How Does a Commission-Based Job Affect Food Stamps?

Food stamps assist low-income families in purchasing food. Each member of your household must submit income information to verify that all members have a combined income that meets the federal guidelines. If you have a commission-based job, you must provide adequate documentation so a case worker to assess your eligibility.

Income Guidelines

As of 2010, to qualify for food stamps, a single-member household can have a maximum net monthly income of $903. This figure is derived from the national poverty level. Commission-based jobs may pay inconsistently, but you are still required to stay below the maximum income requirement. If the commission you receive one month exceeds the limit, you are considered ineligible for the program. Additional members in your household must also submit income information to help determine whether your family is eligible.


Sufficient documentation is required to support your income claims. As a commission-based employee, you can submit copies of your last pay stubs with your food stamp application. Case workers typically request pay stubs covering the four weeks preceding your food stamp application. However, since commission-based employees may go for extended periods without pay, you may be required to submit pay stubs spanning a longer period of time.


After you are approved for food stamps, you are required to report changes in income to your case worker. Even if you have not reached the end of your certification period, your case worker needs to have a record of both your gross and net income each pay period. Your certification period is the length of time you are approved to receive food stamps. Compliance with food stamp reporting regulations helps to ensure you will remain in good standing in case you need assistance again in the future.


You may be required to recertify sooner so that your case worker can maintain consistent information on your food stamp file. The recertification process usually includes a phone interview and a request for written documentation of your current financial circumstances. State and local food stamp agencies are required to send a written notice that includes information needed to recertify along with a certification date.