The Economic Services Department (ESD) will not count all of your income when determining your eligibility for 3SquaresVT. Some income may not count at all. Some expenses will be deducted from your monthly income to calculate your 3SquaresVT benefits.
ESD uses last year’s Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines until October 1 to decide who is eligible for 3SquaresVT. On October 1, ESD begins using the current year’s FPL guidelines.
Gross Income Test
A household’s total monthly income cannot be more than 185% of the federal poverty level. This is called the “gross income test.”
The gross income test does not apply to either of the following:
Use this questionnaire to figure out what your monthly benefit might be.
What Income Does Not Count?
The following income does not count:
- anything not in the form of money, like free food or clothing, public housing subsidies or school lunch
- most vendor payments (a vendor payment is money that someone who is not in your household pays directly to someone else for a service for you, like a friend who pays your rent to your landlord)
- money earned by a child under 18 who is in school at least part time
- money from charity that you don't get on a regular basis as long as it is less than $300 in three months
- most loans
- student aid received under the federal Higher Education Act, like Pell Grants and most work study
- reimbursement for expenses, like reimbursement from an agency for transportation, or from your employer for work clothes or gas
- most work or business expenses if you are self-employed
- lump sum payments you don’t get regularly like tax refunds, Earned Income Tax Credit and retroactive payments from SSI
Income Limits for 3Squares VT
There are gross income and net income limits for 3SquaresVT. “Gross income” means your household's monthly income before any deductions. “Net Income” means gross income minus allowable 3SquaresVT deductions (see below).
The guidelines to the gross and net monthly income limits are:
|Number of People in Food Stamp Household
You can deduct the following from your gross income to get your net income:
- 20% of wages
- a standard deduction based on the number of people in your household:
- $160 for households of 1-3 members
- $170 for households of 4 members
- $199 for households of 5 members
- $228 for households of 6 or more members
- elderly and disabled members can deduct $138 if they have medical expenses above $35 a month
- out-of-pocket dependent care costs (for example, child care and adult day care)
- shelter cost deduction:
- standard shelter cost deductions:
- households that pay heat and/or air conditioning: $808
- households that do not pay heat or air conditioning: $232
- households that pay for phone only: $36
- the max deduction for households without disabled or elderly members: $535
- child support payments that household members pay out every month