The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

49. What income is not counted?

DTA looks at total monthly income to decide eligibility. But not all income counts. 106 C.M.R. § 704.250.

The following items do not count as income:

  • income of any SSI recipients in the household, including that of a spouse or child receiving SSI;
  • foster care payments you receive for a foster child;
  • SNAP benefits (food stamps);
  • federal higher education (college level) grants, loans and work study;
  • other higher education grants and scholarships that cannot be used to meet current living expenses;
  • any loan that cannot be used to meet current living expenses;
  • up to $7,500 in relocation payments received by a tenant to leave a foreclosed property plus additional amounts you can verify are being used for relocation expenses, See DTA Transitions, Jan.. 2008, p. 7; 
  • payments from a reverse mortgage (loan that allows homeowner to withdraw equity from property), see DTA Transitions, April 2007, pp. 4-5;
  • training stipends up to $130 per month;
  • reimbursements for education or training expenses;
  • Youthbuild or Americorps earnings or payments to participants;
  • earned income of a child under 14;
  • earned income of a child age 14 or older who is a full-time student, or a part-time student and a part-time employee;
  • Earned Income Tax Credit payments;
  • assistance from social service or other organizations;
  • the first $600 of a lump sum payment;
  • housing subsidies received under any Massachusetts or federal housing program including utility allowances paid under such programs;
  • earnings of temporary census employees;
  • certain restricted cash gifts from persons who are not financially responsible for the EAEDC recipient (see Question 57).

Advocacy Reminder:

  • This is not a complete list of noncountable income. The regulations describe over 30 types of noncountable income. Check the regulations for a complete list. 106 C.M.R. § 704.250.
  • Some employees get “credits” that can be used to pay for benefits such as health insurance, child care, or life insurance. The “credits” may show up on your pay stub as income, but they are not counted for EAEDC or SNAP (food stamps) unless you have the option of taking the credits as cash. See DTA Transitions, Jan. 2006, p. 7 and Feb. 2006, p. 3.

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