Food Stamps

1140.005.46 Lottery and Gambling Winnings

IM-#48 April 27, 2021

All households, including simplified reporting households, are required to report when they receive substantial lottery or gambling winnings of $3,500 or more.  The winnings must be reported by the tenth day of the month following the win.

The entire household is ineligible based on the receipt of the winnings.  Prompt action must be taken to close the case.  The household has the option to reapply at any time.  An adverse action period is provided.

EXAMPLE: JD wins $5,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. JD spends $1,700 after 7 days and now has $3,300 remaining from his scratch-off winnings. JD must report his total winnings of $5,000. The agency must then act on this information by closing JD’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) case for his entire household, which includes Jane, his wife, and Jack, his grandson.  The household may choose to reapply for SNAP benefits at any time and the agency must determine the household’s eligibility under regular SNAP income and resource limits. 

When multiple individuals share the purchase of a ticket, hand or similar bet, only count the portion of the winnings allocated to the member of the SNAP household. Winnings are considered a resource at the next application.  The household will have to provide verification that the winnings no longer exist or are below the income limit.

EXAMPLE:  Rainy purchased a lottery ticket with two of her co-workers.  The ticket was a $12,000 winner.  Rainy’s portion of the winnings is $4,000 ($12,000 divided by 3 individuals).  Her case is closed based on substantial winnings.  Two weeks later Rainy reapplies for SNAP benefits.  When determining eligibility, only Rainy’s portion of the winnings are considered when determining eligibility. Proof is required to show the household’s resources are below the allowable resource and income limit.

When a Categorically Eligible (CE) household reapplies after losing eligibility due to significant lottery and gambling winnings, the household cannot be considered CE during the next certification period.  This stipulation applies to households only during the next certification period, following the loss of eligibility for substantial lottery and gambling winnings.  The household must meet income and resource eligibility guidelines for non-CE households before certification, even if the household meets CE criteria.  The redetermination for CE eligibility is systematic.  Refer to SNAP policy section, 1130.035.15 Categorically Eligible After Lottery and Gambling Winnings, for more information.

Example: After winning $5,000 from his scratch-off lottery ticket, JD’s SNAP case was closed for receipt of substantial winnings.  He receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and is CE.  After spending his winnings, JD applied for SNAP and was determined eligible as his household met the income and resource limits for non-CE households.  JD was required to provide verification that his winnings had been spent.

Lottery and gambling winnings are considered unearned income.  See SNAP policy section, 1115.010.00 Unearned Income.