This page outlines SNAP household composition
rules governing elderly and disabled individuals as well as severely
An individual who lives with others but purchases and prepares meals separate and apart from others can be considered a separate household (for more, see and ).
1. Separate Household Status for Elderly and Disabled
This provision applies to any person who is both elderly (age 60 or over) and disabled, living with others who purchase food and prepare meals together with the individual, if certain conditions are met.
An individual who is both elderly (age 60 or over) and disabled may be granted separate SNAP household status even though their food is purchased and prepared together with others, if:
the individual is both elderly and considered disabled for SNAP (for more, please see )
the gross income of the others with whom the elderly and disabled individual resides, excluding the incomes of the individual and any additional household members who are subject to mandatory inclusion in their SNAP household, must not exceed 165 percent of the federal poverty level for a household of the appropriate size.
A narrative must be included in the
case record documenting the household situation.
Example: Jeanne is a 75-year-old disabled woman. She receives $1,000 per month in Social Security benefits. Jeanne lives with her 40-year-old daughter Christine, and Christine’s two teenage children. Christine’s gross income is $1,200 per month (the two children do not have countable income). Christine purchases and prepares the meals for the entire household, including her mom Jeanne. Since Jeanne is both elderly and disabled, and Christine’s gross income is below 165% of the federal poverty level for a family of three, Jeanne can qualify for separate SNAP household status. Additionally, Christine also has the option to apply for SNAP as a separate SNAP household with her children.
For more information, please see and .
When establishing a separate household status for elderly and disabled individuals in this way, the income of the others with whom the elderly and disabled individual lives must be verified in accordance with established procedures.
2. Separate Household Status for Severely Disabled
This provision applies to any person who is considered too disabled to purchase his/her own food but has arranged to have food purchased and prepared on their behalf, if certain conditions are met.
An individual who is:
is considered too disabled to purchase and prepare his/her own food
has arranged to have food purchased and prepared separately on their behalf
may be granted separate household status
from the individuals with whom s/he lives.
Even if the person who shops for food or prepares meals for the disabled person is residing with the disabled person, the disabled person may claim separate household status.
Separate household status cannot be granted if those individuals purchasing and preparing on behalf of the disabled individual live in the same household as the disabled individual and are subject to mandatory inclusion in the SNAP household. For more, please see .
The client’s self-declaration of this arrangement is adequate to verify the household situation, unless questionable.
A narrative must be included in the case record documenting the household situation.
Example: Tom is a 35-year-old disabled adult. He shares an apartment with a roommate, Joe. Because Tom is unable to buy and cook his own food due to his disability, Tom gives Joe money each month to buy his food and Joe prepares it. Since the majority of the meals Tom eats are purchased with his own money and are prepared separately, Tom qualifies as his own SNAP household.
165% income eligibility standard does not apply to severely disabled
individuals granted separate household status based on the criteria