Release 75:  October 1, 2014

G.  Financial Eligibility


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  1. Overview of assets

    Assets include both income and resources. Income is the monthly cash flow considered available to meet basic needs. Resources include assets, such as cash in bank accounts, stocks, bonds, IRA and KEOGH accounts, vehicles and real property. An asset cannot be counted as both income and a resource in the same month. An asset counted as income in one month but that remains left over the following month becomes a resource.


    For SNAP, clients do not need to pursue assets they are not getting but could get. For example, a client who refuses to apply for unemployment benefits is not required to apply. Similarly, if a client has sustained a personal injury and could file a personal injury claim, they cannot be required to pursue the resource in order to qualify for SNAP.

    Reimbursements (CA-B.64) and in-kind income (CA-B.41) do not count for SNAP. In addition, some assets do not count because they are excluded by federal law.

    See the Counting Client Assets chapter of this manual for determining when to consider assets available, since assets that are not available do not affect eligibility (GP-A.29). The chapter on Counting Client Assets also includes definitions of assets, more detailed explanations and some assets (Indian/Native American benefits, motor vehicles, self-employment and trusts) that are too complicated to display in a chart. A quick-reference chart showing how to treat most available assets under the SNAP program is in SNAP-G.5.

    Income that is withheld from a payment to repay an overpayment (CA-A.2B) in that income source is considered unavailable unless it is repayment on a TANF IPV or client-caused overpayment.




    Requirement to Pursue Assets: 461-120-0330
    Assets; Income and Resources: 461-140-0010
    Availability of Resources: 461-140-0020
    Determining Availability of Income: 461-140-0040

  2. Countable income limit

    The SNAP countable income limit is one of the tests used to determine whether clients are eligible for SNAP. All need groups (SNAP-C.6) must pass this income test each month, unless they are categorically eligible (SNAP-F.1) or they include a member meeting the SNAP elderly (GP-A.27) or client with disabilities (GP-A.22) criteria.

    The countable income limit is as follows:

    130% FPL
    Need Group Size Limit
    1 $ 1,265
    2 $ 1,705
    3 $ 2,144
    4 $ 2,584
    5 $ 3,024
    6 $ 3,464
    7 $ 3,904
    8 $ 4,344
    Each additional person $    440

    Remember to code the correct income type (SSI, SSD, not SSB) so FCAS will skip this income test for clients with disabilities.

    To use this income limit, the branch worker or computer system totals all of the group's countable income (GP-A.42) each month. Next, the income is compared to the SNAP countable income limit for the group. When the income is equal to or exceeds the SNAP countable income limit, the application is denied or benefits are suspended or stopped (SNAP-I.8). This applies to all households that are not categorically eligible. The eligibility calculation continues further for groups whose income is under the limit.



    Note:  Countable self-employment income is the gross income less allowable costs. For SNAP this means 50 percent of the SEC income or 100 percent of the SEN income.

    Income and Payment Standards; SNAP: 461-155-0190
    Use of Income to Determine Eligibility and Benefits; SNAP: 461-160-0400

  3. Resource limit

    The SNAP resource limit is another test used to determine whether clients are eligible for SNAP. Only noncategorically eligible need groups have to meet the resource limit. The SNAP resource limit is as follows:

    Add up the resources of noncategorically eligible financial group members and enter this total on FSMIS. FSMIS does the resource test when the Cate El field is coded N.

    Categorically eligible groups are assumed to meet the resource limit. In addition, in groups where some members are categorically eligible and others are not, do not count the categorically eligible members' resources. Exclude these resources even if they are jointly owned with members who do not meet the categorical eligibility criteria.


    Categorical Eligibility for SNAP: 461-135-0505
    Motor Vehicle: 461-145-0360
    Use of Resources in Determining Financial Eligibility: 461-160-0010
    Resource Limits: 461-160-0015

  4. Transfer of resources of noncategorically eligible households

    Applicants and recipients of SNAP are not eligible if they make a disqualifying transfer of resources in order to qualify for benefits. Clients must report transfers of resources at application, at redetermination, and when the transfer occurs. The department must evaluate a transfer of resources to determine whether it was valid, whenever it becomes known that a transfer occurred within the preceding three months.

    In order for the department to evaluate the transfer, the client must provide documentation showing the terms of the sale or disposal of the resource. They also must provide evidence, if they are claiming the transfer was valid. A transfer of a resource may be disqualifying if the transfer occurs during the three months preceding the filing date or during a certification period.

    Asset Transfer; General Information and Timelines: 461-140-0210

    Criteria for valid transfers. Consider a transfer valid if any of the following are true:

    F SEE OAR 461-140-0220 FOR MORE DETAILS.

    When the transfer does not meet any of the criteria above, it may still be determined valid if the client can establish that their intent was not to transfer the resource in order to become eligible for SNAP. To prove this, the client would need evidence that they made a good-faith effort to sell or exchange the resource for compensation or for goods or services equal to fair market value.

    Disqualifying of invalid transfer of resources. If the department determines the transfer of resources was invalid, a disqualification of up to one year is imposed. The length of the disqualification depends on the amount of uncompensated value that was involved.

    Here is the formula for determining the uncompensated value:

    Determining the Uncompensated Value of a Transferred Asset: 461-140-0250


    The following chart shows the disqualification periods:

    Amount of Uncompensated Value Period of Disqualification
    $0.00 - 249.99 1 month
    $250.00 - 999.99 3 months
    $1,000.00 - 2,999.99 6 months
    $3,000.00 - 4,999.99 9 months
    $5,000.00 or more 12 months

    Disqualification Due to a Resource Transfer; SNAP: 461-140-0260
    Notice Situation; Asset Transfer Disqualification: 461-175-0310

    Notify a client of disqualification with a basic decision notice (SNAP-I.9) for applicants, and a timely continuing benefit decision (10-day) notice for recipients, Notice of Decision and Action Taken (DHS 456) or Notification of Planned Action (SDS 540). The notice must specify the amount of the uncompensated value used in the calculation and the length of the disqualification period. The disqualification starts the date the branch imposes the disqualification period by closing or denying benefits.

    Ending the disqualification

    The disqualification ends when the client has served the entire disqualification period and not before.

    Adjustments to the Disqualification for Asset Transfer: 461-140-0300

  5. Asset Quick-Reference Chart

    Note:  This chart gives general information about treatment of assets. For more detailed information and complex situations, see the Counting Client Assets chapter.


    "See Policy" indicates that the rule is too complicated for the table or the asset rarely occurs. Review the rule or Counting Client Assets reference to access the appropriate information.

    This is an alphabetical list.

    Type of Asset Treatment References
    ACE (Active Corps of Executives) Exclude CA-B.20
    Adoption Assistance Unearned CA-B.1
    Agent Orange Disability Benefits See policy CA-B.2
    Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Lump sum CA B.3
    AmeriCorps See policy CA B.51
    AmeriCorps - VISTA See policy CA-B.20
       • If pets or raised for food
       • Income-producing (see income-producing property)
    See policy
    Annuities Unearned CA-B.5
    Approved EPD Accounts Excluded CA B.7
    Bank Account Resource CA B.8
    Bonds Resource CA-B.74
    Burial Arrangements See policy CA-B.9
    Burial Space and Merchandise
       (One space per client)
    Exclude CA-B.10
    Capital Assets
    (see Work-Related Capital Assets, Equipment and Inventory CA B.87 for more information)
    See policy CA-B.11
    Cash and Foreign Currency that can be Converted to U.S. Currency Resource CA-B.12
    Chafee Housing Program Unearned CAB.36
    Child Support and Cash Medical Support:
       • Assigned to the department
       • To a third party
       • All others

    See policy
    CA-B.41 (in-kind)
    Contributions See policy CA B.14
    Corporations See policy CA-B.15
    Disability Benefit See policy CA-B.16
    Disaster Relief (specific types) See policy CA-B.17
    Disqualifying Income Unearned SNAP-G.14
    Dividends Unearned CA-B.19
    Domestic Volunteer Services Act (VISTA, RSVP, SCORE, ACE, Foster Grandparents, etc.) See policy CA-B.20
    Earned Income; Definition - CA-B.21
    Earned Income; Treatment:
       • Under 18 in school and under parental control
       • In-kind
       • Amount for future education for clients in military
       • Other (not flex)

    Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) See policy CA-B.23
    Educational Income:
       • Title IV and BIA
       • Non-title IV or BIA (remainder
          after deducting costs)

    See policy
    Energy Assistance See policy CA-B.25
    Experience Works Exclude CA-B.52
    Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) Payments Unearned CA-B.26
    Farmers - additional self-employment costs See policy CA-C.4
    Flexible Benefits for Health Insurance or Child Care See policy CA-B.22
    Floating Homes and Houseboats See policy CA B.27
    Food Programs:
       • WIC, School Lunch
       • Nutrition Assistance Program
       • Tribal Food Distribution Program

    Ineligible for SNAP
    Foster Care:
       • Foster care recipient gets SNAP
       • Foster care recipient excluded from file group
       • Foster care recipient lives in different HH group

    Self Employment
    Foster Grandparents Exclude CA-B.29
    Garage Sale Proceeds
       • Sell personal items
       • Ongoing sale (more than 1 or 2 a year)

    General Assistance (GA) Unearned CA-B.57
    GI Bill Educational Income CA-B.24
       • Periodic
       • One time

    Lump sum
    Green Thumb Exclude CA-B.52
    Groundfish Disaster Benefits Unearned CA-B.31
    Guardianship Assistance:
       • Recipient in filing group
       • Recipient not in filing group

    Home and Contiguous Property
    Home equity loan or line of credit
       • Monthly payment
       • One time payment

    Lump Sum
    Housing and Urban Development (HUD) See policy CA-B.33
    Income-Producing Property See policy CA-B.34
    Income-Producing Sales Contract:
       • Equity value
       • Income (minus costs)

    See policy
    Independent Living Subsidies Unearned CA-B.36
    Indian/Native American Benefits See policy CA-B.37
    Individual Education Account (IEA) Exclude CA-B.39
       • Periodic
       • One time

    Lump sum
    In-kind Income See policy CA B.41
    Interest Unearned CA-B.19
    Job Corps See policy CA-B.42
    JOBS Plus
       • NCP Plus
       • TANF Plus
       • Tribal TANF-Plus
       • UI Plus

    See policy
    See policy
    Jury Duty Exclude CA-B.64
    Life Estate (when occupying the estate) Exclude CA-B.43
    Life Insurance:
       • Payments to beneficiary (allow up to $1500)
       • Equity value/term insurance

    LLC (Limited Liability Company or Corporation) See policy CA-B.15
       • Cash on hand from loan
       • Interest from loan being repaid to client

    See policy
    Lodger Income Self-employment CA-B.46
    Lump-Sum Income See policy CA-A.6
    Manufactured and Mobile Homes See policy CA-B.47
    Military Income: Pay and Allowances
       • Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)
       • Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS)
       • Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA)
       • Amount for future education for clients in military
       • Allotment

    See policy


    Motor Vehicles See policy CA-B.50
    National and Community Services Trust Act (NCSTA) Exclude CA-B.51
    National Older Americans Volunteer Programs Act:
       • Title III (Nutrition program)
       • Title V (Green Thumb, etc.)

