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Delaware's Response to COVID-19


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IMPORTANT CHANGES TO BENEFIT PROGRAMS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19


The Division of Social Services (DSS) has changed the following benefit program rules to help protect the health and well-being of Delawareans during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This information will be updated as changes occur.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, clients are asked to contact us by phone and online.

  • Call 1-866-843-7212 so we can serve you by phone.
  • Click here to apply for benefits online through Delaware ASSIST.

PANDEMIC ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER (P-EBT)

Delaware is issuing P-EBT benefits to households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. P-EBT is a food purchasing benefit provided to eligible households to offset the cost of meals that would have otherwise been consumed at school.

Click here for more information about Delaware's P-EBT Program.

EMERGENCY FOOD BENEFITS

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Households with open SNAP cases may receive an emergency food benefit in March, April, and May 2020. The emergency benefit will increase a household's current food benefit amount up to the maximum food benefit amount for their SNAP household size. The Division of Social Services issued emergency food benefits on March 31, 2020 & April 30, 2020 to SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum food benefit amount. SNAP households may also receive an emergency food benefit on May 29, 2020. The emergency food benefit should be available on households' EBT cards the next day.

Emergency Food Benefit Calculation


Maximum Food Benefit for SNAP Household Size - Current Food Benefit= Emergency Food Benefit
Emergency Food Benefit Calculation
SNAP Household Size Maximum Food Benefit Amount
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional member: $146

SNAP households that already receive the maximum food benefit amount for their SNAP household size or that have a prorated food benefit are not eligible for the emergency benefit. SNAP households that owe an overpayment will continue to have this amount deducted from their food benefits, which will affect their emergency food benefit amount.

All SNAP households will receive their regular April and May food benefits on their normal issuance dates.


EMERGENCY CASH BENEFITS

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) & General Assistance (GA)

Households with open TANF and GA cases may receive an emergency cash benefit amount up to the maximum benefit amount for their TANF or GA household size. The Division of Social Services issued emergency cash benefits on March 31, 2020 & April 30, 2020 to TANF and GA households that were not already receiving the maximum benefit amount. TANF and GA households may also receive an emergency cash benefit check on or after May 29, 2020.

Emergency Cash Benefit Calculation


Maximum Cash Benefit for TANF/GA Household Size - Current Cash Benefit= Emergency Cash Benefit
Emergency Cash Benefit Calculation
TANF Household Size Maximum TANF Benefit Amount
1 $201
2 $270
3 $338
4 $407
5 $475
6 $544
7 $612
8 $681
9 $750
10 $819


Emergency Cash Benefit Calculation
GA Household Size Maximum GA Benefit Amount
1 $79
2 $107
3 $144
4 $169
5 $209
6 $239

TANF and GA households that already receive the maximum benefit amount for their TANF or GA household size or that have prorated TANF and GA check are not eligible for the emergency benefit. TANF and GA households that owe an overpayment will continue to have this amount deducted from their benefits, which will affect their emergency cash benefit amount.

All TANF and GA households will receive their regular April and May checks on their normal issuance date.


CHILD CARE

EMERGENCY CHILD CARE SITES

Beginning April 6, 2020 and continuing until Delaware's State of Emergency is lifted, child care can only be provided by Delaware child care facilities that have been designated as "Emergency Child Care Sites" by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). During this time, only employees at essential businesses who are unable to work from home can use child care services at Emergency Child Care Sites.

Click here for more information on child care options during Delaware's State of Emergency.

FAMILY COPAYMENTS

For the month of April and until further notice, families are not required to pay their Purchase of Care monthly copayment to their child care provider. If you have already paid your monthly copayment for April, you will need to work with your child care provider to either receive a refund or have your account credited with the amount that you paid.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the DSS Purchase of Care Unit at (302)255-9670.


