None of the people you live with counts if they are not part of your SNAP household. 106 C.M.R. § 363.230(L). If you share living quarters with friends or relatives – and you purchase and prepare the majority of your meals separately – the income of these individuals does not count.
However, the SNAP program fully counts all of the income of persons you live with and required to be part of the SNAP household but are ineligible due to a disqualification. This includes a spouse, a parent of a child under 22, a child living with a parent, as well as people who purchase and prepare meals with you – if he or she is disqualified for the following reasons:
- An intentional program violation (IPV) or fraud, see What if DTA says I committed fraud or an "IPV"?
- A disqualifying criminal record (fleeing felon), see What if I have a criminal record or DTA says I am a "fleeing felon"?
- A voluntary quit from employment or striker, see What are the rules if I recently quit a job or am on strike?
- Undocumented or undetermined immigration status, see How does DTA count the income of an ineligible immigrant?
- A household member who fails or refuses to give his or her SSN for reasons other than non-citizen status.
In some of these situations the rules require DTA to count the disqualified person’s income and apply the lower (130% FPL) gross income eligibility test, along with impose an asset test. See When do assets count?
In addition, the rules require DTA to exclude the disqualified person in the household size. 106 C.M.R. § 365.520(A)(4).
Example: Mark, his wife Sarah and their two children reapplied for SNAP recently. Mark was disqualified in September for 12 months after a hearing officer ruled that he had committed an intentional program violation (IPV) because he failed to report a new job on his Interim Report. The family decided to close their SNAP case. But then Mark lost his job, He is now working 20 hours a week and the family reapplied for SNAP. The family is eligible, but Mark is not eligible until his 12 month disqualification period ends at the end of August. Because Mark is a disqualified household member, the household income (including Mark’s) must fall under the lower 130% FPL gross income limit for three people (his wife and 2 children). Further, the family’s SNAP benefit amount is calculated for a household of 3 (not 4). Mark is excluded in the SNAP household size, but his income counts in the SNAP math.
- Live-in attendants and ineligible college students are not part of the SNAP household. They are non-household members but not “disqualified” individuals. Therefore, their income and assets are not countable. 106 C.M.R.§ 361.230(B) and (C).
- As soon as the sanction period ends, DTA should use the 200% FPL gross income test (versus 130% FPL) and increase the SNAP benefit to include the formerly disqualified household member in the household size. Be sure to check the accuracy and duration of any sanction on a household subject to the lower benefits.