    Nutritional Assistance Program Benefits (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) Unearned CA-B.28
    Older Americans Act:
       • Title III (Nutrition Program for the Elderly)
       • Title V (Green Thumb, etc.)
    See policy
    OSIP Unearned CA-B.57
    OSIP-IC Unearned CA-B.57
    Overpayment, Repayment of
       • TANF CE or IPV
       • All other income sources

    Pre-TANF Exclude CA-B.57
    Pension Plans:
       • Retired - monthly payments
       • Retired - other payments
       • Not retired, IRA, or KEOGH (after withdrawal penalty)
       • Not retired, other plans

    See policy
    Periodic Income See policy CA-A.7
    Personal Belongings Exclude CA-B.54
    Personal Injury Settlement:
       • Monthly payments
       • One time

    Lump sum
    Plan for Self-Support (PASS) Assets Exclude CA-B.56
    Post-TANF Unearned CA-B.57
    Proctor Care See policy CA-B.29
    Program Benefits (ERDC, TANF JOBS Plus, OSIP, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, REF, SFPSS, TANF, etc.) See policy CA-B.57
    Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Exclude CA-B.58
    RARE See policy CA-B.59
    Real Property (not home):
       • Good-faith effort to sell
       • Equity if not for sale

    Recreational Vehicle's Equity Resource CA-B.62
    Refunds See policy CA-B.63
    Reimbursements See policy CA-B.64
    Representative Payee Payments See policy CA-B.65
    Reception and Placement Grant to Refugees See policy CA-B.66
    Retirement Plans:
       • Retired - monthly payments
       • Retired - other payments
       • Not retired, IRA or KEOGH (after withdrawal penalty)
       • Not retired, other plans

    See policy
    Reverse-annuity Mortgage Exclude CA-B.45
    Royalties See policy CA-B.19
    Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Exclude CA-B.20
    Sale of a Home See policy CA-B.60
    CA-B.34 (contract)
    Sale of a Resource (not home) See policy CA B.67
    School Lunch Programs (including before and after school) Exclude CA B.28
    SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) Exclude CA-B.20
    Securities Resource CA-B.74
    Self-Employment - Allowable Costs See policy CA-C.2
    Self-Employment - Definition See policy CA-C.1
    Self-Employment - Exclusions See policy CA-C.3
    Shelter-in-Kind (housing and utilities) Exclude CA-B.68
    Social Security Benefits:
       • Monthly payments (not retroactive)
       • Representative payee fee
       • Retroactive payments to date of eligibility (not categ. elig.)

    Lump sum
    Social Security Death Benefit (remaining after burial costs) Lump sum CA-B.70
    Special Needs Payments (laundry allowance, special diet, meal allowance, restaurant meals, shelter exceptions, telephone allowances) See policy CA-B.57
    Spousal Support See policy CA-B.71
    State-funded Pre SSI Program (SFPSS) Unearned CA-B.57
    Stipends See policy CA-B.73
    Stocks, Bonds, CDs, Other Securities:
       • Equity value
       • Interest and dividends

    Strikers' Benefits See policy CA-B.75
    Supplemental Security Income (SSI):
       • Monthly payments (not retroactive)
       • Representative payee fee
       • Retroactive payments to date of eligibility (not
          categorically eligible)

    Lump Sum
    TANF, Tribal TANF, or TANF JOBS Plus Unearned CA-B.57
    Tax refunds (Federal and state, property taxes, ERA) Resource CA-B.76
    Ticket to Work (SSA) Earned CA-B.77
    Tribal Food Distribution Program Ineligible for SNAP SNAP-J.2
    Trusts See policy CA-B.78
    Unemployment Compensation
       • Weekly/monthly payments
       • One time

    Lump sum
    Uniform Relocation Act reimbursement Exclude CA-B.80
    USDA Meal Reimbursement:
       • To child care provider
       • To provider's child in filing group
       • To child in care

    Vendor Payments See policy CA-B.41
    Veterans' Benefits:
       • Aid and Attendance
       • Spina bifida payments to children
       • Other monthly payments
       • One-time payments

    Lump sum
    Veterans' Educational Benefits:
       • Chapter 30 (Montgomery GI Bill - active duty)
       • Chapter 31 (Vocational Rehabilitation program)
       • Chapter 32 (Veterans' Education Assistance Program (VEAP))
       • Chapter 35 (Dependent Educational Assistance Program)
       • Chapter 1606 (Montgomery GI Bill - selected reserve)
       • Chapter 1607 (Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP))
    See Policy CA-B.24 (Educ)
    CA-B.82 (VA)
    Victim's Assistance See policy CA-B.83
    VISTA See policy CA-B.20
    Vocational Rehabilitation Payment See policy CA-B.84
    Welfare-to-Work – work experience Earned CA-B.22
       • Periodic
       • One time

    Lump sum
    Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Exclude CA-B.28
    Worker's Compensation:
       • Monthly or periodic payments
       • One-time payments

    Lump sum
    Workforce Investment Act (WIA) See policy CA-B.85
    Work-Related Capital Assets, Equipment, and Inventory Exclude CA-B.87
       • Under 18, in school and under parental control
       • Other


  6. Prospective eligibility and budgeting

    When we look at something prospectively, it means looking forward.

    New applications. For SNAP eligibility on a new application, we always look at applicant circumstances prospectively. That is, we consider what we already know has happened in the current month (the month containing the filing date (SNAP-B.5)) and what we expect will happen for the remainder of the month. When the whole month is considered, eligibility (GP-A.29) and benefits are issued based on the same information. If the applicant is not eligible, the application is denied. This is prospective eligibility and prospective budgeting (GP-A.7). It is used for new applications regardless of what reporting system is used for ongoing months. There is one exception to using actual income already received plus income expected for the remainder of the month. This exception is for cases certified in SRS when ongoing income that is expected to continue is converted.

    Note:  An application is considered a "new application" only when it is received after a break in benefits. It is a "new application" if a household returns an application for redetermination after the prior certification period ends.

    If the amount of income that will be received or when it will be received is uncertain, the portion of the client's income that is uncertain should not be counted by the department.

    Example: A client has received child support payments of differing amounts only twice in the past six months. None was received so far in the month of application. It is not known what amount will be received next or when the client will receive it again. Therefore, the child support should not be counted as anticipated income for the certification period. Be sure the client understands the need to report changes and that the decision and the reason to not use this income are carefully documented.

    Determining Availability of Income: 461-140-0040

    When prospective eligibility and budgeting is used (both for new applications and for ongoing cases), there is no client-caused overpayment when anticipated information does not match what truly happens during the month, as long as the client reported true and complete information. Similarly, no supplement is issued when anticipated information makes benefits lower than they would have been if based on what really happened.

    However, there may be an administrative overpayment if the department incorrectly processed the anticipated income reported and verified by the client.

  7. Annualizing income

    Annualized means the income for a year is divided by 12 to arrive at a monthly amount. If past income is not representative of the income expected for the current year, anticipate the current yearly amount and divide it by 12.

    Income should only be annualized in two very specific circumstances:


    Self-employed persons should have their income annualized when the self-employed person has been in business for a year or more and the income is representative.

    This income should NOT be changed at ICR and we would not make the client provide verification of their income again.

    If the self-employed person has not been in business for more than a year, but their past income is representative, use what they have.

    Example: Joe owns "Joe to Go Coffee Kart." He started his business eight months ago and income, while low, has been consistent. We would use the last eight months to anticipate ongoing income. We would want to re-look at the income at ICR.

    If the self-employed person has been in business for a year or more the income is not representative, use what the current situation is. This may be the last 30 days, or the last six months. You will need to have a conversation with the person about what is representative.

    Example: Leonard owns the "Science Is Fun" store. His sales have really gone down in the last year. His income currently is not what it used to be. When you talk to him you find that the last three months are pretty representative of the future. Use the last three months to anticipate ongoing. We would want to re-look at this income at ICR.

    Contracted income

    Contracted income can only be annualized if it meets all of the following criteria:

    Prospective Eligibility and Budgeting: 461-150-0020
    Prospective or Retrospective Eligibility and Budgeting; ERDC, REF, REFM,
    SNAP, TANF: 461-150-0060




    For ongoing months (GP-A.59): Workers are encouraged to use SRS whenever possible.

  8. Budgeting in reporting systems

    Budgeting in the initial and ongoing months will be different depending on the reporting system the client is assigned to.

    Simplified Reporting System (SRS) (SNAP-G.10) is used for many clients. While in SRS, the benefits are based on prospective eligibility and budgeting similar to CRS. The SRS is used when circumstances have been anticipated over the redetermination period. In SRS, benefits will not change unless the client reports a change or a change is reported on the Interim Change Report For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) form (DHS 852).

    Prospective Budgeting of Variable Income; Not OHP; Not MRS: 461-150-0080

    Change Report System (CRS) (SNAP-G.9). Clients for ongoing months have their benefits based on prospective eligibility and budgeting the same as new applications, above. Again, if a change is anticipated that will cause ineligibility for one month only, the case can be suspended rather than closed. When using prospective eligibility and budgeting, circumstances have been anticipated over the redetermination period (GP-A.68) and will not change unless the client reports a change.

    Prospective or Retrospective Eligibility and Budgeting; ERDC, REF, REFM,
    SNAP, TANF: 461-150-0060
    Prospective Budgeting of Stable Income: 461-150-0070
    Prospective Budgeting of Variable Income: 461-150-0080
    Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Increases: 461-180-0020
    Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Reductions: 461-180-0030

    Transitional Benefit Alternative (TBA) (SNAP-G.11) is for families that lose their eligibility for TANF. These families remain eligible for SNAP for five months at the same or a greater benefit level than they received the last month on TANF. When the client reports a change, the client is given the choice to continue TBA or to reapply for SNAP. If they choose to reapply and the new situation results in more benefits, end TBA and recertify the case for the first of the next month. If the change in situation will result in fewer benefits, leave the case in TBA unless the decrease would be the result of a household member applying for SNAP in another

  9. Change Report System




    The Change Report System (CRS) (SNAP-G.9 for SNAP is based on prospective eligibility and budgeting. Cases in this system are coded N in the Mand-Rprt field on FSMIS.

    Note:  Place SNAP cases with companion ERDC benefits in SRS whenever possible.

    In this system, information is coded for the certification period. Clients are informed of changes they are required to report, and are given a Change Report (MSC 943) to use for reporting.

    Clients in Change Report System must report when the income source changes in addition to the following:

    If no changes are reported for the certification period, benefits are issued for the same amount each month. When clients report changes, because it is a prospective system, take action only if the change is continuing and it will affect future benefits. For example, a client could receive a $500 bonus on May 5, and report the change on May 12. Since the bonus was a one-time payment, there is no action to take on the case.

    When clients report a change that will affect future months, action to increase benefits is taken for the following month. That is, a client could report on the last day of the month that someone joined their SNAP group. The new person's needs would be added for the following month's benefits. However, if they report the person will be joining the home next month, do not add that person's needs until the month following the month they actually move in.

    Caution: When a person is added to the filing group (SNAP-C.2), their income is also added. Sometimes this results in an increase in benefits. Other times the result is a decrease in benefits.

    For changes that cause benefits to decrease, action is taken depending on when the change is reported. Clients are legally entitled to a timely continuing benefit decision (10-day advance) notice (SNAP-I.8) when benefits will go down, so that they have time to adjust their household budgeting to the new amount. Therefore, if the client reports on May 5 that someone left their filing group, the worker would remove the person from the benefits and send notice of the reduction for June. If the client reports on May 25 that someone left their SNAP group, the worker would remove the person from benefits and send notice of reduction for July (not for June).

    When there is a companion ERDC case, the SNAP case may be in CRS, SRS or TBA. The redetermination period should end in the same month as ERDC.

    Remember: The SNAP certification period can be extended but not shortened (SNAP-B.13).


    Note:  In some cases, the income coded on UCMS for ERDC will not be the same as the income coded on FCAS for SNAP. In addition to the situation described in the preceding paragraph, some income, such as student income or self-employment income, may be treated differently by the two programs. Or if the ERDC certification period does not match the SNAP redetermination period, the income amounts may be different because the months in the period are different.

    Prospective Eligibility and Budgeting: 461-150-0020
    Prospective or Retrospective Eligibility and Budgeting; ERDC, REF, REFM,
    SNAP, TANF: 461-150-0060
    Changes That Must be Reported: 461-170-0011
    Effective Dates: Adding a New Person to an Open Case: 461-180-0010
    Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Increases: 461-180-0020
    Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Reductions: 461-180-0030

    SNAP clients who have their unearned income converted are only required to report when the income conversion changes by $50 or more. Clients who have their earned income converted are required to report (SNAP-I.2) when the income conversion changes by $100 or more a month. Clients in other programs are required to report within 10 days all changes in income, resources, and circumstances that may affect their eligibility for benefits or the amount of benefits they receive.

