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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.

Start Planning Now For When COVID-19 Assistance Ends

Many extra benefits and services available because of COVID-19 will end in the coming months when the public health emergency comes to an end. Delaware offers many FREE social service, health, financial, and employment resources. Click here to learn more.

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 participating stores.

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

PANDEMIC ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER (P-EBT)

Delaware's P-EBT program for school year 2021-2022 allows children who meet specific eligibility requirements to receive meal benefits for days missed from school or for remote learning days due to COVID-19. P-EBT benefits will be issued to eligible households beginning in March 2022.

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


EMERGENCY FOOD BENEFITS

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Division of Social Services has issued emergency food benefits since March 2020 to SNAP households. Delaware will issue emergency food benefits to all SNAP households as outlined below. SNAP households will receive the next emergency food benefit on September 29, 2022.

  1. Households receiving the maximum base SNAP benefit for their household size will receive $95 in emergency food benefits.

    Example: A household of 5 currently receives the maximum SNAP allotment of $992. The household will receive a $95 monthly emergency allotment.

  2. Households with a calculated emergency benefit amount less than $95 will receive $95 in emergency food benefits. The emergency benefit calculation is shown below.

    Example: A household of 2 currently receives $395 in SNAP benefits. The maximum allotment for a household of 2 is $459, and the household's calculated emergency allotment is $64. Because the household receives less than $95 in emergency benefits, the monthly emergency allotment will be increased to $95.

  3. Households with a calculated emergency benefit amount of $95 or more will continue to receive the calculated emergency benefit amount. The emergency benefit calculation is shown below.

    Example: A household of 3 currently receives $285 in SNAP benefits. The maximum allotment for a household of 3 is $658, and the household's calculated emergency allotment is $373. Because the household receives more than $95 in emergency benefits, the monthly emergency allotment will continue to be $373.

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 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
Each additional member: $188

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)

The Division of Social Services has issued emergency cash benefits since March 2020. Households with open TANF and GA cases that are not already receiving the maximum benefit amount will receive an emergency cash benefit using the calculation below. These households will receive an emergency cash benefit check on or after September 29, 2022.

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

FAMILY CO-PAYMENTS

Families are not required to pay their Purchase of Care monthly co-payment to their child care provider. The Division of Social Services has waived co-payments for families since April 2020.

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

DELAWARE EARLY EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE STABILIZATION FUND

On April 9, 2021, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and the Delaware Department of Education announced that the Delaware Early Education and Child Care Stabilization fund will provide direct grants to support eligible child care providers across Delaware. Click here for more information. Learn more about the Application Process.


APPLICATIONS & INTERVIEWS

When possible, the Division of Social Services will interview clients by telephone during Delaware's Public Health 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 RENEWAL INTERVIEWS

Households who are renewing their food benefits will not be required to complete an interview if they meet ALL of the following conditions

  • The applicant's food benefit renewal is complete with the required information; and
  • The applicant's food benefit renewal 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

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. 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 will have their exemption automatically extended during the public health emergency. TANF and GA clients will have to submit a new health assessment form to be eligible for a medical exemption after their current exemption expires or the public health emergency ends.


TEMPORARY EXPANSION OF FOOD BENEFIT ELIGIBILITY FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 temporarily expands food benefit eligibility for college students. Students enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education may be able to get food benefits if they meet one of the following exemptions:

  • Are 17 years old or younger, or 50 years old or older;
  • Have a physical or mental disability;
  • Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits;
  • Are enrolled in a TANF Employment and Training program;
  • Work at least 20 hours a week;
  • Participate in a state or federal work study program;
  • Participate in an on-the-job training program;
  • Care for a child under the age of 6;
  • Care for a child age 6 to 11 and do not have adequate child care enabling you to attend school and work 20 hours a week or participate in a work study;
  • Are a single parent enrolled full-time in college and taking care of a child under 12;
  • Are assigned to or placed in a college or other institution of higher education through an approved employment and training program;
  • New Temporary Exemption: Are eligible for, but not necessarily participating in, a state or federal work study program during the current school year;
  • New Temporary Exemption: Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $0 for education costs in the current school year.

Students who meet one of the exemptions listed above may receive food benefits if they meet all other eligibility criteria. The two new temporary exemptions will remain in effect until 30 days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted.


COVID-19 HOUSING ASSISTANCE

If you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage because of job loss or reduced income related to COVID-19, there are relief options available to you. Click here for more information.

COVID-19 FUNERAL ASSISTANCE

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will help with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Click here for more information.

EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Broadband Benefit provides eligible households with a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband internet service and a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Click here for more information.

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 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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