The Impact of SNAP Emergency Allotments on SNAP Benefits and Food Insufficiency
IPR's Diane Schanzenbach estimates the allotments' amount and impact in a new report
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A store in Portland, Oregon, advertises that it accepts SNAP.
Since April 2020, states have been able to award Emergency Allotment, or EA, payments to SNAP recipients to supplement the formula-based SNAP benefits that they otherwise would have received. Take, for example, families with two members in 2020, prior to COVID-19. Maximum monthly SNAP benefits for such a family were $355, and average benefits were $229. EA payments increase these benefits by an average of $126 during phase 1 of the policy and by $166 during phase 2. Increases for individual households over the formula-based benefit amount range from a low of $95 to a high of over $340. Nationwide, EA payments will be eliminated after the February 2023 payment, and SNAP benefits will revert for each family to the value that the SNAP benefit formula allocates.
This rapid research report estimates the amount and impact of EA benefits. As described in more detail in the report, some states opted to terminate EA payments while they were still allowable. This variation provides an opportunity to estimate the impact of EA payments on the share of households reporting that they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat over the previous week. On average, EA payments reduce the likelihood that a household experiences food insufficiency by about 9%, with larger impacts for households with children with a Black or Hispanic respondent.
Read the report here.
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach is the Margaret Walker Alexander Professor and IPR Director.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
Published: January 27, 2023.