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Roomers and Boarders

Roomers and boarders are people who may live in the home but not participate in the SNAP benefit.


Roomers are persons to whom the household provides lodging, but no meals, in exchange for compensation.


Boarders are persons that the household furnishes lodging and meals for a payment.

Separate Household Criteria

Neither boarders nor roomers can be someone who is required to be in the household. To be separate from boarders, the household must additionally either operate a commercial (for-profit) boarding house or receive “reasonable compensation” in exchange for room and board.

“Reasonable Compensation”

“Reasonable Compensation” requires the boarding house to charge a certain amount based on the number of meals it provides.

  • When the boarder receives more than two meals daily, the board must be equal to or greater than the maximum food benefit allotment for the number of people in the boarder’s household.

  • When the boarder receives two meals or less, the boarder must be paying an amount equal to or greater than two-thirds of the food benefit allotment for the boarder household.

Examples 1:

For example, the maximum food benefit allotment for a household of 1 is $194. If you have a case with one boarder eating 2 meals, multiply $194*2/3=$129. To be reasonable, the pay must be equal to or greater than this amount.

Example 2:

A boarder and her 3 children with 3 meals supplied a day would be required to pay $509 per month or more.

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