Family loses SNAP benefits after $600 unemployment bonus

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- During this pandemic families are looking for help to maintain some stability in these uncertain times.

Some are turning to SNAP for food stamp benefits.​

Recently, there was an expansion of unemployment insurance, the federal government would give jobless workers an extra $600 a week on top of their state benefits for four months as part of the $2 trillion stimulus bill the Senate passed unanimously.​

However, with the extra $600 added onto unemployment benefits, your family could be pushed over the limit and you may lose your eligibility for these programs.​

“It really has impacted our life a lot,” said Jason Rozanski, ineligible for food stamps after stimulus check, “We were basically to the point where we were going to have to start going to our church to ask for food boxes”​

Jason Rozanski said he had to turn to food stamps to feed his family of six. Which includes his fiancé Rachel and four boys.​

Rozanski said typically three of the four boys would eat breakfast and lunch at school and with them being home all day, it’s a game-changer.​

“Having them here all day long snacking has really hit the food pantry really hard,” said Rozanski, ​

Rozanski’s fiancé Rachel doesn’t qualify for unemployment so this family of six is living off one unemployment check.​

“As a mom its scary so you kind of go into survival mode and I don’t like having to go into survival mode,” said Rachel Reeder, Ronzanski’s Fiancé.​

Which is where the food stamps really help.​

Recently, however, the family received notice that the $600 added to the unemployment check from the stimulus bill made them ineligible for SNAP.​

According to a document from USDA, the pandemic unemployment payments authorized under the CARES act, are not excluded from income by law and therefore must be counted as income for SNAP.​

“They scale that they had for snap was pre-COVID, I feel like they should be able to make some kind of amendment for just this short amount of time,” said Rozanski.​

Rozanski said the added money to the unemployment check made it so they could catch up on bills and get back on track.​

So taking away their SNAP benefits is just another setback.​

“It made me feel like they are taking something away from a family in need,” said Rozanski.​

Rozanski said he thinks the government should make some kind of amendment to the SNAP program for families in need right now.​

Until then, there is nothing else the family can do other than pray they will both be able to get back to work soon.​

Click below to see questions and answers about the SNAP program.

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