10/11now.com Lincoln NE (October 16, 2021) More than 160,000 Nebraskans rely on SNAP, or food stamps, to feed their families. Something that’s grown more difficult over the last year with food prices rising. To help address this, the government approved the single largest increase in benefits in the history of the program.
This increase went into effect at the beginning of October and it’s permanent, starting just as the 15% temporary pandemic boost expired. Benefits are increasing by 27%, a number set by the USDA to accommodate for inflation and the rising cost of groceries.
This increase translates to each person getting an extra $36 a month, so a family of four who qualifies for food stamps would get a maximum of $835 a month, compared to a max of $680 before the switch. On top of this increase, Nebraska recently expanded the eligibility for SNAP. Now families of four who are earning 165% of the federal poverty level or less, that’s about $36,000 per month, are eligible.
Nebraska Appleseed said if you now qualify for SNAP, you can reach out to them or other local agencies for help applying. If you’re already signed up, you don’t need to do anything to make sure you get the increase. That will happen automatically.