New food stamp regulations now in effect in Virginia allow more benefits for elderly and disabled residents.

Under the new regulations, which went into effect last week, coupon allotments and deductions for certain households with elderly for disabled members will be increased, officials said.

Households with members who are 60 or older or who receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security benefits will be allowed to deduct medical or dental expenses that exceed $35 a month, according to the new regulations. Such deductions were not allowed under previous regulations.

The new regulations also allow qualifying households to deduct the amounts of their shelter costs that exceed 50 percent of the household's net income.

To receive the new deductions, households must report to their local welfare offices.

In addition, the regulations increase maximum monthly coupon allotments by as much as $9, depending on the household size. The monthly allotment for a one-person household, for example, is being increased from $61 to $63, while the allotment for a four-person household will increase from $204 to $209 a month.

The standard deduction for all households will increase from $70 to $75.

More than 295,000 persons in Virginia receive a total of about $9 million in food stamps each month.