SALEM, Ore. - Every year, the federal government makes changes to the calculations used to determine how much an eligible person may receive in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps.
The changes are made in what are known as the SNAP standards and take place October 1.
Currently, one in five Oregonians - or 445,500 households - receive SNAP benefits.
Some households may see a very small increase in their monthly benefits because the maximum deductions allowed for utilities and shelter are increasing. Clients with deductions falling between the old and new caps will see their monthly benefits increase by up to $3.
Clients do not need to take any action to see how the new standards might affect them. The state will automatically recalculate cases and increase benefits for those who qualify. Any additional amounts will show on the client's October issuance of benefits.
The change in the 2012 standards will not cause an increase in the number of people receiving SNAP. It also does not change program eligibility requirements.
To be eligible for SNAP, families must earn less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level, along with other factors. For a family of four, the income limit is less than $3,554 per month.
The SNAP standards are directed by the United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services. SNAP clients with questions about the changes can contact their local Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) office for assistance.
To find the closest DHS office, call 1-800-SAFENET (800-723-3638) or go to www.oregon.gov/dhs.