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Countable Income - SNAP (Food Stamps)

In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamp Program), income is either countable or excluded. Countable income is income that is considered in some way when determining gross income, net income, and benefits.

If income is countable, it is considered to be either earned income or unearned income. Income that is earned by an individual through receipt of wages, salary, commission, or profit from activities in which she or he is engaged as a self-employed individual or as an employee is considered to be earned income. Monetary or in-kind compensation that is not received as the direct result of an individual's own labor or services, such as child support or disability benefits, is considered to be unearned income.

Some or all countable income may be disregarded through deductions in some step of the eligibility determination process.

In order for income to be considered countable, it must be available to a household member. Income is available when:

        Received by the household member,

        Received by someone for the household member and available to the household member,

        Wages are withheld as a result of garnishment or court-ordered child support, or

        Wages are withheld by the employer at the household member's request.

In addition, income is considered available when it is actually received by a household member on a regular and recurring basis. Regular and recurring means an income amount which the household can reasonably expect for use each month.

Income is unavailable when the household member cannot gain access to it. For example, wages are unavailable when an employer owes wages to, but refuses to pay, a household member.

Income set aside for a PASS is not included when determining the household's gross or net income. Consequently, if a household member participates in a PASS, any earned or unearned income set aside for the PASS should not be counted.

Combat Pay is excluded under a recent law.


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