Hawaii’s minimum wage hike could impact food stamp benefits for some

Despite the changes, the state is urging recipients not to panic.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:03 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:23 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s minimum wage went up this week to $12 an hour. The increase will mean an average of about $300 more per month for workers at that wage.

But it could also impact their ability to collect food stamp benefits, officials said.

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, is based on gross monthly income.

Joseph Campos, deputy director of the state Department of Human Services, stressed that’s not the only factor they consider when determining eligibility.

“Medical expenses, other factors as to household size, so there’s various things,” Campos said, adding that SNAP recipients shouldn’t panic.

“Let the process go,” he said.

Campos said DHS will help those on the cusp of losing benefits when the time comes for their review.

He added the federal government could have off-set the wage increase when they upped the requirement for those receiving food stamp benefits.

The higher income rules jumped 12.5% because of skyrocketing inflation, and that could protect most people’s benefits. Currently there are 160,000 Hawaii residents enrolled in the SNAP program.

DHS reviews eligibility every six months. For more information click here.