SNAP Overhaul: Major Changes to Food Stamps Program Set for 2024

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal nutrition assistance program in the United States, has undergone changes in benefits and eligibility for 2024. These adjustments are intended to ensure that the program continues to serve low-income individuals and families effectively while addressing evolving economic circumstances.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which falls under the authority of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, is responsible for its management. 

Is instrumental in enhancing food security, plays a vital role in improving food security, promoting access to healthier diets, and freeing up resources for other essential needs, such as healthcare and education. Here are the key changes to SNAP benefits and eligibility for 2024.

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SNAP Eligibility and Benefit Updates for 2024

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal nutrition assistance program in the United States, has undergone changes in benefits and eligibility for 2024.

Eligibility and Age:

  • The Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), signed into law by President Joe Biden in June, gradually increases the age at which “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWD) must meet work requirements. These requirements previously applied to individuals aged 18 to 50.
  • Starting from October 1, 2023, ABAWDs aged 18 to 52 are subject to work requirements.
  • In October 2024, these work requirements will expand to cover ABAWDs aged 18 to 54.

Exemptions:

  • Several exemptions exist for individuals subject to ABAWD work requirements. Exemptions apply to those unable to work due to physical or mental limitations, pregnant individuals, veterans, homeless individuals, and those who were in foster care on their 18th birthday.

Income Eligibility:

  • To qualify for SNAP benefits, individuals must ensure their gross monthly income is within the established limit of 130% of the federal poverty level.
  • Based on reports, income limits are subject to variation depending on the household size and geographical location.
  • For example, in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, the gross monthly income limit for a household of one is $1,580, while in Alaska, it is $1,973. In Hawaii, the limit is $1,817.
  • The limits increase for larger households, with each additional member contributing to the limit.

Maximum Allotments:

  • Maximum allotments for SNAP benefits have been updated for 2024, with cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).
  • In the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, it has been revealed that the maximum allotment for a family of four stands at $973.
  • In Alaska, maximum allotments range from $1,248 to $1,937 for a family of four.
  • In Guam, the maximum allotment for a family of four is $1,434; in the US Virgin Islands, it is $1,251.
  • Hawaii sees a decrease in maximum allotments for a family of four, down to $1,759.
  • The minimum benefit remains unchanged from 2023 at $23 for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

These changes reflect the USDA’s efforts to ensure that SNAP continues to support low-income individuals and families while adapting to shifting economic conditions. 

SNAP plays a crucial role in reducing food insecurity, particularly among children and vulnerable populations, and continues to be a critical lifeline for millions of Americans.

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