The Latest COVID Relief Bill Provides Increased Access to SNAP for College Students
The latest COVID relief bill passed by Congress in December will allow college students with low incomes to more easily access Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits – temporarily removing strict work and eligibility requirements for students.
In the relief bill, the SNAP student work requirements are temporarily waived if students either:
- Are eligible for federal work study during the regular school year or,
- Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0 during the current academic year.
This temporary change is effective immediately and will remain in effect until thirty days after the COVID-19 public health emergency is lifted. This expansion will allow many more students to be eligible for SNAP who would face burdens in finding employment during the economic downturn.
The NJHELPS website provides information on how students can apply for the benefit. The links are included below:
Please note that there is a half-time enrollment requirement to apply.
Students can provide a copy of their College Financing Plan (from PAWS) or their Student Aid Report (SAR – from their FAFSA) which shows their EFC and work-study award for proof of eligibility.