More than 42 million people living in the U.S. rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — also known as SNAP — to help feed their families. With SNAP benefits, people can purchase fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, breads, cereals, snack foods, non-alcoholic beverages and plants and seeds that provide food.
Each fiscal year, the USDA adjusts SNAP maximum allotments, deductions and income eligibility standards based on the changes in the cost of living. But for the current fiscal year, which began on Oct. 1, 2021, there have been some other changes that have affected the amount of SNAP benefits people and families will receive. Here’s how SNAP benefits have increased since the pandemic begin, and what Americans should know about SNAP benefits in 2022.
Temporary SNAP Boost Expired and the TFP Increased
Beginning in January 2021, a temporary 15% boost was provided to SNAP benefits. However, that boost expired on Sept. 30, 2021.
Thankfully, the USDA reevaluated the Thrifty Food Plan, which is used to set SNAP benefits, and increased the purchasing power of the plan by 21% for the first time since the plan was introduced in 1975. As a result, right after the temporary 15% boost expired, the SNAP maximum benefit amounts increased. So even though the temporary 15% boost expired, the financial impact was offset by the adjustment to the TFP.
Emergency allotments from each state, which were separate from the 15% boost, are still in effect in most states but will phase out as the public health emergency comes to an end. Then, average SNAP benefits will be approximately $169 per person, as compared to the lesser average benefit of $133 that they would have received prior to the USDA reevaluating the Thrifty Food Plan.
A Look at How SNAP Benefits Have Changed Since 2020
Examples of how SNAP benefits have changed and will continue to change within each state are as follows, according to the USDA:
- In October 2020, a single senior, living alone, who received $500 in Social Security income each month would have received $54 in monthly SNAP benefits.
- With emergency allotments due to the pandemic, the senior’s SNAP benefits increased to $204 per month.
- With the 15% boost that took place from January through September 2021, the senior’s benefits would have increased again to $234.
- With the Thrifty Food Plan reevaluation, the senior’s benefits would have increased again to $250 on Oct. 1, 2021, even though the 15% boost ended on Sept. 30, 2021.
- When emergency allotments end, the senior’s benefit will decrease to $100, which is still $46 more per month than the original SNAP benefit of $54.
How Much Can a Family of 4 Receive in SNAP Benefits for 2022?
Maximum allotments are the maximum amount of SNAP benefits a family of four can receive. For 2022, maximum allotments for a family of four increased for the 48 contiguous states and D.C., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands as follows:
- In the 48 states and D.C., the maximum allotment is $835.
- In Alaska, maximum allotments range from $1,074 to $1,667.
- In Hawaii, the maximum allotment is $1,573.
- In Guam, the maximum allotment is $1,231.
- In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the maximum allotment is $1,074.
How Much of a Monthly SNAP Increase Can People Expect in 2022?
Here’s a look at the amount of monthly SNAP increase people can expect in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia due to the reevaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan.
Monthly SNAP Benefit Increase for the Lower 48 and D.C.
|Household Members||Amount of SNAP Increase|
What About Income Eligibility for 2022?
The following table details income eligibility limits, according to the number of people in a household. In most cases, your household must meet both gross and net income limits to qualify for SNAP benefits. Note, however, that households with elderly or disabled members only have to meet net income limits to qualify.
SNAP Income Limits for 2022
|Household Size||Gross Monthly Income||Net Monthly Income|
|Each additional member||+$492||+$379|
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