Families & Children

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Help for families and children

Many families and individuals are eligible for SNAP. Receiving SNAP benefits can open the door to many other programs, including free meals for your children at school, utility discounts, and free cell phone service.

Information for families

  • Your assets will not count toward your eligibility.
  • You can use legally obligated child support payments as a deduction to your income.
  • If you receive an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), it is not counted as income.
  • You will need to include any children under the age of 22 on your application if they are still living with you. Any money earned by a child under 18 who is attending high school is not counted toward your eligibility.
  • You can deduct the cost of daycare while you are working, looking for work, or attending school. Daycare costs include after school care, teen programs, transportation fees, and others.

Important Notes Regarding Children

Child Support

Child support costs include direct money payments, monies paid directly from Unemployment Insurance, Worker’s Compensation, or your regular pay. You can also include costs of health insurance, overdue child support, and any third-party payments, such as to a landlord or utility company.

To deduct child support payments, the child support must be legally obligated. The DTA will not deduct amounts you pay voluntarily.

Foster Care

If you receive foster care payments, you have two options for completing your application. You can include the foster children in your household and the foster payments you receive (as unearned income) — or you can decide not to include the foster children and eliminate the foster care payments from your income. You cannot apply for your foster children alone.

Free or reduced-price school meals

If you are now receiving SNAP benefits, your children may be eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. (Note: In the 2021-2022 school year, all school meals are free for all students)

You can apply for free or reduced-price school meals through your child’s school. If you were previously denied this benefit because of your income, but are now receiving SNAP, you should re-apply. Talk to your child’s school to be sure you have completed all necessary forms.

For more information contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.

Project Bread is an official SNAP Outreach Partner of The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA).

As a SNAP Outreach Partner of DTA, Project Bread's role is to make it easier for people in Massachusetts to get SNAP and help anyone having trouble applying.