Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
Library: News Release


Sept. 13, 2013

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Mark K. Beutler, M.Ed. - OKDHS Office of Communications
Phone:
(405) 522-3731, Fax: (405) 522-3146
e-mail: Mark.Beutler@OKDHS.org

Important Message – Federal Reduction in SNAP Benefits effective November 1, 2013

  • Every October 1, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are adjusted to reflect changes in the cost of living.
  • In April 2009, a law called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) raised SNAP benefits to help people affected by the recession.
  • The increased benefits provided by this law are expected to expire on Nov. 1, 2013.
  • SNAP recipients will see two changes in their benefit amounts during the fall of 2013.


First, deductions and income thresholds will increase slightly for most households on Oct. 1 to reflect the costs of food. Some households may experience an increase in benefits as a result. 


Then, most families will see their benefits decrease on Nov. 1 due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 law.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


Q. Are cost of living adjustments (COLAs) done every year?


A. Yes, these COLAs happen every year. The maximum benefit is adjusted every year. Other adjustments include updates to the standard deduction, shelter deduction, income tests (gross and net), and Disaster-SNAP allotment. By law, States must make these SNAP adjustments each Oct. 1.


Q. What is the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)?


A. The ARRA is also known as the stimulus package. It became law in 2009 in order to foster economic activity in response to the recession.


Q. How did ARRA affect SNAP?


A. ARRA increased the maximum SNAP allotment to provide larger benefit amounts to clients. This increase in benefits is expected to end on Nov. 1, 2013.


Q. When will the changes from ARRA go into effect?


A. SNAP benefits will go down starting on Nov. 1.


Q. How much will my benefits change on Nov. 1, 2013?


A. Your benefits depend on many things—income, household size and expenses. So it is hard to say exactly how your benefits will change. This table gives you an idea what the reduced amount might be for households that have no income.


SNAP Maximum Monthly Benefit Levels

Household Size Oct. 1, 2013 Nov. 1, 2013 Difference

1

$200

$189

-$11

2

$367

$347

-$20

3

$526

$497

-$29

4

$668

$632

-$36

5

$793

$750

-$43

6

$952

$900

-$52

7

$1,052

$995

-$57

8

$1,202

$1,137

-$65

 


Q. How will I be notified of a change in my SNAP benefits?


A. You will receive  notice in the mail. You may also hear about these changes via the news, at your local DHS office, or from retailers where you shop with your SNAP benefits.


Q. How do I check the balance for my SNAP benefits to know how much I have?


A. Different States offer different ways to check your balance. However, a couple of easy ways are:


Q. What if there is a mistake in my new benefit amount?


A. If you think there might be a mistake in your benefits, contact your local office to have you case reviewed. You may also ask for a fair hearing. A neutral party will look at your case to make sure all the rules were properly followed.


Q. How can I figure out how to feed my family healthful foods on a lower budget?


A. USDA provides several resources to help you prepare healthy meals on a low budget:


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Last Updated:  1/6/2014