Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 16-2
Effective: April 1, 2016

Part  A  — Section  1300

Income

A—1310  General Policy

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Income is any type of payment that is of gain or benefit to a household. Income is either counted or exempted from the budgeting process. Earned income is related to employment and entitles a household to deductions not allowed for unearned income. Unearned income is income received without performing work-related activities. Unearned income includes benefits from other programs. Factors specific to the source of income and the distance it has to travel through the mail (weekends and holidays) may be used to determine the date income can reasonably be anticipated.

TANF and SNAP

Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Income (RSDI); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits; or other such funds legally obligated to a beneficiary are not counted if a payee who is not a member of the household:

  • receives the funds; and
  • does not make the money available to the beneficiary.

In the beneficiary’s Eligibility Determination Group (EDG), the total amount of the legally obligated funds the payee makes available to the beneficiary in cash, by way of vendor payment or through items purchased for the beneficiary using the beneficiary's money (includes payments made by the payee to a third party on behalf of the beneficiary) is counted as unearned income. Any portion of the funds the payee keeps for the payee's own use is counted as unearned income in the payee's EDG.

TANF

The income of the following individuals must be considered for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF):

  • any person who is included in the certified or budget group/EDG member, including disqualified members;
  • any person living in the home who is not included in the certified or budget group but who is legally responsible for a member of the certified group; and
  • an alien's sponsor.

For TANF, if the income is not made available to the beneficiary, the individual must follow the requirements for pursuing legally obligated income. See A-1311, Requirement to Pursue Income.

SNAP

The income of the following individuals must be considered for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

  • any member of the SNAP household, including disqualified members; and
  • an alien's sponsor.

Medical Programs

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) rules are based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules for counting income and are used to determine financial eligibility for Medical Programs and, in addition, federal insurance affordability programs.

In order to determine financial eligibility, the following items must be identified for each individual within the MAGI household composition:

  • earned income,
  • unearned income,
  • self-employment income,
  • American Indian (AI)/Alaska Native (AN) disbursements,
  • overpayments, and
  • expenses.

The income of the following individuals must be considered for Medical Programs:

  • any person who is included in the individual’s MAGI household composition; and
  • an alien's sponsor (if applicable, as explained in A-1361, Alien Sponsor's Income).

Note: Household composition for Medical Programs is determined on an individual level for each applicant or recipient. The income of certain individuals may be exempted from an applicant’s or recipient’s MAGI household income as explained in A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, Medical Programs, Step 3.

TP 40

If a pregnant woman is determined to be eligible, the EDG must not be denied if the pregnant woman’s MAGI household composition income increases above the income limit. The budget should be adjusted to reflect the new income.

TP 45

Income is not an eligibility factor for TP 45.

Related Policy
Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, A-1341
Eligibility Criteria, B-471
Special Provisions for Households with Elderly Members or Members with a Disability, B-433
Categorically Eligible Households, B-470

A—1311  Requirement to Pursue Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

All legally entitled income must be pursued and accepted by the individual entitled to the income. Advisors should inform the individual of this requirement and, together with the individual, develop a plan to pursue the potential income. Reasonable time (at least three months) should be allowed to pursue the income, and the income should not be considered available during this time. Staff must document the plan and the time allowed for pursuing the income.

In the comments section of Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, staff must inform individuals of their obligation to pursue potential income and include the time allowed for pursuing the income.

Exception: The individual does not have to pursue income if it would be unreasonable. Situations are considered to be unreasonable if:

  • the cost to the individual exceeds the potential income or causes financial hardship;
  • pursuing the income would endanger the individual's health or safety; or
  • legal action is required, but a private attorney or Legal Services refuses to accept the case. The individual must make a reasonable effort to obtain legal assistance.

If the household refuses or fails to follow the agreed plan without good cause, the EDG must be denied. 

TANF and TP 08

Advisors must set a special review if the anticipated change in income will occur before the next periodic redetermination.

A—1311.1  Requirement to Pursue SSI/RSDI

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

Advisors must provide and explain Form H1859, Social Security Administration Benefits for People with Disabilities Receiving TANF, to households claiming a disability or caring for a child with disabilities. Staff must also document that Form H1859 was provided and explained to the individual.

