550.5 Income Excluded in Computing Eligibility

The CAO must exclude income from certain sources when determining a household's eligibility and benefit amount.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)


The CAO must verify excluded income when the household has little or no income or very low income and the presence of the excluded income may explain the household’s continued existence with no apparent income.

550.51 Earned Income of a Child

The CAO must exclude earned income of a child 17 years or younger if the child is:   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(7)

This exclusion:

If the child's earnings cannot be separated from other household members’ earnings, the CAO must divide the earnings evenly among the working members and exclude the child's prorated share.

550.52 TANF Child Support Payments

The CAO must exclude child-support payments from TANF that are assigned to, are paid directly to, or must be transferred to DHS.   

7 CFR § 273.9(b)(5)(ii)

550.53 Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Funds

The CAO must exclude WIA payments from National Emergency Grants, Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects, Youth Community Conservation and Improvement Projects, and employment/training programs for youth under the 1998 Workforce Investment Act.  

7 CFR § 273.9(c) and Pub. L. 105-220

Exception:  The CAO must not exclude WIA earnings of persons age 19 or over, or persons under age 19 and not under parental control, participating in On-the-Job Training (OJT) Programs funded under WIA, Section 181(a)(2). (See Section 550.2

550.54 Energy Assistance

The CAO must exclude energy payments under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) as well as one-time payments or allowances under a federal or state law for weatherization or emergency repair.  

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(11)

550.55 Income-in-Kind

The CAO must exclude non-money gains or benefits, such as meals, food provided through the Child Nutrition Act of1966 , produce from a garden, clothing, and public housing.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)

NOTE:  Any of these in-kind payments which are converted in whole or in part to a direct cash payment under a federally approved demonstration project are excluded from income.

NOTE:  The Child Nutrition Act includes the School Lunch Program; School Breakfast Program; Special Milk Program; Child and Adult Care Food Program; Summer Food Service Program; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program; and the Commodity Distribution Program.

Examples of other Income in kind:

550.56 Vendor Payments

A vendor payment is money or an in-kind payment not owed to the household and paid directly to someone outside the household for a household expense. The CAO must exclude vendor payments if:  

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)

The following are considered vendor payments:

  1. 7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(iii)

    7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(i)(E)

    7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(vii)(A)

    7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(vii)(B)

NOTE:  Changes in a vendor payment amounts must be reported to the CAO, even if the household contribution is unchanged. Follow the procedures for reporting changes in Chapter 570.  Changes in vendor payment amounts are considered a change in household income.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(i)(B)

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(i)

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(vii)(C)

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(vi)

550.57 Loans

The CAO must exclude all loans.  This includes loans from individuals, commercial institutions, reverse mortgages, and equity loans.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(4)

When verification is needed, a statement signed by both parties indicating the payment is a loan and must be repaid, is sufficient.  If the household repeatedly receives payments from the same source, but claims the payments are loans, the CAO may require the provider to sign an affidavit stating that repayment is being made or will be made on an established repayment schedule.

NOTE:  Loans are not income advances. The CAO must count income advances as income when they are received.

550.58 Educational Assistance

All educational assistance of an eligible student is excluded, regardless of the source of the funds, (See Chapter 514.).  Educational assistance includes:

550.59 Lump Sum Payments

Non-recurring lump sum payments are considered resources, (See Chapter 540).  The CAO must exclude non-recurring lump sum payments from income, such as:   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(8)

NOTE:  The CAO must exclude retroactive Social Security and SSI payments paid into a dedicated account with a representative payee for persons under 18. This applies even when the past-due amount is paid in installments. Dedicated accounts are established by law, and there are limits on how deposited funds can be used. These accounts are audited periodically by the federal government.

550.510 Infrequent and Irregular Income

The CAO must exclude income of $30 or less in a calendar quarter that is received too infrequently or irregularly to be reasonably anticipated.  If the amount is greater than $30, the full amount is countable as income.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(2)

550.511 Charitable Contributions

The CAO must exclude $300 per calendar quarter of any cash donations made to a household by a private nonprofit charitable organization.    

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(12)

NOTE:  This exclusion does not include charitable donations from Federal or State funded organizations, (e.g. Catholic Charities, and Lutheran Social Services).

The amount of cash donations over $300 per calendar quarter and donations which are not from a nonprofit charitable organization will count as unearned income.

NOTE:  This exclusion is in addition to the infrequent and irregular income exclusion.

550.512  Cost of Producing Self-Employment Income

The CAO must exclude the cost of producing self-employment income, See Chapter 552.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(9)

550.513 Reimbursements

The CAO must exclude income for reimbursement of past or present expenses if:   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(5)

NOTE:  If the reimbursement is more than the actual expense, the excess counts as unearned income. The CAO must consider reimbursement to be more than the expense only when an excess is indicated by the provider or household.

