Your SNAP monthly benefit is based on how much income you and the worker are “reasonably certain” you will receive for the period you are on benefits (your certification period). 106 C.M.R. § 364.310.
If you have earned income, DTA will ask for proof of earnings for the 4-week period prior to the date you applied for SNAP. If you cannot get wage information from your employer and need DTA to help, see What proofs do I need and how do I get them to DTA?
How does DTA calculate my monthly income?
DTA calculates your monthly income by multiplying the most recent average weekly income by 4.333 to get a monthly amount (or 2.167 for bi-weekly amounts). 106 C.M.R. § 364.340.
Example: Judy received the following gross pay the past 4 weeks: of $200, $224, $150, and then $250 in the last week. The average of these weeks is $206 per week. DTA then multiplies this average amount of $206 by 4.333 to get a monthly gross income of $893..
If you are no longer working at your old job, the income from the last job should not be counted in calculating your SNAP benefits. The same is true if other earned or unearned income stops. DTA should calculate your financial eligibility prospectively (see below). 106 C.M.R. § 364.310.
It is possible DTA will count some income from your terminated job for the first month of your SNAP, if you got a final paycheck within the cyclical month of your SNAP application 106 C.M.R. § 365.840, 106 CMR 364.110. Once that first month passes it should no longer count as part of the SNAP calculation for your household. Make sure that DTA is not counting income you are no longer receiving.
Income from a new job, from Unemployment Insurance or other income source should also not be counted until you are certain when you will get paid and how much. 106 C.M.R. §§ 364.310, 364.320. If you do not anticipate receipt of the income in the first 30 days of your certification period, it should not count until the next Interim Report is due or if your household income exceeds the gross income before then.
DTA Policy Guidance:
- DTA should only count income from a terminated source that is received during the cyclical month of your SNAP application (e.g. the first month of the certification period). Transitions Quality Corner, September 2015, Pg 2
- Income of school employees should only be averaged out over 12 months if the employee works under a renewable annual contract, has written reasonable assurance of employment for the upcoming academic year, and is salaried and not paid on an hourly basis. OLG Transmittal 2017-88 (Oct 27, 2017)
- Anticipated UI should not be counted as income if it is not certain the household will actually receive the UI benefit by Day 30. Transitions Hotline Q & A (April 2004)