Food stamps to get permanent boost tomorrow

Food stamps are getting a permanent boost tomorrow, October 1, in a move set to benefit 42millions households.

The average monthly increase to food stamps is around $36 per person, but the overall rise varies depending on household size and state.

How much food stamps are increasing over a year, according to USDAHow much food stamps are increasing over a year, according to USDA

The $36 rise is also compared to pre-pandemic levels and recipients have had a 15% boost during Covid.

This boost ends today, September 30, meaning the hike won’t feel as large.

For example, a single household will get a boost of $16 on average, while a household of two can expect a boost of $29, according to USDA.

The monthly increases are then $42, $53 and $63 for households of three, four and five people.

How much extra you get also depends on which state you live in.

For example, Florida recipients will get an extra $1,449 in food stamps over the year – an extra $120 a month – taking its yearly total to $6,768.

In comparison, Wyoming will get $13 more over the year – just over $1 more a day – bringing the total to $62, according to USDA figures.

Among the 50 states, California will get the biggest yearly increase to benefits at $2,039 – taking its total to $9,523.

You can check how much extra your state will get above, but you’ll likely only know exactly how much you’ll get from tomorrow.

Also keep in mind the state figures don’t include emergency food stamps, which may continue in some states for the year.

The aid was approved by President Joe Biden and was officially announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in August.

It is hoped that the boost will allow poorer Americans to choose healthier food options.

The increase is part of a Biden administration effort to strengthen the US’ social safety net, which also includes boosted child tax credits.

Activists claimed the pre-pandemic level of food stamp support wasn’t enough, forcing many to choose cheaper, less nutritious options or go hungry as funds ran out.

Do you qualify for food stamps?

Eligibility criteria for food stamps – known Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – as also varies across the country.

The benefit is usually limited to people with gross incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty line.

This currently starts at $12,880 for a single-person household and increases depending on size of your family.

For example, the poverty threshold for a four-person household is $26,500.

There are also other requirements that states can set, such as how much you have in your bank account.

In Michigan, for example, you must have a bank balance (savings and checking combined) under $2,001.

Alternatively, if you live with someone aged 60 or over or a person with a disability, you can have a bank balance of $3,251.

How much you can get also depends on your family size, with SNAP households expected to spend about 30% of their own cash on food.

You need to apply in the state where you live, which may be with your human services or social services center.

Find your local SNAP program and social services agency.

More households could also be due food stamps in future to help them eat healthily under proposals.

Department of Social Services explains how to use an EBT card to spend food stamps.

 

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