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. 106 C.M.R. §363.230(L).
However, if you live with someone who is required to be part of your SNAP household but is ineligible, there are rules about how their income is handled.
The treatment of their income depends on the reason the person is not eligible:
- An intentional program violation (IPV) or fraud, See What if DTA says I committed fraud or an Intentional Program Violation (IPV)?
- A disqualifying criminal record (fleeing felon), See What if I have a criminal record or DTA says I’m a “fleeing felon” or violating my probation?
- A voluntary quit from work or a strike, See What happens if I recently quit a job? and What are the rules if I am on strike?
- Undetermined immigration status, See How does DTA count the income of an ineligible immigrant? To determine how SNAP treats the income of ineligible immigrant household members, See When will I get my SNAP benefits?
- A household member who fails or refuses to give his or her SSN for reasons other than non-citizen status should have a pro-rated share of their income applied to the rest of the household. As of the writing of this Guide, DTA fails to do this.
- Any income of an ineligible college student is not counted. See What if I am a college student?
- Income of individuals in adult foster care can be excluded. See What if I am providing adult foster care?
- Income of foster care children can be excluded. See What if I am caring for a foster child?
See 106 C.M.R.§361.230(D) and 7 CFR 273.11(c).
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).
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). Mark is now working 20 hours a week and the family reapplied for SNAP. Mark is not eligible until his 12 month disqualification period ends at the end of August. As a household with a disqualified member, the household's 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 until the 12 month sanction period expires, but his income counts in the SNAP math.
As soon as the IPV 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.