Does the income of an immigrant’s sponsor count?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.  In the meantime, you can read or download a pdf of the 2023 guide from

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed January 2020

If you receive financial support directly from the sponsor to pay for living expenses, that money treated as countable unearned income in calculating your benefits. 106 C.M.R §363.220(B)(7).


Johann is an LPR from Germany. Every month his sponsor sends him a $500 payment. DTA will calculate Johann’s SNAP benefits counting $500 of unearned income.

Sponsor’s income you do not receive does not count if you are “indigent” (very low-income) and you do not receive any payments from the sponsor. “Deeming” is a legal term that means counting income from a third party – such as a sponsor – that you do not actually receive but is assumed to be available.

DTA Online Guide Sections:SNAP > Eligibility Requirements > Noncitizen > Sponsor Deeming (deeming applies to sanctioned non-citizens)


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