Federal Update on SNAP


Cost-of-Living Adjustments and ARRA Sunset Impact on Allotments for FY 2014

On Aug. 1, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) released data that shows the effect on allotments for the SNAP program related to the fiscal year (FY) 2014 cost-of-living adjustments (effective Oct. 1, 2013) as well as the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) maximum allotments (effective Nov. 1, 2013). For the purpose of the FY 2014 COLA, maximum allotments remain unchanged through October and maintain, under ARRA, a maximum allotment of $668 for a household size of four. For FY 2014, the minimum standard deduction for household sizes one through three increased to $152 a month and the shelter cap values increased $9 to $478.[1]

Effective Nov. 1, there will be a reduction in the maximum SNAP allotments because of the end of a temporary across the board boost to SNAP benefits that was enacted as a part of ARRA. While the ARRA funding was initially expected to remain in effect through FY 2014, subsequent congressional action in 2010 (the enactment of P.L. 111-226 followed by the enactment of P.L. 111-296) accelerated the sunset of the ARRA benefit increase to April 1, 2014 and then to Oct. 31, 2013.  Any benefit reductions that may be enacted as part of the ongoing 2013 Farm Bill Reauthorization debate will be in addition to the reductions related to ARRA. The chart below illustrates the changes in maximum benefits levels for households of one to four members and the benefit reduction households receiving the maximum allotment in both October and November will see in their benefit. For additional information on SNAP benefit changes in October and November 2013, read the USDA memo.

SNAP Reductions by Household Size Beginning November 1, 2013


ARRA Maximum Benefits Through Oct. 2013

Maximum Benefits Beginning Nov. 2013

Monthly Reduction

Total Reduction FY 2014

Household of 1





Household of 2





Household of 3





Household of 4





Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, “SNAP – Fiscal Year 2014 Cost-of-Living Adjustments and ARRA Sunset Impact on Allotments,” Aug. 1, 2013.


[1]               These figures are for the 48 States and the District of Columbia.  For more information on Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands see the USDA memo.

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