The final rule, in part, amended SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 274.2(h) and 274.2(i)(1)-(3) to implement provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (PL 110-234) (2008 Farm Bill) and the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (PL 115-334) (2018 Farm Bill) regarding storage of benefits off-line and permanent expungement of unused benefits.
Due to the extenuating circumstances of COVID-19, state agencies have been focusing efforts on the programming necessary for the 15 percent Thrifty Food Plan increase authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (PL 116-133), Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA, PL 116-127), and Emergency Allotments authorized by FFCRA, which have been essential to providing households additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As such, the Sept. 24, 2021 implementation date poses administrative and management information system challenges for state agencies, and efforts to meet it would divert resources from other, more pressing programs and the nutrition assistance that they provide at this critical time. The new implementation date of Sept. 24, 2022, as established by this interim final rule, is intended to result in more effective and efficient implementation of the new requirements for offline storage and expungement, and enable state agencies to better manage any cost adjustments arising from the changes.
- Effective date: This interim final regulation regarding the delay of the implementation date is effective July 29, 2021.
- Comments due date: To be considered, written comments on this interim final rule must be received on or before Aug. 30, 2021.
- Implementation date: State agencies must fully implement the requirements at 7 CFR 274.2(h) and 274.2(i)(1)-(3) as established by the final rule published Aug. 24, 2020 (85 FR 52025), no later than Sept. 24, 2022.