Food & Income Security

Food & Income Security Headline:

In October 2022, eligible RI families will receive a one-time automatic payment of $250 per child, up to three children. New SNAP COLA’s will take effect October 1, 2022.

Last-reviewed: 9am, Sept. 21, 2022

Key Resources:

The Basics

  • SNAP households will see an increase to their SNAP benefits when a new cost of living adjustment (COLA) takes effect on October 1, 2022.
  • As part of pandemic relief, an extra emergency SNAP supplemental payment was sent to eligible families on or about September 3, 2022.
  • Summer P-EBT (P-EBT) is available for eligible households with children, including kids under the age of 6.
  • WIC veggie and fruit benefit levels are in effect through September 31, 2022.
  • DHS offices are open to in-person services at customer facing lobbies. General application information here. Full regional office list here.
  • Summer food programs are available. More information here.
  • Current food site location information here.

The Breakdown

General
  • Every year, the federal government makes cost of living adjustments (COLA) that account for the changes in inflation. COLA impact benefit calculations. Effective October 1 2022, eligible SNAP households will see an increase to their benefits.
    •  For example, the maximum monthly benefit for a household of three (without an adult over the age of 60 or a person with a disability) will increase from $658 to $740.
    • More information about the SNAP COLA changes here.
  • Extra emergency SNAP payments of $95 were issued to eligible SNAP households on or about September 3, 2022. Eligibility for this benefit is complex and not all SNAP households will receive this extra payment. More information here.
  • Summer P-EBT provides additional pandemic-related food benefits to children. Children under 6 are now also eligible. No application is required. P-EBT FAQ here. (last updated August 12, 2022)
    • School-age children who received P-EBT during the 2021-2022 school year will continue to receive their monthly benefits through the end of the summer. More here.
    • Children under the age of 6 may also receive a retroactive benefit. SNAP participating children will receive benefits between September and October 2022, in the amount of $391 per eligible child.
    • No special applications are necessary.
    • Summer P-EBT benefits are not tied to the operating status of the school or childcare.
    • If families did not receive P-EBT, but believe they should have, then care teams can direct them to call RI UnitedWay 211.
    • P-EBT benefits are available for up to 9 months from the date they are issued.
  • Families with SNAP who use their EBT cards at participating farmers markets can receive “Bonus Bucks”. This means that for every $1 spent, receive a bonus $1 that can be used on local produce. More information here.
  • Reminder about inclement weather: SNAP households who experience power outages of 4 or more hours are entitled to SNAP replacement benefits. Benefit replacement requests must be submitted within 10 days of power loss. More information under “How to Report Loss of Food” here.
WIC
  • WIC increases for fruits and veggies are in effect through September 30, 2022.
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) offices are open to remote services.
    • The WIC Shopper App can be downloaded to help locate WIC vendors and offices, the WIC food guide, and a scanning tool to help check if a food is on the approved food list.
    • Use this locator tool to find farmers markets that accept WIC.
Food Pantries
Meals on Wheels

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can help individuals and families become food secure by sharing information about benefits and programs.
Income Security

The Basics

  • DHS issued in early August a per child clothing allowance to RI Works households.
  • DHS will disburse an extra $370 per eligible child who previously received RI Works benefits. More information here.
  • Eligible RI households with up to 3 children under the age of 18 will automatically receive $250 per child as part of a child tax credit incentive.
  • Households now can receive RI Works for up to 60 months. Read more here.
  • Through October 17, 2022, eligible households can still file their taxes for free.

The Breakdown

  • DHS issued a clothing allowance of $100 per child for RI Works households. More information here.
  • Families who have been enrolled in RI Works benefits between September 1, 2021 through May 30, 2022 will receive an extra $370 per child to provide temporary relief from inflation-related costs. More information here.
    • Benefits will be disbursed through the household’s EBT card.
    • Eligible RI Works households will receive a notice in the mail.
    • Note: Families must use these funds within 90 days, or they will be expunged from their EBT card.
  • A $250 child tax credit rebate will automatically be sent in October 2022 to eligible RI families with up to 3 children under the age of 18 and who earn less than $100,000 for a single-income household or $200,000 or less for a two-income household. More information here (last updated August 5, 2022). Rebate FAQ here.
    • Eligibility is based on 2021 tax returns.
    • Rebates for people who filed by the October 17, 2022 tax extension will be issued starting in December 2022.
  • RI passed new changes to RI Works. Families may now receive up to 60 months of assistance (instead of the previous 48 months) and they can now have up to $5,000 (instead of $1,000) in resources and remain eligible.
  • Tax filings were due in RI on April 18, 2022. However, households with an adjusted gross income of $73,000 or less can still file for free using the IRS Free File tool up to October 17, 2022. While late fees may be assessed, some people may be eligible for a fee waiver.
    • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs here. Note: some VITA programs have closed.
  • As of September 6, 2022, RI’s SSA offices are open. Check the status of SSA office openings here.
    • High demand for services has prompted long in-person wait times. The SSA recommends using online services as much as possible or to minimize lobby based services on days with the highest volume such as the first of the month, Mondays and Fridays.
    • Note: The SSA is having widespread issues with their hotline. Use this contact guide to get updates on the issue and find other ways to contact the SSA.  
  • General Public Assistance is available to eligible adults with limited income and a medical condition that keeps them from working while waiting for a SSI determination. More information here.

The Bottom Line

  • Care teams can share how tax returns can be used to optimize household income.

Spotlight on non-discrimination

Income maximization strategies and food security resources often require care teams to direct people to the Department of Human Services (DHS) in order to access concrete supports such as SNAP or RI Works (cash assistance). State agencies, like DHS, are prohibited from discriminating against its applicants or clients based on their race or color, sex, national origin, disability, age, religion, or political beliefs.

If a person believes they have been discriminated against and they share that with your care team, direct that individual to the RI DHS Civil Rights Office. The Civil Rights office has the authority to investigate discrimination claims arising out of interactions with DHS offices, programs, and contractors.