FILE - PA Unemployment Compensation Pennsylvania 5-5-2021

A sign seeking to hire laborers is posted May 5, 2021, outside a concrete products company in Evans City, Pennsylvania.

(The Center Square) – While low-income families saw an increase in their federal SNAP benefits when the pandemic hit, it also created a “benefits cliff” that could discourage work and the supply of labor.

A new policy brief from the Independent Fiscal Office explains the situation. Before the federal public health emergency (which is still in effect), SNAP benefits had a “phase-out” effect where an additional $100 in income reduced benefits by $30. With the phase-out suspended during the health emergency, “it is now all or nothing,” IFO Director Matthew Knittel wrote in an email.

IFO PA benefits cliff

The "benefits cliff:" When household income exceeds the threshold, all benefits disappear. From the Independent Fiscal Office.

Originally published on, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.


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