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DSS: Maxed-out SNAP benefits coming to an end August 1

Disasters include flood, fire or severe weather. If food purchased with SNAP benefits was...
Disasters include flood, fire or severe weather. If food purchased with SNAP benefits was destroyed households may receive replacement benefits.(WLBT)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:13 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thursday, the SC Department of Social Services confirmed emergency food aid benefits will no longer be maxed-out on August 1.

SNAP benefits provide nutritional assistance to in-need families, and the department announced in March 2020 they would be maxed-out because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The change comes after Governor Henry McMaster announced on June 7 he was ending the state’s emergency order.

The department sent a statement reading:

Federal policy requires that the national public health emergency declaration and a state-issued emergency/disaster declaration must both be in place to qualify for Emergency SNAP Allotments.

South Carolina has been authorized to issue Emergency SNAP Allotments for June under the previous state of emergency. We will request to issue Emergency Allotments for July as the state’s “transition” month. Beginning August 1st, SNAP households will go back to receiving their regular monthly benefit amount.

The department reports currently 295,000 households in South Carolina use SNAP, representing 610,000 people.

Its May 2021 report listed 24,306 households receiving SNAP benefits in Richland County (50,135 people).

The total benefits came out to $11,539,715 that month.

In March 2020, the department estimated the maxed-out benefits would impact “an estimated 176,000 households (about 66% of the total households currently receiving SNAP).”

The department reports the average household will lose $177 per month in benefits as a result of the change. However, benefit amounts vary because of household size and income.

WIS requested information from the DSS on updated figures for the expected financial difference for SNAP beneficiaries.

WIS has also requested comment from the governor’s office.

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