Advisors are not required to set a special review when referring individuals for Social Security benefits. At the next periodic redetermination, the household must provide verification that the individual with disabilities applied for SSI/RSDI benefits.

In the comments section of Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, the advisor must inform individuals of their obligation to pursue potential income and include the time allowed for pursuing income. The advisor must include the following appropriate statement for households claiming a disability or caring for a child with disabilities:

  • English – "You must apply for assistance with the Social Security
    Administration and provide proof of the application at your next TANF interview."
  • Spanish – "Tiene que solicitar asistencia de la Administración del Seguro
    Social y presenter prueba de la solicitude en su próxima entrevista de TANF."

If the household fails to apply for SSI/RSDI without good cause, the EDG is denied. If the household chooses to no longer claim the Choices exemption, the advisor should update the exemption code and document the decision. The individual may not claim the Choices exemption if the individual reapplies within 12 months from the denial date. If the individual claims the exemption before the 12 months, the EDG should be pended and the individual should be given the opportunity to provide verification that he or she applied for SSI/RSDI benefits.

A—1311.1.1    SSI/RSDI Application Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

State office has an automated process that identifies TANF recipients with a Choices exemption for caring for a child with disabilities and unable to work due to mental or physical disability and sends referrals to the contractor who administers the Social Security Outreach Application Program (SSOAP). SSOAP outreaches the TANF household, provides information, and answers questions about the Social Security Administration (SSA) process.

If an individual states that the household applied for SSI/RSDI, but does not have verification available, the advisor should refer to the Wire Third-Party Query (WTPY)/State Online Query (SOLQ) system. If the WTPY/SOLQ system does not show that the individual applied for benefits, the advisor should request that the individual provide verification.

The EDG should not be denied if:

  • the individual is physically or mentally unable to complete the SSI/RSDI application process; and
  • SSOAP and SSA fail or are unable to provide assistance needed to complete the SSI/RSDI application process.

A—1311.1.2  Social Security Administration (SSA) Definitions and Guidelines

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

The SSA administers two programs that provide benefits based on disability:

  • RSDI provides disability benefits to individuals, and to their dependents with disabilities under certain conditions.
  • SSI provides benefits to individuals with disabilities (including children under age 18) who have limited income and resources.

The Social Security Act and SSA's regulations provide a definition of disability:

  • For all individuals applying for RSDI and adults applying for SSI, the definition of disability is the same. The law defines disability as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity because of physical or mental impairment(s) which may result in death, or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
  • For children under age 18 applying for SSI, the law defines disability as a physical or mental impairment(s) which results in marked and severe functional limitations, and which may result in death, or which has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Advisors should refer the individual to SSI if one of the following conditions is met:

  • Psychological/psychiatric problems:
    • Actual clinical diagnosis or medical documentation that indicates the individual is unable to work,
    • Odd and/or inappropriate behavior, or
    • Inability of a long-time TANF individual to get or keep a job for more than 30 days because of a mental impairment.
  • Obesity combined with any other physical problems such as arthritis, high blood pressure, heart failure, respiratory disease, or vascular disease.
  • Low intelligence:
    • Former special education student,
    • Inability to read or write even though person has been to school,
    • Basis test scores below 200,
    • Failure to comprehend even the simplest directions, or
    • Down's syndrome.
  • Serious substance abuse when combined with other related health problems.
  • Serious health problems:
    • Multiple sclerosis, cancer, stroke, multiple surgeries for the same problem, multiple trauma and other situations;
    • Chronic health problems; or
    • Newborns with low birth weight (1200 grams or less within the first few days after birth).
  • Age 50 or over with health problems, especially if combined with limited education and limited work history.

Note: A claimant, including a child, applying for SSI based on disability or blindness may receive up to six months of payments before the final determination of disability or blindness if the claimant is determined to presumptively have a disability or be blind and meets all other eligibility requirements.

Related Policy
Definition of Disability, B-432
Social Security's Criteria for Disability, B-432.1
Form H1859, Social Security Administration Benefits for People with Disabilities Receiving TANF

A—1320  Types of Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

There are differences between TANF, Medical Programs and SNAP in countable and exempt income.

TANF and SNAP

Income that is not specifically listed in this section must be counted.

