How To Get Extra SNAP Benefits This Year — Yes, Really
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, is a federal food assistance program that benefits low-income individuals and families. The SNAP program sends funds to low-income households through Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to enable them to purchase food. However, the amount of SNAP benefit depends on the amount of net income earned, where households without net income make the maximum benefit.
Let’s explore strategies you can use to boost your SNAP benefits despite the net income earned in your household.
How to Calculate SNAP Benefits
Before you can boost your SNAP benefit, you need to amount in the SNAP benefits you are eligible to receive. The first step is calculating the net income, which is obtained by subtracting deductions and taxes from gross income.
To find the amount in SNAP benefits, deduct 30% of net income from the maximum allotment awarded to your household, depending on family size. Therefore, SNAP benefits fluctuate depending on income; however, families with no net income receive the maximum allotment.
1. Claiming Deductions
The deductions subtracted from your gross income determine your net income and the amount of money you will receive as your SNAP benefits. Therefore, more deductions reduce net income; subsequently, 30% of net income is payable for food, increasing the amount awarded in SNAP benefits.
There are different types of deductions that are used in the calculation of SNAP benefits. For instance, the government automatically awards the standard deduction as payment for unavoidable expenses such as toilet paper and toothpaste. However, to boost SNAP benefits, you may need to claim other deductions such as earnings, medical expenses, child support, excess shelter cost, and homeless shelter deductions.
It would be best if you claimed earnings deduction from the money your income, whether in daily wages or salary. Earning deductions are 20% of your earnings and incorporate work-related expenses and costs such as office supplies and fuel. Claiming earning deductions lowers your net income, which helps to boost your SNAP benefits.
Medical Expense Deductions
You can also claim medical expenses deductions for out-of-pocket medical expenses paid for seniors at least 60 or a disabled person in your household. The coverage includes medications, hospital and dental, nursing care, health insurance, and transportation costs.
SNAP program allows you to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses above $ 35, provided they are related to the disabled or senior person in the household. Similarly, claiming a medical expense deduction reduces your net income and boosts your SNAP benefits.
Child Support Deductions
Child support payments are payments provided as parental contributions by a non-custodial parent to cover the basic living expenses for the child. If you or another household member makes child support payments, you are entitled to deductions in the amount of the child support payments when calculating net income. Therefore, child support deductions reduce your net income and increase the amount allocated for your SNAP benefits.
Excess Shelter Deductions
Shelter deductions are household expenses incurred during living within the home, such as rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and property taxes. You can present a list of these expenses within your SNAP application or claim the state Standard Utility Allowance. Eligible candidates can receive 30% additional funds within their SNAP benefit for having excess shelter expenses that are more than half their net income.
Homeless Shelter Deductions
Some states, such as Kansas, Ohio, and Wyoming, allow homeless people to file for homeless shelter deductions for additional SNAP benefits. However, these states have fixed deductions of $143 that are subtracted from net income, increasing the amount payable as SNAP benefits.
2. Reporting Income Reductions
SNAP benefits are awarded based on income; therefore, income reduction makes you eligible for additional benefits. Therefore, in case of income reductions such as salary cuts and loss of employment, you may need to inform the food stamps office. Once notified, the SNAP officers will recalculate your net income and the SNAP benefit amount and boost your SNAP benefits to help you survive.
3. Clarifying Household Information
SNAP program considers people who live, buy and share food, such as spouses and children, as a household. You may need to state that you have roommates or have an assistant come in daily to help you with your disability instead of including them within the household. Providing truthful information about your living conditions could boost your SNAP benefits.
Reevaluate your SNAP application and ensure you did not miss to provide information that can boost your SNAP benefits. You must contact SNAP offices if you fail to claim deductions or give information on income reductions and useful household information. They will include the information, recalculate the income and increase the amount you receive from SNAP benefits.
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