Decrease in SNAP Benefits
2023 Changes to Social Security Income and Impact on SNAP Eligibility
The 2023 cost of living adjustment for Social Security Income (SSI) recipients set by the federal government prompted an 8.7 percent increase to SSI income. However, eligibility thresholds for SNAP – which are determined by the federal government – did not rise proportionally. For these cases, January will be the final month of eligibility and cases will close for February.
Additionally, approximately 249,000 households will experience a decrease in their monthly SNAP benefit. The average reduction in benefits will be $40 per household, which will take effect in March 2023 following the end of COVID-19 SNAP Emergency Allotments.
Notices of closure or changed benefits will be sent to households, and given the overlap with SSI eligibility, we anticipate that this impact will be felt most by seniors and older Pennsylvanians. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is working to communicate via mail to these households outlining where they can find food assistance in their community and outlining how to enroll in programs targeted towards seniors if they are not already accessing these resources.
Since the pandemic started in 2020, households receiving SNAP benefits have been getting an additional payment in the second half of the month known as an Emergency Allotment (EA). These payments brought households to the maximum monthly payment for their household size or, if they are already receiving the maximum, they received a $95 EA.
The Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends states’ authority to issue EAs after February 2023. This means that starting in March 2023, SNAP households will receive just one monthly SNAP payment, reducing federal food assistance and reducing income to SNAP grocers and food retailers by more than $200 million statewide. This will affect Pennsylvania’s entire SNAP population – 1.94 million Pennsylvanians as of December 2022. SNAP enrollment by county for December 2022 is also attached to this email.
Please keep your case information up-to-date and report any changes to your income, expenses, and/or household size. Monthly SNAP benefits can be adjusted if households report:
Medical costs over $35 per month for anyone age 60 or older or disabled that you did not have or report before;
Increased housing costs since you last contacted DHS;
Child or disabled adult care costs that have changed since you last told DHS about what you had to pay.
SNAP recipients who know they have had changes to the number of people in their household, income, or expenses should report any changes at:
The myCOMPASS PA mobile app; or
By calling DHS’s Customer Service Center at 1- 877-395-8930
This will help ensure households are receiving the full SNAP benefit they are eligible to receive.
End of SNAP Emergency Allotments
Visit www.uwlc.net/find-food-pantry to find all of the food pantries in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties or call 211 to connect to local food resources
Meals are available daily at Senior Centers in Lackawanna County. Check out our Senior Center page to find the nearest one
Senior Food Box
Visit the PA Dept. of Agriculture page to find more information on receiving a Senior Food Box, that provides seniors with additional shelf-stable groceries
Home Delivered Meals
Call our office at 570-963-6740 to determine if you are eligible to receive Home Delivered Meals