What deductions are allowed against my income?

We are in the process of updating the SNAP Advocacy Guide, so some of the information is no longer current.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 www.masslegalservices.org/FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide

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

The following deductions are allowed for all households depending on living situation and expenses:
20 percent of gross earned income. 106 C.M.R. §364.400(B).

Self-employment business expenses. See How is self-employment income counted?

A standard deduction based on household size: 106 C.M.R. §364.400(A).

Standard Deduction


Household of 1-3 persons


Household of 4 persons


Household of 5 persons


Household of 6 or more persons


A child care or disabled adult care deduction if you are working, looking for work, or in school or training. 106 C.M.R. §364.400(D). See What is the child care/dependent care deduction?

Child support paid to children outside the home (including payments for health insurance, child support arrearages, payments made to third parties for rent or mortgage) if you are legally obligated to pay the support, 106 C.M.R. §364.400(E). See What is the child support deduction?.

A shelter deduction capped at $569/month for households that do not include an elderly or disabled member. For households with an elderly or disabled member, the shelter deduction is un-capped. 106 C.M.R.§364.400(G). See What is the shelter deduction and is it calculated?

■ A homeless shelter deduction of $152/month if homeless with no shelter costs. 106 C.M.R. §364.400(F). See What is the homeless deduction?
The result is your monthly net income. Your benefits are based on this amount. An additional medical expense deduction is available to elder and disabled households. See What medical expenses can I claim if I am elderly or disabled?

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