A—231 Who Is Included

Revision 16-4; Effective October 1, 2016


The following people must be certified as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) household if they live together:

  1. Parents and children (natural, adopted or step) age 21 or younger. Parents and children living together when the parent or child is away from home for employment or educational purposes only, and returns home at least one day a month are considered. This includes college students who are eligible for SNAP, as explained in B-410, Students in Higher Education.

    • Consider the individual’s age as 22 beginning the month they turn age 22.
    • Do not consider a parent whose parental rights were terminated as the natural parent of a child.
    • The relationship between a stepparent and stepchild terminates when the marriage between the parent and stepparent terminates, either by death or divorce.
    • When DFPS places a child in foster care, the foster child is considered under parental control of the foster parent. If the foster child's parent moves into the home, the parent, child and foster parent must all be included in the SNAP household.
    • If the parents of a child do not live together and the child lives with each parent part of the month, the child can be certified with either parent as long as both parents do not apply. If both parents apply, then certify the parent who provides the majority of meals for the child.
  2. A child under age 18 and any nonparent adult household member with parental control over the child. A child not under parental control may apply separately if the child purchases and prepares food separately. Individuals age 18 are considered beginning the month they turn age 18.

    Exceptions: Even if under parental control of a nonparent household member:
    • A foster parent or caregiver has the option to include or exclude a foster/Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) child/adult as a household member in the SNAP-certified group. Households with more than one child/adult can opt to include some foster/PCA children/adults while excluding others, even if the foster/PCA children/adults are related to each other or related to the foster parent or caregiver. A foster/PCA child/adult who is excluded from the foster/PCA family's SNAP-certified group is not eligible to participate in SNAP alone as a separate household or as a certified member on another household's SNAP EDG. See A-1326.4, Foster Care and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) Payments, for information on how to budget foster care/PCA payments.
    • The household may consider a foster child as a boarder instead of a household member. See A-1323.4.3, Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments.
    • A child under age 18 who purchases and prepares food separately can apply separately if the child is:
      • married and living with the spouse; or
      • the parent of a minor child living in the home.
    • A child under age 18 residing with a SNAP-CAP participant can apply separately. The minor child is certified as the SNAP head of household. See B-475.3, Household Composition.
  3. Spouses. Spouses are people who:
    • are married to each other; or
    • live together and represent themselves to the community as married. This definition may differ from state laws governing common-law marriage.
      • A same-sex marriage that occurred before June 26, 2015, is considered valid effective June 26, 2015.
      • A same-sex marriage that occurred on or after June 26, 2015, is considered valid on the date it occurred.

Note: Spouses are considered to be living together even when one spouse:

  • is away from home for employment or educational purposes only; and
  • returns home at least one day a month.

Exception: SNAP-CAP participants are certified on separate EDGs.

A—232 Who Is Not Included

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


A—232.1 Nonmembers

Revision 22-1; Effective January 1, 2022 


The following are not included in a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-certified group:

  1. Roomers — Certify a roomer who pays for lodging but not food as a separate household unless the person meets one of the three categories of who is included in a SNAP household, if they live together.
  2. Live-in attendants — Certify a live-in attendant as a separate household, unless the person meets one of the three categories of who to include in a SNAP household, if they live together.
  3. Boarders — Boarders in noncommercial boarding houses cannot receive SNAP separate from the household they live with. Boarders who live in a commercial boarding house cannot participate in SNAP. Note: A foster parent or caretaker has the option to include or exclude a foster child or adult as a SNAP household member.  
  4. Ineligible students — Students in higher education who do not meet the student eligibility criteria.
  5. New household members — Do not add new household members certified in another household to the new EDG until they are removed from the previous EDG. Exception: Residents in shelters for battered persons may receive two allotments in the same month, if the original benefits issued to the former household included the battered persons, the children and the abuser.
  6. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Combined Application Project (SNAP-CAP) participants — Certify people living with an active SNAP-CAP participant as a separate household.
  7. Institutional residents — Residents who are offered more than half their meals from a facility that is not an approved institution. 

Note: Residents of institutions such as homeless shelters, drug and alcohol treatment (D&A) or group living arrangement (GLA) facilities, or family violence shelters are potentially eligible for SNAP, if it is an approved institution. These residents may be certified separately, regardless of how they purchase and prepare meals with other residents. The resident’s SNAP household still includes mandatory required SNAP household members, if they live together.

