BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Inflation has increased food prices in some cases by more than 11 percent, according to the Department of Agriculture.

This means more people are turning to SNAP benefits for assistance.

And now, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is changing who receives these benefits.

With inflation still on the rise, the Department of Children and Family Services is an increase in the number of residents who are applying for SNAP benefits.

“We were probably serving one in five Louisianians. Since COVID, we’ve increased to one in three Louisianians, so our numbers are definitely going up,” said Assistant Secretary, Family Support Divison Shavana Howard.

Howard says they receive more than fifty applications a day and as a result, they now have to change the process of receiving benefits.

“We had moved to the on-demand interview process to help us with the peak,” she said.

Some residents say they feel like they are being left behind.

Baton Rouge resident Shalen Theriot touched on this when he told BRProud, “They make it to where you got to jump through hoops and hurdles instead of actually giving it to the community who actually need it.”

To help address some of the needs, DCFS added a $31 increase to benefits last week.

DCFS is also offering assistance to those who surpass the threshold of $2000 a month.

Howard said, “Individuals who are working poor, who have high shelter deductions, high expenses, childcare expenses, things of that nature to actually be eligible to receive benefits.”

In a press release DCFS stated:

Income Limits and Deductions

Income eligibility standards and allowable deductions, which are based on the federal poverty level and adjusted annually based on overall inflation, are increasing.

The gross and net monthly income limits for households are also increasing. Broad-Based Categorically Eligible (BBCE) households are required to meet the Maximum Gross Monthly Income Standard of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) instead of 130% of the FPL. Most households will be BBCE. For example, a single-person household will now have a gross monthly income limit of $1,473 (up $77), and a net monthly income limit of $1,133 (up $39), while a single-person BBCE household will now have a gross monthly income limit of $2265 (up $118). A household of four, on the other hand, will be limited to a gross monthly income of $3,007 (up $136) and a net monthly income of $2,313 (up $104).

Household SizeMax Gross Monthly
Eligibility Standard
130% Poverty
Max Gross Monthly
Eligibility Standard
200% Poverty
Max Net Monthly
Eligibility Standard
100% Poverty
Each additional person+ $512+$786+$394

The resources limit for qualifying households with at least one person ages 60 or older or disabled is increasing by $500 to $4,250. The limit for all other eligible households is increasing by $250 to $2,750.

The monthly standard deduction also rises by $16 per month to $193, while the shelter cap rises by $27 to $624. Households in which all members are homeless and have a qualifying shelter expense can receive a $166.81 shelter deduction. The maximum homeless shelter deduction had been $156.74.

As a result of these adjustments, certain SNAP recipients who are not currently receiving the monthly maximum or minimum allotment may experience a rise in their monthly benefits beginning October 1.

Howard says those who may have been denied in the past can always apply again.

To do so, click here.

Additional information is also available here.