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Social security benefits to increase 9% this year, risking SNAP eligibility for some

Social Security card.
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Residents receiving social security, or supplemental security income, are getting a nearly 9% increase for this year.

However, that increase could also impact a household's eligibility for food assistance under the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Social Security and SSI beneficiaries were mailed notifications last month, according to the state's Department of Human Services. The department said that the letter specified the possible threat to SNAP eligibility, due to a cost of living adjustment that could occur with the added benefits.

DHS is reminding residents there are ways to offset any decreases to their benefits.

Scott Morishige, DHS administrator, said that people should report their monthly expenses, especially if they have gone up for rent and utilities this year.

"If you’re a senior over the age of 60, or someone with disabilities, you can also report your medical expenses," Morishige said. "Particularly out of pocket medical expenses not covered by insurance."

Other expenses to report include car payments, garbage collection fees, child support expenses, boat slips and more.

Monthly expenses could be deducted from income when taking into account SNAP benefits, according to DHS public information officer Amanda Stevens.

Morishige said residents who have lost or had their SNAP benefits impacted can still receive support from several outreach providers. Some include:

Statewide

  • Aloha United Way Phone: 211

Oʻahu:

  • Hale Naau Pono Phone: 808-696-4211 (Leeward Coast only)
  • Helping Hands Hawaii Phone: 808-440-3812
  • Lanakila Pacific Phone: 808-356-8581

Maui:

  • Project Vision Hawaii Phone: 808-201-3937

Kauaʻi:

  • Child & Family Service Phone: 808-245-5914

Hawaiʻi Island:

  • The Food Basket Phone: 808-933-6030 (Hilo) and 808-322-1418 (Kona)

More information about social security, SSI or SNAP can be found here.

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