When the reimbursement covers a number of expenses, expenses need not be identified separately unless part of the reimbursement is for normal living expenses.

To be excluded, a reimbursement must be for a specific expense and used for the purpose for which it is intended.  The following are examples of excluded reimbursements:

NOTE:  When medical reimbursement is received as part of a child support court-order,  only the portion intended for medical reimbursement is excluded.  

Deductions from gross wages for health insurance may be excluded as income. Individual flex-benefit plans and pay stubs must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if the amount designated should be excluded.

If the employer adds “credits” to the employee’s gross wages, which the employee can designate for health insurance premiums, the “credits” are the employer’s contributions to fringe benefits and generally would not be received if the employee did not participate in the plan.  The “credits” are excluded as income-in-kind.

Exception: If an employee designates a portion of their gross earnings to go directly to a third party (for example, a medical insurance premium) or to used to pay an expense,  such as a daycare expense, the amount deducted is countable income..

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(10)(i)

550.514 Titles I and II of the 1973 Domestic Volunteer Services Act

The CAO must exclude payments under Title I of the  Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973 to volunteers who were receiving SNAP benefits or cash assistance at the time they joined the Title I program (Title I Programs include,  but are not limited to, AmeriCorps/ Vista, University Year for Action, and the Urban Crime Prevention Program.)  Temporary interruptions in SNAP benefits do not change the exclusion once an initial determination has been made.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(10)(iii)

NOTE:  AmeriCorps income is excluded and AmeriCorps Vista income is excluded for volunteers who were receiving SNAP benefits or cash assistance at the time they joined AmeriCorps Vista. (See Section 550.2.)

The CAO must exclude any payment to volunteers in RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and other programs under Title II of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973, as amended.

550.515 Money Received and Used for a Non-household Member

The CAO must exclude money received and used for the care and maintenance of person who is not a household member.  

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(6)

If a single payment is intended for both a household member and a non-household member, the CAO must exclude the smaller of the following two amounts:

550.516 Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965

PFS18707560  Senior Community Services Employment Program 10/10/2017

The CAO must exclude payments under the Senior Community Services Employment Program, authorized by Title V, Section 509, of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended November 29, 1987.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(10)

550.517 Repayments

The CAO must exclude payments used to either voluntarily or involuntarily repay an overpayment from the same source.   

7 CFR § 273.9(b)(5)(i)

The repayment may be either by recoupment or by direct payment. For the CAO to exclude the repayments, the person must still be receiving the source of income being repaid (for example, Social Security).

Exception:  The CAO must not exclude the amount recouped for an overpayment of public assistance due to intentional failure to comply with that program's eligibility requirements. The amount of cash assistance, before recoupment, must be used to determine the SNAP benefit.

550.518 Earned Income Credit (EIC)

The CAO must exclude any payment made to the household under Section 3507 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 relating to the advance payment of the EIC.    

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(13)

Any advance or lump sum EIC payment must not be counted as part of the gross or net income.

550.519 Payments under Federal Laws to Indian Tribal Members

The CAO must exclude payments to certain Indian tribal members based on the provisions of various federal laws. The persons should have documentation showing where the payments originated.    

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(10)

The list of excluded payments is maintained by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the CAO can access this list at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/fdpir/funds-provided-excluded   Please submit a policy clarification request to the Policy Clarification Unit in the Bureau of Policy if it is not clear that the reported income should be excluded.      

550.520 Wartime Relocation Act Payments

The CAO must exclude restitution payments made under Pub. L. 100-383 to:   

Pub. L. 100-383

550.521 HUD Utility Rebates or Reimbursements

The CAO must exclude the total amount of utility rebates or reimbursements that a household receives from HUD or any public housing authority. These utility rebates may be forwarded to a household by HUD or a public housing authority.     

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(iii)  

550.522 Agent Orange Settlement Payments

The CAO must exclude payments made under the Agent Orange Compensation Exclusion Act of 1989 as follows:    

Pub. L. 101-201

Veterans eligible to receive Agent Orange Settlement Fund disability payments will receive a payment each year they are disabled during the life of the fund. Survivors of these veterans will receive one lump sum payment. This income exclusion is retroactive to January 1, 1989.

Under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, some veterans with service-connected disabilities resulting from exposure to Agent Orange will receive benefits. These payments are not excluded by law.   

P.L. 102-4

550.523 Disaster Assistance Payments

The CAO must exclude Disaster Assistance Payments to farmers if the secretary of agriculture declares a farm emergency due to a natural disaster.   

Pub. L. 100-387

NOTE:  If a farm family receives money because of a farm emergency, the CAO must call the Policy Clarification Unit if help is needed to determine the source of the money.

