The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline Focus 10/10

Date: 
10/01/2010
Author: 
DTA

Q. I received a SNAP application today from a 75-year-old disabled man who receives $800 per month in Social Security benefits. He lives with his 31-year-old son and the son’s two children. His adult son’s total gross income is $1,033 per month. Because of my applicant’s age and disability, his son has been purchasing food and preparing meals for the entire household, including the 75-year-old applicant. Since this applicant is both disabled and age 60 or older, can he apply as a separate SNAP household?

A. Yes. An individual may qualify as a separate SNAP household if permanently disabled and age 60 or older and if the income of the other people living with the applicant is less than 165 percent of the federal poverty level.

In this case, as long as the adult son’s income is below 165 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three (below $2,518 for the son and his two children), your applicant may apply separately for SNAP benefits.

This 31-year-old son can also choose to apply separately for SNAP benefits for himself and his children. See 106 C.M.R. 361.200(B) for more information on this policy.

NOTE: Determining whether or not the income of the remaining household members is below 165 percent of the federal poverty level is a manual task. Remember to exclude the applicant’s own income and to consider only the gross income of the others living with the applicant. See 106 CMR 364.975 for more information.

Q. If the permanently disabled applicant described in the previous question was living with his wife, in addition to his adult child and grandchildren, how would the composition of the households change?

A. It is important to remember that the “Spouse” rule supersedes the elderly and disabled exception described in the previous answer. Therefore, this disabled husband and his wife would need to be together in the same SNAP household, apart from any children and/or grandchildren.

The adult son could still choose to apply separately for SNAP for himself and his children.

Q. If the permanently disabled 75-year-old applicant described in the first question was living with his daughter under age 22, in addition to his adult son and grandchildren, how would the composition of the households change?

A. The “Parent/Child” rule supersedes the elderly and disabled exception as well. Therefore, the applicant and his daughter under age 22 would need to be in the same SNAP household, apart from the 31-year-old son and his two children.

As in the previous answers, the adult son in this situation can choose to apply separately for SNAP for himself and his children.

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