Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1115.040.00 Self-Employment Income

IM-88 October 4, 2006; IM-167 September 10, 2001

Determine self-employment income by considering total income less the expense of producing that income. Self-employment income can be considered earned or unearned income. However, even if the income is considered unearned self-employment, the EU is entitled to the expenses of producing that income. FAMIS income type is EI for earned income and UI for unearned income.

If an EU member is actually working at a job, consider the income earned, therefore eligible for the 20 percent earned income deductions and losses offset from other self-employment enterprises regardless of the number of hours. For example, wood chopping, lawn work, and baby-sitting are considered earned income regardless of the number of hours worked per week.

Not all self-employment income can be considered as earned income. An example of self-employment income that is considered unearned is rental income when the person is not actively engaged in managing the property more than 20 hours per week.

Other examples of unearned self-employment income may include income from partnerships, estates, and trusts. The income is considered unearned if the person is not engaged in activities to earn this income. Consider these income types as earned only if activities consume 20 hours or more per week. Allow the expense of taxes, insurance, interest and principal on the mortgage, and the like.

The following table illustrates income types and income sources used in FAMIS.

EI Earned Income SE Self-employment  
UI Unearned Income RN Rental Income Not actively engaged in managing the property for more than 20 hours per week.
EI Earned Income RE Rental Income Actively engaged in managing the property for more than 20 hours per week.
EI Earned Income CC Child Care  
EI Earned Income FA Farm Income Gross income is more than $1000 per year.
EI Earned Income FM Farm Income Gross income is less than $1000 per year.
EI Earned Income RB Room/Board  

Consider EUs with self-employment income as its primary source as self-employed EUs. However, EUs in which one or more members are engaged in an enterprise for gain (such as an independent contractor, owner-operator, or operator), may have self-employment income but will not necessarily be classified as a self-employed EU. A person who owns land and has sharecroppers working the land may be considered a self-employed farmer, if actively engaged in financial management of the farming operation. All EUs with self-employment income, nevertheless, require special attention to:

  • work registration exemption
  • assignment of certification periods
  • income computation and budgeting