A-210, General Policy


Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


The composition of a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) certified group:

  • is a person or group of relatives whose needs are included in one Eligibility Determination Group (EDG).
  • must include an eligible child, unless the eligible relative cares for a child who receives:
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Foster Care with Cash or Adoption Assistance with Cash; or
    • ME - SSI Medicaid (TP 19) and the relative chooses not to apply for TANF for the child.

Some persons are required members of the TANF certified group. The individual may not choose to exclude a required member from the certified group. If the individual fails to provide available verifications for a required member, assistance is denied for the entire certified group.

A TANF-State Program (SP) certified group must contain both an eligible:

  • caretaker/parent; and
  • second parent.

Note: Households are eligible for TANF-SP if the budget group contains:

  • two parents who are eligible and certified for TANF;
  • one parent who is certified for TANF and the other parent is disqualified for one of the reasons listed in A-222, Who Is Not Included, No. 4, Disqualified Members, unless that disqualification is due to not meeting citizenship requirements; or
  • two parents who are disqualified for one of the reasons listed in A-222, No. 4, unless that disqualification is due to not meeting citizenship requirements.

Related Policy

Alien Sponsor's Income, A-1361
A Household with Members on TANF, TANF-State Program (SP), TP 07, TP 08 and TP 20, B-480


A Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) unit is one person or a group of people who live:

  • together and who usually purchase and prepare their food together; or
  • with others and intend to purchase and prepare food separately after certification.

Exception: A separate household status is allowed to a person (along with the person's spouse) age 60 or over who lives with others but cannot purchase and prepare food separately because of permanent incapacity, provided that required household members are not excluded. To allow separate household status, the gross income of the other household members (without the elderly person and spouse) must be less than 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Limit for the number of other persons.

The elderly person must:

  • prove that he or she meets the Social Security disability criteria in B-432, Definition of Disability, if questionable; and
  • provide verification of the other household member's income.

Note: All required members are always included, as described in A-231, Who Is Included, in the elderly person’s household. For example, the elderly person’s spouse or children under age 22 are always included in the same household unless elderly members have their own SNAP Combined Application Project (SNAP-CAP) EDGs.

Related Policy

Who Is Included, A-231
Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments, A-1323.4.3
Disqualified Members, A-1362
Alien Sponsor's Income, A-1361
Students in Higher Education, B-410
Joint Supplemental Security Income (SSI)-SNAP Applications, B-476
Categorically Eligible Households, B-470

Medical Programs

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) household composition is used to determine whose needs, income, and expenses are considered in determining an individual’s eligibility for medical programs. Each MAGI household composition is determined on the individual level. Individuals living at the same physical address may have a different MAGI household composition. MAGI household composition is based on federal income tax rules.

Exception: Medically Needy with Spend Down has certain exceptions for determining MAGI household composition and income explained in A-1359, How to Determine Spend Down.

An individual does not have to file a federal income tax return to apply for Medical Programs.


A—211 Relationships Resulting from Termination of Parental Rights

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

When a court terminates the relationship between a biological or adoptive parent and child, a legal parent/child relationship does not exist between the two individuals.

If a biological or adoptive parent’s parental rights to a child are terminated, that parent no longer has a legal parent/child relationship to that child, nor to any of the child’s children who are born after the date the parental rights were terminated.

Example: Amy’s parental rights to her child Julie are terminated when Julie is 16. Julie already has one child, Jill, at the time Amy’s parental rights are terminated. Subsequently, Julie has a second child, Bill. As a result, Amy no longer has a legal relationship with Julie or Bill, but she retains her grandparent relationship to Jill.

Note: A parent whose parental rights have been terminated is not considered the natural parent of their biological child.

Relationships that existed between the child and other relatives of the biological parent are not interrupted or terminated. The only relationship terminated is that of the parent that relinquished his or her parental rights. Example: The child's biological or adoptive grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins still have the same relationship to the child they had before the parental rights were terminated.

Related Policy

Child Support and Medical Support Referrals, A-1122.2


A—212 Relationships Resulting from Adoption Procedures

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

A legal parent/child relationship is created when an individual adopts a child. The adoptive parent/child relationship creates the same relationships with the adoptive parent's relatives that are created with a biological parent/child relationship. Example: When a grandparent adopts a biological grandchild, the:

  • grandparent becomes the child's adoptive parent, and
  • the biological parent becomes the child's adoptive sibling.


A—213 Adoption Household Composition Situations

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Adoption household composition is determined by the advisor using the following steps:

Step 1

Identify all eligible children for the applicant/recipient.

Step 2

Include all eligible children in the certified group.

Step 3

Include all siblings of the children included in Step 2 if they are eligible children and cannot be certified separately from their sibling. Include a minor's child at the caretaker/payee's request.

Example 1

If a household consists of the applicant, the applicant’s two biological children, ages 15 and 17, the 15-year-old's baby (age 1) that the applicant has adopted, and the 17-year-old's 2-year-old baby, the advisor must:

Step 1 Identify eligible children:
  • 15-year-old (daughter of applicant)
  • 17-year-old (daughter of applicant)
  • 1-year-old (adopted daughter)
  • 2-year-old (applicant's grandchild – include at applicant's request)
Step 2 Include in certified group:
  • applicant
  • 15-year-old
  • 17-year-old
  • 1-year-old
Step 3 Include in certified group at the applicant's request:
  • 2-year-old

Example 2

If a household consists of the applicant, adopted child (biological grandchild), and the adopted child's half-sibling, not related to the applicant, the advisor must:

Step 1

Identify eligible children:

  • adopted child
Step 2 Include in certified group:
  • applicant
  • adopted child
Step 3 N/A – there are no optional eligible children.

Note: For TP 32, TP 33, TP 34, TP 35, TP 43, TP 44, TP 48 or TP 56, the half-sibling can be considered an independent child when determining the child’s eligibility for Medicaid. See A-910, General Policy.