LAURINBURG — An increase in benefits to those receiving food stamps, enacted more than four years ago, has come to an end as of Friday — resulting in the cut of benefits to the more than 5,000 Scotland County families enrolled in the program.
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the “stimulus package,” increased maximum Food and Nutrition Services allotments to assist individuals and families struggling in the recession. Limited to five years, the increase saw its expiration date this week.
More than 47 million people nationwide will feel the cuts, as they affect everyone receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Last year, more than 5,000 Scotland County families received SNAP benefits each month, a 50 percent increase from five years earlier.
Depending on household size, benefits will be cut from $5 to $11 per person, with the maximum benefit for a single adult declining by $11 from $200 to $189. For a family of eight, the maximum benefit will fall from $1,202 to $1,137, a $65 decrease. The decrease comes after a cost of living adjustment, implemented annually in October, increased benefits for some families slightly.
As the change has been brought about by federal law, SNAP recipients will not have the ability to appeal or dispute their benefit reduction.
To find out their November benefit amount, SNAP recipients should call 1-888-622-7328 on the day they usually receive funds.