  10. Simplified Reporting System


    1. Intent and overview

      The Simplified Reporting System (SRS) (SNAP-G.10) for SNAP is designed to stabilize benefits, increase accuracy, and be less work-intensive than CRS. SRS is based on prospective eligibility (GP-A.29) and budgeting (GP-A.7). Cases in SRS are usually assigned a 12-month certification period. A NED household with no earned income in which all adult members are elderly (GP-A.27) or clients with disabilities (GA-A.22) can be certified for 24 months. Most households must submit a report in the sixth month of the certification to continue getting benefits: NED households do not.

    2. Who should be in SRS and certification periods

      To be in SRS, the filing group (SNAP-C.2) must meet all of the following criteria:

      1. Not be eligible for TBA; and

      2. Be certified for either six or 12 or 24 months.

    Simplified Reporting System (SRS); ERDC, SNAP: 461-170-0101

    Put cases in SRS whenever possible. When a case qualifies to be NED - all adults in the filing group are elderly or disabled and there is no earned income - the SRS case must be coded NED.

    Note:  Cases can be moved into SRS in months 1-4 and 6-8 of the cert period.

    Give cases in SRS the longest possible certification period: 12 months, unless you need to use a shorter certification period to align with other programs, or the case is eligible for a 24-month cert period.

    1. Budgeting

      SRS uses prospective eligibility and budgeting. Use actual expected income in the initial month if the income is just starting or ending or will be significantly different in subsequent months. Otherwise, convert or anticipate from the initial month.

      For example, a person receiving $100 a week UC benefits will have $100 x 4.3 = $430 coded for the initial month in SRS. Another person reports their job just ended and they are receiving the final paycheck in the initial month. In addition, they applied for UC and expect one payment this month. Code the actual anticipated EML and UC income. Change the income in the second month to the converted UC only.

      If income will increase in the second month, give or mail the client a Notice of Income and Benefit Calculation (DHS 7294) when you certify benefits. This allows the Department of Human Services (DHS) to change the benefit amount without 10-day notice.


    2. Reporting requirements

      The SRS reporting requirements are limited. The only change that must be reported is when countable income for the filing group exceeds the SNAP countable income limit (130 percent FPL) (SNAP-G.2).

      Note:  For cases with NC1s, countable income is what remains after the NC1 proration. However, FSMIS cannot make this distinction. The client notice lists the full, unprorated income for the filing group.

      SNAP-only clients are given a Simplified Change Report For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 853) to report required changes. Clients with a companion CMS case (e.g., OSIPM and TANF) should receive the Change Report (DHS 943) form.

      Most SRS cases must complete an Interim Change Report For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 852) in the sixth month of a 12-month certification. SNAP benefits from the seventh month are based on the DHS 852.

    3. NED households

      NED households are not required to complete the DHS 852. They are filing groups with:

      1. No earned income (EML, HCW, SEC, SEN or TNG income types); and

      2. Every adult member is either 60 or older; or

      3. Meets the SNAP definition of clients with disabilities.

      Identify these cases on FSMIS using HH Type NED. NED households that are certified in an APD or AAA office can be certified for 24 months. For these NED households, the client must be contacted by their eligibility worker during month 12 of their certification period to report changes in: income, shelter and utility costs and medical deductions. As long as this contact is made, the client will receive the second 12 months of their certification period. All changes based on information provided during the phone conversation will be effective following the rules on effective dates outlined in OAR 461-180-0006.

    4. Acting on changes

      SRS is a prospective system. When the client reports a change that will increase benefits, action is taken for the month following the month it is reported or the month the change occurs, whichever is later.

      Example 1: For example, a client reports on the last day of the month that someone joined their household earlier that month. The new person’s needs and income would be added for the following month’s benefits after receiving required verification. However, if they report the person will be joining the home next month, do not add that person’s needs until the month following the month they actually move in.
      Example 2: A client reports in January that they will be moving at the end of the month and their rent for February will go up. The change would be made to the rent amount on the case for the month following the month the change actually occurs. In this case the change would be made for March.


    Act on all changes that:

    Narrate only and act at Interim Change Report for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 852) or the next recertification, whichever is earlier, for other changes. These are changes not required to be reported and not verified upon receipt that:

    1. Verified upon receipt

      Reported information is considered "verified upon receipt" when the information is not questionable and the provider is the primary source of the information. Changes that cannot be verified by client statement alone are:

      1. Income;

      2. Medical costs for a deduction;

      3. Legal requirement to pay court-ordered child support and the amount paid.

      Hint: If the client calls and reports a change in income, but it is unclear if filing group income will exceed the 130 percent level, send a Simplified Change Report for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 853) with a note to remind the client when to report.

    2. Change in address

      If the client reports a change in mailing address, change the mail address field on FCAS. Update the residence field only if new shelter costs are reported. A change in the mail address field allows the client to receive department mail. In addition, FSMIS puts the residence address on the Interim Change Report for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 852) and asks the client to provide new shelter costs only if they have moved. Placing a new address in the residence field without new shelter costs will result in incorrect reporting of shelter costs. Remember to check for companion cases also needing update.

    3. Interim Change Report  For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 852)

      The DHS 852 is not an application. If a client receives the DHS 852 by mistake and completes it when the certification period is expiring, use the DHS 852 to establish the filing date. A new application (DHS 415F or SDS 539A) is required to gather all needed information and the client's signature on their rights and responsibilities.

      Conversely, when an application (DHS 415F or SDS 539A) is received instead of the DHS 852, the application can be used to process the interim report. However, the client is still required to sign the DHS 852.

      Note:  There are some exceptional circumstances in which this signature can be waived, for example – a person has submitted the DHS 852 without a signature and is now in the hospital and unable to sign. In this type of extreme circumstance, if the benefits will not be reduced or closed, we can accept and process the DHS 852 without a signature. If the benefits will be reduced or closed, the form still needs to be signed. Contact SNAP Policy if you have a question about a particular situation.

      Non-NED cases certified in SRS for more than six months are required to submit a completed DHS 852 in the sixth month. FSMIS issues the DHS 852 in the middle of the fifth month. The client is to report on the DHS 852 after the first of the sixth month.

      Workers are expected to process the DHS 852 as soon as possible after receipt. As part of the process, discrepancy lists and mainframe verification screens (BEIN/W204, DPPM, ECLM, HINQ, SMUX, WAGE and The Work Number) need to be checked to ensure all available information is used. There is no requirement to address how a household pays reported shelter costs at interim report. How a household meets their shelter obligation is addressed at certification and recertification.


    Reporting Changes - Overview: 461-170-0010
    Changes That Must be Reported: 461-170-0011

    Clients are not entitled to a 10-day notice if benefits go down based on changes on the DHS 852. They have waived this right by signing the DHS 852.

    Use income information from the fifth month to project an accurate estimate for the remaining months of the certification period. This does not always mean using actual income. Some examples:

    The DHS 852 is complete when:

    When the DHS 852 has not been processed by the 15th day of the sixth month, the system sends the client a notice advising them that they have until the end of the sixth month to submit the report, and if it is not received, benefits will end. When an incomplete DHS 852 is received, the worker sends a Notice of Incomplete Information (DHS 487) notifying the client of the information required.


    If a change in circumstance reported on the DHS 852 makes the client ineligible, send a close notice specifying the reason. The suspend-close notice for failure to complete the DHS 852 is not adequate.

    If a completed report is not received by the end of the sixth month, the case suspends for the seventh month. If the report is not completed by the end of the seventh month, the client is no longer entitled to that month's benefits. FSMIS closes the case effective (SNAP-I.8) the end of the seventh month. Clients must reapply to receive SNAP.

    Federal regulations require the workers to give clients at least 10 days any time information is requested. Do not pend the DHS 852 to the end of the suspend month. If less than 10 days is remaining to process the DHS 852, let the client know they will need to reapply if you do not receive the information by that date. If it is so close to the end of the month that they cannot reasonably be expected to respond in time, it is good customer service to send an application with the DHS 487. The client must reapply after the case has suspend closed. If the DHS 852 is received after the case has closed, that date becomes the new filing date. Date stamp an application and mail it to the client along with brief instructions.

    1. Notices

      FSMIS sends the following notices automatically for SRS actions:

      1. Approval notices based on CRT SRS or REC SRS actions. The approval notices state the client's income reporting limit. Notices are tailored to NED and non-NED cases;

      2. Notification of being moved to SRS, when the reporting system changes during the certification period;

      3. An Interim Change Report For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 852) sent out around the 20th of the fifth month of the certification period for non-NED cases;

      4. Reminder notice to submit the DHS 852 if it has not been processed by the 10th day of month six;

      5. Suspend notice at the end of the month six when the DHS 852 has not been processed. This notice informs the client that their case will suspend at the end of the month, then close at the end of month seven if they fail to submit a complete report;

      6. Benefit notice for months seven-12 when the DHS 852 is processed;

      7. Suspend notice for month seven when processing the DHS 852 causes noncategorically eligible cases to go over the income limits;

      8. Suspend notice that worker was unable to contact NED client during month 12 of 24-month certification period;

      9. Notification of being removed from SRS during the certification period.

  11. Transitional Benefit Alternative



    Transitional Benefit Alternative (SNAP-G.11) is for families on open SNAP cases whose TANF cash benefits end. TBA is available for five months only. Cases in this system are coded T in the Mand-Rprt field on FSMIS with an end date in the RPT-due field. This is to tell the computer when the TBA period ends. To keep getting benefits after the TBA period ends, the family must reapply. Clients do not need to report any changes while in TBA.

    TANF cash benefits are:

    Note:  Pre-TANF cases are not eligible for TBA.

    Note:  TANF clients in Money Management are receiving cash benefits and do not qualify for TBA. Eligible households may receive TBA while receiving Post-TANF benefits.

    SNAP households cannot receive TBA when:

    Note:  This includes a TANF case closed at client request after receipt of a disqualification notice. If a TANF client serving a disqualification for noncooperation with JOBS gets a job and goes prospectively over income, the JOBS disqualification is considered lifted and the SNAP case is eligible for TBA.

    Transitional Benefit Alternative (TBA) in the SNAP Program: 461-135-0506

    Note:  No SNAP filing group member (SNAP-C.3) may receive both TANF cash and SNAP using TBA in the same month. Therefore, if a member of the TBA group reapplies for TANF, their TBA must end when TANF is approved. For example, if TANF is approved in June, the TBA must end in June. NOTM FSCTB02 may be used to end TBA early.

    The SNAP case in TBA remains with the head of household if a SNAP filing group separates. For example: Mom is head of household. Her 19-year-old daughter and grandson are part of Mom's filing group. The daughter goes to work and TANF closes. This filing group of three becomes eligible for TBA. The daughter and grandson move out and apply for SNAP at their new address. The daughter and her son have lost eligibility for TBA. Mom's SNAP case will continue in TBA for the full five months.

    For most cases, code the SNAP case as TBA for the first of the following month at the same time the action is taken to close or end TANF benefits. When a case is placed into TBA depends on the case situation. Always remember, the client must be notified of a change in reporting requirements before the effective date (SNAP-I.8) of the change.

    Example: If the TANF case closes on November 24 effective November 30, code TBA on the SNAP case effective December 1 through April 30. However, if the TANF case is closed on CM on December 1 to end TANF November 30, the effective date for TBA is January 1 through May 31.


    When moving a case into TBA, extend the certification period, if needed, to match the TBA end date. Use Trans codes TBS and ADJ. Do not shorten the cert period to match the TBA end date: FSMIS will automatically send notice and close the case.

    Periodic Redeterminations; SNAP: 461-115-0450

    When a case is moved to TBA, change the TANF grant amount to zero. Make no other changes to the case. In other words, use the exact income and case situation for the last month of SNAP before TBA minus the TANF grant. Most households will receive the maximum SNAP allotment while in TBA.


    Clients with cases in TBA are not required to report any changes and only one change can be made to the case while it remains in TBA. When a person receiving TBA moves out and is approved for SNAP in another household, send a 10-day notice to the TBA HH to reduce benefits by removing that person.


