Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Treatment of Income – Budgeting




Food Stamp Table of Contents


(a)   Households that take in boarders or that operate commercial boarding houses are considered self-employed. Identifiable expenses are allowed as costs of doing business, as in any self-employment.


(b)   Determining Income For Household


1.   Income From Boarder


The income from boarders (self-employment income) includes all direct payments to the household for room and meals, including contributions to the household’s shelter expenses. Shelter expenses paid directly by boarders to someone outside of the household are not counted as income to the household.


2.   Cost of Doing Business


After determining the income received from the boarders, exclude that portion of the boarder payment which is a cost of doing business. The cost of doing business is equal to one of the following, provided that the amount allowed as the cost of doing business does not exceed the payment the household received from the boarder for lodging and meals:


(i)   the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan for a household size that is equal to the number of boarders; or


(ii)  the actual documented cost of providing room and meals if applicant claims actual costs exceeding the Thrifty Food Plan. If actual costs are used, the only separate and identifiable costs of providing room and board to the boarder are excluded.


3.   Deductible Expense


The net income from self-employment is added to other earned income and the earned income deduction is applied to the total.


4.   Shelter Costs


Shelter costs the household actually incurs, even if the boarder contributed to the household for part of the household’s shelter expenses, is computed to determine if the household will receive a shelter deduction. However, the shelter costs cannot include any shelter expenses directly paid by the boarder to a third party, such as the landlord or utility company.


Note:  A boarder is not eligible as a food stamp household in his/her own right. However, the boarder can be a household member at the request of the household providing the boarder service.


Glossary of Terms


Food Stamp Table of Contents