The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline 6/14: When college students come home for the summer - SNAP


Q. 1. My SNAP client had been living alone. At her recent recertification interview, she reported that her 19-year-old daughter, who is a full-time student during the school year, has just moved back home.
This daughter was unemployed while at school and is currently still unemployed. Also, the daughter is not participating in a federally funded work-study program. Now that college is no longer in session, is she eligible for SNAP benefits?
A. 1. No. At this time, your client’s daughter does not meet the SNAP student eligibility requirements because during the school year she did not meet the SNAP student requirements. Although she is not attending classes during the summer or winter break, she is considered continuously enrolled during periods of vacation or recess, until she graduates or ends her enrollment.
For more information on SNAP’s continuous enrollment policy, refer to 106 CMR 362.420. For information on how to qualify as an eligible student for SNAP benefits, refer to 106 CMR 362.410.

Q. 2. This same SNAP client who had been living alone during the school year and is now living with her 19-year-old daughter called up days later to report that her daughter just found a job and will begin working 10 hours a week over the summer as a waitress. Can I disregard her daughter’s earnings?
A. 2. Yes. As an ineligible student and nonhousehold member, the daughter’s earnings are not considered in determining the SNAP assistance unit’s eligibility and benefit level. For more information on nonhousehold members in SNAP, refer to 106 CMR 361.230.

Q. 3. If this same SNAP client who had been living alone but is currently living with her 19-year-old reports that her student daughter has increased her hours from 10 to 20 hours per week as a waitress during the summer months, do I count the daughter’s earnings?
A. 3. Yes. As long as the daughter is working at least 20 hours per week, she meets the student eligibility requirements and therefore she joins her mother’s SNAP case and her earnings (including tips) as a waitress are countable.

Q. 4. My SNAP client’s 21-year-old son has been receiving SNAP benefits for himself as a qualifying student while living apart from his mother. During the school year, he was attending classes fulltime and working 22 hours per week. At my client’s recent recertification, she reported that her son has moved back home with her temporarily for the summer and is working full-time until he returns to school in the fall. Should I include her son in her SNAP household?
A. 4. Yes. Since the son is no longer living apart, his separate SNAP case should be closed and he should be added to your client’s household. As a continuously qualifying student, his earnings are counted in the benefit calculation.

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