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SNAP - State Guidance for Pandemic Funding under the Chafee Foster Care Program

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE:August 6, 2021
SUBJECT:Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – State Guidance for Pandemic Funding under the Chafee Foster Care Program (Chafee Program)
TO:All SNAP State Agencies
All Regions

This memorandum clarifies how additional funding for the Chafee program may impact benefit calculations for the SNAP.

The Chafee program received $400 million in additional funds from the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (PL 116-260). Since states have broad flexibility in how to provide Chafee program funds to recipients, this memo provides general guidance on how the Chafee program funds might be treated when determining eligibility for SNAP. The specific manner in which states administer these funds may impact SNAP benefits; therefore, states are encouraged to engage with their respective FNS regional office representatives on state-specific questions.

Generally, if an individual is provided a financial assistance payment on a recurring basis, the payment is counted as income for SNAP purposes in the month of receipt and as a resource in subsequent months. All income is counted for SNAP purposes unless it is expressly excluded under the law.

Because Chafee funds are not specifically excluded by statute as income for determining SNAP eligibility, any recurring payments made to the household may be counted as household income for SNAP benefit calculations. In contrast, a one-time, non-recurring, lump sum payment would be excluded from income for SNAP, but would be considered a resource in subsequent months for determining SNAP eligibility. Finally, if the individual is provided the benefit as a direct payment to a vendor and not in the form of a direct payment to the individual, the benefit would be excluded from SNAP income determinations. FNS encourages state SNAP agencies to work with other agencies in their state to ensure everyone is aware of how Chafee program assistance payments may impact SNAP benefit levels and eligibility, and consider their policies accordingly. 1

Thank you for your efforts to improve access to SNAP for all eligible participants. State agencies with questions should contact their respective FNS regional office representatives.

Sasha Gersten-Paal
Program Development Division


1 Activities associated income and resource verification are included in OMB Control Number 0584-0064.
Page updated: December 19, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.