70. What is unearned income?
Most sources of unearned income are counted in calculating your SNAP benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(B).
Countable unearned income includes
- Needs-based cash assistance including TAFDC, EAEDC, SSI and Veterans Services (Chapter 115) benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(B)(1). Chapter 115 benefits are non countable when the benefit is paid directly to a third party (such as landlord) by your Veterans Services Officer.
- Cash benefits based on past earnings or service, including Unemployment Insurance, Workers Compensation, Social Security, federal Veteran’s benefits, and other pension benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(B)(2).
- Foster care payments received for a child or disabled adult who is included in the SNAP household. These are not countable if you choose to exclude the foster child or adult from your SNAP household. 106 C.M.R. §§ 361.240(F). 363.220(B)(2). See Question 43 and 44.
- Child support and any income from trusts, alimony or other sources paid directly to you. Child support payments made to TAFDC recipients that must be assigned to the Department of Revenue (DOR) are not countable, even if erroneously received by the TAFDC household. 106 C.M.R. §§ 363.220(B)(3), (C)(6).
- Interest payments, dividends, royalties paid from your assets, or other direct money payments. 106 C.M.R. § 363.220(B)(4). These monies still count as income, even though the assets themselves do not count. Capital gains from the sale of personal assets are usually excluded as nonrecurring lump sum income.
- TAFDC or EAEDC benefits diverted to a landlord or other third party vendor payments. 106 C.M.R. §§ 363.220(C)(2), (C)(3).
- The portion of a TAFDC, EAEDC or SSI grant that is deducted because an individual was sanctioned or is repaying an overpayment due to an intentional failure to comply with requirements of these programs. See Question 115.
Verification of unearned income
DTA typically uses government databases to verify Social Security Retirement or Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), MA Unemployment Benefits and child support that is paid to a family through the Department of Revenue (DOR). DTA should use these databases to verify unearned income and not ask you to produce a written statement about the benefit amount unless there is a discrepancy between what you reported and what the databases say. See Question 99.
DTA Online Guide
See Appendix G for links to the DTA’s BEACON Online Guide for this section.