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Changes and updates to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

For help with SNAP, call 888-711-1151

Latest news

Pandemic EBT application deadline extended

The P-EBT benefit application deadline has been extended to July 31, 2020. $325 per child is available to households who received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2019-2020 school year. To find out more, visit mn.p-ebt.org or call 800-657-3698 with questions.

Make SNAP purchases online

SNAP recipients can now use their food benefits online through Amazon and Walmart Grocery services. Services include delivery options but SNAP recipients may not use SNAP or cash benefits to pay for any delivery fees. For more, see Using an EBT card below.

Get help applying for SNAP

SNAP Outreach providers can assist individuals with completing applications over the phone. For a list of local providers, see Getting food assistance below.

 

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Getting food assistance

How do I apply?

You can apply for SNAP food benefits at your county or tribal human services office; find contact information in this list of county and tribal human service offices and their phone numbers. Most county and tribal human services offices are currently limiting public visits, but you can apply over the phone by calling during business hours. You can also apply for SNAP benefits online at ApplyMN.

Where can I get help filling out the ApplyMN application or the Combined Application Form?

Local outreach providers can provide support and assistance including filling out the online application for you over the phone. They can help you understand the questions and ensure that you have all the documents you will need. With your permission, they can even sign the application on your behalf. View this list of local outreach providers.

I have SNAP benefits but I’m still struggling to feed my family. How do I get additional food resources?

If you need additional assistance accessing food, please contact the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 888-711-1151 or hungersolutions.org. They can help you find a local food shelf and identify any additional programs for which you might qualify.

I lost my benefits because I didn’t meet the work requirement. Can I reapply?

Yes. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act removed the work requirement for SNAP recipients. This means that individuals who lost their benefits due to the work requirements can now reapply.

Using an EBT card

If I can’t go to the grocery store right now, how do I use my SNAP benefits?

Individuals can designate someone to shop for them using their EBT benefits. Your representative will be issued their own EBT card that will be linked to your benefits. If you have someone who you trust to shop for you, please contact your county or tribal office. Learn more in this information sheet about acting as an authorized representative for a SNAP recipient. In addition, you can order groceries to be delivered using your EBT food benefits (see question and answer below for details).

Can I buy groceries online and have them delivered? 

Yes. Individuals may use their SNAP food benefits to purchase groceries through approved retailers. Currently, only Amazon and Walmart are approved to accept EBT food benefits online. Groceries can be ordered for pick-up or delivery, but any delivery fees cannot be paid with EBT food or cash benefits. For more information about purchasing groceries online using your SNAP benefits, visit the online EBT frequently asked questions page.

I have a Minnesota EBT card or a P-EBT card. Where can I use it? 

Most grocery stores accept EBT benefits. Your card can be used just like a debit card. You can get instructions on setting up and using your card by viewing the "How to Use Your Minnesota EBT Card" brochure. You can find out if your local retailer accepts EBT by using the SNAP Retailer Locator.

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Situations that may affect benefit amounts, eligibility

I have questions about my SNAP benefit amount or eligibility, including my Emergency SNAP (E-SNAP) amount. Who do I contact?

The best way to find out more about your benefits is to contact your local county or tribal office; find contact information in this list of county and tribal human service offices and their phone numbers.

Will my federal stimulus money count as income and reduce my SNAP benefits?

No. The federal stimulus funds issued to taxpayers are considered one-time unanticipated income and will not count as income for SNAP. 

Does unemployment income count against my SNAP benefits? 

Yes. Unemployment insurance payments are considered unearned income for SNAP. This includes the $600 extra weekly payment. All unemployment insurance recipients will receive these extra payments and so they will be automatically added to your income calculation.

In the past I had to participate in work or training to receive SNAP. Do I need to do that now?

No. Currently Minnesota has a statewide waiver of the work requirements. Minnesotans who previously lost their benefits because they did not meet this requirement may now qualify again. However, you may benefit from employment training support, which is available for free to SNAP recipients. To find a local provider, please visit the SNAP Employment and Training website.

What is the difference between Emergency SNAP (E-SNAP) and Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)?

E-SNAP is an ongoing benefit while the pandemic emergency is in place, while P-EBT is a one-time benefit based on eligibility on March 18, 2020. E-SNAP amounts vary, while P-EBT benefits are always $325 for each eligible child. E-SNAP is a benefit for all households, while P-EBT is a benefit for families with eligible children. Read more about the differences between E-SNAP and P-EBT (PDF). Questions about your E-SNAP benefits should be directed to your local county and tribal human service offices. Questions about your P-EBT benefits should be directed to the P-EBT hotline at 800-657-3698.

Why didn’t I get an E-SNAP supplement?

The two most common reasons households did not receive an E-SNAP supplement are 1) the household wasn’t receiving SNAP the month before, or 2) the household was already receiving the maximum allotment for their household size. Other factors may apply, so the best way to find out is to contact your local county and tribal human service offices..

My children receive free or reduced-price meals at school and we receive SNAP, but I did not receive a P-EBT benefit on my EBT card. Why not?

The most common reason SNAP or MFIP households may not have received automated P-EBT benefits is because the household did not qualify on March 18, 2020. These households may still qualify through the application process at mn.p-ebt.org. Applications must be completed by July 31, 2020.  For questions, please contact the P-EBT helpline at 800-657-3698.

Other benefits related to SNAP

I have a child in my home. Are there additional food benefits for families due the pandemic?

Minnesota recently launched the Pandemic EBT benefit (P-EBT). If you had a child age 5-18 as part of your SNAP case on March 18, 2020, you will automatically receive $325 per child on May 30, 2020.  You do not need to do anything to receive these benefits. If you weren’t receiving SNAP on March 18, 2020, but your child was receiving free or reduced-price school meals, you will need to apply for this benefit. By filling out a short application form at www.mn.p-ebt.org, you could be eligible to receive $325 per child loaded onto a P-EBT card. The application period is open from June 8 to July 31, 2020. Find more information about applying for or using P-EBT benefits on the P-EBT webpage.

When I signed up for SNAP, I also received other benefits (MFIP, child care assistance, etc.). Has anything changed in these programs?

Many state and federal program rules have temporarily changed in response to COVID-19. View this current list of assistance program changes.

I am receiving SNAP and recently lost my job or had my hours reduced, how can SNAP help me increase my income?

If you are eligible for SNAP, you may be able to participate in a SNAP Employment and Training program. These programs can help you be more successful in your job search or can train you for a new career. Most programs can support you with additional resources, and you can typically enroll and participate in these programs from your own home. For a list of providers near you, visit the SNAP E&T Provider Search or contact your local county or tribal human services using this list of county and tribal human service offices and their phone numbers.

I am having trouble stretching my SNAP dollars to meet my food needs. How can SNAP help?

If you are eligible for SNAP, you may be able to participate in a SNAP Education class. These programs are offered by the University of Minnesota Extension system and many tribal governments. They can help you learn to prepare and use healthy foods in new ways, identify strategies for stretching your food dollars further, and learn more about how what you eat can affect your health. Many providers are offering classes virtually. A list of available providers can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension website.

I am on SNAP; am I eligible for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) too?

No, American Indians can only be on either the SNAP or the FDPIR program, but not on both in the same month. However, if you had a child who received free or reduced price meals during the 2019-2020 school year, you can receive P-EBT benefits. To find out more or to apply, visit the P-EBT webpage.

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