When calculating eligibility and benefit amount, SNAP considers the size of your household, which the USDA defines as “everyone who lives together and purchases and prepares meals together.” Households may also have to meet:
- Gross and net income limits, which must be at or below 130% of the federal poverty line.
- Resource limits.
- Word requirements.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, SNAP expects households receiving benefits to spend 30% of their net income on food. Families with no net income receive the maximum allotments. For households with net income, the monthly SNAP benefit equals the maximum benefits for that household size minus 30% of the household’s net income.
Monthly income eligibility standards changed for the 48 states and D.C., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Here is the gross monthly income limit for U.S. households at 130% of the poverty level for October 2023:
|Household Size||48 States, D.C., Guam and Virgin Islands||Alaska||Hawaii|
|Each additional member||$557||$697||$641|
These aren’t the only changes to SNAP. Maximum allotments for the 48 states and D.C., Alaska, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands all increased. Meanwhile, the amount decreased for SNAP recipients in Hawaii. For a family of four in the 48 contiguous states, the COLA means a benefit increase of $34 per month.
New SNAP work requirements also went into effect. SNAP changes were authorized as part of the debt ceiling deal earlier this year, increasing the age requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents to 50 years old on Sept. 1 and again to 52 on Oct. 1. Homeless people, veterans and adults ages 18 to 24 years old who aged out of foster care are exempt.
Additionally, there could be more changes to SNAP with the next farm bill, as lawmakers on both sides look to expand or limit access to food stamps. The current farm bill expired on Sept. 30, and Congress has still not put forward legislation at the committee level. House and Senate Agriculture Committee staff say they are still divided on some of the bigger items on the bill, Maryland Matters reported.
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