    When the client reports a change that will affect future months, the client is given the choice to continue TBA or to reapply for SNAP. If they choose to reapply and the new situation results in more benefits, end TBA and recertify the case for the first of the next month. If the result is a lower SNAP benefit, continue TBA to the end of the five-month period. If the worker determines it is best to continue TBA, send the client NOTM FSG1F01.

    Changes That Must Be Reported: 461-170-0011


    End TBA early if the household moves out of state, the client requests closure or someone in the filing group begins receiving TANF. Do not end TBA simply because mail has been returned as undeliverable: TBA clients are not required to report a move or address change.


    In the fourth month of the TBA period, the computer will send the household a notice letting them know the TBA period is ending and they must reapply for SNAP if they wish to continue receiving benefits.

    Notice Situation; SRS or TBA: 461-175-0270
    Effective Dates; Cases Receiving Transitional Benefit Alternative (TBA): 461-180-0081

    Note:  Sometimes TBA eligibility is determined late or is adjusted. When this occurs the ending date on FCAS may be incorrect. Set up a tickler to track the TBA period and manually send NOTM FSCOOWF about 45 days before the end of the TBA period.

  12. Changing budgeting methods

    It is possible to change reporting methods between CRS, SRS and TBA. Whenever a change in budgeting (GP-A.7) method is made, the household must be notified with a continuing benefit decision notice (SNAP-I.9) prior to the effective date (SNAP-I.8) of the change in method. This means the effective date for changing budgeting systems is always the first of the next month.

    CRS to SRS: Whenever possible, SNAP cases should be in SRS. To fully utilize the benefits of SRS, extend the certification period to the full 12-month limit (if appropriate) when placing the case into SRS. If the change in systems occurs during the certification period, the household must be notified in writing before the effective date (first of the month). The computer will send the client the "WC" notice. It must be received before the effective date. If the change to SRS is occurring at recertification, carefully explain the change in reporting income and changes to the client. Give or send the Simplified Reporting System (DHS 854) pamphlet (if case is in a 12-month certification period) and Simplified Change Report For Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) (DHS 853) form to each household when the case is placed into SRS.

    Benefits will continue to be prospectively budgeted in SRS. Continue to use prospective or anticipated income to compute the benefits. Remember to send a timely continuing benefit decision notice if this switch will reduce benefits.

    SRS to CRS: Sometimes it may be necessary to convert the case from SRS to CRS. This will happen when you need to process a reopen (ROP) action following a close. Be sure to inform the client of their new reporting requirements and send them the DHS 943 to report future changes.

    CRS or SRS to TBA: Cases may be changed from CRS or SRS to TBA whenever a family becomes ineligible for TANF. This change can occur at anytime during the certification period. If the certification period is expiring before the end of the TBA period, extend the certification period to end the fifth month of TBA. Notify the household in writing before the effective date (first of the month) of the change in reporting requirements. The computer will send the client the "WD" notice. This notice must be received before the effective date. Also send or give the client the Transitional Benefit Alternative (DHS 856) pamphlet when the case is placed into TBA. It is recommended that this pamphlet be mailed with the Notice of Decision and Action Taken (MSC 456) when the client is informed their TANF cash benefits are ending.

    TBA to CRS or SRS: SNAP benefits must end when TBA ends and the client must reapply for SNAP. In addition, a household may become ineligible for TBA when it applies for TANF. Cases in TBA will not move to another report system. Households must reapply for SNAP when TBA ends.


  13. Income in prospective systems

    Depending on how often income is paid and the type of income, there are different methods for anticipating how much to count each month.


  14. Disqualified income (DQI) and client overpayment for cash recipients

    When a TANF or Tribal TANF recipient has their cash benefits reduced, closed or ended for failure to comply with certain program requirements, their SNAP benefits must not go up due to the loss of cash. In addition, when a TANF or SFPSS recipient is repaying a client-caused (CE) or Intentional Program Violation (FR) overpayment, the amount being repaid from the grant is also counted as income.

    Code as DQI:

    To prevent the SNAP benefits from increasing when the cash is reduced or stops, count disqualified income (DQI) in the amount of the reduction. This applies whenever the client loses cash due to:

    Code as COP (client overpayment):

    Following are situations where counting DQI income does not apply:

    Note:  TANF clients sometimes fail to comply with TANF program or JOBS requirements. Clients may not avoid the DQI if they ask to end or close TANF after receipt of a notice of impending disqualification or penalty. This voluntary closure may avoid the penalty for TANF. However, it does not avoid the DQI for SNAP.

    Note:  A TANF/SNAP client may have a DQI and serve disqualifications in both programs at the same time for the same offense. For example, if a client (who is mandatory for both TANF and SNAP) quits a job, which causes them to get reduced cash benefits, they will concurrently be penalized by having their needs removed from the SNAP companion case. Also code the DQI income.

    For clients who begin a JOBS or substance abuse or mental health disqualification after September 23, 1996, and have their SNAP case in prospective budgeting, track the case so the calculation can be changed as the client progresses through the different levels of grant reduction and closure.

    End the DQI income when:

    End the COP income when:

    Note:  Review the DQI and COP income at each recertification. Document this review on TRACS.

    Using the DQI or COP income type on FSMIS stops benefits from going up. The amount of the DQI is the amount the grant is reduced due to the penalty. The COP is the amount of the overpayment collection from the grant.

    The DQI income is calculated as follows:

    For TANF benefits that are closed or cash is stopped due to these penalties, use the benefit amount the group would be getting without a penalty, as the DQI entry.

    Note:  When the client voluntarily requests closure of their cash or TANF-related Medicaid, or fails to complete their redetermination forms, this is not a change in their situation that would stop the DQI from being counted.


    Note:  The worker may choose to code the HH type of MNL on the case when DQI is first coded. This may resolve issues about tracking and changing the DQI every other month as the TANF case progresses through the disqualification levels. Do not forget to remove the MNL coding when the disqualification ends.

    The COP income is the amount of the SFPSS or TANF overpayment collection.

    Note:  Enter the date the worker expects the OVP to be repaid in the comments field on the COP income line.

    Requirement to Pursue Assets: 461-120-0330
    Client Required to Help Department Obtain Support From Noncustodial Parent; TANF: 461-120-0340
    Client Required to Obtain Health Care Coverage and Cash Medical Support;
    GAM, OSIPM: 461-120-0345
    Disqualifications; Pre-TANF, REF, SNAP, TANF: 461-130-0330
    Requirement to Attend an Assessment or Evaluation, or Seek Medically Appropriate
    Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health; Disqualification and Penalties;
    Pre-TANF, REF, TANF: 461-135-0085
    Disqualifying Income; SNAP: 461-145-0105
    Intentional Program Violations; Penalties and Liability for Overpayments: 461-195-0621

  15. Income and income deductions for ineligible/disqualified group members

    Count the income, resources and deductions of ineligible household members as follows:

    Caution: Do not prorate the filing group's share of the utilities among eligible/ineligible group members.

  16. People on strike

    Strikers include the following:

    Clients are not considered to be participating in a strike when:

    Clients cannot receive increased SNAP benefits because their income decreased due to participation in a strike. The client on strike is choosing not to access earned income that is available to them. Therefore, the pre-strike income is considered available in the eligibility determination (GP-A.29).

    To determine eligibility and benefits for applicants, count each striking member's full month's income prior to the strike. Also consider all other SNAP eligibility factors.

    To determine eligibility for recipients, count either the pre-strike income or the current income (which could include strike benefits), whichever is more, for the duration of the strike.

    Strikers are required to register for SNAP work programs. Let clients mandatory for work program participation know about jobs that are vacant due to a strike, but do not require them to accept the jobs.

    Effect of Strikes: 461-130-0328

  17. Special treatment of income

    Some income types are rarely seen in the branch. Other types are treated differently depending on the individual case situation. For example, an in-home care giver may be an employee receiving a wage or may be self-employed. The determination must be carefully made for each client. The self-employment determination is not made based on who pays the income taxes, FICA, or worker's compensation for the client.

    A person has self-employment income if they are working in their own business, trade or profession where they are responsible for obtaining or providing the service or product. Clients who are self-employed independently determine the manner, method and process of business operations, and they have full responsibility for the success or failure of the business operation. If the person does not meet these criteria, they are not self-employed.


    Self-Employment; General: 461-145-0910

    For SNAP, self-employment income is generally annualized if the business has been in operation for more than 12 months, the income may be earned part of the year but intended to live on for the full year, and the client anticipates the income from the past is representative of the future. However, do not annualize the income if the past income does not reflect the household's actual income circumstances because the business is experiencing a substantial increase or decrease in business. In this situation, calculate the self-employment income based on anticipated earnings. In addition, income is not annualized if it is earned in part of the year, it is not intended to cover the full year, and the client has different employment for the other part of the year.

    Program benefits as special needs

    Some department programs provide ongoing special needs payments (CA-B.57) for laundry allowances, restaurant meals, shelter exceptions and telephone allowances. These are treated as unearned income. Exclude all other special needs payments as reimbursements. For example, if a client was receiving a check each month for a telephone allowance which included payment for a basic telephone and a life line. The amount for basic telephone would be considered unearned income (should be included in the utility deduction) and the amount for the life line is considered a reimbursement. When the GNT amount on FSMIS is different from the check amount issued on CMS, an MNL code must be used in the HH Types field on FCAS page one.

    If the client has a pay-in and an ongoing special need, generally the special need will reduce the pay-in. The pay-in amount should be included in the monthly medical deduction (SNAP-G.21) on FSMIS.

    Program Benefits: 461-145-0410

    Child care provider

    A child care provider may be either self-employed or not self-employed.

    They are self-employed when they take children into their home or place of business to provide care. Child care providers are also self-employed if they receive payments from DPU. Some child care providers advertise that they provide care and also hire other persons to assist with providing the care. These self-employed child care providers generally have allowable costs (CA-C.2) associated with rent, utilities, meals and snacks, toys, etc. However, if they are running the child care center in their own home, they may be allowed a self-employment cost for rent and utilities only if it can be separated from their home shelter costs. The household may not be allowed to deduct the same cost from income and also as a shelter and FUA or LUA deduction.

    Other people are hired to provide child care in the child's home. These people generally have no costs associated with their business. Remember, their cost to travel from home to place of business is a commuting cost and is not a self-employment cost. The 20 percent earned income disregard is for the commuting cost. Income may be coded as either SEC or SEN depending on whether or not there are allowable costs.

    Caution: Do not forget to ask a child care provider if they are receiving USDA meal reimbursements for the children in care. USDA meal reimbursements must be included in the gross self-employment income.

    Child care providers are not self-employed when they are hired as an employee of the parent (GP-A.60). Code the gross income as EML. For example: a person hired by a child care business as an employee.

    In-home care givers

    Homecare workers who provide in-home care to DHS clients are considered the employee of the client. They are not self-employed or regarded as independent contractors. They are an employee of the person for whom they provide the services. The state makes referrals, sets the rate of pay, authorizes the maximum hours of service and pays the FICA and workers' compensation premiums. Some homecare workers are eligible for health insurance and paid leave based on the number of hours they work per month. In addition, the state also reimburses the care giver for transportation costs when the care giver transports the person in care for medical, shopping, etc., when authorized by SPD and OMAP. Code their gross income less the mileage reimbursement as HCW.

    Adult foster care providers are self-employed when they operate a business in which they set or negotiate the rate of pay, decide on how many clients they can provide care for and possibly advertise for additional clientele. In-home care givers may have costs for house cleaning supplies or other unreimbursed expenses. Determine if the care giver asks for reimbursement of these costs before allowing the cost. Code this self-employment income as SEC or SEN depending on the situation.

    Rental property income

    Some clients gain income from renting out a part of their home or a separate residence. A key question is: Does a member of the filing group (SNAP-C.2) actively work 20 hours a week managing the rental property? (Actively working includes collecting rent, taking applications, showing the apartments to prospective tenants and personally doing maintenance and repairs on the rented units.)

