Here Are the Maximum SNAP Payments for 2023

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  • The maximum monthly SNAP payment for a household of four in 2023 is $939.
  • The average monthly SNAP payment for a household of four is estimated at $718, as many families don't receive the maximum amount.
  • When the federal public health emergency ends, it will mean states have to stop paying emergency SNAP benefits, reducing the amount many households receive.

Find out what SNAP benefits different households are entitled to.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has helped hundreds millions of American households put food on the table since it started back in 1939. It's gone through many changes since then, particularly in recent years. For example, in 2021 the USDA updated the way it calculated maximum benefits -- resulting in a significant boost to SNAP payments across the board.

SNAP benefits are adjusted each fiscal year, based on any changes to the cost of living. On Oct. 1, 2022 the maximum monthly payment for a family of four increased by 12.5% to $939 for the 2023 fiscal year. It won't change again until next October. Assuming the cost of living continues to increase, we can expect a further SNAP increase then.

Maximum SNAP payments for 2023

To calculate SNAP benefits, local agencies take the maximum benefit for that household size and then make deductions depending on income and other factors. Eligibility depends on a household's income and total assets. Income generally needs to be at or below 130% of the poverty line.

Your household size, the state you live in, total income, and other living costs all play a role. Without getting into too much detail, benefits are calculated on the assumption that a family spends 30% of its net income on food. That gets deducted from the maximum payment. As a result, many households don't receive the maximum amount.

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According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the average monthly payment for a household of four in 2023 will be $718 -- over $200 less than the maximum benefit of $939. Residents of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands receive higher payments due to the higher food costs in these states.

Here are the maximum payments for 48 states and the District of Columbia:

Household size Maximum SNAP allotment
1 $281
2 $516
3 $740
4 $939
5 $1,116
6 $1,339
7 $1,480
8 $1,691
Each additional member $211
Data source: USDA

Why some households could receive lower SNAP payments in 2023

Unfortunately, some households will receive less money next year. Emergency provisions connected to the COVID-19 health emergency have allowed states to pay extra benefits since March 2020. These emergency allotments mean SNAP families can receive the maximum benefit for their household, and those already receiving the maximum receive an additional $95.

Many states have already ceased to pay emergency allotments. Those that continue to do so will have to stop when the federal government ends the national health emergency. It isn't clear yet whether the health emergency will stay in place beyond Jan. 2023, but it will almost certainly end at some point next year.

The CBPP said, "Households are seeing a large increase in SNAP benefits in October 2022 to account for higher food prices, but most SNAP households will see a substantial cut in their benefits, likely later in fiscal year 2023, when emergency allotments end."

How to make your SNAP dollars go further

Rising living costs have put a huge strain on the bank balances of many Americans, particularly lower-income households. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the cost of food at home was over 12% higher in October than the previous year. The increase in SNAP benefits goes some way to helping families keep up with higher grocery costs, but if prices continue to rise next year, your money -- SNAP or otherwise -- simply won't go as far.

If your state offers any Double Up Food Bucks programs, this can be a great way for SNAP recipients to get more fruit and vegetables. Essentially each dollar is worth two dollars at participating farmers markets and stores. You'll get double the amount of produce and be able to access healthier food for your family.

Several cash back apps will work with your SNAP EBT payment card, so you can earn rewards on your spending. Check the app before you go to the store for any offers or bonuses that might fit with your shopping list. Keep the receipt, as you'll need to scan it to claim your rewards.

In the chaos of day-to-day life, it can be hard to make time for planning. But it can really help to cut food costs. For example, if you collect coupons, planning ahead helps you use them before they run out and get the best bargains. If you know you need laundry detergent, you can hunt for a good discount online. A shopping list will also minimize the number of trips you need to make to the store, and ensure you buy everything you need to feed your family.

Bottom line

This year has been difficult financially for many Americans. The increase in SNAP payments for the 2023 fiscal year, along with the emergency allotments still being paid by some states, has eased some of the financial strain. All the same, some families are finding it hard to keep food on the table.

If your household is struggling, don't be afraid to seek additional help from food pantries or other programs. There may be a lot of uncertainty about what will happen to the economy in 2023, but there are also a number of initiatives designed to reduce hunger and food insecurity.

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