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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Last Published: 12/04/2017

(Rules on allowable deductions from income)

As of Oct. 1, 2017, effective through Sept. 30, 2018:

Gross income means a household's total, non-excluded income, before any deductions have been made. Net income means gross income minus allowable deductions.

  • A 20 percent deduction from earned income;  

  • A standard deduction of $160 for households sizes of 1 to 3 people and $170 for a household size of 4 (higher for some larger households)

  • A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education;

  • Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else;  

  • Legally owed child support payments;  

  • Some States allow homeless households a set amount ($143) for shelter costs; and  

  • Excess shelter costs that are more than half of the household's income after the other deductions. Allowable costs include the cost of fuel to heat and cook with, electricity, water, the basic fee for one telephone, rent or mortgage payments and taxes on the home. (Some States allow a set amount for utility costs instead of actual costs.) The amount of the shelter deduction cannot be more than $535 unless one person in the household is elderly or disabled. (The limit is higher in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.)