HONOLULU — In keeping with federal requirements, the state Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division announced last week that, beginning July 1, the department will resume processing benefit renewals for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) and Financial Assistance Programs.
States used the temporary flexibility in SNAP and other federal programs to respond to the COVID-19 economic crisis.
With SNAP and FAP waivers coming to a close, recipients of these benefits will be required to recertify or renew their eligibility annually (in most cases) to receive continued benefits.
“The department took aggressive and proactive steps to protect the health and safety of the individuals and families we serve by maintaining these benefits and services to help the people of Hawai‘i during this COVID-19 crisis,” said Brian Donohoe, BESSD administrator.
“Now, as federal waivers for these benefits are soon to end, we want the public to know that we will continue to be here, and diligently help those we serve through this next phase of requirements.”
The periodic reporting requirement, also known as the Six-Month Report form, was suspended due to the pandemic from March 2020 through June 2021.
Households affected by this change will receive a Six-Month Report form in the mail when it is time to report updates to their circumstances.
Households scheduled to renew their benefits in March 2020 through June 2021 received renewal extensions.
Those affected by this change will receive a notice in the mail when it is time to renew their benefits. Households are now able to complete their renewals and upload required documents at pais-benefits.dhs.hawaii.gov/
In 2019, there was an average of $37 million in SNAP benefits given per month. Since March 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19, there is now an average of $79 million in SNAP benefits per month.
Numbers of SNAP individual recipients jumped from 158,949 in January 2019 to 203,885 in May 2021.
Since March 2020, the SNAP Emergency Supplements have helped more than 109,000 households with more than $235 million for individuals and families in need.
Pandemic EBT food assistance for students (SUBHEAD)
More than 95,000 students who receive free or reduced-price meals in Hawai‘i have received vital food assistance. That has resulted in $159 million in P-EBT support.
For more information on case-specific reporting requirements, contact any processing center.