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 115.
- A disqualifying criminal record (fleeing felon), see Question 46.
- A voluntary quit from work or a strike, see Question 57 and 59.
- Undetermined immigration status, see Question 54. To 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. As of the writing of this Guide, DTA fails to do this.
- 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.
If someone is sanctioned due to an IPV, the rules require DTA to count the disqualified person’s income and apply the lower (130% FPL) gross income eligibility test, along with impose an asset 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, his wife 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 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 in 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 sanction.