Lower benefits coming to St. Lawrence County Food Stamp recipients
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 6:27 pm

St. Lawrence County citizens receiving food stamps will see a decrease in benefits as a federal stimulus measure expires, according to Hunger Solutions of New York.

The benefit reduction takes place Nov. 1, when all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit recipients will see a decrease in their monthly SNAP allotment.

In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to allow for a temporary boost in SNAP benefits to help offset the economic downturn.

This federal Act allowed for SNAP recipients to receive a 13.6 percent increase in their maximum monthly SNAP allotment.

ARRA has not been renewed by Congress and as a result, the temporary increase is expiring.

“We want all SNAP recipients to know about this decrease before it happens so that they can plan accordingly,” said Linda Bopp, executive director of Hunger Solutions New York. This decrease will have an effect on the food purchasing budget of more than 3 million New Yorkers.”

Recipients will see two changes in their benefit amounts this fall. Every Oct. 1, benefits increase slightly for most households to reflect the cost of living.

This annual increase took place the beginning of this month. On Nov. 1 of this year only, all SNAP recipients will see their benefits decrease due to expiration of the ARRA.

Most SNAP recipients will see a decrease of about $11 dollars per person, per month. The amount of the SNAP cut is based on the household size.

All one and two person households that are receiving the minimum $16 benefit will see their benefit lowered to $15.

SNAP Maximum Monthly Benefit Levels:

Below is a list showing the difference people will see in benefits when the change takes effect.

The first number indicates the household size, followed by the benefits they are entitled to in October. The third number is the amount of benefits they will receive beginning Nov. 1, followed by the difference in benefits after the changes take effect.

Household of one: $200 (Oct.), $189 (Nov) - $11 (difference)

Household of two: $367 (Oct.), $347 (Nov) - $20 (difference)

Household of three: $526 Oct.), $497 (Nov) - $29 (difference)

Household of four: $668 Oct.), $632 -(Nov) - $36 (difference)

Household of five: $793 (Oct.), $750 - (Nov) - $43 (difference)

Household of six: $952 (Oct.), $900 - (Nov) - $52 (difference)

Household of seven: $1,052 (Oct.), $995 (Nov) - $57- (difference)

Household of eight: $1,202 (Oct.), $1,137 (Nov) - $65 - (difference)

For each additional person add $150 (Oct.), $142 (Nov) - $8 (difference)

SNAP benefits depend on many things—income, household size and expenses. The maximum benefit amounts per household size listed above reflect the highest SNAP benefit allotment a household could receive.

For those recipients not receiving the maximum benefit, a decrease to their monthly allotment will still occur.

SNAP recipients can contact a Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP) Coordinator in their county to clarify any questions they may have. To find a local NOEP Coordinator visit FoodhelpNY.org.