Categorical eligibility applies to households, not individuals. Household composition must be determined before determining categorical eligibility. Separate household status is not granted to an individual household member because of categorical eligibility.
A categorically eligible household does not have to meet the resource limit or the gross or net income limits.
7 CFR § 273.2(j)(2)
Categorically eligible households for SNAP are households containing all Cash Assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.
A recipient is an individual who:
7 CFR § 273.2(j)
Is receiving cash assistance (TANF or State Blind Pension (SBP), or SSI benefits);
Is authorized for cash assistance or SSI but has not yet received payment;
Is eligible for cash assistance or SSI but has had benefits suspended or recouped; or
Is eligible for cash assistance of less than $5 a month and therefore not receiving payment.
Expanded categorically eligible households include those that:
do not have any elderly or disabled household members and have income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIGs).
have an elderly or disabled member and income at or below 200 percent of the FPIGs.
Expanded categorically eligible households receive the Pub 567 brochure “Help for Pennsylvanians in Need,” http://mydpw/cs/groups/public/documents/communication/s_001595.pdf. These households must meet the gross income within the limits discussed above.
REMINDER: There is no gross income test applied in the system for elderly or disabled households. Elderly or disabled households with income exceeding 200 percent of the FPIGs (though not categorically eligible) may remain potentially eligible if they pass the net test. Many households may qualify for the minimum benefit.
A household does not qualify for categorical eligibility or expanded categorical eligibility if a member of the household is disqualified for:
7 CFR § 273.2(j)(2)(vii)
Intentional program violation
Failure to comply with semiannual reporting (SAR) requirements
Failure to comply with employment and training requirements. This applies to head of household only.
A violation of a condition of probation or parole under a federal or state law.
Example 1: Mr. and Mrs. B, ages 63 and 60 respectively, apply for SNAP. The CAO provides them with Pub 567, Help for Pennsylvanians in Need. Their gross monthly income is $1550 and their countable resources are $3200. The Bs are eligible for SNAP under expanded categorical eligibility criteria. Their income is below 200 percent of FPIGs and there is no resource limit for the household.
Example 2: The C family of four applies for SNAP. The household is comprised of a 67 year old grandmother, her daughter, the daughter’s husband and child. The CAO provides them with Pub 567, Help for Pennsylvanians in Need. Monthly gross income of $2460 is from SSI and wages. Resources are $4500. The C family is eligible for SNAP under expanded categorical eligibility criteria. Their income is below 200 percent of FPIGs and there is no resource limit for the household.
Example 3: Mr. and Mrs. N apply for SNAP for themselves and a 9-year old son. They are not elderly or disabled. The CAO provides them with Pub 567, Help for Pennsylvanians in Need. The N family reports gross monthly income of $2600 and countable resources of $7000. The N family is eligible for SNAP under expanded categorical eligibility criteria. Their income is below 200 percent of FPIGS and there is no resource limit for the household.
Example 4: Mr. and Mrs. A apply for SNAP for themselves and one child. The CAO gives them Pub 567, Help for Pennsylvanians in Need. The CAO reviews the case file and discovers that Mr. A is still within the 12- month period of ineligibility for an intentional program violation (IPV). The family is ineligible for SNAP under expanded categorical eligibility criteria due to the IPV. Mrs. A and her child may receive SNAP if income is below 130 percent of FPIGs and resources do not exceed $2250.
The following individuals are not members of a SNAP household:
7 CFR § 273.2(j)(2)(ix)
Institutionalized individuals, unless the facility meets an exemption (See Chapter 511)
Updated September 6, 2022, replacing July 30, 2015