Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1115.005.00 Earned Income

IM-59 May 20, 2022; IM-29 March 30, 2018; IM-38 April 28, 2010; IM-30 April 9, 2010; IM-55 July 21, 2009; IM-84 August 5, 2005; IM-151 November 20, 2002; IM-128 July 17, 2001

Enter the income information in the eligibility system. Refer to the FAMIS Income Code Chart for more information. Record a comment as outlined in FAMIS Resources for income entries.

Earned income includes the following:

  • Wages: all income for services performed as an employee, including vacation pay
    • Wages from Sheltered Workshop are included earned income
    • Wages through the Supported Employment program administered by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation are included earned income
  • Bonuses 
  • Commissions 
  • Recurring lump sums: consider recurring lump sum payments as income when received. Code the recurring lump sum as the type of income it is and record that the payment is recurring.
      • EXAMPLE: Mr. C is guaranteed to receive a bonus quarterly from his employer. Code the income as a bonus and record that the payments are recurring.
    • Military re-enlistment bonuses (see 1115.015.85 Military Payments): If a household receives half of the bonus in a lump sum with the remainder paid in equal annual installments, the bonus is counted as earned income. If a household receives a one-time lump-sum bonus, it is excluded income as a nonrecurring lump-sum payment (see 1115.015.60 Non-recurring Payments).
  • Actual tips received: actual tips received may differ from tips reported by the employer for tax purposes.
  • Subsidized employment funded by a block grant: payment made by an employer who is subsidized from Title IV block grant.
  • Training allowances: payments received directly from vocational and rehabilitative programs recognized by federal, state, or local government, to the extent they are not a reimbursement.  
  • Reimbursement for work-related expenses is excluded unearned income (see 1115.015.30 Reimbursements).
    • NOTE: Consider earnings to individuals participating in on-the-job training programs under Workforce Investment Act (WIA) as earned income. This provision does not apply to household members under 19 years of age under the parental control of another adult member.
  • Blood/plasma: money received from selling blood or plasma.
  • Self-employment: net income from self-employment (the total gross income from such an enterprise, including the total gain received from the sale of any fixed assets related to such enterprise, less the expenses of producing that income).

NOTE: For more information, review 1115.040.00 Self-Employment Income.

  • Rental property: Consider income from rental property earned income only if a member of the household is actively engaged in managing the property at least 20 hours per week.
  • Child Care self-employment: gross income paid to the household member, including payments from the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) through the state-paid Child Care Subsidy.
    • NOTE: If a household member pays the child care income to another member of the SNAP household, the income is excluded earned income. If a household member is paid by CCDF for an individual who resides in the same household, the income is included.
  • Farm: gross income of more than $1000/year, or gross income of less than $1000/year, including Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Payments.
  • Roomer: total payment received from each roomer less the expense of producing the payments. A roomer is an individual who pays rent for a room only.
  • Boarder: total payment received from each boarder less the expense of producing the payments. A boarder is an individual who pays for rent and food (see 1105.015.05.15 Roomers and Boarders).

If a household member earns wages, but the wages are diverted by the employer and paid to a third-party for a household expense, the income is counted as wages.

EXAMPLE: Rob Cooper has child support automatically deducted from his wages. Rob’s employer pays these funds directly to Child Support Enforcement, and Rob does not receive this portion of his paycheck. His total gross income (including the deducted amount) is counted for SNAP under Income. The amount of the deduction is also budgeted as a child support expense.

Irregular earned income (see 1115.015.20 Uncertain/Irregular Income) received on a casual or unpredictable basis, which cannot be reasonably anticipated to be available during a three-month period and is not in excess of $30 during the three month period, is excluded. Record the income, and enter the excluded/irregular amount.

Always review the household’s SNAP budget summary prior to authorizing a case action to ensure the income you expect to be budgeted is included. If the income is incorrect, revisit the income entered and correct any inaccurate information.