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Changes coming to SNAP Benefits: Extra Emergency Food Benefits End March 1, 2023 logo

DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jen Brestel, Director of Communications  

DPH Media Contact:
Tim Turane

Date: February 24, 2023


Emergency Cash Benefits for Eligible TANF, General Assistance Households Continue until May

NEW CASTLE (Feb. 24, 2023) - The Delaware Division of Social Services will issue emergency benefits for February to eligible households as part of the State's ongoing response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Due to a recent change in federal law passed in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, this will be the final emergency benefits payment as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Emergency benefits paid as part of two cash assistance programs - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and General Assistance (GA) - will continue until the end of the federal Public Health Emergency in May.

The SNAP emergency food benefit will be available on recipients' Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards Tuesday, Feb. 28. Eligible TANF and GA households will receive an emergency cash benefit check on or after Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Beginning March 1, 2023, SNAP households will receive their regular monthly food benefit amount on the normal issuance date and will no longer receive additional emergency food benefits on their EBT cards at the end of each month. More information and resources around this change can be found at

"Delaware families needed these emergency food benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic to help put healthy food on the table," said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Molly Magarik. "We know the need for help is still there even as the federal emergency payments are coming to an end. There are community resources that may be available to those in need and we are working with our partners to prepare for this change." DHSS encourages Delawareans in need of food assistance to contact Delaware 2-1-1 by calling 2-1-1 or visiting to find the nearest food closet or pantry or visit the Food Bank of Delaware's website at

Through the end of February, all households with open SNAP cases will receive at least $95 in emergency food benefits, to be issued as follows:

  1. SNAP households receiving the maximum food benefit amount for their household size or a prorated initial benefit will receive $95 in emergency food benefits.
  2. SNAP households with a calculated emergency food benefit amount less than $95 will have their emergency benefit increased to $95.
  3. SNAP households with a calculated emergency benefit amount of $95 or more will continue to receive the calculated emergency benefit amount to increase the household's monthly benefit up to the maximum benefit amount for their household size

The emergency assistance for TANF and GA families increases a household's monthly benefit for each program up to the maximum benefit amount for their household size. Households that already receive the maximum TANF or GA benefit amount or that have a prorated benefit in the month of February are not eligible for the February emergency cash funds. Emergency cash benefits will continue through May 2023 when the federal COVID-19 public health emergency expires.

DHSS has issued emergency benefits each month to eligible households since March 2020.

How the monthly emergency benefit is calculated: A household's monthly emergency benefit equals the current maximum benefit amount for the household size minus the household's current monthly benefit amount. For example, based on current USDA limits for SNAP benefits, if a household of one gets $100 in regular monthly benefits, that household will receive $181 in emergency benefits ($281 maximum benefit minus $100 monthly benefit).

Here are the current maximum monthly benefit amounts per household size for SNAP, TANF, and General Assistance:

Emergency SNAP Benefits

Number in SNAP Household Maximum Benefit Amount
1 $281
2 $516
3 $740
4 $939
5 $1,116
6 $1,339
7 $1,480
8 $1,691
Each additional person $211

An estimated 60,800 Delaware households will receive the emergency SNAP allotment in February, totaling about $12.9 million in emergency food benefits for the month.

Emergency cash benefits
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Number in TANF Household Maximum Benefit Amount
1 $201
2 $270
3 $338
4 $407
5 $475
6 $544
7 $612
8 $681
9 $750
10 $819

General Assistance (GA)

Number in GA Household Maximum Benefit Amount
1 $79
2 $107
3 $144
4 $169
5 $209
6 $239

An estimated 190 households will be eligible to receive emergency cash assistance benefits in February, totaling about $ 25,000 in emergency benefits for the month.

In addition to the emergency benefits, households will receive their regular benefits for February on the usual issuance dates.

Households should report to DSS any recent changes in address, household size, employment, income, and expenses (such as rent/mortgage, utilities, and child care). Households can report changes by logging in to Delaware ASSIST , calling 1-866-843-7212, or contacting their local DSS office.

For more information about DSS's benefit programs in response to the pandemic, go to the division's webpage. To screen for and apply for benefits, go to DHSS' online application portal Delaware ASSIST or call 1-866-843-7212.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.