Governor Lamont announces increased food assistance for Connecticut residents beginning October 1
More working families, single adults and older adults will become eligible for SNAP; Monthly benefits will increase by more than 12% for all current enrollees
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) will implement new eligibility levels in the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). beginning October 1, 2022, which will result in approximately 44,000 additional Connecticut residents in 17,600 households becoming eligible for the food assistance program. In addition, current enrollees will receive an increase of more than 12% in their monthly benefits due to the program’s annual cost-of-living adjustment.
Connecticut’s SNAP program serves more than 222,600 households, including 138,800 children. Formerly known as Food Stamps, the federally funded service addresses food insecurity for eligible working families, other qualified adults, seniors and people with disabilities.
“Expanding eligibility levels will allow more individuals and families to qualify for this program and ensure increased access to nutritious, quality food in supermarkets, grocery stores and markets. Connecticut farmers, Governor Lamont said. “By continuing our partnership with the federal government, actions like this will contribute to our efforts to fight hunger and food insecurity.
Under the new eligibility levels, Connecticut residents will qualify for SNAP if their gross monthly income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (for example, this would include $2,265 for a single person and $4,625 for a four-person household). This is an increase from the most recent eligibility benefit level of 185% of the federal poverty level ($1,986 for a single person and $4,086 for a household of four).
The annual cost-of-living adjustment will allow households to receive an average increase of 12.46% in their regular monthly food benefits. Specific amounts are tailored to household size and income. For example, a household of four receiving the maximum SNAP benefit will see an increase of $104, from $835 to $939. A single person will receive an additional $31 in maximum benefits, ranging from $250 to $281. The first monthly payment that includes this cost of living adjustment will be received by registrants on October 1, 2 or 3, depending on the spelling of their last name.
DSS Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford notes that SNAP enrollees automatically become eligible for other services, ranging from Head Start to winter heating assistance.
“Simply put, qualifying for SNAP will help more Connecticut parents support their children’s health and education in other ways,” Commissioner Gifford said. “That’s because families enrolled in the SNAP program are automatically eligible for Head Start, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. It is also important to note that SNAP enrollees of all ages are also automatically eligible for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. I join Governor Lamont and our social services and advocacy partners in encouraging residents who need help with their food budget to consider applying for the SNAP program.
Governor Lamont said Connecticut’s decision to expand SNAP eligibility is especially timely with this week’s White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health — the first such conference since 1969 — and the publication of a national strategy with actions the federal government will take to help end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030 so that fewer Americans suffer from diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.
SNAP enrollees receive Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which function like a debit card and are replenished for each month of eligibility. Cards can be used at participating food markets and grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, and online at many retailers for food products approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. DSS recommends that SNAP enrollees change their EBT PIN every month to prevent benefits from being stolen due to illegal scams or skimming operations.
Guidance on the new eligibility levels, as well as application and program information, is available online at www.ct.gov/snap.