Oregon increases income limits for food, child care aid to help more families

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The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) has increased the income limits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) program to 200% of the federal poverty level, or $2,147 a month for an individual or $3,660 for a family of three.

The previous income limit for these programs was 185% of the federal poverty level, or $1,986 a month for an individual or $3,386 for a family of three. 

This change took effect in Oregon on Jan. 1, and about 18,000 new households are expected to be eligible to enroll in SNAP.

Roughly $25 million in additional food benefits will be issued to Oregonians annually. 

“Coming into the COVID-19 pandemic, life was difficult for many Oregonians, especially people of color, Oregon Tribal Nations, people with disabilities and older adults,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities, we know that many are struggling to get enough healthy food for themselves and their families. This increase will provide critical food support to thousands of Oregonians.”

The ERDC program has two income limits to participate in the program, for when a family applies to participate in the program and when a family renews their participation in the program.

The entry income limit to enroll in the program has increased to 200% of federal poverty level. Families can continue to participate in the program until their income is above 250% of the federal poverty level, or $5,303 a month for a family of three. 

“It’s encouraging to see child care prioritized with other critical benefits to support Oregon families,” said Oregon Early Learning System Director Alyssa Chatterjee. “This change will help more families access child care at a pivotal time – one that’s brought uncertainty and challenges.” 

Oregonians can apply for medical, food, cash, and child care assistance in one place online at ONE.Oregon.gov, over-the-phone at 800-699-9075​, or in-person at a local ​office.​ Due to COVID-19, Oregonians are encouraged to call ahead before their local ​office.

ODHS offers these tips to Oregonians to help them as they apply for benefits:

  • Before you begin an application, compile all documents you think you might need ahead of time. This can prevent your application from being held up and taking additional time. These documents could include: Identification, proof of income, social security numbers or other documents to determine eligibility for anyone in the household who is applying for benefits. 
  • If you have already submitted an online, in-person or over-the-phone application, you do not need to reapply. ODHS has your application and will process it as quickly as possible. 
  • If you applied through the ONE online application, you can track your application’s status using the same system you used to apply. Log in to one.oregon.gov to start tracking. Note: This website is accessible on computers, tablets and phones, but it is not optimized for mobile viewing. 
  • If you prefer to apply over the phone, the ONE Customer Service Center is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Currently hold times are lowest in the morning from 7 until 8 a.m.
  • If you are only applying for medical benefits, you can get free application help from an OHP-Certified Community Partner. Community Partners are trained and certified to help clients understand and use their health coverage options, including helping them complete eligibility and enrollment forms. Find a Community Partner at https://healthcare.oregon.gov/Pages/find-help.aspx 

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