How many resources a household can have

Resource limitations

In California, if the household includes one or more elderly or disabled members, or the household income is under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, there is no resource limit.  [ACL 13-32, 14-56.]  This means that almost no CalFresh applicants or recipients have a resource limit.  Households with one or more elderly or disabled member and income over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level are subject to the resource limit.  [See ACL 23-60.]  In addition, the household is subject to the resource limit are where it has been disqualified because of an intentional program violation, a failure to submit a semi-annual report (SAR 7), had been sanctioned, or some other specific compliance requirement; or there is a disputed claim for benefits paid in the past, prior to the effective date of the newer rules about categorical and modified categorical eligibility put in place in 2009 and 2011.  [See ACL 23-60.]

Where applicable, the standard resource limit as $2,750. [ACIN I-48-23.] For aged/disabled households the resource level is now $4,250. [ACIN I-48-23; see also 7 C.F.R. § 273.8(b).] If a household goes over the applicable limit in countable resources, it will not be eligible for SNAP benefits, even if very low income. A corollary to this rule is that, should a household have resources below the resource limits, the resource amount does not affect how many SNAP benefits the household receive.

In determining the value of a resource, the SNAP program only counts the equity value of property. This is the fair market value minus any loans owed on the resource. [MPP § 63-501.1; 7 C.F.R. § 273.8(c)(2).] If the household presents evidence that a resource cannot readily be converted into cash, the county has the burden of demonstating factually that the resource could have been readily converted. If the resource could not be converted, it simply is not counted.

The resources of people who are not in the CalFresh household are not counted against the household. (See the section about how to count the resources of people who cannot get CalFresh benefits.) That said, some people, like those subject to a work-requirement sanction or a penalty for an intentional program violation, who are a fleeing felon or have violated probation, who are ineligible immigrants, or who are disqualified for not providing a Social Security Number, have their resources still count. [MPP § 63-503.441 and .442; 7 C.F.R. § 273.8(i).]

Others, such as ineligible students,  do not get food benefits, yet also have their resources excluded. [MPP § 63-402.22.]  Roomers, boarders and foster children, either can be in or out of the household, depending on the decision of the head of household to include them or not. If they are included, their income and resources are counted like everyone else in the household; if not, neither their income nor resources count. [MPP § 63-402.21 and 63-402.321-.322; 7 C.F.R. § 273.8(i).]

If the household is subject to an applicable resource limit, there are special rules for households with a sponsored non-citizen. If the immigrant is considered indigent, then only resources actually provided would be counted. [See ACL 11-06; ACL 11-06E (continuation).] For sponsored immigrant households, the value of the sponsor’s resources over $1,500 are “deemed” or counted against the household’s resource limit. [MPP § 63-503.493(b)(1); 7 C.F.R. § 273.4(c)(2)(iv).] If the sponsor has sponsored other non-citizens, then the deemed resource is pro-rated, by dividing the fair-market value of the resource (over $1500) by the number of sponsored non-citizens. [MPP § 63-503.493(b), (c); 7 C.F.R. § 273.4(c)(3)(v).]

If the immigrant is considered indigent, then only resources actually provided are counted. [See ACL 11-06; ACL 11-06E (continuation).]  This is called the indigence exception to sponsor deeming.  The indigence exception applies when the adult noncitizen is unable to obtain food and shelter.  “Unable to obtain food and shelter” means the sum of (1) the eligible sponsored noncitizen household’s own current income, (2) the cash contributions actually received from the sponsor and others, plus (3) the value of any in-kind assistance the sponsor and others provide, does not exceed 130 percent of the federal poverty level for the household size.  [Id.]  The adult sponsored noncitizen is entitled to self-declare that s/he is indigent.  [Id.]  The indigence exception must be renewed every 12 months.  [Id.]  Sponsor deeming does not apply to children under age 18.  [Id.]

In addition, MPP § 63-503.492 and 7 C.F.R. § 273.4(c)(3) list the non-citizens exempted from sponsor deeming. These include:

  • Immigrants in the sponsor’s CalFresh household;
  • Immigrants sponsored by organizations or groups;
  • Immigrants not required to have sponsors (e.g., refugees, parolees, asylees and/or a Cuban or Haitian entrants); and
  • Immigrants who meet the indigency definition (i.e., with income below 130% of poverty).

This resource deeming continues until the immigrant becomes a citizen or works 40 qualifying quarters. [MPP § 63-503-491; 7 C.F.R. § 273.4(c)(2).]