FACT 83 (Changes due to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021)
Food Assistance Change Transmittal No. 83
April 2, 2021
TO: Food Assistance Certification Handbook Holders
FROM: Matt Damschroder, Interim Director
SUBJECT: Changes due to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Background: The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 was signed on December 27, 2020, and included the following changes: increases the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) maximum allotments by 15% through June 2021, excludes Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments in SNAP eligibility determinations, excludes Coronavirus rebate payments to eligible households, and temporarily expands student eligibility under certain circumstances. These changes were outlined in Food Assistance Change Transmittal (FACT) #80 issued on January 7, 2021.

Update: On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and included the following updates: extending the increase in SNAP benefits through September 30, 2021, extending the exclusion of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation in SNAP eligibility determinations and excluding rebate payments to eligibility households as income.

Increase in SNAP Benefits extended through September 30, 2021:

The SNAP maximum allotments were increased, and the minimum allotment wase increased from $16 to $19 from January 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021. As previously outlined in FACT #80, the additional 15% benefit amount shall be disregarded in determining over-issuance claims.  However, the 15% increase can be recouped from benefits for claims established before January 1, 2021, and for claims established between January 1-September 30, 2021 that have disregarded the 15% benefit increase.

This increase is separate from the monthly emergency allotments which bring an assistance group (AG) up to the maximum allotment. As long as Ohio continues to be approved to issue emergency allotments, an AG may receive both the emergency allotment and the temporary increase to their benefits. The temporarily adjusted amounts are listed below.

Maximum Food Assistance Allotments

AG Size Maximum Allotment
1 $234
2 $430
3 $616
4 $782
5 $929
6 $1,114
7 $1,232
8 $1,408
each additional +$176
Minimum Allotment $19

Implementation: The changes in the maximum allotments have been made in Ohio Benefits.

Excluding Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) Extended:

Effective December 27th, for the purposes of determining SNAP eligibility or calculating benefit allotments, the $300 weekly FPUC and the $100 federal Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) payments are  excluded as income for SNAP and shall not be counted as a resource for the month of receipt and for the following nine months. This also includes the $600 weekly amount previously issued as part of the CARES Act. Therefore, if an assistance group has any of the $600 CARES Act income remaining in their bank account, or if they are approved for this money, it shall not be counted as an income or resource for the month of receipt and the following nine months. The American Rescue Plan Act extended FPUC and MEUC through September 6, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provided unemployment benefits to people who do not otherwise qualify for unemployment compensation. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits to people who exhaust their regular unemployment compensation. PUA and PEUC are still included as unearned income for purposes of determining eligibility or calculating benefit allotments.

Additional Coronavirus Recovery Rebates:

The American Rescue Plan Act authorized additional $1,400 rebate payments to eligible individuals, including children, similar to those authorized under the CARES Act Section 2201 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act Section 272 and 273. These rebates are excluded from consideration as income in the month of receipt and as a resource for 12 months following receipt for SNAP purposes. A household would not be considered to have exceeded the income limit due to these payments because they are excluded, but receipt of these payments could affect a household’s eligibility after 12 months if the payments cause the household to exceed the resource limit.

If you have any questions regarding any of these changes please contact Program Policy Service at TANF-FSTA@jfs.ohio.gov.