Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1115.025.00 Income Averaging

Households may elect to have income averaged. However, do not average income for a destitute household since averaging assigns to the month of application income from future periods not available to the destitute household for its current food needs. To average income, use the household’s anticipation of income fluctuations during the certification period.

The number of months used to arrive at the average income need not be the same as the number of months in the certification period. Use income from the period of time which best represents the household circumstances.

EXAMPLE: Mrs. R applies for assistance on 8/1 and states that her income fluctuates. Discuss with Mrs. R the situation involving the income fluctuations to determine an appropriate period of time which represents the income situation. Divide the total income received in that period of time by the number of pay periods, converting the income when appropriate.

For households that derive annual income by contract or self-employment in a period of time shorter than one year, average income over a 12-month period, provided the income is not received on an hourly or piece-work basis. These households may include school employees, sharecroppers, farmers, and other self-employed households. (These provisions do not apply to migrant or seasonal farm workers. Refer to Computing Annualizing Self-employment Income and Farm Worker Employment Income for procedures for averaging self-employed income and income for migrant or seasonal farm workers.)