The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

51. Does the income of an immigrant’s sponsor count?

If you receive financial support directly from the sponsor to pay for living expenses, then that money is counted by DTA and treated as unearned income in calculating your benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(B)(7).

Example: Johann is an LPR from Germany. Every month his sponsor sends him a $500 payment. DTA will calculate Johann’s SNAP benefits counting $500 of unearned income.

There is no counting or “deeming” of a sponsor’s income if you are indigent (low-income) and do not receive actual payments from a sponsor. “Deeming” involves counting income from a source, such as a sponsor, that is not actually received by the LPR but is assumed to be available. In general, there is also no deeming of sponsor income in the SNAP, TAFDC, EAEDC or MassHealth programs.

There is one exception to this sponsor deeming rule: DTA will count sponsor income when a household member is sanctioned for failure to comply with the SNAP program rules such as committing fraud (an IPV or intentional program violation). 106 C.M.R. § 362.270.

DTA Policy Guidance:

Online Guide Sections:  SNAP > Eligibility Requirements >  Noncitizen > Sponsor Deeming (deeming applies to sanctioned non-citizens)

Additional Guidance:

  • No sponsor deeming for EAEDC and TAFDC recipients, nor for indigent immigrants seeking SNAP unless household is under sanction, intentional program violation. F.O. Memo 2008-65 (Dec. 9, 2008).