Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updates the amount that families receive in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to account for changes in the cost of living, so families can deal with the inflation. Just recently, they revealed the new benefit amounts that households will be eligible for in the upcoming 2024 fiscal year, starting on October 1, 2023.
With these changes, a qualifying family will now be able to receive a maximum of $1,751 per month in SNAP allotments, which is an increase from the previous $1,691 they received in the current fiscal year. Keep reading and get to know how much your family will receive from now on your EBT card.
Food Stamps Adjustments to Allocations and Caps
The process of SNAP payments increase typically involves several key steps, starting at the annual review regarding the impact of cost of living in the households’ budgets and economies. The primary factor considered is the inflation rate, which reflects how prices for goods and services are changing over time. If prices are rising, it becomes more expensive for people to buy the same amount of food, so SNAP benefits may need to increase.
The USDA uses a specific food plan called the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) to calculate the cost of a nutritionally adequate diet at a modest cost. The TFP is the basis for determining SNAP benefit levels. Furthermore, the entity adjusts the SNAP payments according to every state’s reality. So, for instance, the monthly SNAP allotments are not the same in Florida or Alaska, since the cost of living are different.
New SNAP amounts you will get from October 2023
The maximum payments for 2024 have increased by approximately 3.5% to 3.7% compared to the 2023 rates. Next, you’ll see the list of maximum SNAP monthly allocations to be disbursed in the upcoming fiscal year 2024.
The amounts for the 48 contiguous states and DC are (according to household’s size):
- 1 person: $291
- 2 people: $535
- 3 people: $766
- 4 people: $973
- 5 people: $1,155
- 6 people: $1,386
- 7 people: $1,532
- 8 people: $1,751
- Each additional person: $219
The amounts for Guam are (according to household’s size):
- 1 person: $430
- 2 people: $788
- 3 people: $1,129
- 4 people: $1,434
- 5 people: $1,703
- 6 people: $2,044
- 7 people: $2,259
- 8 people: $2,581
- Each additional person: $323
If you reside in Alaska, your food stamps payments depend on whether you live in one of three areas: Urban, Rural 1, or Rural 2, as follows (respectively):
- 1 person: $374 / $477 / $581
- 2 people: $686 / $875 / $1,065
- 3 people: $983 / $1,253 / $1,525
- 4 people: $1,248 / $1,591 / $1,937
- 5 people: $1,482 / $1,890 / $2,300
- 6 people: $1,778 / $2,268 / $2,760
- 7 people: $1,966 / $2,506 / $3,051
- 8 people: $2,246 / $2,865 / $3,487
- Each additional person: $281 / $358 / $436
Maximum SNAP allotments for Hawaii are as follows:
- 1 person: $527
- 2 people: $967
- 3 people: $1,385
- 4 people: $1,759
- 5 people: $2,088
- 6 people: $2,506
- 7 people: $2,770
- 8 people: $3,166
- Each additional person: $396
Resource Food Stamps Limits and Practical Implications
Nestled within the confines of the financial landscape, the resource limit stands firm at $2,750 across all states and territories. However, in the presence of a disabled or elderly member in the household, the threshold escalates to $4,250.
Let’s delve deeper into the financial realities of an average four-member family, offering a clearer perspective. With a monthly budget of approximately $973, they have around $8 per person per day to allocate. It’s essential to recognize that SNAP benefits were never intended to cover the entirety of a family’s food expenses.
Despite this, a recent study conducted by the Urban Institute, renowned for its data analysis prowess, underscores the increasing cost of a decent meal. By the close of 2022, the average cost of such a meal reached $3.14, marking a 15% rise compared to the assistance provided by SNAP. An intriguing revelation surfaces: In almost all counties, a staggering 99% to be precise, the benefits extended by SNAP fall short of covering the expenses for a single meal.
Regular Adjustments SNAP for Ongoing Support
The frequency of adjustments to SNAP benefit amounts is annually in October, strategically timed to account for inflation. These adjustments are meticulously calculated by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The impact cascades through various aspects including maximum benefit allotments, income parameters, resource eligibility standards, and yearly deductions.
The methodology for calculating the maximum benefit relies on the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). This plan, an estimate by the USDA, quantifies the cost of providing nutritious, economical meals for a household. The benefit amount oscillates based on the number of individuals in the household.
New Work Requirements Now in Effect for Qualifying SNAP Beneficiaries
Congress has recently implemented changes to the food stamp program, requiring more low-income Americans to work in order to qualify for SNAP benefits. Specifically, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), which are adults aged up to 50 with no children, must now provide proof of at least 80 hours of work per month or enrollment in an education or training program to receive assistance.
This age requirement will rise to 52 in October. However, certain groups, such as homeless individuals, veterans, and adults up to 24 who aged out of foster care, are exempt from these new mandates. Furthermore, on October 1, 2024, the age limit will be raised up to 54 years.
The new age and exemption requirements are temporary and will be effective through Oct. 1, 2030. Nonetheless, these changes could potentially impact approximately 750,000 adults, leading to a loss of their SNAP benefits.