About 360,000 North Carolina recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often referred to as food stamps, will received the maximum funding amount for the next two months, the state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday.

The U.S. Agriculture Department approved providing the maximum amounts Friday as part of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All families will receive the maximum amount allowed for their household size for April and May.

For example, a family of four would be eligible to receive a total of $646 for each of the two months.

The additional benefit amounts will begin being paid Wednesday and on April 22. The payments will be randomly generated and staggered every other workday until all eligible households have received their temporary increase.

Recipients will continue to receive their regular benefits and should be aware they will receive two separate payments each month.

The increase is subject to the following guidelines:

  • Households that already receive the maximum amount for their household size will not receive the temporary increase;
  • The household size will not include ineligible or disqualified members;
  • Households that were ineligible for either March or April will not receive a temporary increase for the month(s) they were ineligible.

“People need to be able to feed their families, while also practicing good social distancing and following the governor’s stay at home order,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, the state’s health secretary.

“This will help families make fewer trips to the grocery store and help protect themselves and those in their communities from getting sick.”

For more information, call 888-622-7328, visit www.ebtedge.com, or download the ebtEDGE mobile app from the Apple Store and Google Play.

DHHS also has received approval to extend the certification periods so that beneficiaries don’t have to visit county Social Services offices to qualify for continued services.

Work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents are being temporarily and partially suspended. All eligible beneficiaries are being notified of this change.

rcraver@wsjournal.com

336-727-7376

@rcraverWSJ

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