COVID-19: Support for Individuals and Families
COVID-19: Support for Individuals and Families
Information about SNAP and other social benefit programs, Medicaid and health benefits, unemployment services, veterans services, and other assistance programs during the COVID-19 outbreak.
SNAP and Other Social Benefit Programs
Family and Children Services implements prevention efforts. Governor Kemp increases the maximum benefit available to SNAP recipients. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer payments coming in July. To limit person-to-person contact, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services encourages you to use Georgia Gateway, their online service portal where you can apply for and check your benefits, upload documents, and report any changes to your case. In-person services are available by appointment.
Benefits due for renewal in March, April, May, June, July, and August 2020 are extended by 6 months. If you attempt to complete an online renewal, and do not see an online renewal link, your eligibility date has likely been extended. A new notice will be issued when renewal is due.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program is a one-time payment to provide extra help for children who normally would receive free or reduced school lunch. If your family is currently receiving SNAP benefits, you do not need to apply.
DFCS manages these state social benefit programs: Health Coverage, Child Care and Parent Services, Food Stamps (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Create your Georgia Gateway account here. Call the Customer Support at 1-877-423-4746 during business hours for assistance. The Governor has also increased the maximum benefit available to eligible SNAP recipients. The supplement will be included as part of the regular monthly benefit.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
Federal program partners with states to provide those in need with emergency food and nutrition at no cost. TEFAP helps supplement the diets of low-income persons in Georgia by providing food to Food Banks located throughout the state. Find your local Food Bank now. For questions about TEFAP, please call the state office at 404-463-804.
Medicaid and Health Benefits
The Department of Community Health is open for business with limited on-site staff. Please call your contact person before visiting. Additionally, Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® benefits due for renewal in March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October 2020 have been extended by 6 months. If you attempt to complete an online renewal, and do not see an online renewal link, your eligibility date has likely been extended. Notices will be issued when renewal is due.
Department of Labor moves to online services. Governor Kemp and GDOL help Georgians understand unemployment options as the state allows businesses to reopen with strict operational and sanitation guidelines. The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. The GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services. GDOL career centers are temporarily closed to the public.
In a joint statement on April 22, Governor Kemp and the GDOL explained that, as the state allows some businesses to reopen with safeguards in place, Georgians who return to work may still qualify for unemployment benefits. This means that an individual can continue to make up to $300 per week without reducing their maximum weekly benefit amount. This will enable employees to work reduced hours and still qualify for state weekly benefits and the federal weekly supplement. The federal $600 weekly supplement, which was part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, expired at the end of July.
On August 8, the President signed an executive order to extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits. The FEMA grant funding will allow Georgia to provide a federal $300 weekly supplement to eligible individuals. The Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program will apply benefits to all eligible weeks beginning with the week ending August 1.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
U.S. Department of Labor announces new action to help American workers and employers during the COVID-19 outbreak. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. DOL issued a temporary rule to help the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19. Workers and employers can now benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while also ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between receiving their paychecks and following COVID-19 public health guidelines.
Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Payment Checks)
Distribution of Economic Impact Payments has begun. No action required by most people. Action required by some non-filers. The distribution of Economic Impact Payments, also called stimulus payment checks, has begun. These funds, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), will be distributed automatically to qualified individuals, with no action required for most people. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
Some people who typically do not file tax returns, also called non-filers, are still eligible to receive the economic impact payment. However, they must submit an application for payment with the IRS. Please visit the IRS website for more information.
Veterans Services says to call before visiting field offices. The field offices for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) remain open, ready to assist veterans and their families. Due to COVID-19, some VA medical centers and clinics may have reduced visitation. The GDVS advises you to contact your local office to schedule an appointment before visiting. Find your local field office.