A—1321  Disability Benefits

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013


A—1321.1  Agent Orange Settlement Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Agent Orange Settlement Payments disbursed by AETNA Insurance Company and paid to the following individuals are exempt:

  • veterans with disabilities exposed to Agent Orange while in Vietnam who suffer from total disabilities caused by any disease, and
  • survivors of these deceased veterans.

These veterans receive yearly payments. Survivors of these deceased veterans receive a lump-sum settlement payment.

TANF and SNAP

VA payments are counted as unearned income, including benefits paid to veterans with service-connected disabilities resulting from exposure to Agent Orange. See A-1324.20, Veterans Benefits.

Related Policy
Lump-Sum Payments, A-1331

A—1321.2  Disability Insurance Benefits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Count as unearned income.

Medical Programs

Disability insurance benefits are exempt.

A—1321.3  Radiation Exposure Compensation Act Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Payments from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (the “Act”), Public Law 101-426, are exempt.

The Act established a program to pay damages to individuals for injuries or deaths caused by exposure to radiation from nuclear testing and uranium mining. When the affected individual is deceased, the surviving spouse, children, parents, grandchildren, or grandparents receive the payments.

A—1321.4  Worker's Compensation

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

The gross benefit is counted as unearned income, less amounts:

  • recouped for a prior worker's compensation overpayment; or
  • paid for attorney's fees. Note: The Texas Workers' Compensation Commission (TWCC) or a court sets the amount of the attorney's fee to be paid.

A deduction from the gross benefit for court-ordered child support payments is not allowed.

Exception: Worker's compensation benefits paid to the individual for out-of-pocket medical expenses are considered as reimbursements.

Medical Programs

All workers’ compensation payments are exempt.

A—1322  Education and Training

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013


A—1322.1  Educational Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Educational assistance, including educational loans, scholarships, fellowships, grant monies, and work study, are exempt, regardless of the source. Loans for education, including loans from relatives or other people, are considered as educational assistance only if payment is deferred.

Educational assistance is:

  • any financial aid for vocational or educational courses from:
    • an organization (such as fraternal, alumni, etc.); or
    • a government program or agency (such as the U.S. Office of Education, Department of Veterans Affairs, or Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services).
  • provided to students who are enrolled in a:
    • program that provides for completion of a secondary high school diploma or the equivalent (such as a general equivalency diploma [GED]);
    • school for people with intellectual or physical disabilities; or
    • post-secondary institution.

    Note: "Post-secondary" includes institutions of higher education and others not requiring a high school diploma (such as community colleges and vocational educational programs) authorized by the state to provide educational or training programs beyond secondary education.

The U.S. Office of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act administers most educational assistance programs. A few examples of the most common Title IV educational assistance grants include:

  • Pell Grants,
  • Stafford Loan Program,
  • Parent Loans for Students (PLUS Loans),
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants,
  • College Work Study, and
  • Carl D. Perkins Loans (Title IV, Part E) (formerly National Direct Student Loans).

The National Community Services Act (NCSA) program also provides educational assistance. Individuals are awarded from $1,000 to $4,000 per year of completed services to apply toward past or future educational expenses. The educational award is not counted, as it is always made payable directly to the financial institution or institution of higher learning.

The Department of Veterans Affairs administers education programs designed for veterans, reservists, members of the National Guard, and their widows and orphans. These include:

  • Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) Active Duty Educational Assistance Program,
  • Vocational Rehabilitation,
  • Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Program (VEAP),
  • Survivor's and Dependent's Educational Assistance (DEA), and
  • MGIB - Selected Reserve Educational Assistance Program.

Related Policy
Educational Assistance, A-1239

A—1322.2  Job Training

Revision 03-7; Effective October 1, 2003


A—1322.2.1  Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Temporary employment of six months or less for disaster-related work, paid under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and funded by the National Emergency Grant, is exempt.

TANF and Medical Programs

All WIOA payments are exempt.

SNAP

All WIOA payments are exempt except on-the-job training (OJT) payments funded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. OJT payments are counted as earned income for adults.

OJT payments are exempt if received by a child who is under:

Related Policy
Government Disaster Payments, A-1324.3

A—1322.2.2  Other Job Training and Training Allowances

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Portions of payments earmarked as reimbursements for training-related expenses are exempt, and any excess is counted as earned income.

