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SNAP food stamp eligibility is changing: Do you qualify now?

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(NEXSTAR) – Starting Oct. 1, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is raising its income limits, meaning people who previously weren’t eligible to receive grocery assistance may now qualify.

A family of four, for example, used to be cut off if they made more than $3,007 per month. Now, they can make $3,250 and still qualify for government help covering food staples.

As the price of groceries is expected to keep rising into 2024, the monthly allotment of benefits is also going up in an attempt to keep up with inflation.

If you’re not sure if you qualify, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service suggests you check with your state’s program. While SNAP is a federal program, each state operates its own version, and may have different or expanded eligibility requirements than what is outlined below. (You can see a state-by-state directory of resources here.)

There are three different ways to evaluate if you’re eligible for SNAP assistance.

The first is if your net monthly income, after taxes and other deductions, is at 100% of the poverty level or lower. Check the table below to see if you qualify:

Household size48 U.S. states and D.C.AlaskaHawaii
Each additional person$429$536$493

Another way to evaluate eligibility is a household’s gross monthly income, which must be below 130% of the federal poverty level. In most cases, according to the USDA, your income must fall under both the net and gross monthly income limits.

Below are the limits for gross monthly income:

Household size48 U.S. states and D.C.AlaskaHawaii
Each additional person$557$697$641

Finally, there is a different standard for households where someone is elderly or disabled. Households with an elderly or disabled member only have to meet the net income limit, not the gross limit.

In households where “a person is 60 years of age or older and unable to purchase and prepare meals separately because of a permanent disability,” the income limit is higher (about 165% of the poverty level):

Household size48 U.S. states and D.C.AlaskaHawaii
Each additional person$707$885$813

The above income maximums are in place from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2024, at which point they will be adjusted again to keep up with any cost of living changes.

There’s also a resource limit in place in order to qualify for SNAP. A household’s “countable resources,” like the money they have in the bank, can’t exceed $2,750. In cases where at least one member of the household is 60 years old or disabled, the resource limit is $4,250.

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