Increased SNAP benefits: when do they start and how much will payments rise by?
The USDA has announced the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment that will be applied to SNAP benefits starting in October, though by how much is still being debated.
Every year, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) raises the monthly payments sent out to beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), one of the country’s largest social assistance programs, previously known as food stamps.
This increase is part of a program of cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) designed to ensure that SNAP benefits keep pace with inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), grocery prices have increased 3 percent over the last year.
How much will SNAP benefits increase by?
The USDA will begin sending the 2024 COLA-adjusted benefit amounts in October when the fiscal year for the federal government begins. If inflation stays at their current levels, then households that receive SNAP who live in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia will see a 3.5 percent increase applied to their benefits. The maximum amount that an individual can receive will rise from $281 to $291 a month, while the most that a household of four can be paid will increase from $934 to $973.
The increase for beneficiaries in Alaska will be around 6.5 percent, whereas those in Hawaii will see the value of their benefits fall by two percent.
SNAP benefit value, Alaska and Hawaii
|Household Size||Alaska - Urban||
Alaska - Rural 1
|Alaska - Rural 2||Hawaii|
|Each additional person||+$281||+$358||+$436||+$396|
At present this is conjecture and it hasn’t been revealed what the COLA increase will be.
What do SNAP recipients have to do to get new benefits?
The SNAP increase is entirely automatic: recipients of the food stamps do not have to apply to receive the new amount.