Changes to SNAP and Medicaid call for urgent action now

by Brittney Madison

     There have been changes made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will impact every food assistance recipient in Cuyahoga County.

What’s Happening?

     In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress approved the issuance of an emergency SNAP allotment.

     For nearly three years, Cuyahoga County SNAP customers received two payments. One payment in the beginning of the month as part of their standard benefit — the other payment as part of the emergency measures approved by the federal government. 

     Last December, as part of the 2023 Consolidated Appropriations Act, the U.S. Congress eliminated funding for the emergency allotment. The final emergency SNAP allotments will be issued in February 2023.

     Beginning on March 1, 2023, Cuyahoga County residents who receive SNAP will only be issued their standard SNAP allotment. 

     Instead of receiving two allotments, Cuyahoga County residents will go back to receiving one SNAP allotment.  

     Depending on income and family size, SNAP customers can lose between $95 to $300 in emergency benefits. 

Next Steps: 

     The standard benefit for SNAP customers is determined by household income and expenses.

     If you have different income or expenses to report, please submit verification(s) to Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services (CJFS).

     For those who want to check standard benefit amount or status of your case call the Ohio Direction Card Customer Service Center at 1-866-386-3071. You may also visit the Self-Service Portal at to check status and update your case. 

     Since the changes to SNAP are from the federal government, SNAP customers cannot request a hearing due to the ending of the SNAP emergency allotment. 

     In addition to changes to SNAP, there will be important changes to Medicaid as well.

     With the passing of the above mentioned 2023 Consolidations Appropriations Act, the continuous coverage provision tied to Medicaid will expire on March 31, 2023.

What this means for you:

     Ohio resumed routine eligibility operations on February 1, 2023.

     Some Ohio Medicaid members will be disenrolled from the program, with the first round of termination letters being mailed to those who are no longer eligible beginning in April 2023.

What do you need to do?

     It is critical that you take the necessary steps to update your contact information, respond to requests for information (including renewal packets), or transition to other coverage if you are no longer eligible for Medicaid.

     Make sure your contact information is up to date. You should let your County Department of Job and Family Services know any time your contact information changes. Information for Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services (CJFS) can be found below.

     Additionally, you can make changes to your name, residential address, mailing address (if different from home address), phone number, and email address by logging on to

     Check your mail and respond to renewal packets and requests for information from CJFS. If you get a letter telling you to renew, or that CJFS needs more information, be sure to respond right away.

     If you’re notified that you are no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage, this is considered a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), which allows you to enroll in a Marketplace plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period. If you need help understanding your options, trained, licensed insurance navigators are available at no cost to you. Contact Get Covered Ohio for free, unbiased assistance.

     Go to or call 1-833-628-4467. Insurance navigators can help in-person, online, or over the phone.

     Your child may be eligible for coverage even if you are no longer eligible. For more information, contact CJFS.

     Information for Cuyahoga County Jobs and Family Services: Phone: 216-881-5554 Fax: 216-263-4684 Addresses: Jane Edna Hunter Building, 3955 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, Hours: Mon – Fri 9-4 PM.

     Virgil E Brown Building, 1641 Payne Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114. Hours: Mon – Fri 9-4 PM

Westshore (Document Drop off), 9830 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102, Hours: Mon – Fri 8-4:30 PM

Editor’s Note: The author of this article, Brittney Madison, is an organizer with Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality (NOBLE).  Visit to learn more about NOBLE.

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