You are here

What is financial eligibility?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.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 2022 guide from

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

You must meet the SNAP income tests to get SNAP benefits. There is no asset test for most Massachusetts households. See When do assets count?
There are three basic steps in the SNAP math:

  • Your countable gross income must be under the financial limit for your household size.
  • Your countable net income is determined after allowing certain deductions for shelter, dependent care and some other expenses.
  • Your monthly SNAP benefit is calculated by subtracting 30% of your countable net income from the maximum SNAP benefit for your household size.

The financial eligibility rules are confusing. Part 3 walks you through the financial rules step-by-step.

Financial Calculation Tools:

  • Check out our on-line and mobile-friendly SNAP calculator at An Excel spreadsheet calculator is also available at that link for quick calculations.
  • For a simple one-page SNAP Worksheet, go to Appendix A.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am and 4pm