As we look ahead to 2024, there are significant changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that you should be aware of. This is not unusual, because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), entity that manage the food stamps program over the whole country, perform periodical reviews on the prerequisites to qualify.
One of the most notable changes to the SNAP program in 2024 is the adjustment of maximum allotments. These changes will impact households across various states and territories. But, in order to understand how the changes will affect beneficiaries, we have to separate all the territories where the SNAP program is available.
New SNAP payments chart to apply from September 1, 2023
According to their size, these will be the values in monthly food stamps a household could claim (how many members, 2023 and 2024 allotments, respectively, in the 48 contiguous states and Washington DC):
- 1 person: from $281 to $291
- 2 people: from $516 to $535
- 3 people: from $740 to $766
- 4 people: from $939 to $973
- 5 people: from $1,116 to $1,155
- 6 people: from $1,339 to $1,386
- 7 people: from $1,480 to $1,532
- 8 people: from $1,691 to $1,751
- Each additional person: from $211 to $219
SNAP Work requirements to apply for beneficiaries in 2024
Starting from September 1, 2023, new work requirements will be imposed on SNAP recipients, as follows:
- ABAWDs Ages 50-54: ABAWDs between the ages of 50 and 54 will need to meet work requirements to receive SNAP benefits. This change is designed to encourage self-sufficiency among this demographic.
- ABAWDs Ages 18-49: ABAWDs between the ages of 18 and 49 already need to prove they are working at least 80 hours a month, pursuing an education, or participating in a training program to qualify for SNAP benefits for more than three months. These prerequisites stay in place.
- Exemptions: There are exemptions to the work requirements. Homeless individuals, veterans, and young adults ages 18 to 24 who aged out of foster care are among those exempted from these requirements.
- Furthermore, starting from October 1, 2023, there will be a reduction in the annual allocation of individual ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents) discretionary exemptions for state agencies. The allotment will decrease from 12 percent to 8 percent of the caseload that falls under the ABAWD time limit.
What are the income eligibility standards for SNAP in 2024?
To be eligible for SNAP, a household’s income and resources must meet three tests:
- Gross monthly income: This is the household income before any of the program’s deductions are applied. It generally must be at or below 130 percent of the poverty line. For a family of three, the poverty line used to calculate SNAP benefits in federal fiscal year 2023 is $1,920 a month. Thus, 130 percent of the poverty line for a three-person family is about $29,940 a year. The poverty level is higher for bigger families and lower for smaller families.
- Net income: This is the household income after deductions are applied. It must be at or below the poverty line.
- Assets: These must fall below certain limits. Households without a member aged 60 or older, or who has a disability, must have assets of $2,750 or less. Households with such a member must have assets of $4,250 or less.
It’s important to note that SNAP counts cash income from all sources, including earned income (before payroll taxes are deducted) and unearned income, such as cash assistance, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and child support.
For the fiscal year 2023, which began in October 2022, the gross monthly income cap for a family of three to receive benefits has increased from $2,379 to $2,495
Maximum assignations the SNAP program will deliver to recipients from 2024
The maximum allotment for a family of four in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia will see an increase to $973 from current $939, according to the USDA. For households in Alaska, where the cost of living tends to be higher, the maximum allotments for a family of four will range from $1,248 to $1,937.
Now, let’s take an example of a family of four in Guam: They can expect a maximum allotment of $1,434, while in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it will be $1,251. Hawaii will see a decrease in the maximum allotment for a family of four, which will now be $1,759.
SNAP benefits have income eligibility standards that vary from state to state due to differences in the cost of living. These income limits are subject to change every year, to follow the inflation and the cost of living.
Let’s also talk about the resources limits: The resource limit for households is a key factor in determining SNAP eligibility. In 2024, this limit will remain unchanged for households in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, at $2,750.
What are the work requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents to receive SNAP benefits
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has work requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) to receive benefits. These requirements are designed to ensure that those who are able to work make efforts to do so as a condition of receiving assistance.
To meet the ABAWD work requirement, an individual must:
- Participate in a work program for at least 80 hours a month. A work program could be SNAP Employment and Training or another federal, state, or local work program fns.usda.gov.
- Participate in a combination of work and work program hours for a total of at least 80 hours a month.
- Participate in workfare for the number of hours assigned each month. The number of hours will depend on the amount of the individual’s SNAP benefit.
It’s important to note that starting Oct. 1, 2023, these rules apply to people ages 18-52
Temporary waives for ABAWD food stamps recipients: How do they work?
The Food and Nutrition Act permits states to seek a temporary exemption for regions experiencing an unemployment rate exceeding 10% or lacking an adequate number of job opportunities. The USDA also provides guidance on the definition of exempt populations, as follows:
- A homeless person is someone without a stable and consistent place to stay at night, or whose main nighttime residence is a supervised shelter, halfway house, a location not intended for habitation, or a temporary accommodation for a period not exceeding 90 days.
- A veteran is an individual who served in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the reserves, who was discharged or released from service.
- A former foster youth is defined as a person aged 24 or younger who was under foster care at the age of 18 or older, depending on the specific foster care age range established by their state.
What is the definition of a homeless person in the context of SNAP benefits?
In the context of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a homeless person is defined more broadly than just individuals living on the street or in homeless shelters. According to the SNAP program, homeless individuals include those whose primary nighttime residence is a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations (including a welfare hotel or congregate shelter); or an institution; or a temporary accommodation for not more than 90 days in the residence of another individual; or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used, as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (a hallway, a bus station, a lobby, or similar places).
This definition of homelessness is also similar to the one used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Congress. The HUD defines a homeless person as an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, or an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings