General SNAP Work Requirements Exemptions 


The clients listed below are exempt from general SNAP work requirements.  Verification necessary for a particular exemption, if any, is noted under that exemption.


A child who has his or her 16th birthday within the certification period must fulfill the work registration requirement at the next scheduled recertification unless the child qualifies for another exemption.

An exempt teen that has his or her 18th birthday within the certification period must fulfill the work registration requirement at the next scheduled recertification unless the child qualifies for another exemption.

When the client is a student, the School Status and Education pages must be updated.


If the disability or illness is not obvious, appropriate verification of physical or mental unfitness includes but is not limited to:

Persons claiming temporary unfitness for employment due to illness will be required to meet work requirements once they become physically and mentally fit.

When the client is certified as having a disability, the Disability page must be updated.



USDA has clarified that clients who claim an exemption from SNAP Work Program or General SNAP requirements due to being unfit for work, need not prove a certified disability.  For SNAP Work Requirements purposes, unfit for work means the client has a physical or mental illness or impairment that reduces his or her ability to financially support him or herself.


If the exemption claimed is questionable, the Department is responsible for verifying the exemption with the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).

When the client has pending or active Unemployment Compensation, the Unearned Income page must be updated.


If the child has his or her sixth birthday within a certification period, the caregiver of the child must fulfill the work requirements at the next scheduled recertification, unless the caregiver qualifies for another exemption.

If a parent and another member of the household both claim to be responsible for the care of the same dependent child or incapacitated household member, the actual responsibility will be determined by discussion with the applicant or client.


See 106 CMR 362.400 and 362.410 and Students for information about student eligibility.

School enrollment must be verified at application and at recertification.

Persons enrolled less than half-time or who experience a break in their enrollment status due to graduation, expulsion or suspension, or who drop out or otherwise do not intend to return to school do not qualify for this exemption.

When the client is a student, the School Status and Education pages must be updated.


Participation must be verified through the organization or institution operating the program.

When the client is a resident of a drug or alcohol treatment center, the Residential Facility page must be updated.


Verification of earned income, as required for certification, is sufficient to establish this exemption, provided the amount of income appears to be consistent with a 30-hour work week.



In some circumstances, a client’s earned income verification may not include the number of hours worked. The number of hours worked may be calculated provided the earned income verification includes the client’s hourly rate. For more, see Entering Hours When Not Available on Wage Stubs.



If the income of the employed individual does not meet the preceding test but he or she still claims to be employed, the applicant must be requested to supply documentary evidence that s/he is employed and that the number of hours worked is equivalent to 30 hours a week.

If a self-employed client’s income does not meet this test, he or she must establish that the income received from the self-employment is sufficient to be considered gainful employment and that the volume of work claimed justifies a determination that the self-employment is a full-time job for the purpose of this exemption



Income from roomers, rental property, and boarders of a commercial boarding house is considered self-employment income for Program purposes.  Income derived from the rental property is considered earned income only if the client is actively engaged in the management of the property at least an average of 20 hours a week.


When the client has earned income, the Earned Income and/or Rental Income record must reflect this fact. To ensure that a client’s work hours are accurately accounted for, when entering an earned income record, you must enter the actual hours worked for each pay period.



Clients engaged in hobbies or any other activity that cannot, because of the minimal amount of monies received from such activity, be considered gainful employment are not exempt


Pregnancy may be verified via the SNAP Work Requirement Medical Report form or a letter from a competent medical authority.

Once pregnancy verification is received, the Pregnancy page must be updated with the due date.

If 30 days after the pregnancy due date on the Pregnancy page, no change has been entered on the pregnancy status, a Pregnancy Information Update notice will automatically be sent to the household member. The notice instructs the household member to call the DTA Assistance Line at 1-877-382-2363 within 10 days of the notice date to report the change in household size.



DTA operates a voluntary SNAP E&T program.  All SNAP-only participants must be offered the opportunity to volunteer to participate in the SNAP Path to Work program.


Pregnancy Status Automated Update

General SNAP Work Requirements– Policy and Procedures



  Last Update: January 9, 2020