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Library: Policy

340:50-5-1. Food benefit household composition

Revised 9-15-23

(a) Household definition.  A food benefit household is composed of one of the persons or groups of persons listed in (1) through (3) of this subsection, unless otherwise specified in this Section.   • 1  Per Section 273.1 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations, a food benefit household is a:

(1) person who lives alone;

(2) person or group of persons who lives with others, but customarily purchases food and prepares meals for home consumption separate and apart from the others; or

(3) group of persons who lives together and customarily purchases food and prepares meals for home consumption.

(b) Required household combinations.  Separate food benefit household status may not be granted to persons described in (1) through (4) of this subsection even if they customarily purchase food and prepare meals for home consumption separate and apart from the others.  Persons living together that must be included in the food benefit household include:

(1) a ceremonial or common law spouse of a household member;

(2) children 21 years of age and younger who live with their natural or adoptive parent(s) or stepparent(s);

(3) children who are 17 years of age and younger and live with, and are under the parental control of, a household member other than their natural or adoptive parent(s) or stepparent(s).

(A)  The worker considers a child to be under parental control for purposes of this provision if the child is financially or otherwise dependent on a food benefit household member and is not defined as an adult.  A minor is considered emancipated when the district court confers upon the minor the rights of majority, per Chapter 4 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes.   3

(B) This provision does not apply to foster children or children placed in the home by Developmental Disabilities Services; or

(4) persons who live together and customarily purchase and prepare meals together except per (c) of this Section.

(c) Elderly and disabled persons.  An otherwise eligible household member who is 60 years of age and older and is unable to purchase and prepare meals because the member suffers from a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act, or a non-disease related, severe, permanent disability, may be considered, together with the member's spouse, a separate household from the rest of the household.

(1) Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) workers must not grant separate household status when the gross income of the others with whom the member and the member's spouse live exceeds 165 percent of the federal poverty level, per OKDHS Appendix C-3, Maximum Food Benefit Allotments and Standards for Income and Deductions, Table III.

(2) When it is not obvious a member suffers from a non-disease related, severe, permanent disability or the member is unable to purchase and prepare meals, the worker requests a physician's statement explaining the disability or inability to purchase and prepare meals.

(3) Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-4 to determine if a person is disabled under the Social Security Act when the person does not receive disability payments.

(d) Periods of absence.  No person may participate as a part of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) household unless the person returns to the home at least one day each month and shares a meal with the household.  This rule includes persons who are away for extended periods during the month working, attending school, or similar situations.

(1) A student who attends a boarding school, including the state schools for the deaf and blind, is not institutionalized when the student lives in the home on the weekend and holidays.

(2) A child who lives with a parent at least one day per month and eats with the household may be a part of the parent's food benefit household as long as the child is not included in another active food benefit household.  In instances where both the child's parents participate in SNAP during the same month, the parent who has the child the majority of the time includes the child in that parent's SNAP household.  When the child lives in each parent's home the same amount of time, the parent who adds the child to SNAP first includes the child.

(3) When a foster family elects not to include a child in OKDHS custody per OAC 340:50-5-5 and the child is in a trial reunification, the child's parent may claim the child as a part of the household.  To include the child, the trial reunification must occur at the parent's home, and the child must share a meal with the parent.

(e) Persons ineligible for SNAP food benefits.  Persons who are ineligible to receive SNAP food benefits as separate households or as a member of any household include:

(1) certain non-household members , per OAC 340:50-5-5;

(2) households or household members participating in a food distribution program operated by Indian tribal organizations, per OAC 340:50-5-7;

(3) residents of institutions, per OAC 340:50-5-7.1; and

(4) persons considered disqualified or ineligible, per OAC 340:50-5-10.1.


Revised 9-15-22

1. Document in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes those persons who are:

(1) included in the food benefit household; and

(2) not included in the food benefit household and the reason.

2. (a) A person under 60 years of age may be considered a separate household when the person's disability:

(1) prevents the person from purchasing and preparing his or her own food; and

(2) causes the person to arrange to have food purchased and prepared separately from those with whom he or she lives.

(b) The person may claim separate household status even if the person who shops for food or prepares meals for the person with disabilities resides in the same house.

(c) Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:50-5-5(a) for non-household members who may participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as a separate household.

3.  (a) When the adult provides financial support for the child, the worker must consider the relationship between the adult and child before determining if the adult exercises parental control over the child.  Example:  A 16-year-old girl lives with her 19-year-old boyfriend and there are no other adults in the home.  Due to the nature of their relationship as a couple, there is no parental control.  The 16-year-old is acting as an adult and can be considered head of her own household.

(b) Otherwise dependent means the adult provides guidance and exercises responsibility for the child as a parent does.  Example:  A 17-year-old boy lives with his aunt and she provides guidance and exercises responsibility for him.  He cannot be considered a separate food benefit household even if she does not provide financial support.

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