SNAP benefits get an increase and new eligibility requirements. Here’s what to know

Allison Dinner/AP

Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are underway.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released an update with the cost-of-living adjustments scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1.

The maximum allotments will increase for 48 states and Washington, D.C., according to the USDA.

Below is a breakdown of the maximum allotment amounts and the income requirements for each household.

Allotments in Alaska will vary, as shown below. The allotments change in different regions of the state because “Alaska has special rules that allow for higher SNAP benefits in rural areas, and the use of benefits to purchase certain hunting and fishing subsistence supplies,” according to the state’s Department of Health.

Households with an elderly or disabled person will have different income eligibility requirements and higher monthly allotments, the USDA said. Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands will also have changes made to their benefits.

In addition, the USDA announced its new work requirements for an “able-bodied adult without dependents.” Beginning Oct. 1, anyone 18 to 52 years old receiving SNAP benefits who is able to work and does not have dependents must meet these work requirements:

  • Work at least 80 hours a month. Work can be for pay, for goods or services, unpaid or as a volunteer.

  • Participate in a federal, state or local work program at least 80 hours a month. A work program could also be SNAP employment.

  • Participate in a combination of work and work program hours for a total of at least 80 hours a month.

  • Participate in workfare for the number of hours assigned to you each month depending on your SNAP benefit.

There are some exceptions to the work requirements, including if a person is physically unable to work, pregnant, has a dependent in the home, is a veteran, experiencing homelessness or is under 24 years old and was in foster care at 18.

The USDA has details of all the changes on its website.

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