Each year, the adjustments to SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), also known as food stamps, are made in accordance with the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). This is a mechanism designed to help SNAP benefits keep pace with the rising cost of living, ensuring that eligible individuals and families receive adequate assistance to meet their nutritional needs.
The COLA calculation takes into account changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), specifically the food component of the CPI. This index reflects fluctuations in the prices of various food items and is used to determine the annual increase in the food stamps allotments.
Food Stamps to SNAP
Come October and the dawn of the federal government’s fiscal year, the USDA will roll out the 2024 COLA-augmented benefit numbers. If inflation keeps its current pace, the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia are in for a treat. A projected 3.5% surge is on the horizon. This translates to a jump from $281 to $291 a month for individuals, and a leap from $934 to $973 for households brimming with four members.
- 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: $1,1751
- Every Extra Member: add $219 for each one
Food Stamps increments in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Since the costs of living in the territories of Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, SNAP benefits there are particularly higher than in the contiguous 48 states and DC. That said, this is how the values will be set, for a family of four members:
- Alaska: $1,248 (Urban), $1,591 (Rural I), $1,937 (Rural 2)
- Hawaii: $1,759
- Guam: $1,434
- U.S. Virgin Islands: $1,251
The complete list of values you will find in the USDA memorandum, which was uploaded here on the official website. Keep in mind that these are the maximum values, and that the amount that your home will receive depends on all the factors that are taken into consideration.
New Eligibility Requirements Now in Effect: Do You Qualify for Food Stamps?
Starting from October 1st, the SNAP program just adjusted its income thresholds, potentially extending assistance to individuals and families who previously did not meet the eligibility criteria for grocery aid.
Previously, a family consisting of four members would be disqualified from SNAP benefits if their monthly income exceeded $3,007. However, the new income limit allows them to earn up to $3,250 per month while still qualifying for government support to help cover essential food items.
And there’s more good news: With grocery prices anticipated to continue their upward trend through 2024, the monthly allotment of SNAP benefits is also being increased in an effort to keep pace with the rising cost of living.
If your monthly net income, following the deduction of taxes and other withholdings, falls at or below 100% of the poverty threshold. Refer to the table provided below to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria:
|Household size||48 U.S. states and D.C.||Alaska||Hawaii|
|Each additional person||$429||$536||$493|