FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND HRA COMMISSIONER DOAR ANNOUNCE NEW YORKERS ON FOOD STAMPS WILL RECEIVE A 13 PERCENT INCREASE IN MONTHLY GRANTS STARTING TODAY FROM THE FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE
$25 Million in Additional Federal Benefits Are Some of the First Funds From American Recovery and Reinvestment Act To Reach New Yorkers
“Making Work Pay” Federal Tax Credits of Up To $800 for Working Families Also Start Appearing in Paychecks Today
Earlier This Week, Mayor Announced $261 Million in New Federal Infrastructure Funding That Will Fund Projects Throughout all Five Boroughs and Create or Preserve 32,000 Jobs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Robert Doar announced that beginning today, April 1, New Yorkers enrolled in the federal Food Stamp Program will now receive a 13 percent increase in their monthly food stamp grants. The funding is provided by the economic stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recently passed by Congress and signed by President Obama. This increase, which represents some of the first funds from the stimulus package to reach individuals in New York, will bring an additional $25 million a month to food stamp households and increase the total food stamp benefits issued monthly to New Yorkers to more than $200 million. In addition the Federal ‘Making Work Pay’ tax credit created in the stimulus package will start showing up in paychecks today, providing credits each month adding up to $400 for adults and $800 for families over the course of a year. On Monday, Mayor Bloomberg and members of New York’s Congressional Delegation announced the City’s selections for infrastructure projects that will create or preserve approximately 32,000 jobs using $261 million of federal transportation funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“In New York City, we’re attacking the recession by doing more than ever to strengthen small businesses, attract new investment, and connect more New Yorkers to job training and job placement services,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “Like people across the country, New Yorkers are worried about losing their jobs and struggling to find new ones. These additional Food Stamps funds are extra help for people who are hurting, and I want to thank President Obama and the members of our Congressional delegation for helping deliver them through the Federal stimulus plan.”
“This is some of the first of the stimulus money to reach individuals, many of whom who are struggling, working New Yorkers who will now get a little more help to buy food to feed their families,” said Commissioner Doar. “We are grateful to the HRA staff members who are working hard to get this help to their fellow New Yorkers.”
The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that a family of three will receive a monthly increase of $63, while a family of four will receive a monthly increase of $80.
Also starting today, many New Yorkers will begin to see the “Making Work Pay” tax credit reflected in their paychecks. Created in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this Federal tax credit will equal to 6.2 percent of earned income up to a maximum of $400 for individual filers and $800 for couples. This tax credit begins to phase out for individuals who $75,000 or more annually and couples filing jointly who earn $150,000 or more annually.
Under Mayor Bloomberg, New York City has been a leader in improving the accessibility of the Food Stamp Program for working New Yorkers. More than 1.39 million New Yorkers are enrolled in the Food Stamp Program—an increase of 74 percent since 2002. While maintaining the integrity of the Program, the biggest area of growth—an increase of 243 percent since the beginning of the Administration—has been among working New Yorkers who rely on food stamps to supplement their incomes and do not receive Cash Assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The distribution of the budget increase will begin today and will be staggered over two weeks so that by mid-April, all households receiving food stamp assistance will have received their regular grants as well as the new increase. New Yorkers can take advantage of the benefit immediately by using their existing Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) debit card. No new cards or passwords are required. The amount of the increase varies by family size and household circumstance.
Last week, the New York State Department of Labor announced that an additional $25 weekly payment, known as Federal Additional Compensation, would be added to recipients of unemployment benefits retroactive to March 1. These Federal funds were also provided as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (Mayor's Office) (212) 788-2958
Barbara Brancaccio (HRA) (212) 331-6199