EBT Online?

In addition to Walmart, the following grocery stores accept CalFresh EBT online for pickup and delivery:

  • Albertsons
  • ALDI
  • Amazon
  • Cardenas Markets
  • Food 4 Less
  • FoodMaxx
  • Lucky Supermarkets
  • Pavilions
  • Rancho San Miguel Markets
  • Safeway
  • Sam’s Club Scan and Go
  • Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Super King Market
  • Superior Grocers
  • Vons
  • Walmart

Can I purchase hot foods with CalFresh Benefits?

No. Unless you qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program, CalFresh can only be used to purchase eligible food items.

Here is the list of food items you are allowed to purchase with your SNAP Benefits card:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • meats, fish, poultry
  • deli meats and steak
  • dairy products
  • breads
  • cereals
  • seeds and plants that produce food for the household
  • soft drinks
  • candy
  • cookies
  • snack crackers
  • ice cream
  • energy drinks (must have a nutrition label)
  • live seafood, such as lobster, fish, and shellfish
  • pumpkins (as long as they are edible)
  • birthday cakes (the non-edible piece of the cake cannot exceed 50 percent)
  • bakery items
  • Farmers market items at participating farmer’s markets

Here’s what you CANNOT buy with your SNAP benefits:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • tobacco products
  • hot food (prepared for immediate consumption)
  • Nonfood items
  • pet foods
  • soaps
  • paper products
  • medicines and vitamins
  • household supplies
  • grooming items
  • cosmetics

How long will SNAP Increase last in California? Summary

Here’s the bottom line about California Extra SNAP Emergency Allotments:

As of June 2022, the state of California continues to issue extra emergency allotment benefits to SNAP recipients who are eligible.

Biden administration extended the federal emergency declaration due to the pandemic for an additional 90 days – which means extra benefits will be issued through July 2022 and possibly through the fall.

The state of California can continue to offer the emergency allotments as long as the state does not end its own public health emergency declaration.

Questions?

We hope this post on the California Extra SNAP Emergency Allotments was helpful.

If you have further questions about California SNAP or EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about California SNAP and EBT, including:

Kwame Kuadey

Kwame Kuadey writes about personal finance and the social safety net. His career started in banking but he caught the entrepreneurial bug and has spent the last decade building successful businesses, including an Inc. 500 Company. Kwame believes everyone has the power to improve their quality of life by seeking knowledge and taking action. In 2012, Kwame founded Empower Media to help low-income households improve their financial situation. His expertise is in topics relevant to low-income households, including government benefits and assistance, banking products, access to credit, plus tools & resources to help reduce income volatility and build wealth. Kwame has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, Washington Post, ABC, and NPR.

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