How does DTA count the income of someone who is not part of my SNAP household?

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

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:

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).

Example

Mark, 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.

Advocacy Reminders:

  • 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.

Show DTA Policy Guidance

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.

Help us improve MassLegalHelp!

Take a short survey to tell us what works and what is missing.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
Monday-Friday
between
9am and 4pm