People who have had increases in heating and/or utility bills may be required to pay less for their food stamps this year, according to a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Under the new Federal Food Stamp rules, which became effective Jan. 1, some households with increases totalling more than $25 may be eligble for adjustments in their food stamp purchase price within 10 days of the date they document the increase to their local welfare department.
If they have already bought food stamps for the month, the adjusted price will be reflected in the cost of their stamps for the following month.
Households whose utility bills have increased less than $25 will have their purchase price adjusted in accordance with normal procedures.
To be eligible for adjusted purchase prices, applicants or current food stamp clients must bring their most recent bills to the local welfare agency for verification. The bills do not have to have been paid.
Bills considered for the reduced purchase price include charges for heating and cooking fuels, electricity, water and sewerage, garbage and trash collection and basic service fee for one telephone.
All current food stamp client swill be notified by mail of the new regulations, which are designed to maintain a household at its standard of living prior to the bill increases. People interested in finding out if increased utility costs make them eligible for participation in the Federal Food Stamp Program or for reduced purchase price should contact their local welfare or social services department.