Here Is What To Know About The Effect Of The COLA Increase On The Snap Program

The Social Security Administration (SSA) reports that many of the 66 million Americans receiving Social Security payments are eligible for other financial assistance programs such as Medicare and SNAP.

As food costs continue to climb (up 11.4% in August, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index data), SNAP is crucial to helping the elderly, widows/widowers, and handicapped obtain the nourishment they require on a fixed income.

In reality, many Social Security recipients are losing out on this chance. 5 million SNAP-eligible individuals still need to enroll in the program, according to the National Council on Aging.

Certain restrictions, including household income limitations, must be satisfied to be eligible for the program. Because the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) would increase the amount of money given out by Social Security each month to account for inflation, many are still determining if they will be able to continue receiving SNAP benefits after the COLA is implemented.

The Senior Citizens League accurately predicted that the 2023 COLA would be around 8.7% or an average increase of $144 per month for individuals and $240 per month for married couples filing jointly.

According to Forbes, this implies that individuals earn an average of $1,801 per month, and couples with two Social Security recipients will now receive around $2,993 per month. What effect do these revised payment levels have on SNAP eligibility?

Numerous factors should be considered. Even if monthly Social Security payments may be increasing, the USDA still issues SNAP benefits based on “gross income” (the amount before taxes and deductions) and “net income” (what remains after deductions).

Beneficiaries may deduct child support, housing, and medical expenditures (if they are 60 or older or have disabilities), moreover, according to the SSA, individuals or households with an older member of a handicapped individual need to fulfill net income standards.

Additional restrictions exist on permitted personal resources, such as bank account funds. Most states allow households to have one car and qualify for SNAP while still owning a home, according to the SSA. For bank accounts, the permissible limit per family is $2,250 or $3,500 if at least one member is over 60 or handicapped.