    If the client is actively involved managing the property 20 hours or more a week, they are self-employed. If self-employed, determine if there are any allowable costs associated with the income. Code the income as SEC or SEN based on this determination. Narrate the type of costs that are allowed. If the client lives in the residence also, determine if their housing and utility costs can be separated from the costs used for the SEC. Only allow housing costs for the client's home that are separate from the costs allowed for the SEC.

    If the client is not actively working as manager of the property 20 hours a week or more, it is not self-employment income. Treat the income according to the income-producing property policy. Income-producing property, which is not self-employment income, is allowed the actual costs of doing business. This is not the 50 percent deduction given for self-employment with costs. However, the allowable costs are the same as for self-employment.


    Determine and verify (SNAP-B.11) the costs. The client may have tax papers for the prior year. If not, verify the costs before using them to offset the income.

    Example: $35,000 annual rental income (not self-employment) is computed as follows:

    Annual rental income   $35,000
    less repairs (rentals only, not home) -  3,059
      licenses, fees, advertising, and office supplies -  5,371
      utilities (rentals only, not home) -  7,276
      sanitary services -  2,500
      mortgage -  6,000
      property taxes and insurance -  2,570
      management fees (not paid to HH member) -  7,200
    balance   $  1,024

    In this example, the countable income from income-producing property is $85.33 a month ($1,024 12). This income is coded as PTY on FCAS.

    If this income is considered self-employment, the income of $2,916.66 ($35,000 12) would be coded as SEC on FCAS.

    California SSI recipient

    Sometimes a client receiving SSI from California will apply for SNAP benefits. This person is receiving SNAP benefits already in their SSI benefits. Therefore, this person is not eligible for SNAP from Oregon until the SSI benefits are transferred to Oregon. In California, the family members received SNAP benefits in a separate filing group.

    This creates a unique situation when the California SNAP has ended but the California SSI continues. When in this situation do the following:

    1. If California SSI recipient is sole person in the Oregon SNAP filing group (SNAP-C.3), the person is not eligible for SNAP from Oregon until the California SSI has ended.

      Concurrent and Duplicate Program Benefits: 461-165-0030


    2. If California SSI recipient is in an Oregon SNAP filing group that contains other group members who are not receiving SNAP in another state, take the following actions:

      • Determine eligibility for the SNAP filing group. The person receiving California SSI is excluded from the SNAP filing group until the SSI is transferred to Oregon. This may take up to two months, depending upon notice requirements;

      • Code the California SSI person as DH or DP and do not code their SSI income;

      • Do not allow deductions paid by the California recipient because they are not in the SNAP filing group;

      • Counsel the household to report the move to the social security office. They are creating a SSI overpayment;

      • Ask for a copy of the SSI decision notice that changes the client's residency to Oregon and reduces the SSI amount;

      • Set a tickler to follow up and to add the person to the SNAP case within the next two months;

      • When California SSI changes to Oregon SSI, change the SSI person member type to AD, CH or HH and add the SSI income effective the first of the following month.


    Farm income

    When a client states they have farm income, the first question to ask is, "Is the business/farm incorporated?" If the farm is incorporated, it is treated as incorporation income and the client is not self-employed. If the farm is not incorporated, proceed with the farm self-employment income determination.


    When a farmer applies for SNAP, obtain a copy of the most recent tax papers, if at all possible. Schedule F is needed.

    Was the SNAP household actively involved in earning the farm income? If not, maybe they lease out the land, which is not considered self-employment income.

    Ask the client if they are earning and/or expect to earn the same income this year. Do they also expect to earn the same income next year? Do they expect the costs to be the same each year?

    Example: A farmer has $99,000 from the sale of livestock, produce, grains, etc. (look at Part 1 of Schedule F for tax year 2011.) Some of the incomes listed on this form are excluded for SNAP. If income is received from an excluded source, subtract the amount before arriving at the gross figure. The excluded incomes are:

    • Line 5: Commodity credit corporation bans. If a loan, treat like a loan. If a commodity payment to not plant a crop, the proceeds are counted as self-employment.

    • Line 6: Disaster assistance is excluded. However, payments made for crop failure that is not connected to a presidentially declared disaster are counted as self-employment income.

    • Line 6: Crop insurance payments are a nonrecurring lump-sum income and counted as a resource.

    • Line 8: Federal and state gasoline tax credit or refund is excluded.

    Special Farm Credit

    Farmers who earn more than $1,000 (gross) a year can receive a special farm credit for income. This special farm credit is allowed if, after all allowable costs, they have a zero balance or a negative figure on the farm income. Start with line 34 (net profit or loss) on the tax form. If it shows a loss, recompute the income allowing all allowable costs per CA-C.2. Do not allow depreciation or amortization costs.

    There may also be other costs that are not allowable for SNAP. Whether or not to allow these costs is determined in an interview (SNAP-B.8) with the client. If after recomputing the income and allowable costs the net figure remains zero or a negative amount, the household is eligible for a special farm credit. If the final figure is 50 cents or higher, the gross income (before costs) is counted the same as all other self-employment income with costs.


    If there is a need to recompute the farm income to determine if the household is eligible for the special farm credit, carefully review the costs with the client. Discussions may include:

    Example: $99,171 annual farm income. The computations based on tax forms are:

    Countable Farm Income:   $99,171
    less fertilizers and lime -  6,769
      lease on machinery -  2,000
      repairs/maintenance -  3,646
      gas, fuel, and oil -  2,327
      insurance (farm only and not home) -  5,488
      mortgage (farm only and not home) -22,461
      supplies -     274
      utilities (farm only and not on home) -  1,500
      sanitary services (farm only, not on home) -  1,497
      telephone (farm only, not on home) -  2,823
      office costs (not wages paid to HH member) -     375
      registration and permits (farm only) -     784
      legal/professional fees -     547
      other costs -     661
      labor (excluding wages paid to the SNAP group) - 41,911
    balance $  6,108

    In this example, the balance, after allowable costs, is greater than zero. Use the income code SEC of $8,265.25 (gross farm income of $99,171 12).

    The balance in this example is not zero or in the negative, so follow self-employment policy and do not implement the special farm credit provision for farmers operating under a loss.

    Additional Exclusions for Farming Costs; SNAP: 461-145-0931

    However, if the final figure on the recomputed farm income was a negative $6,000 for the year, the annualized monthly figure would be a negative $500 ($6,000 12). In this situation, the income from the farm should be coded on FCAS as zero and the $500 should be subtracted from other household income to reduce it by the $500 credit.

    Note:  This is a manual process because the computer does not have a code to allow for the $500 credit. Carefully narrate this action and the discussion about this income with the client.

  18. When to allow deductions

    SNAP clients receive certain deductions from their countable income, before comparing the income to the adjusted income limit (SNAP-G.27). Deductions may or may not be appropriate, depending on whether the client has a cost for certain items. These include deductions for child support payments (SNAP-G.22), dependent care (SNAP-G.20), medical costs (SNAP-G.21) and shelter costs (SNAP-G.23).

    The client is considered to have a cost when they incur a bill for these items, and they are responsible for paying the bill. Therefore, if someone outside the SNAP group pays the bill for them, it is not allowed as a deduction. This is regardless of whether the payment from others is by reimbursement, vendor payment or in-kind benefit. For example, when clients have health insurance that pays 80 percent of the costs (GP-A.16) incurred, allow as a deduction only the 20 percent that the client has a responsibility to pay. Do not allow a medical deduction for costs written off by a medical facility. Similarly, if a client has subsidized rent through HUD or other community housing agency, the portion paid by HUD is not allowed. Only the portion of rent paid by the client is allowed as a shelter deduction.

    Deductions are not allowed for services provided by someone in the filing group (SNAP-C.2). For example, if an older child in the filing group provides child care while the parent (GP-A.60) works, there is no deduction. This is because although the money has passed from one member of the filing group to another, it remains available to the group. It is not like paying rent, where the money is paid to someone outside the group. Therefore, it is not considered an allowable deduction. For example, if a client owes back rent and is paying a portion of the overdue amount over several months, the past due rent is not allowed as a deduction. Only the current on-going rent expense is allowed

    Once a cost has been allowed as a deduction, it cannot be allowed again. Costs that are billed to the client but are delinquent are not allowed as a deduction.

    Note:  When not allowing a deduction, a denial notice must be sent. Use the Notification of Planned Action (SDS 540) for the denial.


    Overview of Costs: 461-160-0030



  19. Standard deduction and earned income deduction

    Every SNAP case gets a standard deduction. The standard deductions are as follows:

    Standard Deductions
    Household Size Limit
    1 to 2 persons $ 155
    3 persons $ 155
    4 persons $ 165
    5 persons $ 193
    6+ persons $ 221

    The standard deduction for a benefit group (SNAP C.7) of one through three persons is $152. The standard deduction for a benefit group of four persons is $163. The standard deduction for a benefit group of five persons is $191. The standard deduction for a benefit group of six or more persons is $219.

    Every client with earned income also gets at least the first 20 percent of this income deducted. This includes self-employment income and training incentives that are not reimbursements for training expenses. Enter the full countable earned income (codes EML, HCW, SEC, SEN, and TNG) into FSMIS, and the system allows the 20 percent.

    Reminder: Clients who are self-employed and have allowable costs (CA-C.2) of doing business get a 50 percent exclusion off the gross income. Some farmers get an additional deduction if they are operating the farm at a loss (CA-C.4 and SNAP-G.17). To do this, enter the income before the 50 percent exclusion and code it as SEC into FSMIS. If the income passes the countable income test, the 20 percent deduction is allowed.

    Self-Employment; Costs That Are Excluded To Determine Countable Income: 461-145-0920
    Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430

  20. Dependent care deduction

    Allow this deduction when the SNAP group has a cost for caring for a dependent that is in the filing group (SNAP-C.2) and requires the care. The care must be necessary in order for the client to:

    Note:  Do not allow child care as a deduction when:
    1. The cost is being paid by JOBS or OFSET;
    2. There is no unmet need (negative dollar amount) for a higher education student after computing income on the Educational Income Calculation for ERDC and Food Stamps (DHS 7351) form;
    3. An unemployed parent is in the home and can provide the care.
    Note:  If a household incurs attendant care costs that could qualify under both the medical deduction and dependent care deduction, treat the cost as a medical deduction per SNAP-G.21.

    Dependent Care Costs; Deduction and Coverage: 461-160-0040

    The person providing the dependent care must not be in the filing group (SNAP-C.2), and must not be the dependent's biological, adoptive or step-parent.

    To figure the amount of necessary dependent care hours related to the above bulleted items, allow the time the client is performing the activity, commuting time from the provider's residence to the activity, and meal breaks. Do not allow time when dependents are in school or in other free care situations. In addition, allow up to five days per month when the dependent is scheduled for care but the care is not used, if the provider charges for this time. Often providers charge for care even when dependents are absent (for example, due to illness) in order to hold their slot until they return to care.

    After determining the necessary dependent care hours from above, multiply it by the rate the client is being charged to determine the dependent care deduction. For example, in prospective budgeting: A client has 45 hours of dependent care each week and is charged $2.50 per hour. 45 hours X $2.50 X 4.3 weeks = $483.75. Code the full amount of dependent care that each person is receiving under that person in FSMIS.

    QC Hot Tip

    If the full cost of care is $290 and two children are in care equally, code CC of $145.00 on each child.


    Dependent Care Costs; Deducation and Coverage: 461-160-0040
    Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430

  21. Medical deduction for elderly/clients with disabilities

    1. Only clients who meet the SNAP definition of elderly (GP-A.27) or clients with disabilities (GP-A.22) are eligible for a medical deduction.

      For these clients, a medical deduction is allowed for the costs (GP-A.16) of services provided by, prescribed by, or used under the direction of a licensed medical practitioner.

      1. Examples of medical costs which are not allowable include, but are not limited to:

        1. Costs for items which can be purchased with SNAP benefits are not allowable medical deductions (for example: special diets, nutritional drinks or organic food). This is true even if the medical practitioner is prescribing the special food items for the individual.
        2. Costs related to medical marijuana or growing medical marijuana are not allowed.
        3. Costs for gym memberships for general health purposes.

