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Benefits Plus SNAP Calculator
Using the Calculator
- Based on the information you input, the SNAP calculator will estimate whether a household meets SNAP’s income guidelines, as well as the benefit amount for SNAP.
- Definitions and other pertinent information are provided to aid you in the process. Click on the for these aids.
- Do not include dollar signs, do not include commas.
To learn more about SNAP benefits, qualifying for, applying for and more, subscribe to Benefits Plus.
Number in Household
SNAP’s definition of a household is dependent on who purchases and prepares meals together, as well as the family relationship.
A Single Household
A single household is defined as a single person or group of people who live together and who purchase and prepare meals together, regardless of their relationship.
For example, if two non-legally responsible individuals are living together and indicate they purchase and prepare meals together, SNAP would consider them a single household. The household size would be 2, and the income from both would be included in determining eligibility and the SNAP benefit amount.
If, however, they indicate they purchase and prepare meals separately each individual would apply separately and each would be considered his/her own household and only his/her own income would be included in determining eligibility and the SNAP benefit amount.
Mandatory SNAP Households
The following households are considered a single household regardless of whether or not they purchase and prepare meals together:
- Spouses, including common-law spouses;
- Parents (natural, adopted, or step) and children under 22, as well as their spouses and their children living in the same household;
- Adults and children under 18 who are under the parental control of that adult who is not their parent or stepparent. Parental control means that the adult provides 50% or more of the minor child's support.
This selection will determine the special budgeting rules and income guidelines for the category selected.
The household includes an elderly (60+) or disabled member
SNAP defines elderly as individuals who are 60 years old and over.
SNAP defines disabled as an individual in receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid disability, veterans with a service or non-service connected disability rated 100% by the VA, or a federal, state, or local government disability retirement pension because of a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act.
The household is a working family with out-of-pocket child/dependent care expenses
This applies to households with out-of-pocket child/ dependent care costs that have earned income, have accepted a job, are looking for work, attending employment training programs or pursuing education that is preparatory to employment.
The household has earned income
This applies to households with earned income, whether the income is a combination of earned and unearned income or whether it is earned income only. Earned income includes income from a boarder/lodger.
Note: If you have child/dependent care costs and you are a working family, choose the working family with out-of-pocket child/dependent care expenses instead.
None of the above options apply
The household does NOT have
- An elderly (60+) or disabled member
- Out-of-pocket child/dependent care expenses.
- Earned income.
Monthly Gross Earned Income (salary, self-employment, etc.)
Enter the average monthly earned income amount before taxes or other deductions are taken.
If earnings are sporadic, take the average earnings from the previous 4 weeks.
Do you have a boarder or lodger?
The calculator will automatically deduct the:
- First $250 of net monthly income for one boarder/lodger.
- First $459 of net monthly income for 2 boarders/lodgers.
Note: Boarder/lodger Income is treated as earned income.
Individuals who pay a household for lodging but not for meals (roomers). Lodgers will be able to apply for SNAP benefits on their own.
Individuals who reside with others and pay the household for both lodging and meals.
Boarders cannot apply for SNAP benefits on their own.
A household with boarders may include a boarder as a household member or not – it is the household’s choice.
If a boarder is included in the household, s/he will be included in the household size, along with their income to determine the household’s eligibility and the amount of SNAP benefits.
If a boarder is not included in the household, the household must include the net income they receive from the boarder in the budgeting process.
Monthly gross Unearned Cash Assistance Income
Enter the total monthly Cash Assistance benefit, including the shelter and utility expenses, even when these payments are direct vendor payments.
Do not include rent payments from government subsidies, such as Section 8, SCRIE, DRIE, HASA, FHEPS supplement, CITYFHEPS, as part of the household’s income.
Monthly gross Unearned RSI/SSDI/SSI
Enter any income from Social Security Retirement, Survivors, Dependent benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Monthly Net Rental Income
Enter the net rental income amount only when a member of the household spends less than 20 hours a week on average managing the property.
Other Monthly Gross Unearned Income
Enter the amount of any other source of unearned income not listed above.
This includes veteran's benefits, Unemployment Insurance Benefits, Worker's Comp, NYS Disability, pensions, child support payments received by the household, alimony, cash contributions directly to the household from non-legally responsible relatives, bank interest, or other sources of unearned income.
Monthly Child Support Payments (actually paid, legally obligated amounts)
Enter the amount of legally obligated, court ordered, support payments that a parent is actually paying for a child outside the household. These payments will be deducted from the household gross monthly income.
Child Care/Dependent Costs
Enter the monthly out-of-pocket costs for the care of a child or other dependent (including an incapacitated adult) when necessary for a household member to accept or continue employment, seek employment, attend training or pursue education preparatory to employment.
Are you homeless?
If undomiciled and not residing in continuous shelter
The calculator will automatically include a standard deduction of $159.73.
If the household is incurring a shelter cost greater than $159.73 per month, they should not take this deduction, but instead take the deductions allowed under the “Monthly Shelter Costs” below.
Enter the total average monthly unreimbursed medical expenses that an elderly/disabled member actually pays out-of-pocket. This deduction is only available to an elderly or disabled household member.
The calculator will automatically deduct the first $35 of these medical expenses.
Medical expenses include medical and dental care; prescription medications; medical supplies and equipment; health and hospital insurance policy premiums, including Medicare and private health insurance premiums; health insurance co-payments and deductibles; payments to maintain an attendant, home health aide, or housekeeper necessary due to age or illness; and the cost of transportation and lodging to obtain medical treatment and services. The cost of special diets is not allowed as a medical deduction.
Amount household actually pays for rent/mortgage
Enter the shelter expenses the household actually pays.
For Cash Assistance households, include the regular Cash Assistance shelter allowance paid directly to the landlord, as well as any excess shelter expense the household is paying out-of-pocket.
Do not include the portion of rent that is paid by government subsidies, such as Section 8, SCRIE, DRIE, HASA, FHEPS supplement, CITYFHEPS.
Do not include the portion of rent that is paid by third parties to the landlord or the portion of rent paid by individual(s) living in the same unit who are not part of the SNAP household, for example, roommates who each pay a portion of the rent.
Thrifty Food Plan amount for H.H. size
This is the maximum amount of SNAP benefits that can be issued to a household, which is based on household size.
SNAP Recoupment (if applicable)
Households charged with a SNAP overpayment have to pay it back to the program. This is called a recoupment. If the household is subject to a recoupment enter the monthly amount here.
Potential SNAP Allotment
Based on the information you provided, this is the amount of SNAP benefits your household may be eligible for. Households with one or two persons will be entitled to a $20 minimum benefit amount, even when the result is a negative number, $0, or less than $20.