Connecticut residents in 17,600 households will soon be eligible to receive food assistance from the state’s Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That expansion accounts for about 44,000 new individuals.
Starting on October 1st, new eligibility requirements will go into place for the program. Residents can qualify for benefits if their monthly gross income is up to 200% of the federal poverty level ($2,265 for an individual, $4,625 for a family of four). Currently, you must make less than 185% of the federal poverty level to be eligible.
“Expanding the eligibility levels will enable a greater number of individuals and families to qualify for this program and ensure greater access to quality, nutritious food at Connecticut supermarkets, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets,” said Governor Lamont in a statement. “By continuing our partnership with the federal government, actions like this will help in our efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity.”
In addition to broader eligibility requirements, those enrolled in SNAP benefits will also see an increase in those benefits as part of a new cost-of-living adjustment. Average benefits will increase by a little under 12.5%, leading to an additional $31 per individual and $104 for a family of four, provided they are receiving the maximum benefit. That cost-of-living increase should help stretch the benefits further as food prices remain higher than normal due to recent inflation.
SNAP benefits have been supplemented recently by a federal pandemic assistance program. With President Joe Biden declaring the COVID pandemic over last week, it is unclear how much longer those additional benefits will remain available.