101. Gross and net monthly income eligibility standards
To establish threshold eligibility, food stamp “households” in general must meet both the gross and net income limits, set forth below. But application of these gross and net income eligibility thresholds differs, depending on whether members of the “household” are receiving welfare payments, or are “elderly” or “disabled.”
– If all members of the “household” are receiving some type of welfare cash assistance — e.g., Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), or cash general assistance or general relief — then the household is “categorically” eligible, regardless of its gross or net income.
– If the food stamp household has any members who are elderly or disabled, no gross income test applies. MPP §63-409.112; 7 C.F.R. § 273.10(e)(ii)(2)(A) (compare to (2)(B), which also applies a gross income standard to non-aged/disabled households). Only the “100% of poverty” net income limits apply.
– If the household contains someone over 60, who meets a permanent disability standard, and cannot buy/prepare food separately because of the disability, that person (and his or her spouse) may still be a separate food stamps household. In this case, the income of the remaining household members (.e. excluding the aged/disabled individual/couple) must meet the “165% of poverty” gross income limit. MPP §63-402.17; 7 C.F.R. § 273.1(b)(2). The rules about applying the higher gross income limit are confusing, so be sure to read the section about the gross monthly income standards for households where an “elderly” or “disabled” member is a separate household. (Then take two aspirin and call us in the morning.)
– For everyone else, the gross income limit is 130% of the federal poverty level.
Once a household has cleared any relevant gross income test, the county will apply various deductions to determine net income. For all households, the total countable income must be less than the net income test. That test is based on 100% of the federal poverty level.
Still confused about when the gross and net income tests apply? Take a look at the gross-net income checklist that walks through, step-by-step, the various household combinations. Feel better?
For California-specific rules applicable to food stamp allotments, deductions and income limits, see the most recent All County Letter detailing current “cost-of-living” (COLA) adjustments in the California program, usually published each year in August or September.
The gross income limits in the chart below represent 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. They are for October 2011-Sept. 2012. ACIN I-62-11. The net income limits represent 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (loosely but incorrectly referred to as the “federal poverty level”) published each year in the Federal Register.
|Household Size||Gross Monthly Income Limit||Net Monthly Income Limit|
|1||$ 1,180||$ 908|
|2||$ 1,594||$ 1,226|
|3||$ 2,008||$ 1,545|
|4||$ 2,422||$ 1,863|
|5||$ 2,836||$ 2,181|
|6||$ 3,249||$ 2,500|
|7||$ 3,663||$ 2,818|
|8||$ 4,077||$ 3,136|
|Each additional person||+ $ 406||+ $ 319|