Starting from October 1, 2023, the maximum monthly benefit for a family of four will increase to $973 from $939. However, the SNAP benefits increase will only be about 3.6% for the 2024 fiscal year, which is not sufficient to keep up with the increase in food-at-home costs over the past year.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps low-income American households afford food and has been shown to reduce hunger by up to 30%, particularly among children.
The USDA has announced the new amounts that families will receive in for the new SNAP benefits increase for the 2024 fiscal year, starting in October 2023.
The USDA determines food benefit payments through the Thrifty Food Plan, which estimates the cost of providing low-cost meals. SNAP benefits are calculated annually, with 2024 allocations beginning in October. The maximum payment for 2024 SNAP benefits increase is 3.5% to 3.7% compared to 2023.
The amount of the SNAP benefits increase a household receives is based on various factors, such as income and location. States with higher living costs will have a higher SNAP benefits increase. Actual payments are determined by deducting certain factors from the maximum payment, so most households will not receive the full amount.
Eligibility for the SNAP benefits increase is also generally determined by income and the amount of money in your bank account.
Due to the SNAP Benefits increase, the maximum SNAP monthly allocations will change from 2023 to 2024. For a household size of 1, from the monthly allocations $281 to the maximum SNAP monthly allocations of $291 in 2024, with a percentage increase of 3.6%. Each additional person for each household sizes will have a maximum SNAP monthly allocations of $211 from 2023 to $219 in 2024, which is an estimated percentage increase of 3.8%. Note that the amount you’ll receive may vary depending on your eligibility.
Is the 2024 SNAP benefits increase enough?
The research from the Urban Institute showed that the maximum SNAP benefits increase often doesn’t cover a family’s food costs. It was said that SNAP benefits could not cover meal costs in almost 99% of the country. However, it should be noted that SNAP benefits does not necessarily shoulder everything.
As food prices increases the new SNAP benefits increase just roughly go in line with cost-of-living increase measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In a data by BLS, it was shown that food at home increased by 5.7% per year.
Many household has seen a significant drop in their SNAP benefit amount, and the revised 2024 SNAP benefits increase will do little to close this gap.