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Field Ops Memo 2010-45: 10/1/2010 Cost-of-Living Changes for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ON HOLD


Important Note:  This memo is on hold until further notice, per Email 2010-5: Important Information Regarding Annual SNAP COLA.

The annual SNAP cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) was processed by BEACON during the weekend of September 25, 2010. The COLA is a mass change that is applied to the entire SNAP caseload.

Since the Federal Poverty Level was not adjusted this year, all SNAP eligibility charts and issuance tables remain unchanged. However, the following elements of the COLA will change effective October 1, 2010.

  • Shelter Deduction - The maximum shelter deduction (for households without an elderly or disabled member) has decreased to $458.
  • Standard Deduction for Household Sizes One, Two and Three:
    • The standard deduction for household sizes one to three has increased to $142. The standard deduction for household sizes four and above remains unchanged.
  • Standard Utility Allowance (SUA)
    • The Heating/Cooling SUA has decreased to $575.
    • The Nonheating SUA has decreased to $353;
    • The Phone SUA has decreased to $41;
    • The Bay State CAP SUA has increased to $575.

Based on the significant reduction of the Heating/Cooling SUA and the Nonheating SUA, many SNAP households will experience a decrease in SNAP benefits when the new COLA figures are applied. However, Bay State CAP households who are not receiving the maximum SNAP benefit level for their household size will receive an increase in SNAP benefits based on the substantial increase of the Bay State CAP SUA.

Unchanged COLA Charts, Tables and Figures

  • Gross, Net and 165 Percent Income Eligibility Standards - The Gross, Net and 165 Percent Income Eligibility Standards remain unchanged.
  • Maximum Benefit Levels - The maximum SNAP benefit levels for all household sizes remain unchanged.
  • Minimum Benefit Level - The minimum benefit level for eligible one- and two-person households remains at $16.
  • Homeless Shelter/Utility Deduction - The Homeless Shelter/Utility Deduction remains at $143.
  • Issuance Tables remain unchanged.


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