A brief look at SNAP (supplemental nutritional assistance program)
BENEFITS: The amount of benefits the household gets is called an allotment. The net monthly income of the household is multiplied by .3, and the result is subtracted from the MAXIMUM allotment for the household size to find the household’s allotment. This is because SNAP households are expected to spend about 30 percent of their resources on food. Eligibility and benefit amount are determined on an individual household basis, but the general calculation for non-elderly non-disabled households is as follows with some hypothetical examples:
|A non-categorically eligible recipient household, group size of 3, has monthly net income of $1,465. The maximum net income for a group size of 3 is $1,591, so the household passes the net income test. The maximum allotment for a group size of 3 is $526. The household’s Food Stamp benefit allotment is determined as follows.|
|$ 526||Maximum allotment for a group size of 3|
|-440||30% of net income ($439.50 rounded up to $440)|
|$ 86||Rounded up to the next even dollar if less than $14:|
|$ 86||Household’s monthly Food Stamp allotment|
|A categorically eligible recipient household via receipt of SSI, group size of 2, has monthly net income of $1,180. The maximum net income for a group size of 2 is $1,261, but gross and net income limits do not apply to this category of categorically eligible household. The maximum allotment for a group size of 2 is $367. The household’s Food Stamp benefit allotment is determined as follows.|
|$ 367||Maximum allotment for a group size of 2|
|-354||30% of net income ($354)|
|$ 13||Subtraction results in a figure less than the minimum allotment for a 1 or 2-person household, rounded up to the minimum allotment:|
|$ 16||Household’s monthly Food Stamp allotment|
SNAP ELIGIBILITY: So who is eligible for SNAP benefits? The eligibility determination is complicated but the South Dakota Department of Social Services has published the below document to help clarify eligibility. For non-elderly, non-disabled households:
- Maximum Gross income for the household must be below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level and Maximum Net Income* must be below 100% of the federal poverty level.
- Households cannot have more than $2,000 worth of resources.
Net Income: Deductions from Gross income are allowed as follows:
- · A 20 percent deduction from earned income;
- · A standard deduction of $149 for household sizes of 1 to 3 and $160 for a household size of four (higher for some larger households);
- A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education;
- Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else;
- Legally owed child support payments;
- Some States allow homeless households a set amount ($143) for shelter costs; and
- Excess shelter costs that are more than half of the household’s income after the other deductions.