YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Several changes are coming in 2023 that could impact those who receive SNAP benefits.

The USDA says the temporary boost, known as emergency allotments, to SNAP benefits put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic will end nationwide in 2023.

Also, households that receive SNAP and Social Security benefits will see a decrease in their SNAP benefits because of the significant cost of living increase to Social Security benefits that went into effect Jan. 1.

SNAP benefit amounts will return to normal in Ohio in March. Some states have already stopped emergency allotments.

“It’s a great loss because if you look at what the percentages that they were receiving prior to the pandemic, they’re going to go all the way back down,” said Audry Morales, director of Mahoning County Job and Family Services

Emergency allotments allowed households to receive more benefits valued up to the maximum benefit for their household size, whichever value is greater.

The loss could be significant. For example, an individual receiving SNAP gets roughly $23, the amount is higher based on family size and income. That individual was getting $281 a month with the emergency allotment. A household of three would have gotten $740 a month and a household of four over $1,000 in extra benefits.

“They’ve become accustomed to having that additional money to pay for their food in increased amounts and cost. And now, all of a sudden, it’s being taken away,” said John Gargano, director of Trumbull County Job and Family Services.

According to Ohio’s extension approval for the month of January 2023, 673,063 households receive the emergency allotment at a cost of over $126 million. Mahoning County has 23,444 households receiving SNAP benefits, which makes up 45,257 individuals. Trumbull County has 45,746 people dependent on SNAP benefits. In both counties, that’s over 20% of the population.

“It’s going to be an adjustment for their standard of living. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to look more toward the food pantries,” Gargano said.

The SNAP emergency allotment will end after the February 2023 payments are issued.

“Beginning of March, they will no longer have that amount on their food stamps or their card. So, if they’re going to the grocery store thinking that those amounts are there, it’s not going to be there.

More information and frequently asked questions can be found on the USDA website.