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83. How much will I get in SNAP benefits each month?

These are the maximum regular SNAP benefits by household size, as of October 1, 2022. The amounts listed are the maximum monthly benefits, plus the additional $95 Covid Emergency Allotment for certain very low-income households (see below):

Household Size

Max SNAP Benefit

Max SNAP Benefit plus $95 Emergency Allotment for very low-income households

1

$281

$376

2

$516

$611

3

$740

$835

4

$939

$1,034

5

$1,116

$1,211

6

$1,480

$1,575

7

$1,691

$1,786

 

106 C.M.R. §§ 364.600, 364.980. See also Appendix B, Chart 4.

If you have countable net income, multiply your net monthly income by 0.3 (30 percent). Round up this amount to the nearest dollar. Take this amount and subtract it from the maximum benefit level for a household of your size. The result is the amount of your monthly benefits.

Example: Sam and his family have $1,000 in net income after allowable income and shelter deductions. To determine the family’s SNAP benefits, take 30% of the “net income” (30% of $1,000) and subtract the $300 from a SNAP allotment of $740 for 3. Sam’s household will receive $440/month in SNAP.  Note, If Sam’s household had very little or no net income, they would receive not only $740/month SNAP, but also the $95 emergency allotment. 

SNAP Emergency Allotments During Covid

During the pandemic Congress authorized USDA to provide extra SNAP benefits – known as “emergency allotments” to all eligible households. 

Extra SNAP benefits are being issued to all SNAP households. Households getting less than the maximum SNAP allotment are boosted to the maximum amount for their household size. Households who get close to the maximum amount or the maximum amount are issued a $95 emergency allotment. In Massachusetts, these extra SNAP benefits are issued on the second business day of the month following the month of their regular SNAP benefits. 

Example: Carol is 1 person household approved for $100/month in SNAP based on her income and expenses. She received her regular SNAP benefits on October 10th. Carol will get her emergency allotment of $181 on November 2nd to supplement her October benefits – bringing the total to $281/month (amount based on the current SNAP benefit amounts that increased October 1, 2022). When the public health emergency ends, her “regular” SNAP benefits will be $100/month unless her income or expenses have changed and she reports those changes. 

For example:  Evan is a household of 3 persons and has little or no countable income. They receive $740/month in SNAP on October 14, 2022. Evan’s household will receive an additional $95/month emergency allotment on November 2nd, the second business day of the next month, to supplement their October benefits.

These extra emergency SNAP benefits will continue each month as long as there is both a federal and state public health emergency. As of October 2022, the federal and Massachusetts public health emergencies are still in effect. However, it is critical that households claim all allowable income deductions before the SNAP emergency allotments sunset. 

First month of benefits

When you first apply, your initial benefit amount is based on the number of days from when you applied and the days left in your “SNAP month.” DTA “pro-rates” your first month of benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 364.650. For example, if you apply halfway through your SNAP month, you will get 50 percent of the monthly benefit.

If you do not get all the mandatory documents to DTA within 30 days from applying and DTA decides the delay was your fault, DTA will pro-rate your SNAP. Your benefit amount will start from the day they got everything they needed. You can challenge this, especially if you think DTA caused the delay. See Question 21.

"$0 Benefit" Households

Some SNAP households get very confusing DTA notices when they are under the gross income limits but qualify for $0 in SNAP benefits. The DTA notices say:

“Because your countable income is over the limit for your household size, you are not eligible for SNAP benefits at this time. We will keep your case open until DATE in case there is a change in your household's circumstances that qualifies you for benefits.”

This happens to households of 3 or more persons with income below 200% poverty level, where 30% of the household’s net income is greater than the maximum benefit amount. 106 C.M.R. §§ 364.600(A), 365.180(G)(3). If you report any changes during your certification period that make you eligible, you do not need to file a new SNAP application and have an interview. You only have to verify the change (eg. the drop in income, increased expense, a new baby or other household member) that makes you now SNAP eligible

DTA Online Guide: See Appendix G for links to DTA’s BEACON Online Guide for this section.