568.1 General Policy

January Recertification for extended SNAP (FS43) and SNAP Mass OTI's for February Benefits, PFS19267568 (Published February 21, 2019)

The CAO must follow these steps to figure out a household's eligibility for SNAP benefits:  

 7 CFR § 273.10(a)(1) & 7 CFR § 273.21(a)(2)

  1. Determine the household’s eligibility to participate.

  2. Determine the benefit amount for eligible households.

568.11 Determining Eligibility

The CAO must always determine eligibility using prospective budgeting (PB) to get the benefit amount. (See Chapter 567.)  

 55 Pa. Code § 501.11(a)

There are three questions asked to determine eligibility:

7 CFR § 273.9(a)(1)

 7 CFR § 273.9(a)(2)

The CAO must complete the prospective determination of eligibility to participate at the following times:   

55 Pa. Code § 501.11(a)

568.12 Determining the Benefit Amount

If a household is eligible to participate, the CAO must prospectively determine the benefit amount for the issuance month.  

 55 Pa. Code § 501.11(d)

For PB, the CAO must use anticipated income, expenses, and circumstances for the issuance month to determine eligibility and the benefit amount for the issuance month.   

 7 CFR § 273.10(a)(1)(ii) & 7 CFR § 273.21(g)(2)   

When calculating income, the CAO must round down each monthly income or deduction calculation ending in 1 to 49 cents and round up calculations ending in 50 to 99 cents.

  55 Pa. Code § 501.9(c)

The net income determines the benefit amount according to the basis of issuance tables (see Chapter 568, Appendix B)   

NOTE: SNAP households with three or more members may be entitled to benefits of at least $2. If the computation results in a benefit of $1, $3, or $5, round it up to $2, $4, or $6, respectively.

.7 CFR § 273.10(e)(2)(ii)

568.121 Categorically eligible households

A categorically eligible SNAP household does not have to meet the gross or net income limits. (See Chapter 512.)  

7 CFR § 273.2(j)(2)

The CAO must use the following rules to figure out the benefit amount:

7 CFR § 273.10(e)(2)(ii)(C)

 55 Pa. Code § 501.9(b)

 7 CFR § 273.10(e)(2)(iii)(A)

568.13 Failure to Comply with Welfare Requirements

The SNAP benefit may not be increased if a household member fails to comply with any federal or state welfare program requirement and the noncompliance reduces, suspends, or terminates the welfare program benefits. This is called the Riverside Rule.  

 7 CFR § 273.11(k)

The rule applies only to SNAP recipients who also receive a cash benefit from a federal or state welfare program based on financial need, such as TANF or GA.

NOTE:  The Riverside Rule does not apply when the Work Support Component (WSC) cash assistance closes for failure to keep an appointment with the contractor. The rule also does not apply when an applicant refuses to sign the WSC AMR.

If a WSC recipient is sanctioned for noncompliance with WSC requirements, the CAO must change the program status code from WSC to TANF before changing the sanctioned person's status in eCIS to DS (disqualified specified relative). Then the rule applies.

The CAO must base the benefit on the income that would have been continued if there had not been noncompliance.


If a person fails to comply with a SNAP requirement, the SNAP penalty also applies.


NOTE:  The SNAP E&T provisions take precedence, because the sanction period for a second violation under SNAP is longer than the second violation sanction period under the cash assistance rules. (See Section 535.53.) This example shows the minimum disqualification period for breaking this rule.

If the household is sanctioned under the E&T provisions or any program requirement applicable to both the cash assistance and SNAP programs, there must be an individual assessment to decide whether the penalty applies to both programs.

Example: A mother with two children, ages 10 and 13, refuses to attend required orientation sessions. She is a mandatory enrollee for cash assistance and SNAP and is removed from the cash assistance and SNAP benefits. The SNAP benefit is based on the FSA for three and a two-person benefit.

If there are changes in the household not related to noncompliance, such as a decrease or increase to income or household size, the CAO must take the appropriate action but continue the penalty for noncompliance.   

7 CFR § 273.11(k)


If the reason for noncompliance is settled under the federal or State welfare program, the CAO must lift the ban on increasing SNAP benefits. If the person becomes ineligible for cash assistance during the period of sanction for some other reason or the person’s cash assistance case is closed, the CAO must also lift the ban on increasing SNAP benefits. However, if the household voluntarily requests the closing of the cash assistance benefit, the penalty is continued on the SNAP benefit for as long as the penalty for noncompliance would have continued under the cash assistance program.



Updated November 3, 2022, replacing  September 8, 2022