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(The Center Square) – Virginians who receive food stamps will continue to be eligible for higher pandemic-era benefits through June, the Virginia Department of Social Services announced.

Families receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will see additional benefits automatically loaded onto their EBT cards. The funds will be added n June 16.

A household of one will be eligible for up to $234 monthly while the emergency funding continues. A family of two could receive up to $430, a family of three up to $616 and a family of four up to $782. The funding gradually increases for every additional member of a family.

The emergency benefits were introduced amid higher unemployment numbers and lower job opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The commonwealth has also continued to provide higher funding for unemployment benefits.

Although unemployment numbers are still higher than pre-pandemic levels, the rates have gradually dropped along with the gradual reduction in restrictions imposed upon businesses. At the moment, almost all of the state’s restrictions have ended.

Many business groups have urged the state to end the higher pandemic unemployment benefits and divert that funding toward a back-to-work bonus as a means to incentivize people to work, rather than stay home. According to the NFIB, most businesses have open spots they have been unable to fill because they lack skilled applicants in some cases and because people are staying on unemployment, rather than looking for work, in other cases.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.