Common examples of institutions are hospitals, nursing homes, public or private homes for persons with a disability, establishments for delinquents and young offenders, group homes for children, penal and correctional institutions, jails, homeless shelters, and students living in a school dormitory where most meals are provided.

Foster placement agencies place some foster children or adults in homes or facilities other than foster parent homes, and are cared for by people who are employees of, or contract with placement agencies. Such facilities usually house multiple foster children or adults. Foster children or adults who reside in these unapproved institutions rather than in the foster parent’s home, are considered institutionalized and cannot receive SNAP.

Related Policy

Applications from Residents of a Homeless Shelter, A-116.2
Who Is Included, A-231
Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments, A-1323.4.3
Foster Care and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) Payments, A-1326.4
Students in Higher Education, B-410
Ineligible Students, B-413
Drug and Alcohol Treatment (D&A) or Group Living Arrangement (GLA) Facilities, B-440
Residents in Family Violence Shelters, B-450
Participation Twice in Same Month, B-454
Prepared Meal Services, B-460
Household Composition, B-475.3
Determining Whether a Person Who Resides in a Facility Is Institutionalized, B-490

A—232.2 Disqualified People

Revision 24-2; Effective April 1, 2024


The following people would be required SNAP household members but are disqualified. They cannot participate during their disqualification period. However, the disqualified person’s circumstances, income, and resources are considered in determining the household's eligibility and benefit allotment.

  1. Fugitives

    People who are fleeing to avoid prosecution of or confinement for a felony criminal conviction, or are found by a court to be violating federal or state probation or parole.
  2. People with a felony drug conviction

    A person with a felony drug conviction (not deferred adjudication) in Texas or another state occurring Sept. 1, 2015 or after, for the possession, use or distribution of a controlled substance as defined in 102(6) of the Controlled Substance Act [21 USC 802(6)] who:
    • violates a condition of parole or community supervision, incurs a two-year SNAP disqualification; or
    • is convicted of a subsequent felony drug offense in Texas or another state while receiving SNAP, incurs a permanent SNAP disqualification.

The person's statement is accepted as verification of a felony drug conviction.

When electronic data sources show the person was convicted Sept.1, 2015 or after, for an offense involving a controlled substance, discuss the situation with the person and:

  • if they claim not to be the person on the report, but identifying information on the report such as name, date of birth and physical description lead staff to believe using the prudent person principle that the report is correct; or
  • if the person disagrees with other information provided in the report such as the type of conviction or if it was a felony or misdemeanor, 

If unable to clear the discrepancy between the household’s statement and the electronic data sources, staff must: 

  • document the person's response in TIERS case comments;
  • proceed with the appropriate case action without acting on the criminal history report;
  • contact the Texas Office of Inspector General (OIG) by emailing the OIG Benefits Program Integrity (BPI) mailbox; and
  • document the reason for contacting OIG BPI in Case Comments. 

Once OIG BPI receives information to clear the discrepancy, the assigned OIG BPI investigator provides the information by email. Staff responsible for processing this task must document the results of the OIG BPI's findings in TIERS case comments and, if applicable, enter information in the Individual Demographic-Conviction/Rehabilitation page. File an overpayment referral, if appropriate.

3.    Intentional Program Violation (IPV)

People disqualified for an IPV in Texas or another state.

4.    Noncooperation with SNAP Employment and Training (E&T)

People disqualified for failing to cooperate with E&T requirements.

5.    Noncooperation with Social Security number (SSN) requirements

People disqualified for failing to cooperate with SSN requirements.

6.    Ineligible Alien

People who do not have eligible alien status to receive benefits.

7.    SNAP Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents ABAWD Work Requirement

ABAWDs who have received their initial three months of SNAP benefits and who do not meet the ABAWD work requirement.

Related Policy 

Prudent Person Principle, A-137
Absence of Proof of Alien Status, A-313
Qualified Alien Status Eligibility Charts, A-340
Failure to Comply, A-420
Disqualified Members, A-1362
Noncooperation with E&T, A-1844
ABAWD Work Requirement, A-1940
After the Three Months of Time-Limited SNAP Eligibility, A-1951
Filing an Overpayment Referral, B-770
IPV Disqualification Penalties, B-912