Are you struggling to afford groceries? If so, you may consider applying for help with groceries through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, often referred to as food stamps, is a federal low-income assistance program providing aid to millions of Americans each year.
The SNAP program provides an important safety net to struggling families and households. It has become more critical after the pandemic and as inflation crises. As a result, food stamps have become a lifeline for many, and some people may qualify for help even if they were not eligible in previous years. Additionally, throughout 2024, participants may receive even more assistance if they qualify. Read on to learn more.
Before submitting a food stamps application, applicants can take the time to learn more about the program and the program’s benefit amounts.
A household’s SNAP benefits are determined by several factors, including:
- The number of people in a household.
- Your household’s income.
- Your household expenses.
- The current maximum SNAP benefits.
Maximum SNAP benefits are determined by household size. Larger households can typically receive more benefits. However, every household is expected to pay around 30 percent of its own expected grocery costs, which is reflected in the maximum limits.
As inflation rises, the cost of living changes. Thus, the average SNAP benefit typically increases each year.
In 2024, the maximum SNAP benefits for a family of four in the continental United States is $973, an increase of $34 from the previous year.
Additionally, the SNAP program deducts a household’s income from the allotment. The lower a household’s income, the higher amount of food stamps they may qualify for.
Applicants can lower the amount of income that’s “counted” against the max SNAP benefit amount. Those household deductions include:
- A 20% standard deduction from the household’s earned income.
- Expenses for necessary employment or education.
- Excess shelter costs.
- Medical expenses for households with elderly and disabled persons.
In addition, many states choose to provide additional deductions, such as for homeless families or households making child support payments.
After a family applies for SNAP benefits and has been approved for the program, they will be assigned a food stamp card with a unique EBT number.
Each month, benefits are deposited onto the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The household can use the card like a debit card to purchase approved food items, including bread, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, and more. There are many grocery stores that accept EBT nationwide.
Additionally, some locations allow online grocery shopping with EBT to make grocery buying easier. In other locations, beneficiaries may be able to order groceries online with EBT, and then use the EBT card to complete the purchase when visiting the store to pick up groceries.
By Admin –