74. How does DTA count the income of someone not eligible in my SNAP household?

If you share living quarters with friends or relatives – and you purchase and prepare the majority of your meals separately – the income of these individuals does not count. 106 C.M.R. § 363.230(L).

However, if you live with someone who is required to be part of the SNAP household but is ineligible due to a disqualification, these are the rules about how their income is handled.

The treatment of their income depends on the reason the person is not eligible:

  • An intentional program violation (IPV) or fraud, see Question 116.
  • A disqualifying criminal record (fleeing felon), see Question 46.
  • A voluntary quit from work or a strike, see Question 57 and 59.
  • Undetermined or undocumented immigration status, see Question 54To determine how SNAP treats the income of ineligble immigrant household members, see Question 54.
  • A household member who fails or refuses to give his or her SSN for reasons other than non-citizen status should have a pro-rated share of their income applied to the rest of the household. DTA currently fails to do this. Contact info@masslegalservices.org
  • Income of an individual terminated due to the 3-month ABAWD time limit must be pro-rated against the rest of the household. The 3-month time limit is not currently in effect.
  • Any income of an ineligible college student is not counted. See Question 45.
  • Income of individuals in adult foster care can be excluded. See Question 44.
  • Income of foster care children can be excluded. See Question 43.

See 106 C.M.R. § 361.230(D) and 7 CFR 273.11(c).

If someone is sanctioned due to an IPV, the rules require DTA to count the disqualified person’s income and apply an asset test and the lower (130% FPL) gross income eligibility test. See Question 63. 

In addition, the rules require DTA to exclude the disqualified person in the household size. 106 C.M.R. § 365.520(A)(4).

Example: Mark, Sarah and their two children reapplied for SNAP recently. Mark was disqualified in September for 12 months after a hearing officer ruled that he had committed an Intentional Program Violation (IPV). Mark is now working 20 hours a week and the family reapplied for SNAP. Mark is not eligible for SNAP until his 12-month disqualification period ends at the end of August. As a household with a disqualified member, the household's income (including Mark’s) must fall under the lower 130% FPL gross income limit for three people (his wife and 2 children). Further, the family’s SNAP benefit amount is calculated for a household of 3 (not 4). Mark is excluded from the SNAP household size until the 12 month sanction period expires, but his income counts in the SNAP math.

Note: As soon as the IPV sanction period ends, DTA should use the 200% FPL gross income test (versus 130% FPL) and increase the SNAP benefit to include the formerly disqualified household member in the household size. Be sure to check the accuracy and duration of any IPV disqualification.