Vermont’s 3SquaresVT Food Program and the COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis

Updated 12/28/2020 at 1:15 p.m.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 has been signed into law. The relief package increases the 3SquaresVT maximum benefit by 15% for six months — from January 1 to June 30, 2021. We’ll have more information about this increased benefit soon.

3SquaresVT (known under federal law as the SNAP program and known commonly as “food stamps”) is available to help you meet your family’s food needs.

Even if you have never received 3SquaresVT before, you should apply if your income has changed and your family is experiencing food insecurity. Some laws and procedures for the 3SquaresVT program have changed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and more changes are expected soon. We’ll continue to update this page regularly. 

Important notes

  • Benefits Service Center staff are available to help, but you can also access a lot of information online and through the telephone self-service system.
  • Staff are working overtime to process changes and process new applications.

Extra benefits

If you are getting 3SquaresVT benefits now, your benefits will be increased automatically during the state of emergency. To date, Vermont has been approved to provide “emergency allotments” for each month that Governor Scott has extended Vermont's state of emergency. That means that your benefits will automatically be increased to the maximum amount for your family size.

Your normal allotment will be issued at the beginning of the month, and the emergency allotment will be issued on the 15th of the following month. You will not get a separate notification about your eligibility for the emergency allotment — anyone eligible for 3SquaresVT will automatically get the increased benefit amount.

If you already get the maximum benefit, you will not receive anything extra.

Here is the chart of the maximum benefits.

Maximum 3SquaresVT benefits
Household size Maximum benefit as of Nov. 2020
1 $204
2 $374
3 $535
4 $680
5 $807
6 $960

Special group of checks in December 2020 from Vermont State Treasurer's Office

The Vermont State Treasurer’s Office is sending checks to about 22,500 households who participate in the 3SquaresVT program. This one-time payment of $286 will provide extra support to households who:

  • were not eligible to receive the enhanced 3SquaresVT benefit for September 2020 because they were already receiving the maximum benefit, or
  • received an enhanced benefit of $50 or less for September.

These one-time checks will be mailed from mid-December through December 30, 2020. Each check will include a message that says: “This is a special 3SquaresVT payment. Questions? Call 1-800-479-6151.”

If you aren’t sure what your benefit amount was or whether you got benefits in September, call the Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151.

Problems with some of the special checks from Vermont State Treasurer’s Office: 4,932 of these checks were not sent correctly. Some households got a check with their address but not their name. These checks have a stop payment on them and cannot be cashed. The state is calling people who were affected. They will send new checks.

My income has changed. What should I do?

  • Report the change right away to the Benefits Service Center. They may be able to accept “self-declaration” of your change in income.
  • If your income changes again later, because you go back to work, or because you start getting unemployment compensation, be sure to call the Benefits Service Center again to update them on your new income.

Will I still have to do recertification paperwork or an interview during the state of emergency?

  • Yes. Contact the Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151 if you have questions about deadlines.

My benefits are getting reduced or terminated (stopped). What should I do?

  • Call the Benefits Service Center to find out if you need to send in paperwork, provide additional information, or take some other action step to solve the problem. 
  • If that does not solve the problem, you can contact us for help. Call us at 1-800-889-2047 or fill out our form
  • You can also ask for a fair hearing to dispute the termination or reduction of benefits through the Benefits Service Center. Ask for “aid continuing” if you’d like to continue to get the same amount of benefits until the date of your hearing. Hearings are not being scheduled during the state of emergecy.

Learn more

  • Hunger Free Vermont is posting information about how to access food, including meals for school children and seniors, WIC, foodbanks and 3SquaresVT.
  • Call 2-1-1 to ask about ways to get help with food.
  • Learn more about 3SquaresVT on the 3SquaresVT pages of our website.
Updated: Jan 05, 2021