A—1323  Employment and Self-Employment Income

Revision 13-2; Effective April 1, 2013


A—1323.1  Children's Earned Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

A dependent child's earned income is counted unless the child (as defined in A-221, Who Is Included) is a:

  • full-time student, including a home-schooled child; or
  • part-time student employed less than 30 hours a week.

Exception: See A-1322.2.1, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

SNAP

A child's earned income is counted unless the child:

  • is under age 18;
  • attends elementary, high school or general equivalency diploma classes, including home schooling; and
  • lives with natural or adoptive parents, stepparent or is under parental control of another household member.

Exception: See A-1322.2.1.

TANF and SNAP

Breaks in school attendance, such as summer vacation and holidays, do not change the student status of a child. Advisors should ensure that the child's enrollment will continue following the break.

If the child's earnings cannot be separated from that of other household members, the total earnings should be divided equally by the number of working members.

Medical Programs

A child's income may be exempted from the MAGI household income as explained in A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, Medical Programs, Step 3.

A—1323.2  Contractual Earnings

Revision 05-5; Effective October 1, 2005

All Programs

Contractual earnings are wages and salaries only. Self-employment income, unearned income, or income received on an hourly or piecework basis are not included. The two basic types of contractual earnings are:

  • Seasonal employment available only during certain months of the year and recurs each year. Examples: school-related employment, certain types of farm work, and summer or winter employment. Divide seasonal employment that is a household's annual means of support over 12 months. If the income supports the household for only a portion of the year and the household has income from other sources the rest of the year, average the earnings over the time they are intended to cover.
  • Contractual employment nonseasonal employment that is contracted for a specific time and does not recur. Divide earnings over the time covered by the contract.

A—1323.2.1  Monthly Budgeting of Contractual Earnings

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

If the individual's employment situation changes, advisors should:

  • recompute the income or adjust the benefits accordingly; and
  • document all the facts that caused the recomputation or adjustment.

Contractual earnings may be budgeted monthly by:

  • dividing the total gross amount earned under the contract by the number of months the contract covers or by 12 months, whichever is applicable; and
  • adding this amount to any other income, and budgeting according to usual procedures. Note: These steps should not be followed if the income is not received as stipulated in the contract or if labor disputes interrupt income.

A—1323.3  Military Pay Allotments and Allowances

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Military pay and allowances for housing, food, base pay, and flight pay is counted as earned income less pay withheld to fund education under the G.I. Bill.

An allotment is a specified amount of money from each paycheck of the military wage earner that is designated to go to someone else. Military allotments are counted as unearned income.

A—1323.3.1  Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance (FSSA)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

The Family Subsistence Supplemental Allowance is a monthly payment made to certain low-income service members and their families so they will not have to depend on SNAP to meet their needs. The service members' pay statements usually include the FSSA and are counted as earned income.

Medical Programs

FSSA payments are exempt.

A—1323.3.2  Combat (Hazardous Duty) Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

All of the combat payments, also known as hazardous duty payments, received by a legal parent who is a member of the U.S. military, absent solely because the individual has been deployed to a combat zone, are counted.

SNAP

Any portion of military pay identified as combat pay, including any portion of combat pay contributed to a household from military personnel deployed to a combat zone, is excluded.

The advisor must determine whether any funds contributed to the household by military personnel, such as through joint bank accounts or military allotments, are considered combat pay. Any portion identified as combat pay is exempt from income. The following steps should be used to determine the amount of military income to exclude as combat pay:

Steps Action
1. Verify the monthly amount of combat pay received, as required in A-1370, Verification Requirements.
2.

Determine the amount of military pay the deployed individual was making available to the household before deployment to the combat zone.

If the deployed person was:

  • a household member before deployment, the amount would be the individual's net military pay.
  • not part of the household before deployment, then consider any amount made available from the individual's pay before deployment.
3. Determine the amount of military pay the deployed individual is making available to the household after deployment to the combat zone.
4. If the amount of contribution the household receives from the military personnel after deployment:
  • is equal to or less than the amount the household was receiving before deployment, then none of that contribution would be considered combat pay. Count the full amount of the contribution as unearned income.
  • exceeds the amount received before deployment, exclude the excess as combat pay (not to exceed the verified monthly amount of combat pay) and count the remainder (if any) as unearned income.

