By Sam Woods
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Visit milwaukeenns.org.
FoodShare recipients should see another bump in benefits, starting Oct. 1, that will continue through at least Sept. 30, 2022.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a 25% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP, compared to pre-pandemic levels.
However, FoodShare recipients in Wisconsin currently receiving the maximum amount of benefits per month will get only about 6% more benefits per month than they will receive in September.
This is due to current temporary increases in FoodShare benefits expiring on Sept. 30. This increase began in January and was set to expire at the end of this month.
A breakdown of the maximum amount FoodShare recipients are receiving now compared to what they will receive in October by household size is across.
Recipients receiving less than the maximum amount per month will see their benefits increase by up to 6% compared to now, but the exact amount will vary on factors including monthly income.
Households currently receiving FoodShare are also currently receiving additional emergency benefits that total either an additional $95 or enough to bring them up to the maximum amount for their household size, whichever increase is greater.
This additional benefit is approved monthly by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, based both on whether the federal and state public health emergencies are in effect and that one of the following conditions are met:
• Residents of the state are confirmed to have contracted COVID-19
• Some or all areas of the state are containment or quarantine zones
• Businesses have closed or significantly reduced their hours
• The state’s residents have experienced economic impacts due to job suspensions or losses
• The state’s residents have been directed to practice social distancing
Currently, both the federal and state public health emergencies are still in effect. However, this is not guaranteed to be true when the program is under review for October.
Elizabeth Goodsitt, communications specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, said in an email that benefit increases are due to cost-of-living adjustments that are conducted annually and are unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cost-of-living adjustments are the first change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s formula for calculating the cost of food in 45 years.