PM 03-04-03-b

Follow the steps below to determine if a student meets the special student eligibility requirements:

STEP 1: Is student enrolled in a school of higher education halftime or more? PM 03-04-03-a "Definition of Student of Higher Education." If yes, go to Step 2.
If no, the person's status as a student does not affect their eligibility for SNAP. Determine eligibility using their income/assets and include them in the SNAP unit.
STEP 2: Does the student meet one of the special student eligibility requirements? PM 03-04-03-b "Eligible Students of Higher Education." If yes, the person's status as a student does not affect their eligibility for SNAP. Determine eligibility using their income/assets and include them in the SNAP unit.
If no, the student is a non-SNAP unit member PM 04-05-06 "Non-SNAP Unit Members."  Do not include them in the SNAP unit and do not count their income/assets. PM 05-04-01 "Income and Assets."

The following information further clarifies the special student eligibility requirements:

  • revised manual textThe student must work in a paid job an average of 20 hours per week. If self-employed, work an average of 20 hours per week and receive weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours (see WAG 25-06-08);
    • Example: Ms. S works 10 hours the first week in February. The following week she works 30 hours. The third week, Ms. S is only able to work 15 hours. She then works 25 hours the last week of the month. Ms. S meets the student eligibility requirement of working an average of 20 hours per week.
  • revised manual textThe student must be approved to participate in a state or federal work-study program at the time he/she applies for SNAP benefits and the work study must be approved for the school term and the student must anticipate actually working during that time;
    • Example 1: Bob, a full-time student at a local college, applied for SNAP 01/10/18. He has been approved to work in a state work-study program that will begin January 21 st per his statement. Bob meets the special student eligibility requirements for the school term. No special verification is required.
    • Example 2: Qiana, a full-time student, takes internet courses from DuPage College. She is approved for a federal work-study program but the school has no slots available. She does not meet the special student eligibility requirements. 
  • Responsible for the care of a unit member under age 6 (only one adult may claim this exemption);

    When there is more than one adult in the home, the student must provide the majority of child care to meet this requirement.

    • Example: Mr. W is a full-time student attending college. Mrs. W is unemployed and is at home during the day with their year old daughter. Since Mrs. W provides the majority of childcare, Mr. W does not meet the requirement and is considered an ineligible student.
  • new manual textPerkins Career and Technical Education Program
      • Determine if the student is attending the community college at least half-time, and
      • is pursuing a career or technical education program under the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act that will lead to employment. Verification may be requested from the community college if the student does not have proof of their enrollment in a career and technical education program.
    • Example 1: George lives alone and is applying for SNAP. During the interview George states he is a full-time student enrolled in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration certificate program at Lincoln Land Community College. This is a career and technical education program that is supported in part by the Perkins Act. George provides his enrollment documentation. Upon completion of the coursework George will be eligible for certification to enter into the workforce. George is eligible to participate in SNAP if all other eligibility requirements are met.

The following 2 criteria require special verification:

  • Physical or mental impairment

    If physical or mental impairment is not evident, ask the person to provide a physician's statement verifying the condition, or proof of the receipt of permanent or temporary disability benefits. 

  • Lack of adequate child care for unit member age 6 - 11 (see PM 03-04-03-b).

    Determine if there is a lack of adequate child care based on information provided by the unit. If the client claims that an adult living in the home is incapacitated and cannot provide care, ask for written proof of the incapacity.

    • Example 1: The SNAP unit consists of Mr. J, his 21-year-old son T, and 8-year-old daughter K. Mr. J is a half-time student. He states he is unable to work because he is responsible for the care of his daughter. His son receives Social Security disability. Do not consider T as available in the home to provide child care. Mr. J meets the requirement.
    • The requirement may also be allowed when another adult in the home is not incapacitated, but is not available to provide the care.
    • Example 2: Mrs. D, her spouse and their 7 year old daughter are applying for SNAP. Mrs. D is a full-time student and attends classes during the day. Her spouse is employed full-time and attends classes 3 nights a week. Ms. D cannot go to school and meet the requirement of working an average of 20 hours per week because child care is not available in the home. Exempt Mrs. D for "responsible for the care of a dependent unit member age 6 through 11" since child care is not adequate to allow her to meet both requirements.