An institution is a facility that makes and serves at least half of residents’ meals (more than 50 percent of three meals daily) as part of its service. For example, boarding schools, general hospitals and skilled nursing facilities are types of institutions.
Example: Ms. H applies for SNAP for herself and two children who are enrolled in and live at the Milton Hershey School during the school year. Since the majority of the children’s meals are provided by the school, Ms. H is ineligible for SNAP for the children. The children may be eligible for SNAP during the summer months as long as Ms. H provides more than 50 percent of their meals at home.
An individual who lives in an institution is not eligible for SNAP unless he or she:
Lives in housing for the elderly subsidized under Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act (See 511.5);
Is a resident of a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation center (See 511.6);
Lives in a (GLA) and is disabled or blind and receives disability payments as described in 7 CFR 271.2 such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Benefits (RSDI), VA benefits or Railroad retirement, or disability-related Medical Assistance for which the disability has been certified by the Medical Review Team (See 511.7);
Is a person or a person with children temporarily living in a domestic violence shelter (See 511.9); or
Lives in a public or private nonprofit homeless shelter which can include a welfare hotel, congregate shelter, halfway house, or other supervised temporary living shelter for homeless individuals (See 511.2);
Elects not to receive a majority of meals from the facility. Individuals who choose not to receive the majority of their meals from the facility are not considered residents of an institution and are entitled to SNAP if otherwise eligible. This applies to public, private nonprofit and private for-profit institutions.
If a facility does not qualify as an institution, residents may apply for SNAP on the same basis as any other household.
7 CFR § 273.1(b)(7)(vi)
Individuals on house arrest may be eligible for SNAP benefits as long as they meet eligibility requirements and are permitted to perform essential activities for daily living as a condition of their arrest. Although confined to their home, individuals may be permitted to leave for essential preapproved activities such as work, medical appointments, and grocery shopping.
Reissued October 6, 2022, replacing April 6, 2016