SNAP

How does COLA affect Food Stamps (SNAP)?

COLA refers to the Cost of Living Adjustment. Those SNAP beneficiaries often receive an annual increase. So, they get more money for their Food Stamps. In this way, they can buy the same things and they do not lose buying power as prices go up.

Then, the United States Department of Agriculture makes sure that Food Stamps increase or decrease, depending on inflation. Even though most recipients have gotten an increase in 2023, some have gotten a reduction.

The thing is the new COLA for Food Stamps started on October 1, 2023, and it will last until September 30, 2024. Unlike Social Security payments, the Food and Nutrition Services updates amounts in October rather than in January.

HOW HAS THE NEW COLA AFFECTED FOOD STAMPS AND ITS PAYMENTS?

After the cost of living adjustment, there has been an increase of about 3.2% percent in SNAP benefits. However, this increase has only been possible in the 48 contiguous states, the District of Columbia, Alaska, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Not all Americans on Food Stamps get the same amount for their SNAP benefits

So, who has not received an increase in their Food Stamps? Beneficiaries in Hawaii started to receive less money on their SNAP checks from October 1, 2023. Despite high prices, there has been a reduction.

Therefore, an increase can never be taken for granted. Anyway, if you live in the 48 contiguous states or the District of Columbia, you can now get up to $291 if you are single. The former amount was $281, so it has gone up by ten dollars.

However, the average amount is much lower, so you should not expect the largest Food Stamps payment. According to the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average check for an individual is just $202. Even if it is not the full amount, it is quite a lot of money.

HOW MUCH CAN A 4-MEMBER FAMILY GET ON SNAP BENEFITS IN THE USA?

A 4-member family can receive up to $973 in most states. If you live in Guam, you can collect a payment of up to $1,434. The maximum amount for four people will be $1,251 if you are in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Families of four members in Alaska have three different amounts. It depends on the area where you live and how it is assigned. For example, if it is an urban area, 4 people can receive up to $1,248. Rural 1 or Rural 2 have larger payments for Food Stamps.

They are up to $1,591 (Rural 1) or $1,937 (Rural 2) in Alaska. Food Stamps in Hawaii range from $527 (maximum amount for one person) and up to $3,166 for 8. The previous maximum amounts were $538-$3,230.

Apart from getting more or less money for COLA, there is a new Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents age range. So, if you are between the ages of 18-52, make sure you work for at least 80 hours while on SNAP benefits. Otherwise, you will lose your benefits after 3 months.

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