Shelter Expenses Deduction


This is an optional verification.

A deduction is allowed for verified monthly shelter expenses.  The deduction, however cannot exceed the shelter cap standard, as defined by policy.  If the household contains an elderly or disabled member the shelter cap amount does not apply and shelter expense may exceed the shelter cap standard.



Shelter expenses must be attributed to the individual who pays the expense.  When merging households or adding dependents, you must always check the Shelter Expenses page to determine if more than one shelter expense is being counted for the household. In some instances this is appropriate, for example, when a teen parent receiving TAFDC, living with a parent in a SNAP household is contributing towards the rent.


Allowable Shelter Expenses

Shelter Expenses are defined as continuing charges for the shelter occupied by the household. Shelter expenses include rent, mortgage (principal, interest, homeowner’s insurance and real estate taxes), mandatory Personal Mortgage Insurance (PMI), condominium fees, home equity loans or other continuing charges leading to the ownership of shelter, such as loan repayments for the purchase of a mobile home, including interest on such payments.



Paying for a mobile home on a credit card is not an allowable deduction.

  • The separate expense of insuring furniture or personal belongings (insurance riders or rental insurance) is not an allowable deduction.

  • Shelter expenses for a vacated home can be allowed if:

    • the household intends to return to the home

    • the current occupants of the home, if any, are not claiming a shelter deduction for SNAP purposes and

    • the home is not leased or rented during the absence of the household

  • Charges for repair of a home substantially damaged in a natural disaster are countable unless the repair charge has been or will be reimbursed by private or public relief agencies, insurance companies or any other source.



One-time security deposits cannot be included as shelter costs.


Verification of Shelter Expenses

All shelter expenses require verification.  A signed and dated self-declaration, including a signed application or recertification, is an acceptable verification of shelter costs, unless the information provided is contradictory or questionable.  If the shelter costs remain the same at recertification, it is not necessary to re-verify the information.  If you determine that the information provided is contradictory or questionable you may request further verification.  Examples of verifications include but are not limited to:



To ensure an accurate Electronic Case folder (ECF) all verified expense changes should be entered in BEACON even if the benefit does not change. Annotate the narrative tab explaining the action taken.  


Homeless Households

Households in which all members are homeless and live in a homeless shelter facility or live in the home of someone else and who incur or reasonably expect to incur any shelter or utility expenses during a month are eligible for the standard homeless shelter/utility deduction.

Homeless Households Deduction

Group Homes Residents

Under an agreement with the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Department of Mental Health (DMH) individuals who live in certain group homes can be credited with 10 percent of the rental costs as payment for heat and are entitled to the Heating/Cooling Standard Utility Allowance (HCSUA).  The remaining 90 percent is considered as a Shelter Expense.


Entering Shelter Expenses Data

Changing Shelter Expense Data

Shelter Expenses Policy and Procedures



  Last Update:  March 24, 2017