More low income families in New York will be able to receive food stamps throughout 2016. The income cut off for SNAP will increase to 150 percent of the federal poverty levels. This is a change that was implemented by the Cuomo administration for the upcoming year. While the increase from the current cut off of rate of 30% of poverty levels may not seem like a big change, it will make a major difference in the lives of almost 1 million people, including children that face hunger every day.
This change, when combined with some of the recent increases to the minimum wage levels in the state, will help tens of thousands of families live a better life. Cuomo is committed to helping the less fortunate and is doing what he can to ensure that each and every family can feed their family, pay the rent, and maybe even have a few extra dollars in the bank that they can save for retirement.
The changes to the program will go into effect starting July 1, 2016. As of that point the food stamp program benefits will be given to people that incomes at 150 percent of the federal poverty level. They can contact their local social service office to apply, or they can get more information online.
The cut offs will also factor in the size of the household, meaning the number of people that live there the higher their income can be. What this increase in income cut offs will do is open up the SNAP program to people with an income up to $3000 per month if they have 4 members of the home. If there are more than 4 people in the household, the income cut off will be even higher. So it is a sliding fee scale. Find more details on food stamps.
Not only is the income level being increase by the Cuomo administration, but they are also increasing the total budget. An additional $688 million dollars will be given to the SNAP food stamp program for 2016. This will help pay for the benefits to be given to those 750,000 households and the money will also improve the overall quality of the service. It will allow an improved customer service experience, help people get their questions answered, and have other benefits.
Note, the state will also be impacted by some of the federal government changes around how long someone can receive SNAP for. Assistance is not provided indefinitely. As per the welfare reforms being implemented, beneficiaries that are not disabled need to be actively looking for work. So even though more families may qualify for benefits during 2016, some people that are not working (or actively looking) may in fact have their food stamps end.
Also, New York has continued to improve the other forms of public assistance they provide families living in poverty. There has been tens of millions of dollars allocated in the 2016 budget to keep these services running. We have an extensive listing of the programs available, and find public assistance programs in New York.
When and where to apply
If you think you may meet the new income qualifications, apply as close as possible to July 1. It will take time for New York to process the expected tens of thousands of applications. The closer that you apply to that date, the sooner you and your family will be able to receive an EBT card from the state loaded with your food stamp benefits. Also be sure to explore all of the other public benefits that you may qualify for at that same time.