      2. Examples of allowable medical costs include, but are not limited to:
        1. Health insurance premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. (Includes Medicare premiums not covered by Medicaid and EPD participant fees.) Long-term-care insurance premiums are deductible if the insurance pays for services while an individual is receiving waivered services, nursing facility services or is in an intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded. A policy set up to pay a lump sum, similar to life insurance, is not deductible;

        2. Medical and dental care, including psychotherapy, rehabilitation services, hospitalization and outpatient treatment;

        3. Prescription drugs and medications prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, as well as medical supplies and equipment, dentures, hearing aids, prostheses and prescribed eyeglasses. (Include postage costs for order-by-mail prescriptions.);

        4. Over-the-counter medications approved by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional. No formal written prescription is required.

    Note:  Medical supplies include prescribed adult-sized diapers, such as Depends. Medical supplies do not include special diets or special foods prescribed by a doctor. A person on a low- or high-sodium diet may purchase prescribed high-sodium foods with their SNAP benefits. Some dietary drinks high in nutrients may be purchased on the medical card.

        1. Nursing care, nursing home care and hospitalization, including payments on bills for people who were members of the household immediately prior to entering a state-certified hospital or nursing home;

        2. Maintaining an attendant, a home health aide, a housekeeper or dependent care services due to age or illness, including an amount equal to a one-person SNAP payment standard when the client furnishes the majority of the attendant's meals;

        3. Client offset payment when residing in a group living facility;

    Note:  Allow the service cost, which is the amount over room and board.

        1. Prescribed assistance animal, (such as a Seeing-Eye Dog, a Hearing Dog or Housekeeper Monkey), that have received special training to provide a service to the client. This deduction includes the cost of acquiring these animals, their training, food and veterinarian bills;

    Note:  Special training means the animal has been trained to do something for their owner that the animal would not normally know to do. The training needs to be related to providing a service the client needs due to their disability. Obedience training does not constitute special training.

    Questions the worker may want to consider:

    • What disability created the need for the service animal?

    • What is the service the animal is providing?

    • What is the training the animal received?

        1. The reasonable cost of transportation and/or lodging needed to obtain medical treatment or services.

    Note:  Use the same rate as approved by DMAP for medical transportation, which can be found in the NEMT Brokerage Manual on page 59.

    1. Verifying medical deductions for elderly/clients with disabilities

      Verification of medical deductions can come in many forms. This could be a call to a provider’s office to validate such things as payment plans and payment status, bill amounts or frequency of visits to help determine anticipated copays. Other types of verification can be things like receipts for over-the-counter medications and supplies showing the purchase and the purchase amount, print outs from pharmacies showing monthly medications, amounts and the number of months the prescription was supplied for.

      1. All medical costs must be verified.

        1. Costs that are past due, defaulted or carried over from a previous billing period are not allowed.
      2. Verification should include:
        1. The specific cost; and
        2. Frequency of use; and
        3. Proof the services are under direction of a licensed medical practitioner. Verification could include a prescription, note or collateral contact.

    2. At application and recertification

      To determine medical amounts at application and recertification, use a reasonable estimate of the client’s costs for the certification period. After you have determined current and anticipated medical costs, average the total over the certification period. Arrive at this estimate by combining current and expected medical costs as follows:

      1. Verify all current medical costs. Costs can include installment payments on a bill; as long as the bill:
        1. Has not been allowed previously;
        2. The installment plan arrangements were made with the creditor before the bill became past due; and
        3. The client has not defaulted on the plan.
      2. Verify any current medical insurance cost and coverage, to determine the portion of each medical cost that the client is responsible to pay.
      3. Anticipate future medical expenses reasonably anticipated to occur during the certification period based on the client's medical history.

Note:   Medical costs paid by credit card are considered paid in full at the time the payment is made. The subsequent ongoing credit card payments are not allowable as a medical deduction. For example: Lilly has a $450 dental bill. She pays this bill in full with her credit card. The medical deduction will be the one-time payment of $450 or the $450 will be prorated over the remainder of the certification period.

Caution: Do not allow medical costs of other filing group (SNAP-c.2) members who do not meet the SNAP definition of elderly or clients with disabilities.


In the actual SNAP calculation for benefits, the first $35 in medical deductions for the SNAP group is excluded. However, workers code the total allowable medical deductions to each eligible person. FSMIS subtracts the first $35.

  1. Medical costs reported during the certification period

    If a client subsequently reports unanticipated medical costs they have incurred during the recertification period, allow a deduction for the new or increased cost only if it is not past due or carried forward from a previous billing period. For medical costs that are reported in the certification period, the client can choose one of the following:

    1. Allow the cost the month after it is reported; or

    2. Average the cost as follows:

      1. Whether paid, or not paid, and is not past due, average it from the first of the month after which it was reported to the end of the certification period;
      2. If the client gets a medical bill that they have not paid, (and it is not past due), which is due after their certification period ends, allow the deduction in the next certification period; or

    3. Allow the amount of an installment payment, if the client and creditor made an installment plan before the bill became past due and the client has not defaulted on the plan.

    After using one of these methods to determine how much of an unanticipated medical bill changes the deduction amount for each month, adjust benefits for the future only. No restoration of lost benefits is needed, because there has not been any administrative error.

    Medical deductions are determined prospectively, and when there is a change, the new deduction amount only prospectively affects the future. Therefore, when a client reports a paid medical cost in the last month of their redetermination period (GP-A.68), there is no adjustment to make. Benefits for the current month have already been issued, and prospectively, since the bill has been paid, there is no medical expense expected for the next certification period.




Medical Costs That are Deductible; GA, GAM, OSIP; OSIPM, SNAP: 461-160-0055
Medical Deduction; SNAP: 461-160-0415
Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430
Restoring Benefits: 461-165-0200
Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Increases: 461-180-0020
Effective Dates; Changes in Income or Income Deductions That Cause Reductions: 461-180-0030

  1. Child support payment deduction

    This SNAP deduction is different from the others, because it is based on what a member of the filing group pays rather than what they are billed. Clients paying legally obligated child support for children outside the household get this deduction. This means the child the support is paid for cannot be a member of the household group. Include amounts they are paying for current child support and arrearages, unless the payment is collected by Set-Off of Individual Liability (SOIL) recovery.

    For example, in prospective budgeting: A client pays his court-ordered child support of $200 per month as he can, depending on how his income varies. For this month and the last two months he paid $125, $200 and $150. He expects payments to continue at about the same rate: $125 + $200 + $150 = $475 divided by 3 months = $158.33 child support deduction allowed.

    The COS deduction is limited to the amount a member of the filing group paid for child support. The amount a noncustodial parent pays toward the child's medical bills or for health insurance coverage is allowed as part of the COS.

    Note:  The COS is allowed when court-ordered support is being paid by a filing group member for children who do not live in the household. The person ordered to pay the support must be in the filing group. The person whose income pays the support must be in the filing group. They may be the same person or two different persons, as long as they are in the same filing group.

    QC Hot Tip

    To allow the deduction for payment of child support both of the following must be true:

    • The child support must be court-ordered; and

    • The child(ren) the support is for cannot be in the same household group as the person ordered to pay the child support.

    If each of the above is true, the client must verify the following before the deduction can be allowed:

    • The support is court-ordered and which child(ren) the support is for; and

    • The amount of child support he or she is paying.

    If the support is being paid through the Oregon Department of Child Support, this information can be verified on SMUX.

    Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430

  2. Shelter deductions; housing

    Allow a deduction for the shelter costs incurred where the filing group (SNAP-C.2) is currently residing. The shelter deduction is made up of two parts: housing and utilities. This section deals with the housing costs (GP-A.16) for most situations. The next section deals with utility costs for most situations.




    Housing costs include the billed amounts for the following:

    Note:  This includes payments on a home equity loan or line of credit if the home is listed as collateral on the loan and the financial institution is listed as a lein holder on the home. See Examples - #21 for a reverse mortgage.

    F SEE CA-B.45.

    The client can choose whether to get the housing deduction in the month the cost is billed or becomes due, or to average the cost over the period it is intended to cover. Therefore, a tax or insurance bill could be allowed as a deduction in one month, or averaged. For example, to average a tax bill for $1,800 over a 12-month period, the deduction would be $1,800 divided by 12 months = $150 per month. This tax amount would be added to any payment amount plus averaged insurance amount, to calculate the total monthly housing deduction. Usually it is to the client’s advantage to average the cost over a period of time and get increased benefits for the total certification period, rather than allowing the cost in one month and increasing benefits for one month only.

    For housing costs that are billed on a weekly or biweekly basis, convert them to a monthly amount by multiplying weekly amounts by 4.3 and biweekly amounts by 2.15. For example, a client charged $80 per week would have a housing cost of $80 X 4.3 = $344 per month.

    When a filing group shares housing costs with persons in the dwelling who are outside the group, allow as a deduction only the amount actually incurred by the filing group. For example, if two groups each pay half of the $450 rent, allow a $225 deduction. In addition, if the SNAP group collects the rent from the other group and then forwards the full amount on to the landlord, do not count the $225 collected from the other group as income or as part of the shelter cost. This is because it is considered unavailable and does not affect the SNAP calculation.

    In some instances, an SNAP group is not eligible for a shelter deduction because they are not responsible for the shelter costs. A SNAP group may not be responsible for the shelter costs if they are working around an apartment complex in exchange for rent. In this situation, the value of the rent is not counted as income as it is income-in-kind. In addition, the SNAP group is not allowed a deduction for the value of the rent as the group is not responsible for making the rent payment. Similarly, if a SNAP group receives Section 8, HUD or other community agency housing assistance which pays part or all of their monthly rent costs, the SNAP group is not allowed a deduction for the portion paid by housing assistance.

    Shelter Cost; SNAP: 461-160-0420


    Reverse mortgages/home equity conversion mortgages

    If a client has a reverse mortgage (also sometimes known as a home equity conversion mortgage) on their primary residence, allow the following shelter deductions in addition to any property tax and homeowner's insurance:

    1. Periodic monthly accrued interest charge
    2. Recurring finance charges
    3. Mortgage Insurance Premiums/payments (MIP)
    4. Recurring fees
    5. Required scheduled payments (rare for reverse mortgages)
    6. Continuing charges for other mortgages on the primary residence

    Do not allow payments or proceeds from a reverse mortgage as a shelter deduction. These payments are considered loan income, which is excluded.

    Mortgage Assistance Programs (MAP)

    Mortgage Assistance Programs are usually referred to as ‘MAP’ but may also go by many other names (Oregon Homeowner’s Stabilization, Hope for Homeowners, Making Home Affordable, etc.). Most of these programs pay a person’s mortgage for a set amount of time, typically about a year. After that year, a person may or may not have to repay the year’s worth of mortgage payments. If there are conditions for repayment on the mortgage payments, a shelter deduction should be allowed. If there are no conditions for repayment, a shelter deduction is not allowed. See examples of MAP (SNAP-G – EXAMPLE 22).

  3. Shelter deduction; utilities

    Utility costs (GP-A.16) include billed amounts for heating and cooling, cooking fuel, electricity, water, sewer, well installation and maintenance, septic tank system installation and maintenance, garbage collection fees and the basic service fee and taxes for one telephone including cell phone or pager charges. If a household claims their vehicle as their home, allow gasoline as a utility cost when it is used for heat. The receipt of energy assistance does not affect the utility deduction as long as the group will incur and be billed for heating or cooling costs.

    Note Each filing group must have an identified utility bill. Utility costs included in rent are not generally a separately identified bill. To be separate, the rent receipt or identified billing statement must break out each identified cost (i.e., $350 rent, $50 electricity, $20 water and sewer, etc.).

    Each filing group (SNAP-C.2) with allowable utility costs gets one of four standard utility allowances for their deduction. The standard amount is derived from the average utility costs for households in Oregon. One allowance, the Full Utility Allowance (FUA), includes heating/cooling costs. A second allowance, the Limited Utility Allowance (LUA), is allowed when the filing group has two or more utility costs, but not heating/cooling costs. A third allowance, the individual utility allowance (IUA), is used when the filing group has only one utility cost and it is not for heating or cooling or telephone. A fourth allowance, the telephone utility allowance (TUA) is used when the filing group has a cost for a telephone only.

