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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.

SNAP ONLINE PURCHASING

Delaware's new SNAP Online Purchasing Program gives households another grocery shopping option during the COVID-19 crisis. Delaware households can use their SNAP food benefits or P-EBT benefits to order groceries online from Amazon, ShopRite, and Walmart.

Click here for more information about Delaware's SNAP Online Purchasing Program.

PANDEMIC ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER (P-EBT)

Delaware issued P-EBT benefits to households with children who temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures.

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. The emergency benefit increases a household's current food benefit amount up to the maximum food benefit amount for their SNAP household size. The Division of Social Services has issued emergency food benefits since March 2020 to SNAP households that were not already receiving the maximum food benefit amount. SNAP households may also receive an emergency food benefit on November 24, 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 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $969
7 $1,071
8 $1,224
Each additional member: $153

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 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 has issued emergency cash benefits since March 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 November 24, 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 checks on their normal issuance date.


CHILD CARE

All licensed child care providers may reopen and all Delaware families may access child care as part of Phase 2 of Delaware's reopening plan. Child care providers must follow applicable COVID-19 DELACARE regulations as well as additional health & safety requirements developed by the Office of Child Care Licensing and the Division of Public Health.

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

FAMILY CO-PAYMENTS

For the month of November 2020, families are not required to pay their Purchase of Care monthly co-payment to their child care provider. Co-payments were also waived for families since April 2020.

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


BENEFIT RENEWALS AND PERIODIC REPORTS

Beginning September 1, 2020, DSS resumed processing benefit renewals 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, June, July or August 2020 received a 6-month renewal extension. Households that are affected by this change will receive a notice in the mail when it is time to renew their benefits.

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


APPLICATIONS & INTERVIEWS

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

Clients may provide a verbal signature over the phone to confirm the information on their food benefit, cash assistance, or child care application or renewal is correct in the following situations:

  • The client submits a paper application or renewal without a signature; or
  • The client applies for or renews their benefits over the phone with a case worker.

FOOD BENEFIT APPLICATION ASSISTANCE

Delaware's SNAP Outreach Partners can help you apply for or renew your food benefits over the phone or in person. Contact the SNAP Outreach Partners listed below for more information.

Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families

Click here or call (302)225-1040.

Food Bank of Delaware

Click here or call (302)444-8073.

Jewish Family Services

Click here or call (302)478-9411.

Modern Maturity Center

Click here or call (302)734-1200 ext 174.

FOOD BENEFIT INTERVIEWS

Beginning September 1, 2020, DSS resumed conducting food benefit interviews.


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. TANF benefits will not expire and TANF months will not count during this time period.

TANF sanction rules are temporarily suspended. 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 November 2020 will have their exemption automatically extended. TANF and GA clients will have to submit a new health assessment form to be eligible for a medical exemption after November 30, 2020.


FAIR HEARINGS AND ADMINISTRATIVE DISQUALIFICATION HEARINGS

The DSS Fair Hearing Unit resumed scheduling hearings, holding hearings, and issuing hearing decisions on June 1, 2020. Administrative Disqualification Hearings resumed on October 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. FPUC ended on July 31, 2020.

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.

If you are not required to file taxes, you can still qualify for the Economic Impact Payment. Use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to provide your information to the IRS. The IRS will use your information to determine your eligibility and payment amount and to send you an 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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