67. What is earned income?

Most earned income is countable income for SNAP purposes.106 C.M.R. § 363.220 (A).  Earned income includes:

  • Gross earnings from wages and salaries, including earnings diverted or garnished by an employer for a specific expense. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(C).  This includes short-term disability payments from  your employer if you are still an employee.
  • Gross earnings from self-employment after allowable business expenses (business expenses do not include personal income taxes or FICA). See Question 69.
  • Income from boarders (persons who get a room and meals from you) after subtracting the cost of doing business, as long as provided the boarder is not part of the SNAP household. 106 C.M.R. § 365.200. See Question 42.
  • Income from rental property minus business expenses, provided you or a household member manages the property for at least 20 hours per week. 106 C.M.R. § 365.930(A). See Question 71.

Gross income is your earnings before taxes, FICA or other mandatory payroll deductions. Gross income does not include the value of employee “credits” for employee benefits such as health insurance, that cannot be taken as cash by the employee. See Question 65. Gross income also does not include legally obligated child support paid by a noncustodial parent when it is verified. See Question 78.

Examples of non-countable earnings

  • Earnings of a dependent child under age 18 who attends school is not countable income. 106 C.M.R. § 363.230 (H)
  • Work study and college or graduate assistantships are not countable. See Question 45.
  • Stipends paid to otherwise eligible AmeriCorps, VISTA, Youthbuild, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and others doing service work count. See Question 65.

DTA Online Guide  

See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON Online Guide for this section.