COVID-19 changed SNAP benefit requirements

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 7:04 PM CDT
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The North Dakota Department of Human Services issues around $7 million in food benefits each month to more than 27,000 households in the state.

For the month of April, the agency saw a 6% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program applications compared to March.

SNAP helps low-income North Dakotans meet their nutritional needs, but during the pandemic some of the requirements to receive benefits changed.

For example, in March the interview part of the application was waved now that there has been a switch to phone interviews.

North Dakota Department of Human Services Economic Assistance Policy Division Director Michele Gee said, “With increase in April, we relate that to individuals that have lost their employment due to businesses closing."

Able-bodied adults in the SNAP program normally have working requirements in order to receive SNAP benefits, but that requirement has also been waved during the pandemic.

State human service leaders anticipate this waved requirement will carry over to the end of July.

Anyone looking to apply for SNAP can do so at ND.GOV