The CAO must exclude payments made under Section 312(d) of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, amended by Section 105(i) of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Amendments of 1988. These payments are made as a result of an emergency or major disaster.   

Pub. L. 93-288 and Pub. L. 100-707

This exclusion applies to individuals receiving both of the following:

NOTE:  Disaster Unemployment Assistance is considered federal major disaster and emergency assistance and is an  excluded payment.

Exception:  The CAO must exclude most, but not all, Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) funds. For example, some payments to homeless individuals for rent, mortgage, food, or utilities in the absence of an emergency or disaster are not excluded.

550.524 Child Care Payments

The CAO must exclude payments made under the Child Care Works program issued to pay for child care.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(i)(B)

NOTE:  If the child care provider is a member of the household, payments from any outside source such as Child Care Works is counted as earned income for the household. However, if the child care provider is a member of the household and the source of payment is from another household member, the dependent care payment income is not counted as new income to the household. This income would have already been counted towards the household’s total countable income.

550.525 WIC Demonstration Project Coupons

The CAO must exclude checks or vouchers received under the Women, Infants, and Children demonstration (WIC) projects that can be exchanged for food at farmers markets.   

7 CFR § 273.9(c)(1)(vi)

550.526 Military Salary Reductions

The CAO must exclude the mandatory salary reduction for military service personnel which is used to fund the G.I. Bill.   

Pub. L. 99-576

550.527 The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act of 1990

The CAO must exclude payments to individuals for injuries or death resulting from exposure to radiation from nuclear testing and uranium mining in Arizona, Nevada, or Utah.   

Pub. L. 101-426

550.528 Money Designated in a Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS)

The CAO must exclude designated amounts of income necessary to fulfill a PASS. PASS allows disabled or blind SSI recipients to set aside income as part of a plan to achieve an occupational objective. The Social Security Administration approves the PASS and issues an award letter to participants identifying the amount of the income exclusion. The exclusion continues as long as the plan is in effect.   

Pub. L. 102-237

550.529 Title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990

The CAO must exclude allowances, earnings, and payments to individuals participating in programs under Title I of this Act.   

Pub. L. 101-610

550.530 AmeriCorps and the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993

The CAO must exclude all payments issued under AmeriCorps and the National and Community Service Trust Act, including the living allowance.   

Pub. L. 101-610

550.531 Benefits for Children of Vietnam Veterans Who Are Born with Spina Bifida

The CAO must exclude allowances paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs to children of Vietnam veterans who are born with spina bifida.   

Pub. L. 104-204

NOTE:  Amendment to Chapter 18 Section 401 Pub. L. 106-419 extended these VA benefits and services to children of women of Vietnam veterans born with certain birth defects.  These defects are linked to military service rather than to exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides.

Among the benefits provided for these children is a monthly cash allowance. Section 1823 (c) of Title 38 excludes this allowance as both income and resources when determining eligibility for SNAP and the benefit amount for SNAP.

The CAO must verify and note in the case narrative the source of the cash allowance for the child and its exclusion.

550.532 German Reparation Payments

The CAO must exclude payments made to individuals because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution resulting from the German Restitution Act.   

Pub. L. 103-286

550.533 Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) Payments

The CAO must exclude NAP benefit payments issued in all U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas.

NAP benefits are not counted even when they are issued in the same month a household submits a new SNAP application in a mainland office.

550.534 Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) Accounts

The CAO must exclude all funds deposited into a SEED account, including interest, from consideration as income or a resource.

NOTE:  The SEED program is currently a demonstration project affecting only a few persons in the Philadelphia area.

An account is identified as a SEED account if:

550.535 Payments to Military Personnel Assigned to a Designated Combat Zone

The CAO must exclude payments to military personnel assigned to a designated combat zone for the duration of the member’s deployment if the additional pay is the result of deployment to or while serving in a combat zone, and it was not received immediately prior to serving in the combat zone. To determine countable household income, use the following process:

If the military person was part of the SNAP household before deployment to a designated combat area, then:

Note: FNS guidance allows use of the net military pay to simplify this process

If the military person was not part of the SNAP household at the time of deployment to a designated combat area, then:

The amount of the increase in military pay due to a promotion and/or a Cost of Living Adjustment after the military person’s deployment is disregarded.

550.536  Interest Income

The CAO must exclude interest earned on savings bonds and on the following checking and savings accounts in the month of receipt:

Interest that remains in the account after the month of receipt is considered a resource.  See 512 and 540.

550.537  ABLE Accounts

The CAO must exclude Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts, and any contributions to, interest earned on, or distributions from, such accounts. ABLE accounts are tax-favored savings accounts which provide secure funding for disability-related expenses incurred by beneficiaries deemed disabled before age 26.



Reissued April 13, 2016, replacing March 1, 2012