Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual – Table of Contents

1105.015.04.15 Mandatory SNAP Household Members

IM-77, July 15, 2021; IM-#54, August 10, 2018; IM-#24, February 15, 2017; IM-#11 March 18, 2014; IM-#56 June 11, 2013

Household members who must be in one SNAP household regardless of whether they purchase and prepare food together:

  • Spouses.

NOTE: A marriage must result from a valid civil contract (marriage license). A marriage established in another state is recognized in Missouri as long as the marriage was legal in the state in which it was established. Refer to the SNAP policy section 1100.010.00 Definitions for the definition of a recognized spouse in Missouri.

EXAMPLE: Frank and Martha moved to Missouri from Kansas. They have a common law marriage in Kansas. Therefore, when they apply for SNAP benefits in Missouri, they are considered a married couple for SNAP eligibility.

NOTE: If the validation of a common law marriage is needed to determine relationship, please go through proper supervisory channels to submit an IM-14 for clarification.

  • Children 21 years of age or younger, up to the month they turn 22, living with his or her biological or adoptive parent(s) or step-parent(s).

    NOTE: An adopted child in a household, that also includes the biological parent, would be mandatory member with the adoptive parent(s), not the biological parent as they have given up parental rights and the relationship has been severed.

    However, legal guardianship does not sever the biological parent’s parental rights or relationship to the child. A household containing legal guardian(s) and a biological parent of a child, would all be mandatory household members.

  • Children, except foster children, under 18 years old who are under the parental control of a person other than their parent (the inclusion of foster children as household members is optional). A child is considered under parental control if s/he is financially or otherwise dependent on a member of the household.
  • Boarders paying less than a reasonable monthly payment. Refer to SNAP Policy section 1105.015.05 Non-EU Members for a further definition of a boarder.

    NOTE: Boarders are ineligible for SNAP benefits separate and apart from the household in which they reside. The household in which the boarder resides (including the household of the proprietor of a boarding house) may be eligible, if the household meets all program eligibility requirements.

  • Individuals who eat more than 50% of their meals at the residence with the household despite the living arrangement.

    NOTE:  If the household composition is questionable, determine if the individual is in the household for more than 50 percent of his/her meals. Meal computation is based on three meals per day. If a person is in the household for any one day, consider the person to have had three meals.

  • If an individual’s job requires they are out of the home (such as but not limited to; over the road truck drivers) for any part of the month and are otherwise a mandatory household member, they must be included in the household composition.  The individual’s income is counted in full when determining eligibility and benefit amount.

    EXAMPLE: A truck driver resides with his wife and children however; he works over the road and returns home only one weekend per month.  He cannot establish residency anywhere else as he works from his truck, he is a mandatory member of the household.  His income and needs are considered when determining benefits

    If the individual has established residency other than with the household, income given to the household is considered contributions (CO).