The federally-approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotments (supplemental) to all U.S. Virgin Islands households will end effective Feb. 28, the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services announced Friday.
Due to the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed by the United States Congress on Dec. 29, 2022, the U.S. Virgin Islands is required to phase out the additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits households have been receiving since March of 2020. February 2023 is the last month SNAP recipients will receive the temporary emergency allotments provided throughout the pandemic. Beginning March 2023, all SNAP households will receive their normal monthly SNAP benefit as long as they remain eligible based on federal guidelines.
On March 1, when the temporary emergency allotment expires, each SNAP household will again – as was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic – begin to receive benefits based on the usual factors in determining eligibility, including household size, income, and deductions. Therefore, each household’s benefits will vary based on their current circumstances. Households will receive the decreased SNAP benefit amount on their Electronic Benefits Transfer card. SNAP Households do not need to take any action.
VIDHS Commissioner Kimberley Causey-Gomez commented, “Since March 2020, our DHS team has worked tirelessly during the Public Health Emergency to ensure 11,000 SNAP households received the maximum benefit, assisting both the families and the Virgin Islands economy. At this time, households should prepare to accommodate this reduction in benefits when the additional temporary emergency allotment ends after the February issuance. As a reminder, the change to your benefit amount is due to the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Department does not have any control over this federal change.”
The Department of Human Services exists to provide social services to members in the community with diverse needs. Please visit the Department of Human Services website for more information.