BENEFIT RENEWALS AND PERIODIC REPORTS

Benefit renewal deadlines have been extended for 6 months for:

  • Food Benefits/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Child Care/Purchase of Care (POC)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • General Assistance (GA)

Households that were scheduled to renew their benefits in March, April, May, or June 2020 will receive a 6-month renewal extension. Households that are affected by this change will receive a notice in the mail with their new renewal deadline. Households are not required to return a benefit renewal form or complete a renewal interview during the months of March, April, May, or June 2020.

SNAP, TANF, and GA households are not required to return a periodic report form during the months of March, April, May, and June 2020. Households that are affected by this change will have their next contact with the Division of Social Services at their benefit renewal.


INTERVIEWS

When possible, the Division of Social Services will interview clients by telephone during Delaware's State of Emergency.

FOOD BENEFIT INTERVIEWS

Food Benefit applicants will not be required to complete an interview during the months of April and May 2020 if they meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • The applicant's food benefit application is complete with the required information; and
  • The applicant's food benefit application is signed by either the case head, an authorized representative for the food benefit case, or a responsible household member included in the food benefit case; and
  • The applicant has provided verification of their identity; and
  • The applicant has provided verification of all mandatory eligibility factors listed on the application.

If a food benefit applicant does not meet these conditions, a case worker will contact the applicant to request additional information and/or verification.


WORK REQUIREMENTS

FOOD BENEFIT WORK REQUIREMENTS

Food benefit work requirements are temporarily suspended. Individuals receiving food benefits may still voluntarily participate with the SNAP Employment and Training program for assistance with job search and employment preparation as long as the SNAP Employment and Training offices remain open.

TANF WORK REQUIREMENTS

TANF work requirements are temporarily suspended. Individuals receiving TANF may still voluntarily participate with the TANF Employment and Training program for assistance with job search and employment preparation as long as the TANF Employment and Training offices remain open.


CASH ASSISTANCE TIME LIMITS, SANCTIONS, AND EXEMPTIONS

TANF time limit rules are temporarily suspended through August 31, 2020. TANF benefits will not expire and TANF months will not count during this time period.

TANF sanction rules are temporarily suspended through August 31, 2020. TANF cases will not be sanctioned during this time period.

TANF and GA clients who have a medical exemption set to expire between March and August 2020 will have their exemption automatically extended until August 31, 2020. TANF and GA clients will have to submit a new health assessment form to be eligible for a medical exemption after August 31, 2020.


FAIR HEARINGS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DISQUALIFICATION HEARINGS

The DSS Fair Hearing Unit has stopped scheduling hearings, holding hearings, and issuing hearing decisions during the months of March, April, and May 2020. Clients may continue to receive their DSS benefits until a hearing takes place and a decision is made about their case. The Fair Hearing Unit will process all delayed hearings and pending hearing requests beginning June 1, 2020.


CARES ACT EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes several provisions aimed at helping people that are experiencing financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act temporarily expands unemployment benefits and provides economic impact payments to eligible individuals and families.

FEDERAL PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (FPUC)

The $600 FPUC benefit that is added to individuals' state unemployment compensation counts as unearned income when the Division of Social Services determines eligibility and benefit levels for food benefit and cash assistance programs. The $600 FPUC benefit does not count as income when the Division of Social Services determines eligibility and benefit levels for child care.

Click here for information from the Delaware Department of Labor on unemployment insurance and the FPUC benefit.

ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT/STIMULUS CHECK

The economic impact payment does not count as income when the Division of Social Services determines eligibility and benefit levels for food benefit, cash assistance, and child care programs.

Click here for information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the economic impact payment.


MEDICAID

Click here for Medicaid policies on COVID-19.


RESOURCES

Contact Delaware 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or click here to access community resources and referrals for assistance with food, housing, medical care, and more.

Click here for Department of Education Student Nutrition Sites. Delaware families may pick up meal bags for children 18 and under who live in their home.

Click here to access child care information on My Child DE or contact Children and Families First at 1-800-734-2388 or click here.


Click here for the latest information on COVID-19



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