    To get the FUA, the filing group must be billed on a regular basis for its heating or cooling costs. Cooling costs do not include portable home fans. All fuels (including geothermal, solar panels, wood, oil, propane, gas and electricity) are considered heating costs if they are the primary source actually used for heating. The FUA is allowed based on the client's statement that they have these costs unless they are questionable. The filing group must incur an individual (out-of-pocket) expense for the heating/cooling costs.

    Note:  Wood heat is an allowed cost if the filing group buys wood. This does not include the cost of a cutting permit, gas for a truck to haul the wood, chain saw costs, etc. Do not allow FUA for use of cooking stoves or electric blankets as a heat source. Space heaters and stoves (wood, pellet, coal, etc., used for heating purposes only) are utility costs but do not qualify the household for FUA if it is a supplement to the main source of heat. If it is the only source of heat, the household does qualify for FUA.

    Allow the FUA if the client is billed for their individual usage or a flat rate for heating/cooling costs separate from the rent. Verification (SNAP-B.11) is not necessary. Do not allow the FUA for filing groups that are charged a flat amount for rent and utilities that does not separately identify heating and cooling costs.

    Some clients have low-income housing and receive a HUD payment for utility costs. The HUD utility reimbursement (paid directly to the client or the utility company) may cover all or most of the heating bill. If the client is responsible for the balance of the bill, they are also eligible for the FUA.

    In addition, filing groups receiving LIHEAP at their current residence are eligible to receive the FUA. Once LHP is added for the year, local offices cannot remove it. Any changes in utility costs during the year should include narration about the household having received the LIHEAP benefit and expectation the household will qualify for the payment again next year.

    When a filing group is sharing a dwelling with another group and they share utility costs, determine if the SNAP group is paying any part of the heating costs. If yes, each filing group that is paying a share of the heating costs is eligible to receive the FUA. There is no proration.

    The second, third and fourth utility allowances (LUA, IUA and TUA) are for filing groups who have allowable utility costs but do not pay a heating/cooling cost. This includes those who have heating included in the cost of rent but pay for telephone, electricity, garbage, sewer, etc., separate from the rent.

    Note:  Cable TV or satellite is not an allowable utility cost.

    To receive the LUA, the filing group must be billed on a regular basis for at least two allowable nonheating utility costs. One cost may be for a telephone.

    To receive the IUA, the filing group must be billed on a regular basis for one allowable nonheating utility cost. This cost cannot be for a telephone.

    To receive the TUA, the filing group must be billed on a regular basis for a telephone or use a prepaid cell phone. The telephone may be a land line, a cell phone or an internet phone service. A filing group that pays only for a cell phone qualifies for TUA even if another filing group in the household has a land line available.

    Note:  The cost for phone cards is not a utility expense.

    Clients with allowable costs get one of the four allowances. There is no additional deduction for actual utility costs in excess of the utility allowances. There is also no proration when two or more filing groups share a residence and each pay utility costs.

    Shelter Cost; SNAP: 461-160-0420

    QC Hot Tip

    At each certification and recertification and anytime the client reports a move, assure how the home is heated and who is responsible for paying the heating costs. Narrate!

    Only allow the FUA if the filing group is responsible for paying any part of the heating costs.

    If not paying heating costs, carefully determine what utility costs the filing group is responsible to pay. Narrate which utility type. Allow the LUA if the filing group is responsible for paying at least two allowable utilities. Allow the IUA if the filing group is responsible for paying only one allowable utility (not phone). Allow the TUA if the filing group is responsible for paying the basic service on a telephone.




  4. Nonstandard living arrangements (GP-A.55)

    Group living. (Also SNAP-C.4) Clients living in a group living arrangement, such as RCF or domestic violence shelter may be eligible for a shelter deduction (SNAP-G.23). The allowable shelter cost is the amount of the payment for the room only when the housing cost is separately identified. When the room and board is one payment and not separately identified, calculate the shelter cost by subtracting the Thrifty Food Plan from the room and board cost.

    For example, an individual pays $523.70 room and board:

    $523.70 - $189 = $334.70 allowable shelter. Allow this calculated amount, unless the client can prove the room cost exceeds it. In that case, allow the higher verified amount.

    Note:  A DD client receiving brokerage services is not considered to be residing in a RCF.

    Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430

    Unoccupied home. In addition to shelter costs (GP-A.73) incurred where the SNAP group resides, allow a deduction for a home the group is not occupying, if all of the following are met:

    For an unoccupied home, allow only the actual verified utility costs as a deduction. Do this by adding the actual utility costs to the housing cost. Do not give the FUA or LUA for utilities on an unoccupied home.

    Shelter Cost; SNAP: 461-160-0420

  5. Benefit levels

    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts studies to determine SNAP benefit levels. They look at the average cost of food for a household, considering the number of persons in the household. They expect that clients will shop with frugality; therefore, USDA calls the SNAP benefit level the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP). The TFP is generally adjusted in October of each year to incorporate rising food prices due to inflation.

    Following are the current SNAP benefit levels or TFP:

    # in Benefit Group Amount
    1 $194
    2  $357
    3  $511
    4  $649
    5  $771
    6  $925
    7 $1,022
    8 $1,169
    Each additional person  $146

    Clients with no income available for food based on the SNAP calculation receive the entire SNAP benefit amount. Clients with some income available for food as determined by the SNAP calculation receive the difference between the SNAP benefit level for their household size and their food income. For example, a three-person household has $120 available to spend on food, based on their SNAP calculation. The benefit level for three persons is $526 - $120 available for food = $406 SNAP benefits they are eligible for.

    Income and Payment Standards; SNAP: 461-155-0190

  6. Benefit calculation

    For clients who have passed the countable income limit (130 percent) (SNAP-G.2) and resource limit (SNAP-GF.3), we perform the SNAP benefit calculation. Elderly (GP-A.27) and persons with disabilities (GP-A.22) need only to meet the adjusted income limit (SNAP-G.27).

    Note:  The 185 percent categorical eligibility income test (SNAP-F.1) is not part of this calculation. This is because the worker must make a separate (manual) categorical eligibility determination before coding the case on the computer or computing benefits.

    It is very helpful to understand the SNAP calculation in order to be able to explain changes or potential changes in benefit amounts to clients. Also, when coding changed information into the system record, understanding the process and knowing how much the benefit amount should change makes it easier to identify coding errors.

    The system will round all amounts automatically. Amounts are rounded down for 1-49 cents and rounded up for 50-99 cents in each step of the calculation, except in step 9. The answer is rounded up for 1-99 cents in step 9. (FSMIS automatically does the rounding.) This means all of the following:

    Use of Rounding in Calculating Benefit Amount: 461-160-0060

    Helpful tool

    The SNAP Benefits Computation (DHS 221) worksheet is a great tool for workers to use and understand. It takes you through the calculation step by step.

    Here is a high-level explanation of the calculation. Some of these steps are done automatically by the system.

    Following is a description of the SNAP calculation, along with some examples to illustrate the process.


    Step 1 Figure the Income

    Note:  If the household is not categorically eligible or does not contain an elderly or a person with disabilities, and income is equal to or exceeds the countable income limit, it is not eligible for SNAP and the computation ends with this step.


    Step 2 Subtract 20 percent (rounded) of the earned income. (SNAP-G.19).

    Step 3 Subtract the standard deduction (SNAP-G.19) amount for the household size.

    Step 4 Subtract the dependent care deductions (SNAP-G.20) (the system will round this amount for you).

    Step 5 Total all the allowable medical costs. (The system will subtract $35 from the allowed medical costs) (SNAP-G.21).

    Step 6 Subtract the court-ordered child support deduction (SNAP-G.22) (the system will round this amount for you).


    Step 7 Subtract the excess shelter costs (SNAP-G.23 and SNAP-G.24) (the system will calculate the excess shelter costs).

    • This requires a comparison of the subtotal through step 6 above to the client’s shelter costs. According to the SNAP calculation, half of this subtotal should be available for the client to pay their shelter costs;.

    • If half of this subtotal is less than the client’s shelter costs, then they have excess shelter and are entitled to another deduction;

    • If half of the subtotal is equal to or more than the shelter costs, then the client has adequate funding for their shelter costs and does not have an excess to count as a deduction;

    • For most SNAP groups, the excess shelter deduction is the actual amount up to the allowable maximum shelter deduction. However, for groups containing a member who is elderly or is a person with disabilities, the excess shelter deduction is the actual amount without a limit.
    Step 8 The resulting subtotal is the client's SNAP adjusted income (GP-A.43). It must be compared to the SNAP adjusted income limit below:

    100% FPL
    Number in Benefit
    SNAP Adjusted
    Income Limit
    1 $   973
    2 $1,311
    3 $1,650
    4  $1,988
    5  $2,326
    6 $2,665
    7 $3,003
    8  $3,341
    Each additional person $   339

    Income and Payment Standards; SNAP: 461-155-0190

    If the SNAP adjusted income is equal to or exceeds this limit, the group is not eligible unless they are categorically eligible. If the SNAP group's adjusted income is below the limit or they are categorically eligible, we continue the calculation to determine the benefit amount.

    Step 9 Multiply the subtotal in step 7 by 30 percent (the system will round this amount). This 30 percent of the SNAP adjusted income is the amount considered available to the group to spend on their food needs.

    Step 10 Subtract the subtotal in step 9 (the group's income available for food) from the TFP amount for the benefit group (SNAP-C.7) size. The difference is the SNAP benefit amount (unless the situation meets one of the exceptions listed in SNAP-G.28).

    Income and Payment Standards; SNAP: 461-155-0190
    Use of Rounding in Calculating Benefit Amount: 461-160-0060
    Use of Income to Determine Eligibiltiy and Benefits, SNAP: 461-160-0400
    Income Deductions; SNAP: 461-160-0430

    To manually compute benefits use the SNAP Benefits Computation form (DHS 221).

    REMEMBER: Put all cases on FSMIS and let the system determine whether the case is eligible. Special groups can be over the 185 percent FPL and still be eligible for benefits (e.g., NC1, SEC, elderly or disabled with high deductions).

  7. Exceptions to the SNAP benefit calculation

    When the SNAP benefit calculation results in benefits of less than $16, special amounts are issued, as follows:

    Minimum Benefit Amount; REF, SNAP, TANF: 461-165-0060

  8. Prorating benefits

    Initial month (GP-A.44). When the benefit group (SNAP-C.7) or an individual is eligible for less than a full month's benefits, they get benefits intended to cover only the days for which they are eligible. This happens when benefits are approved on a new case, for example. This partial month's benefit is called prorated.

    Note:  The exception is for filing groups (SNAP-C.2) containing a migrant or seasonal farm worker (SNAP-J.1). Their benefits are not prorated if they received SNAP in the prior month from any state.

    To calculate prorated benefits, first determine the benefit amount for a full month. Next, divide the full benefit amount by the number of the days in the payment month. This will result in the benefit amount per day. Finally, multiply the daily benefit amount by the number of days the group or individual is eligible. The result is the prorated benefit amount.

    Benefits for Less Than a Full Month: 461-160-0070


    At recertification. Filing groups which establish their filing date (SNAP-B.5) within the last month of their current redetermination period (GP-A.68) and provide verification (SNAP-B.11) within the 30-day processing time frame do not have prorated benefits.

    Effective Dates; Initial Month SNAP Benefits: 461-180-0080

  9. SNAP G - Financial eligibility examples

    Section 4.   Transfer of resources of noncategorically eligible households examples

    Example 1: A client's resource limit is $2,250 and they have $1,500 countable resources. They give a countable resource with a fair market value of $4,000 to a relative prior to applying for SNAP benefits, so that they will be found eligible.

    $4,000 (transferred) + $1,500 (other resources) = $5,500 - $2,250 (allowable resources) = $3,500 uncompensated value.

