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Public Benefits: What Should I Know about SNAP (food stamp) Benefits during COVID-19?



Are Job and Family Services (JFS) buildings open?

No. JFS lobbies are closed to the public, but agencies are still working. You should apply for benefits online at benefits.ohio.gov or call 844-640-6446.

How do I apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Payments (SNAP), also known as food stamps?

Call Ohio Benefits at 844-640-6446 or go to benefits.ohio.gov. You can also contact the Greater Cleveland Food Bank at 216-738-2067.  For more info about applying for SNAP, visit https://www.greaterclevelandfoodbank.org/get-help/apply-for-help/.

How will Job and Family Services verify my income?

Job and Family Services (JFS) will try to verify eligibility requirements such as income through an electronic data source whenever possible. If they are not able to verify, they should accept what you tell them. They may ask you to provide certain necessary documentation. Most counties have a drop box where you can leave documents, or you can ask them to mail you a prepaid envelope.

My food stamps are set to expire in the next three months. How can I apply for a recertification?

Recertification periods for households scheduled to expire in March, April, and May have been extended for six months until September, October, and November. You may still receive an automatic renewal notice based on the original date. If you get a notice about your benefits expiring in March, April, or May, you should ignore it.

Can I use my SNAP funds to pay for cleaning supplies or online groceries?

No. Unfortunately, at this time, there are no changes that would allow SNAP funds to be used to pay for cleaning supplies or online groceries. You can call your local grocery store to ask if they will accept EBT cards for curbside pickup.

I’m supposed to work in order to get food stamps. Have work and training requirements for food stamps changed since the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes. The federal government has suspended work and training requirements for food stamps starting April 2020 until one month after the national public health emergency is declared over.

I heard people are supposed to get extra benefits because of COVID-19. Is that true? What do I need to do?

Some households will get supplemental benefits for March and April. This only applies if you are not currently getting the maximum amount of benefit for your household size. For more information, go here.

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