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DCF Program Updates

Economic Self-Sufficiency

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How will COVID-19 affect my Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits? Will there be an early release of SNAP benefits?
    DCF worked with our federal partners to temporarily increase all Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients’ benefit amounts to the maximum monthly allotment based on household size for March through December 2020 and January 2021. Additionally, due to the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, SNAP benefits will increase overall by 15% starting in January through June 2021.

    Florida is participating in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) online purchasing program, allowing SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online through Walmart, Amazon, and ALDI.

  2. What other resources are available for my family?
    Feeding Florida’s united network of 12 food banks are working rapidly to deploy food and other services into areas of need throughout the state. To locate a food bank in your area and where to access food/supplies, visit:

    For additional resources, please view our Resources page:

  3. How can I apply for benefits now that DCF closed storefronts and lobbies?
    The fastest way to apply for benefits, report changes, upload documents, and check the status of an application or benefits is online at:

    • Customers can pick up paper applications outside of your local storefront or lobby. Drop box and instructions for customers are available at all storefronts and lobbies to submit information and applications.
    • Customers can call DCF at 850-300-4323 (TTY 1-800-955-8771) to request an application by mail. Completed applications can be submitted by FAX to 1-866-886-4342 or mailed to
      ACCESS Central Mail Center
      P.O. Box 1770
      Ocala, FL 34478-1770
    • A call center agent is available to take applications by phone at 850-300-4323 (TTY 1-800-955-8771). Please note, this process is time consuming and may take up to an hour – customers are encouraged to utilize this option as a last resort.
  4. Will there be a lift on the Retroactive coverage rule?
    The Department of Children and Families is working with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), Florida’s Medicaid agency, to explore all options to ensure access to public health care. The state will not be ending Medicaid eligibility for most individuals who were receiving Medicaid on or after March 18, 2020 through the last day of the month in which the public health emergency ends. Individuals who believe they may be eligible for Medicaid should apply as soon as possible. Medicaid benefits begin from the first day of the month in the month of application. For updates, please visit:

    During this public health emergency, individuals applying for Medicaid may be unable to submit all the documentation required to process their application. Beginning with applications received in February 2020, we are extending the timeframe for individuals to submit any necessary paperwork to 120 days from the date the application was received. If the Medicaid application is approved, the individual’s Medicaid eligibility effective date will still be the first day of the month that the initial application was received.

  5. Where do I apply for unemployment?
    To apply for unemployment, please visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website at:

  6. Will the stimulus check have an effect on my eligibility?
    Federal guidance from the Social Security Administration and United States Department of Agriculture state that, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6409, these rebates are excluded from consideration as income in the month of receipt and as an asset for 12 months following receipt for purposes of SNAP and Medicaid. A household would not be considered to have exceeded the income limit due to these payments because they are excluded, but receipt of these payments could affect a household’s eligibility after 12 months if the payments cause the household to exceed the resource limit.

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