Hotline 5/12: SNAP, little or no income


From the Hotline

If you have any questions on this column or other policy and procedural material, please have your Hotline
designee call the Policy Hotline at 617-348-8478.

Q. I took an application today from a man applying for SNAP benefits. He reports being unemployed for
over two years and currently has no income. He has a self-declared shelter expense of $750 per
month. Should I request additional information before approving him for SNAP benefits because his
expenses are beyond his means?

A. Yes, additional information is required. Ask the applicant how he is managing his finances, how long
the circumstances have continued and whether or not there is income still to be reported. For more
information, refer to 106 CMR 361.620 regarding questionable client information and 106 CMR
361.630 regarding contradictory client information.

Q. If a SNAP applicant is meeting his ongoing expenses with little or no income, should I request
additional verification, and if so, at what point should I make this request?

A. Additional verification should be requested, under certain circumstances. If your SNAP applicant was
given the opportunity to provide you with new information, but he still fails to offer a reasonable
explanation for how he is meeting his expenses despite having little or no income, then additional
verification is required. See Operations Memo 2010-55 for more information on the types of
additional verifications required at initial certification in SNAP.

Q. If a TAFDC or EAEDC applicant reports being unemployed, has little or no income and shows
expenses that exceed her ability to pay for these expenses, how do I proceed?

A. When a TAFDC or EAEDC applicant shows expenses exceeding income, ask the client how she is
managing her finances, how long the circumstances have continued and whether or not there are
assets or income still to be reported. If, the applicant is meeting her expenses with no apparent
income, or there are other questionable details in the case, additional verification should be
required. Refer to 106 CMR 701.410, 106 CMR 702.300 and 106 CMR 702.310, as well as
Operations Memo 2010-55 for more information.

Q. If additional information or verifications cannot explain why a SNAP, TAFDC or EAEDC client is able
to meet expenses that exceed his or her income, is a fraud referral appropriate?

A. Yes. For information on completing fraud referrals in these situations, see A User’s Guide: Transitional
Assistance Programs and BEACON, Chapter II, Section E.

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