The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Cuts to SNAP monthly benefits coming in November - USDA Q and A on the ARRA sunset of benefits

We are working with DTA, Project Bread and other anti-hunger partners on ways to make sure SNAP recipients are prepared for the impending November SNAP cuts. As soon as we have more specific information, we will share it with you. Meanwhile, if you are speaking with SNAP applicants and recipients, it is not too soon to prepare them for the cuts. 
First, for households getting less than the maximum SNAP benefit, be sure to screen them for all the possible SNAP income deductions they may qualify for - especially child care or adult dependent care costs for households in work or training programs, and medical expenses for SNAP recipients who are elderly (60+) or disabled. Both dependent care and medical expenses include the costs of transportation. Here's two links with materials on SNAP dependent care costs, and the SNAP medical expense deduction.  Second, make sure all SNAP households are aware of additional food resources through local food pantries including the Project Bread Food Source Hotline.  
Below is helpful graph from our partners at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, with more detail on the cut in their August 2, 2013 report.  

Attached is a helpful Q&A from USDA on the SNAP cuts. Feel free to circulate this among your colleagues. Note - the amount of the SNAP indeed be standard for all same-sized households unless the household is receiving the minimum benefit. In other words, all households of 4 will suffer a $36/month from their benefits.  In addition, some households receiving small benefits may lose SNAP completely if their SNAP benefits are less than the anticipated cut. It's important to screen those households for any changes in income, expenses, household size (new baby) and advise them of their right to report that change at any time.
We will send out more information on the SNAP ARRA cuts and how DTA plans to inform the SNAP population in early September.  Sorry to remind you of this bad news. This is a perfect time to call your member of Congress during their recess period and remind them there should be NO CUTS to SNAP !! 

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