Major Changes in the SNAP Program in October: Eligibility and Benefits Shifts Ahead
This October, there are changes in the SNAP Program due to the Fiscal Responsibility Act signed by President Biden in June.
Changes in the SNAP Program Eligibility: New Requirements for ABAWDs Aged 51-52
This October, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is undergoing changes in Vermont and across the United States. These changes in the SNAP program stem from the Fiscal Responsibility Act, a legislative piece signed into law by President Joe Biden back in June. While changes in the SNAP program will result in increased SNAP benefits for many recipients, they also bring about alterations to eligibility criteria.
Reports stated that starting October 1, 2023, a pivotal shift will occur in SNAP eligibility. Able-bodied adults between the ages of 51 and 52 who do not have dependents, known as ABAWDs (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents), will now be mandated to demonstrate their active engagement in work, educational pursuits, or training programs to qualify for SNAP benefits. This requirement represents an expansion of the existing mandate that already demands ABAWDs between 18 and 52 to work at least 80 hours per month or engage in education or training to maintain SNAP eligibility for more than three months.
Future Changes in the SNAP Program: Expanding Age Requirements and Work Requirement Exemptions
Looking ahead, the changes in the SNAP program will continue to roll out. In October 2024, the age requirement for ABAWDs will extend further to include individuals up to the age of 54. However, exemptions from the work requirements are available. These exemptions encompass individuals who are homeless, veterans, or youths aged 18 to 24 who have aged out of foster care. Additionally, those facing physical or mental limitations, pregnant individuals, or those with children aged 18 or younger residing in their households will also be exempted from the work requirements.
While some individuals will face new eligibility conditions, most SNAP beneficiaries can anticipate an increase in their benefits beginning in October. This adjustment comes in the form of a cost-of-living adjustment, resulting in larger benefit amounts. For households consisting of four members residing in the contiguous 48 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the maximum monthly benefit will now stand at $973. These changes in the SNAP program reflect the ongoing effort to strike a balance between supporting those in need and ensuring fiscal responsibility in the SNAP program.