SNAP vouchers changed after U.S. political leaders had to create a new legislature to solve the debt ceiling. Further changes will come into effect from October 1, 2023.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is automatically increased to reflect recent changes in the cost of living due to high inflation. Benefit changes are based on the June 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
Starting in October, SNAP benefits will increase 12.5% over a 12-month period compared to last year, according to a report from Forbes Advisor.
Breakdown of new SNAP amounts according to USDA
Below is a breakdown of the new maximum benefit amounts in the 48 contiguous US states and DC, according to the USDA:
- Household Size 1 – $291
- Household Size 2 – $535
- Household Size 3 – $766
- Household Size 4 – $973
- Household Size 5 – $1,155
- Household Size 6 – $1,386
- Household Size 7 – $1,532
- Household Size 8 – $1,751
Each additional person costs $219. The minimum benefit amount remains the same this year: $23 per month.
Benefits may be higher in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. The maximum benefits in Alaska could be up to $1,937 for a family of four. In the former state, the maximum tax exemption actually drops to $1,759 for a family of four as of October 1st.
The monthly income requirement has also changed. For the 48 contiguous US states plus DC, anyone who earns less than the numbers below each month is eligible to receive a certain amount of SNAP benefits:
- Household Size 1 – $1,580
- Household Size 2 – $2,137
- Household Size 3 – $2,694
- Household Size 4 – $3,250
- Household Size 5 – $3,807
- Household Size 6 – $4,364
- Household Size 7 – $4,921
- Household Size 8 – $5,478
Households that earn less per month may be eligible for higher benefits, and households with an elderly or disabled person in the household have higher income limits. These new benefit amounts are valid until September 30, 2024, after which they may change again depending on the development of the cost of living.
As the cost of living adjustments take effect, SNAP is also making some other changes to who qualifies for food assistance.
Beginning September 1, 2023, workers under age 50 without children must demonstrate that they worked 80 hours or more per month and participated in an education or training program to qualify for SNAP. In addition, they are extended until the age of 52. Next year, on October 1, 2024, the age requirement will be expanded again to 54 years.
Homeless people, veterans or youth ages 18 to 24 who are no longer in foster care are exempt from these requirements. People who cannot work due to a physical or mental limitation, are pregnant or have a child under 18 living at home are also exempt from tax.
If you do not meet the new work requirements, you will only be eligible for three months of SNAP benefits over a three-year period.