This policy update provides information on the policy changes for determining the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) that were included in the 2014 Farm Bill. The information in this policy update reflects the final regulations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and replaces the “Initial Draft” policy provided by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) back in June of 2014.
SNAP households in NYS may receive one of three possible SUA Levels depending on their type of housing and where they live. In all cases, the standardized allowance is used, rather than the household’s actual utility expenses – even if the household’s actual expenses are higher than the standard. The 2014 Farm Bill put in place new conditions and limitations on the use of HEAP benefits to allow a SNAP household a Level 1 SUA when determining the household’s eligibility for SNAP and its monthly benefit amount.