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Wednesday, November 14, 2018



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Federal adjustments to impact SNAP Benefits, beginning October 1

Federal adjustments to impact SNAP Benefits, beginning October 1


BATON ROUGE, La. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) new cost-of-living adjustments for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that go into effect on Oct. 1 will mean a reduction of benefits for most Louisiana families, while allowing others on the cusp of eligibility to begin receiving assistance.

Each year, USDA adjusts the SNAP monthly allotments based on certain food costs included in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Indexes (CPI).

While the overall CPI went up from June 2016 to June 2017 - indicating that the cost of living generally increased - the cost of foods in USDA's Thrifty Food Plan, on which SNAP benefits are based, decreased slightly.

Decreases in SNAP's maximum monthly food allotments for FFY 2017-2018 range from 1 to 1.4 percent, depending on the number of people in the household. For example, the maximum allotment for a family of one will decrease by $2, from $194 to $192 per month, while a family of four will see their benefits drop $9 per month, from $649 to $640.

The minimum monthly allotment also will decrease by $1, from $16 to $15.

These changes will primarily impact those with no income who receive the maximum benefit amount and households with elderly or disabled family members who receive the minimum benefit amount.

Some 888,762 Louisianans in 410,335 households received SNAP benefits in August. The average monthly benefit was $276.37. Nearly three-quarters of those households - an estimated 300,935 - are expected to be impacted by the reductions, with the average decrease being $4.37.

A small number of SNAP recipients may see no change at all in their monthly benefit amounts, due to their allotment reductions and deduction increases canceling each other out.

For more information on the adjustments, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service at www.fns.usda.gov/snap/cost-living-adjustment-cola-information.