PA Rules for Maintaining Your SNAP Benefits

maintaining snap in PA: what you need to knowCurrently in Pennsylvania, you can continue to receive SNAP benefits as long as you meet the income eligibility requirements. But there are other federal and state laws regarding what SNAP recipients must do to continue getting food stamps.

Reporting Changes

First and foremost, as a SNAP recipient you must report to the Pa Dept. of Human Services (DHS) any changes in the following:

  • your address
  • your phone number
  • your household income in the amount of $150 or more
  • your rent
  • your other expenses
  • who lives in your household

If you don’t update your contact information, you will likely miss out on receiving important mail and notices. If you receive benefits that you aren’t entitled to, DHS can hold you responsible for paying them back. If they think you intentionally withheld information about income to keep getting benefits, you can be charged with fraud.

When reporting changes, you may need to mail, fax, upload, or drop off documents to prove changes. Report your change in any of the following ways:

  • Calling the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930. Always request a ticket number when calling this number.
  • Using the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app.
  • Visiting or calling your county assistance office.

Semi-Annual Review

In addition to reporting changes routinely, DHS requires most SNAP recipients to file paperwork every 6 months to keep their benefits going. DHS suspended this requirement during the pandemic but put it back in place on April 1, 2022.

DHS will send SNAP recipients a Semi-Annual Review (SAR) packet, which is due 6 months after your application and again after your annual recertification(s). If you would have had a SAR due prior to April 2022, DHS skipped it – you won’t need to do anything until your annual recertification.

The packet you receive will have the due date on it. DHS mails out SARs with an earlier due date than when they need to actually arrive in the office. They then mail out a Late/Incomplete SAR packet if they didn’t receive your SAR by that earlier deadline. The Late/Incomplete SAR usually arrives just about the time the SAR is due.

If DHS doesn’t process your SAR by the end of the month it is due, they can suspend your benefits. Completing the SAR will get your benefits reinstated and you won’t have to do a whole new application.

Main takeaways:

  • You need to submit the SAR form by its due date, usually 6 months after your application date and your annual recertification(s).
  • DHS does not require an interview with your Semi-Annual Review.
  • You can complete the form using the MyCOMPASS PA mobile app.
  • If you do not receive a SAR form, call the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930.

Recertification

You need to have your benefits recertified (or renewed) every year. DHS should mail you a recertification packet with a renewal form that also has the DATE and TIME of your recertification phone interview. To recertify and keep your benefits open, you will need to:

  • Submit the form by its due date, along with documents that verify your income and any changes. You can submit the form by mail or by using the COMPASS website.
  • You can upload required documents using the My COMPASS PA mobile app or submit them by mail.
  • Complete the phone interview.

If you do not receive this form, call the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930
You can call Just Harvest if you need help with your recertification at 412-431-8960 (option 3).

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