Federal Cost of Living Adjustment Will Affect SNAP and Other Benefits Received Through DCFS
Published 8:30 am Saturday, December 17, 2022
Benefits under the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, will be decreasing for some Louisiana residents in 2023, due to a federal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to Social Security and veterans benefits.
The COLA is an annual adjustment calculated by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics based on fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Monthly Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and some Veterans Administration (VA) payments will be increasing by 8.7% as a result of the 2023 COLA. Monthly benefits for individual Social Security recipients will increase on average from $1,680 to $1,827 (more than $140 per month). The monthly maximum benefit amount for SSI recipients is also increasing by $73 (from $841 in 2022 to $914 in 2023). This is the largest adjustment in almost four decades since payments were increased by 11.2% in 1981. For some Louisiana households, the increase in income caused by the COLA will impact their eligibility and federal benefit.
Due to the COLA increase, 145,330 SNAP households (about 34% of all SNAP households in Louisiana) will face an average reduction of approximately $47.15 in monthly benefits, beginning in January. Currently, SNAP recipients receive Emergency Allotments, which brings them to the maximum benefit amount for their household size. Benefit reductions for these households may not be noticeable until Emergency Allotments expire once the Public Health Emergency ends. As their income exceeds the eligibility limit, another 1,414 SNAP cases will be closed. The COLA will also result in benefit reductions for less than 1% of FITAP and KCSP households.
The Social Security Administration provides the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) an electronic file detailing individual benefit amounts. These income adjustments will be made automatically to SNAP and FITAP applicants beginning in January 2023.
For households facing a reduction in benefits or the closure of a case, Louisiana 211 can provide information on how to obtain additional assistance. 211 links callers to vital health and human services in their neighborhood, such as clothing and food. Calling 211 is an easy way to receive information on obtaining assistance.
For more information about SNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAP.
For more information about the federal COLA, visit the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov/cola and the Veterans Administration at www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/rates-index.asp#cola.
SNAP Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (833) 620-1071, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to:
Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
1320 Braddock Place, Room 334
Alexandria, VA 22314; or
(833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or