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In February, Indiana Paid a Record $154 Million in Snap Payments!

Snap Payments

When it comes to employment in Indiana, reached an all-time low of 2.3 percent last month, and firms in the state are offering greater wages, including earnings of $15 an hour or more at numerous fast-food restaurants.

However, the state paid a record $154 million in SNAP payments in February, setting a new record.

In February 2020, the month before a statewide public health emergency was proclaimed, the state paid more than twice as much as it did in February 2019.

It’s also greater than it was in the summer of 2020 when hundreds of businesses were forced to close as a result of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order during the COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in a jump in the unemployment rate.

The increase in overall payouts is because each household is receiving larger SNAP benefits than they were before the outbreak.

According to state data, 289,000 households were getting SNAP benefits in Indiana in February 2022, and a total of 618,031 people receiving benefits.

In February 2020, 255,786 households were getting SNAP benefits in the state, and 564,492 people were receiving SNAP benefits.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the economic burden of the disease prompted Congress to approve a 15 percent increase in all SNAP benefits in March 2021,

as well as the expansion of eligibility for the maximum monthly benefit amount, which was previously reserved for individuals with the lowest incomes.

This includes $250 per month for a single person, $459 per month for a two-person household, $658 per month for a three-person household, $835 per month for a four-person household,

and $992 per month for a five-person household – up to $1504 per month for an eight-person household and $188 for each additional person beyond that.

The extra federal funding came from the American Rescue Plan, and it was expected that it would result in a monthly benefit boost of around $100 for a family of four.

The percent increase expired on September 30, 2021, and the increase in the maximum benefit amount for all recipients was to expire when a state no longer qualified as a pandemic emergency, according to federal law.

Republicans pushed through a law including elements Holcomb claimed were necessary for him to be able to bring the statewide health emergency to a close in the Indiana General Assembly last month, sparking a debate.

The bill stipulated that the state can continue to receive additional SNAP benefits from the federal government through April 16.

This implies that the maximum benefit amount will be available to all SNAP beneficiaries in the state, regardless of their income level, for the last time in May.

However, the total cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is a federal program with administrative costs shared 50/50 between the federal government and the states, is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Separate from the pandemic response, Congress directed the United States Department of Agriculture to study the number of benefits that would be required for people to purchase healthy food.

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As a result, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit amounts were increased by 40 cents per person, per meal, effective January 1, 2010. That hike will remain in effect indefinitely.

Residents of Marion County received $36 million in SNAP benefits in February 2022, while residents of Lake County received $16 million. A total of $154 million in SNAP benefits was paid out to Hoosiers in February 2022.

General eligibility for SNAP assistance is determined by the amount of gross and net monthly income a household has in any given month.

To qualify, a family of three must earn a maximum monthly gross income of $2,379, a two-person household must earn $1,888, and a four-person household must earn $2,871 to qualify.

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