Residents of a group living arrangement who are blind or disabled and receiving benefits under Title I, Title II, Title X, Title XIV, or Title XVI of the Social Security Act and residents of group living arrangements who are considered residents of institutions may be eligible to participate in SNAP.
A group living arrangement is defined as:
a community-based residential facility operated by a public or private nonprofit organization, or
an institution authorized to serve no more than 16 residents
The facility must:
be certified by an appropriate state agency under regulations issued pursuant to section 1616(e) of the Social Security Act, or
under standards determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, to be comparable to standards implemented by appropriate state agencies
To be eligible for SNAP benefits, residents of group living arrangements must be blind or disabled according to Department policies (see Elderly or Disabled Clients).
Before certifying a resident of a group living arrangement, you must verify that the facility:
is operated by a nonprofit organization or institution certified by the appropriate state agency, and
is authorized to serve no more than 16 residents
Application Procedures for Group Living Arrangements
Residents of group living arrangements (not including Teen Parenting Programs (TPP)) may apply and be certified:
through the use of an authorized representative who is an employee of and designated by the facility
on their own behalf; or through the use of an authorized representative of their own choice
The facility makes the determination as to which method of application will be used, based on the resident's physical and mental ability to handle his/her own affairs. All of the residents of the group home do not have to be certified through the same method, i.e. through an authorized representative or individually in order for one or the other method to be used. Some residents of the group home may use an authorized representative while others may not.
Group Living Arrangement as Authorized Representative
Residents who apply through the facility's authorized representative must have
eligibility determined as one-person households. The facility will:
receive and spend the residents' SNAP benefit allotment for food to be prepared and served to the eligible residents or
allow the residents to use any portion of their allotments on their own behalf
Residents Acting on Their Own Behalf in Non-EBT Area (no Point of Sale (POS) terminal)
When a resident, or group of residents, applies and is certified on their own behalf or use an authorized representative of their own choice, the resident may:
return the SNAP benefit allotment to the facility to be used to purchase food for meals served either communally or individually to eligible residents
use the SNAP benefits to purchase meals prepared and served by the facility, or
use any portion of SNAP benefits to purchase and prepare food for their own consumption
Residents Acting on Their Own Behalf in Group Homes with a POS Terminal
When a resident, or group of residents, applies and is certified on their own behalf or through an authorized representative of their own choice, they must authorize the transfer of their monthly SNAP benefit to the facility through the use of an on-site POS Terminal or EBT Manual Voucher System. The facility must receive and spend the residents' SNAP benefits for food to be prepared and served to the eligible residents, or may allow the residents to use any portion of their allotments on their own behalf.
Processing Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) Group Home Cases
There is a simplified application process for certain DDS/DMH group home residents. These applications are usually completed by an authorized representative who will conduct all application and purchasing activities for the resident.
Eligible Group Home Population
Group home residents who are eligible for the simplified application process include disabled persons who receive:
both SSI and RSDI
SSI only, or
and who are:
automatically asset eligible
known to SDX and BENDEX
exempt from the face-to-face interview
not eligible for expedited SNAP benefits
exempt from work requirements
subject to a streamlined Bay State Access Card process and
eligible for a 24-month certification
Ineligible Group Home Population
Group home residents who have neither applied for nor are receiving SSI must apply at the appropriate TAO for both EAEDC and SNAP benefits.
The completed application package from the group home provider must consist of:
the SNAP application
Request to Choose Someone to Be My Agency Representative for My SNAP Benefits (Image-10A) and
the Other Agency Certification of Shelter Expense for Licensed Group Home Residents (FS-ACSE)
review the application for completeness and required signatures
check the State Verification Eligibility System (SVES) to make sure that the correct SSN has been used and to determine the type and amount of the Social Security benefit the resident receives
enter the application and all information into BEACON including:
recording the appropriate source agency in the source request field at the beginning of the Request for Assistance (RFA) page
indicating the address type as a Residential Facility on the Address page, and
completing the Residential Facility page by:
selecting the appropriate State Agency Licensed Group Home facility from the General Services dropdown list
selecting the Department of Mental Health (DMH) or Department of Mental Health (DMH) as the resource organization from the resource box, and
selecting Group Home as the Residential Facility Type
Streamlined Verification Process
Most of the verifications required can be obtained through an external agency match with SSA using SVES. The remaining verifications must be provided by the Group Home representative.
Necessary verifications include:
identity (a validated SSN serves as verification)
unearned income (SSI and/or RSDI amounts are verified through SVES. If the information is not currently available, you should initiate an overnight SVES inquiry).
citizen/noncitizen status. (for group home residents receiving SSI or with a history of SSI, the citizen/noncitizen status can be verified through the State Data Exchange (SDX) inquiry (See State Data Exchange (SDX) Noncitizen Indicator Codes)
For RSDI-only clients with no history of SSI, the client must verify her/his citizen/noncitizen status.
You must conduct a phone interview with the designated Authorized Representative identified as assisting with the application/recertification process. You may discuss the circumstances of multiple group home residents during the call.
Group home residents are required to use a portion of their monthly income, usually 75% of the client’s income, to pay for food, shelter and care. In order to maximize the amount of SNAP benefits the resident will receive, the Department allows the group home to identify 10% of the monthly shelter costs to be considered as a separate and identifiable charge for utilities so that the Heating/Cooling Standard Utility Allowance (HCSUA) can be given. The remaining 90% is considered to be the rental payment. Since the rental payment also includes food, the Maximum SNAP allotment for one person (use the current allotment amount from the SNAP issuance charts) must also be deducted from the rent payment.
A group home resident is charged $600.00 as shelter costs. Ten percent or $60.00 is considered the utility payment; 90% or $540.00 is considered as the rental amount. $540.00 minus 194.00 Maximum Coupon Allotment for a household of one equals $346.00. Enter $346.00 on the Shelter Expense page and give a HCSUA on the Standard Utility Allowance page.
Some group homes or group home residents may have rental subsidies; however the above formula still applies, regardless of the shelter amount.
Some group homes are required to pay utility costs for the client and are not allowed to charge the client for any utility costs. In these circumstances an SUA is not allowed.
Group home residents must be certified for 24 months, unless the resident has earnings, in which case the client must be placed on Simp-12.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
The authorized representative will usually conduct all application and food purchasing activities for the resident. The representative will receive EBT cards for all residents in their care and can use the same PIN code for all of the EBT cards.
Entering Group Home Data
Group Home Policy and Procedures