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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2021 07:20 PM
From: Representative Tarah Toohil
To: All House members
Subject: Establishing uniform timeframe for distribution of SNAP benefits in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation that would establish a uniform statewide time period for the distribution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits based on concerns raised during both House and Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearings.

Other states have set timeframes for the disbursement of SNAP benefits on a statewide level. For example, Florida more recently updated their statewide distribution schedule to span from 15 days to 28 days which was phased in over a two-month period.

Pennsylvania, however, distributes on a county-by-county basis. There are three different schedules counties follow, depending on the number of recipients of SNAP benefits in that particular county. Several rural counties distribute SNAP benefits over one day each month; several rural and some larger counties distribute over a two-day period each month; while a third of the state, mostly larger counties, distribute benefits over a 10-day period.

Retailers that testified at the Policy Committee hearing argued that spacing out the distribution of SNAP benefits over the course of a month will allow their stores to be properly stocked and staffed. They advocate spreading out payments over a fixed period to help provide consistent product availability and effectively meet the needs of customers who receive and use SNAP benefits.

This legislation would establish a uniform timeframe of when SNAP benefits would be distributed by the state.  Thank you for your consideration. 

Former HB299 Rep. Toohil (2019-2020)

Introduced as HB629