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Additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits Being Paid in Response to COVID-19

03/31/2020

For Immediate Release:

Media Contacts: 

Amy Webb
Chief of Communications
amy.webb@dhs.arkansas.gov

Marci Manley
Deputy Chief of Communications
marci.manley@dhs.arkansas.gov

 

Additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefits Being Paid in Response to COVID-19

Supplemental SNAP benefits delivered for March; April benefits on regular schedule with staggered supplemental benefits

 

In response to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus) and with the passage of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is distributing supplemental food assistance benefits through the SNAP program to assist Arkansans during this public health emergency.

The federal legislation authorized states to issue supplemental benefits to current SNAP households up to the maximum amount allowed for each household size. The supplemental benefit for March was automatically loaded to SNAP clients’ Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards March 30. Any Arkansas households that are approved for SNAP through the end of March will also get the supplemental benefit for this month. 

If a SNAP household was already receiving the maximum amount of benefits for its household size, that household will not get a supplemental payment.

Clients will get April SNAP benefits on the regular monthly schedule. However, supplemental benefits for April will be loaded to EBT cards on a staggered schedule. The schedule is based on the last digit of the Social Security number (SSN) of the person listed on the SNAP case for the household. That schedule is below:

April 15th – SSN 0-3

April 20th – SSN 4-6

April 25th – SSN 7-9

If someone needs to apply for SNAP benefits, they can do so online at www.access.arkansas.gov or by phone at 1-855-372-1084. County offices have installed drop boxes at each local county office where clients also can drop off paper applications.

DHS is following public health officials’ guidance to limit close contact (social distancing) and keep groups of individuals in buildings to fewer than 10 at a time. That does mean that local county offices must limit the number of people waiting in DHS lobbies and may result in longer wait times for clients coming into county offices.

Where possible, we encourage clients to use online, phone, and drop-off options to apply for services.
 

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