The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

87. How much will I get in SNAP benefits each month?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the SNAP Advocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 SNAP page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

These are the maximum SNAP benefits by household size: .

Household Size

Max SNAP Benefit

1

$194

2

$355

3

$509

4

$646

5

$768

6

$921

7

$1,018

 

106 C.M.R. §§ 364.600, 364.980. See also Appendix B, Chart 4.

If you have countable net income, multiply your net monthly income by 0.3 (30 percent). Round up this amount to the nearest dollar. Take this amount and subtract it from the maximum benefit level for a household of your size. The result is the amount of your monthly benefits.

Example: Sam and his family have $1,000 in net income after allowable income and shelter deductions. To determine the family’s SNAP benefits, take 30% of the “net income” (30% of $1,000) and subtract it from the maximum benefit, as follows:

 $ 100 Net Income for Sam’s family
 x .30 (Multiply by 30%)
$ 300 Countable Income
$ 509 Maximum SNAP for 3 persons
-$300 Countable income (round up)
 $ 209 Monthly SNAP benefits for the Sam’s family

First month of benefits

When you first apply, your initial benefit amount is based on the number of days from when you applied and the days left in your “SNAP month.” DTA “pro-rates” your first month of benefits. 106 C.M.R. § 364.650. For example, if you apply halfway through your SNAP month, you will get 50 percent of the monthly benefit.

If you do not get all the mandatory documents to DTA within 30 days from applying and DTA decides the delay was your fault, DTA will pro-rate your SNAP. Your benefits will start from the day they got everything they needed. You can challenge this, especially if you think DTA caused the delay. See Question 21.

"$0 Benefit" Households

Some SNAP households get ver confusing DTA notices when they are under the fross income limits but qualify for $0 in SNAP benefits. The DTA notices say:

“Because your countable income is over the limit for your household size, you are not eligible for SNAP benefits at this time. We will keep your case open until DATE in case there is a change in your household's circumstances that qualifies you for benefits.”

This happens to households of 3 or more persons with income below 200% poverty level, where 30% of the household’s net income is greater than the maximum benefit amount. 106 C.M.R. §§ 364.600(A), 365.180(G)(3). If you report any changes during your certification period that make you eligible, you do not need to file a new SNAP application and have an interview. You only have to verify the change (eg. the drop in income, increased expense, a new baby or other household member) that makes you now SNAP eligible

DTA Online Guide Sections: Notices/Forms > Cross Program > SNAP Calculation Page Example


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