1105.015.00 Eligibility Unit Determination

1105.015.04.30 Separate Eligibility Units

IM-56 June 11, 2013

It is possible for more than one EU to share common living quarters, cooking facilities, and common shelter costs even if they are not purchasing and preparing food in common. To determine separate EUs, carefully evaluate and document each such situation.

  • Persons living together who both purchase food and prepare meals together constitute a Food Stamp EU.
  • Do not use separate food storage and the availability of cooking facilities to determine separate EUs.
  • In most cases, accept the EU’s statement regarding EU composition.
  • If the EUs statement is questionable, use personal judgment in evaluating information to determine EU composition. The following are some additional items that may be considered in making a final determination.
    • How are household expenses met?
    • Are meals cooked and eaten in common and do all members eat similar food?
    • Do other reasonable considerations, such as illness or special diet of an EU member, make the decision to classify the EU as separate logical?

On initial applications for EUs that claim separate EU status and have no income, obtain the EU’s statement that food will be purchased and prepared separately. Thoroughly record the reason for approval.