    For this example, the client is disqualified for nine months for $3,500 uncompensated value per the disqualification period chart.

    Section 6.   Prospective eligibility and budgeting examples

    Example 1: In SRS: Filing date is 4/12. The applicant was just laid off work. As of the date of the interview on 4/13, he received one weekly pay check on 4/6 and expects to receive one more paycheck today. He has applied for UC and is currently serving the waiting week. This month's income is not expected to continue. Issue April benefits using actual anticipated earned income for April, then zero out his EML for future months. Do not count any UC because the waiting week is not a guarantee of benefits. Explain reporting requirements.

    Example 2: In TBA: A SNAP case can never be certified or recertified using the TBA report system. Therefore, TBA will never be the report method for a first month of SNAP benefits.

    Section 7.   Change Report System examples

    Example 1: The ERDC certification period runs from April through June and the SNAP redetermination period runs from May through July. The worker can do a four-month certification (July - October) for ERDC and a three-month SNAP redetermination (August - October) so both end in October. Or the ERDC certification period could run three months from July through September and the SNAP redetermination five months from August through December. The SNAP redetermination would then end at the same time as the October through December certification period for ERDC. Once the end dates are aligned, a 12-month certification of both, with the SNAP case in SRS, is strongly encouraged.

    Section 9.   Transitional Benefit Alternative examples

    Example 1: CRS to TBA. Max and his child, Margaret, were receiving TANF (Program 2). On March 21, they report he went to work on March 12 and will get his first pay on March 31. This change was reported within 10 days of the start of the job and therefore timely reported. Pend the client for TANF benefits only for their first pay stub. This will be due April 10, 10 days after the first pay stub was received. When the pay stub was received, it was determined that the family is prospectively ineligible for TANF. As there is time for 10-day notice, notice is given to end TANF effective April 30. On CM, the TANF case is closed effective April 30 and the case is converted to EXT, effective April 1. On SNAP, the case is converted to TBA, effective May 1. For TBA, the GNT is changed to zero and any other income that was used to issue the April benefits continues unchanged. If the only income used for April benefits was the GNT, no income is used for TBA.

    Example 2: Erika and her child Donald receive TANF (Program 2). She reports on October 28 that she went to work October 15. The change was reported outside of the 10 days required from the first day of work for TANF. The family is not eligible for TBA. Make any changes to SNAP benefits as appropriate for the CRS or SRS reporting system.

    Example 3: Current TBA case: Client reports that someone joined their SNAP group. Client is informed they may re-apply for SNAP using the new situation. If client re-applies and benefits will increase, recertify the SNAP case under SRS or CRS. Make no changes to TBA if the new benefit amount is equal to or lesser than the amount under TBA.

    Example 4: Children are removed from the household by child welfare and placed in foster care. SNAP is placed into TBA. These children remain coded as members of the TBA group for the five-month period. They are only removed from the group if their foster care provider begins to get SNAP for the children.

    Example 5: Sarah was receiving TANF for herself and her 6-year-old son Adam. In March she started working and reported this information to the agency. Her TANF case ended April 30 based on income verification provided. Her SNAP case was converted to TBA effective May 1. On July 10, Sarah reapplies for TANF. She is placed in the Pre-TANF Program. Sarah continues to be TBA-eligible until her TANF cash case is opened.

    Example 6: Current SNAP certification ends March 31 and TANF is closing at the end of March based on client’s verified earnings from a new job. SNAP case can be placed in TBA April 1 by extending the certification end date. A recertification action does not have to be done in this situation.

    Section 13.   Disqualified income (DQI) for cash recipients serving a penalty examples

    Example 1: A client with one child (age 4) has their TANF benefit of $404 closed because of failure to cooperate in the JOBS program. Count $404 DQI (the benefit amount they could be getting) on the companion SNAP case for one year unless they become ineligible for TANF due to other reasons. The client begins getting $200 child support. Code ($404 - $200 SUP) = $204 DQI due to this change.

    Example 2: A client with one child (age 5) has their TANF benefit of $404 closed because of failure to cooperate with the JOBS program. Count $404 DQI on the companion SNAP case for one year unless they become ineligible for TANF due to other reasons. The client begins working part-time and will earn $400/month. Calculate the impact on their TANF eligibility as follows: $400 - $200 (50 percent disregard) = $200. $404 full benefit - $200 countable earned income = $204 DQI due to this change.

    Example 3: A client with one child (age 2) has their TANF benefit of $404 closed because of failure to cooperate in the JOBS program. Count $404 DQI on the companion SNAP case. The client begins working and will earn $700/month. This earned income exceeds the TANF countable income limit, so the client no longer qualifies for TANF. Remove the DQI income from the companion SNAP case due to this change.

    Example 4: A client with one child is applying for TANF. In the Pre-TANF program she decides she does not want to comply with the alcohol and drug (A&D) requirements. TANF is opened at DJ3 with a benefit of $214. No DQI is coded on the companion SNAP case because the family did not receive and later lost the higher benefit amount. In two months, the case progressed to DJ5 and the TANF case is closed. Count $214 DQI on the companion SNAP case. DQI remains on the SNAP case for one year because the case is closed with a JOBS disqualification, even if the case closed at the client's request. The exception to counting the DQI for one year is if the household becomes ineligible for TANF due to other reasons.

    Example 5: A client with one child (age 8) has their TANF benefit of $404 closed because of failure to cooperate with the work search component. Count $404 DQI on the companion SNAP case for up to one year, unless they become ineligible for TANF due to other reasons. Also apply the OFSET disqualifications at the same time, as the client does not meet any of the OFSET exemptions and the JOBS work search requirements also apply to SNAP mandatory clients.

    Example 6: A client with one child (age 2) has their TANF benefit of $404 reduced because the client is not cooperating with mental health treatment. DQI of $190 is coded on FSMIS ($404 minus new grant of $214). The worker, along with partners, determines it is harmful to the child to end the TANF benefits. Therefore, TANF continues for the child at level MA5 with a DQI of $190. This DQI income continues to be coded on the SNAP case as long as the child remains eligible for SNAP and the parent (GP-A.60) is not cooperating with the plan. Review this situation with each SNAP recertification. Do not end the DQI after one year because the TANF case is not closed.

    Example 7: A client with one child (age 8) failed to comply with her TANF JOBS requirement. Following re-engagement, a notice of disqualification was sent to the client. After receipt of the notice, she contacted the branch and asked that her TANF benefits end. DQI of $190 (the full grant amount) is coded on FSMIS. End the DQI after one year if the client has not otherwise become ineligible for TANF before that date.

    Example 8: A client with two children has a $150 client-caused TANF overpayment. The TANF grant is reduced by $20 a month to repay the overpayment. The COP of $20 is coded on FCAS with an expected end date noted in the comment field. The COP is re-evaluated at each recertification and continues either until the overpayment is repaid or the TANF grant closes.

    Section 17.   When to allow deductions examples

    Example 1: A client is allowed a deduction for $300 per month rent. The client reports that they failed to pay their rent for two months because of a family emergency, and now they are being billed $400 per month until the back rent is paid in full. Do not allow a deduction for the extra $100 per month that the client is now being billed, because it was already allowed during previous months when they failed to pay their rent.

    Example 2: A client eligible for medical deductions reports they were in the hospital for a few days, and now have a $3,000 unanticipated medical bill. The client does not have a repayment plan with the provider, so the worker averages the bill over the remainder of the months in the certification period. When the client reapplies, they state they are still paying this bill at the rate of $150 per month. Do not allow a deduction for this $150 per month cost, because the entire bill was already allowed during the previous certification period.

    Section 20.   Medical deduction for elderly/or person with disabilities examples

    Example 1: A 67-year-old client who has been prescribed two medications has costs that amount to $55 a month. He also has a medical insurance premium of $100 per month that he pays. The client meets the definition of elderly for the SNAP program so he is eligible for medical deductions. Code $155 on FSMIS as a MED deduction.

    Example 2: A 29-year-old mother of two pays for medical insurance for herself and her son who receives SSI. The total insurance cost is $249 a month. The portion she pays for herself is $145. Since the mother does not meet the SNAP definition of an elderly or person with disabilities, she is not eligible for a deduction. However, her son receives SSI and is eligible for a medical deduction. Code $104, the portion of the insurance that is for her son, on a line under her son, in FSMIS as an MED deduction.

    Example 3: A 58-year-old man with a disability is told by his mental health counselor that he should be taking Melatonin to help him sleep and improve his mood. The cost of the melatonin is $13 at the local store for a month's supply. He also pays $27 a month in prescription copays. Code $40 on FSMIS as a MED deduction.

    Section 21.   Shelter deductions; reverse mortgage

    Example 1: Alexander owns his home. He has a reverse mortgage on this home. Alexander provides his most recent reverse mortgage monthly statement. Alexander is charged $200 per month in interest, $50 in mortgage insurance, and $20 in recurring service fees. Alexander receives $500 per month from the reverse mortgage.

    The allowable shelter deduction is $270 (this includes the interest, mortgage insurance and service fee).

    The $500 Alexander receives from the reverse mortgage is treated as loan income, which is excluded.

    Example 2: Simone owns her home, but is still paying on her original mortgage. She also has a reverse mortgage on this home. Simone pays $400 on her original mortgage. She provides a recent reverse mortgage statement. Simone is charged $350 in interest, $75 in mortgage insurance and $50 in recurring fees. Simone draws off the reverse mortgage payments when she needs to. On the reverse mortgage statement she provided, she withdrew $5,000. She states she used this to go on a cross-country trip.

    The allowable shelter deduction is $875. This includes her original mortgage, the reverse mortgage accrued interest, mortgage insurance and recurring fees.

    The $5000 Simone withdrew from the reverse mortgage is treated as loan income, which is excluded.

    Section 22.   Shelter deductions; housing examples

    Example 1: Client reports renting her home and she has a roommate. They do not purchase and prepare meals together and each pays half the rent and half the utilities. This is a share-shelter situation. Allow half the rent, as owed by the client for the shelter deduction and the appropriate utility standard.

    Example 2: Client is buying a home with a mortgage payment of $600 a month. There is also a roommate who pays half the mortgage ($300) plus half of the utilities. They are separate filing groups. Allow the client a shelter deduction of half the mortgage ($300) plus taxes and insurance and the appropriate utility allowance. If the roommate applies for SNAP benefits, he will receive a deduction for $300 rent plus the appropriate utility allowance.

    Example 3: Client is renting a house for $500 a month. She is sharing the house with three other individuals who are paying her a flat $150 a month toward the rent and utilities. They are each separate filing groups. The full rent is $500 less $150 less $150 less $150 = $50 as her share of the rent. Code $50 rent for the client and the appropriate utility allowance.

    Example 4: Client is renting a house for $500 a month plus heating costs. She is sharing the house with three individuals who are paying her a flat $200 each toward the rent and another $50 for the utilities. The full rent is $500 less $200 less $200 less $200 = $0 as her share of the rent. Code zero rent for the client and allow the FUA because she pays the heating costs. In addition, she has income of $100 from the excess rental income. Code the $100 income as PTY. (See CA B.34)

    Example 5: Client is buying a home with a $500 mortgage payment plus $50 a month taxes and $25 a month insurance. She is sharing the home with two other persons who are paying her $400 a month rent, which includes the utilities. The full shelter cost is $575 less $400 less $400 = $0 as her share of the mortgage, taxes and insurance. Code zero shelter and allow the FUA because she pays the heating costs. In addition, she has income of $225 from the excess rental income. Code the $225 income as PTY. (See CA-B.34.)

    Example 6: A family receives a year's worth of mortgage payments thru a MAP. If they sell their home within 5 years, they must repay that year of payments. If they stay in their home and do not default for 5 years, they do not have to repay the year of payments. As there are conditions on the year of payments, a shelter deduction is allowed.

    Example 7: A family receives a year's worth of mortgage payments thru a MAP. They never, under any circumstances, have to repay that year of MAP payments. As there are no conditions for repayment, no shelter deduction is allowed. The family may report when they resume making their own mortgage payments.

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