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

For help with SNAP, call 888-711-1151

Latest news

P-EBT Hotline and application closed

P-EBT Hotline and application closed: July 31 was the last day to apply for Pandemic EBT benefits for children on free or reduced-price school meals. The application is now closed. The P-EBT Hotline is also now closed, but families can continue to submit questions through the online P-EBT Help Form.

Renew now

About 20,000 Minnesotans on food and cash assistance programs, including SNAP, must renew or recertify their benefits before Sept. 1, 2020. To check if you need to renew, please contact your county office using this list of county and tribal human service offices and their phone numbers (PDF). Renewals can be completed over the phone, and if you need help you can contact one of the agencies on this list of local outreach providers (PDF).

SNAP can help you find work

If you are receiving SNAP benefits, you may also qualify for support with your job search or training for a new career in an in-demand field through SNAP Employment and Training. Enrollment and many training programs are available online. To find a provider, visit the SNAP E&T Provider Search.

 

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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 they will help you 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.

Do I need to renew my application for benefits? What happens if I don’t renew in time?

Maybe. If your recertification, or “renewal,” was due between March and August 2020, you will now need to renew before Sept. 1, 2020. If you do not renew before Sept. 1, 2020, you will lose your SNAP benefits and will need to complete a new application.

The best way to know if you need to renew is to contact your county or tribal human services office; find contact information in this list of county and tribal human service offices and their phone numbers (PDF). Renewals can be completed over the phone, and if you need help you can contact one of the agencies on this list of local outreach providers (PDF).

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 (PDF). Questions about your P-EBT benefits should be directed to the P-EBT Help Form.

Other benefits related to SNAP

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

Minnesota recently offered the Pandemic EBT benefit (P-EBT) for children receiving free and reduced-price school meals. The application period for this program has closed. If you receive P-EBT benefits, you will also receive an additional $100 P-EBT benefit in late August. Please check your P-EBT and Minnesota EBT card balances regularly.  Find more information about receiving or using P-EBT benefits on the P-EBT webpage.

I applied for P-EBT before my friend and they have already gotten their P-EBT card. Where is mine?

Each application is evaluated independently. Many factors affect how long it takes to issue benefits and a delay does not necessarily mean your application has been denied. If your application is denied, you will receive a notification via the email address you provided. For an estimate of when you can expect to receive benefits, please visit mn.gov/dhs/p-ebt/.

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 (PDF).

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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