Emergency Rulemaking

All DHHS rules posted on or after January 5, 2023 are available on the DHHS Rulemaking page.

SNAP Rule #224E - March 2022 Standard Utility Allowance Updates Rule - Track Changes (Word)  Rule - Clean (Word)   
Concise Summary: Each state agency is charged with determining standard utility allowances and having those approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Each year, Maine proposes figures based on the best available data in July for implementation in October. The utility allowance values for Federal Fiscal Year 2022 were calculated to increase using The Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 240.778% for June 2021 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, and were submitted to and approved by the USDA. Between June and October 2021, the CPI increased another 11.88 percentage points. This increase is indicative of an additional $2 per month in phone expenses, an additional $14 per month in utility expenses for households without a heating or cooling expense, and an additional $42 per month in utility expenses for households with a heating or cooling expense. To accurately reflect the expense of Maine families, the Department has submitted and the USDA has approved updated standard utility allowances for the remainder of Federal Fiscal Year 2022. Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. 8054, the Department finds that emergency rulemaking is necessary for the health, safety, and general welfare in order to ensure that SNAP benefits are issued appropriately and accurately taking into account the high utility expenses experienced by Maine residents as verified by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=puc-pressreleases&id=6112651&v=article088, and maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=puc-pressreleases&id=6040934&v=article088) and attested to by various media outlets (thedenverchannel.com/news/national/with-rising-heating-cost-more-people-are-expected-to-ask-for-assistance-with-bills-this-winter, pressherald.com/2021/11/09/mainers-to-face-double-digit-shock-in-electricity-supply-rates-next-year, and mainepublic.org/business-and-economy/2021-11-16/maine-utility-regulators-are-warning-electricity-customers-to-brace-for-a-big-rate-hike).
Effective Date: March 1, 2022