Medical Programs

Combat (hazardous duty) payments are exempt.

Related Policy
Who Is Included, A-241.1
Verification Requirements, A-1370
Glossary, Combat Pay and Combat Zone

A—1323.4  Self-Employment

Revision 12-4; Effective October 1, 2012

All Programs

Self-employment income is usually income from one's own business, trade, or profession rather than from an employer. However, some individuals may have an employer and receive a regular salary. If an employer does not withhold income taxes or FICA, even if required to do so by law, the person is considered self-employed.

Advisors must inform households in writing to keep self-employment records and receipts for verification purposes for future recertifications. Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, contains the self-employment information.

Note: If a household has self-employment income and meets the streamlined reporting criteria, assign a six-month certification period.

A—1323.4.1  Types of Self-Employment Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Types of self-employment include:

  • odd jobs, such as mowing lawns, babysitting, and cleaning houses;
  • owning a private business, such as a beauty salon or auto mechanic shop;
  • farm income;
  • income from property; and
  • independent contracting.

A—1323.4.2  Property Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Income from renting, leasing, or selling property on an installment plan is self-employment income. Property includes equipment, vehicles, and real property.

TANF and SNAP

Income from property is counted as:

  • earned if the:
    • person spends an average of at least 20 hours a week in management or maintenance activities; or
    • income is from noncommercial boarding situations.
  • unearned if the person spends an average of less than 20 hours a week in management or maintenance activities.

Work-related expenses are allowed for earned income. For unearned income, only the expenses associated with producing the income should be deducted.

If the individual sells property on an installment plan, the payments are counted as income. The balance of the note is exempted as an inaccessible resource.

Medical Programs

Income from renting, leasing, or selling property on an installment plan is counted as self-employment income.

A—1323.4.3  Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

The noncommercial roomer/boarder policy is used if a noncertified household member makes payments to a certified member under a formal or informal landlord/tenant relationship. Payments made by boarders for room, meals, and other shelter expenses are counted. Payments made by roomers for room and other shelter expenses are counted.

See A-1323.4.5, Allowable Costs of Producing Income, to determine the countable amount of noncommercial roomer/boarder payments. If there is not a formal or informal landlord/tenant relationship, the policy in A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions, applies.

TANF

Roomer/boarder status should not be given to:

  • anyone whose income can be applied to the certified group; or
  • a dependent child who is an ineligible alien.

SNAP

To be considered a boarder, a person residing with the household must pay reasonable compensation for meals and lodging. Reasonable compensation is:

  • the amount of the full allotment for the number of boarders if the boarders eat an average of more than two meals a day with the household; or
  • two-thirds of the full allotment for the number of boarders if the boarders eat an average of two meals a day or less with the household.

In determining "reasonable compensation," only the amount paid for meals is counted if it can be separated from lodging.

If the individual chooses to include a boarder as a household member:

  • all of the boarder's income, resources and deductions are counted; but
  • the payment from the boarder is not counted as income since it is transferred between household members.

If the individual chooses not to include a boarder as a household member:

  • the boarder's income, resources, or deductions are not included in the household; but
  • the payment from the boarder is counted as self-employment income for the household.

Medical Programs

The noncommercial roomer/boarder policy is used when an individual in the MAGI household composition receives payments from someone in their physical household under a formal or informal landlord/tenant relationship. Payments made by boarders for room, meals, and other shelter expenses are counted as self-employment income. Payments made by roomers for room and other shelter expenses are counted as self-employment income.

See A-1323.4.5, Allowable Costs of Producing Income, to determine the countable amount of noncommercial roomer/boarder payments. If there is not a formal or informal landlord/tenant relationship, the policy in A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions, applies.

Related Policy
Nonmembers, A-232.1

A—1323.4.4  Determining the Amount of Self-Employment Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

If the household receives self-employment income monthly or more often (such as semi-monthly, bi-weekly, weekly or daily), recent self-employment pay amounts may be used to project income.

If the household had self-employment income for the past year that was received less often than monthly, the income figures from the previous year's business records or tax forms may be used if the records are anticipated to reflect current self-employment income and expenses.

Exceptions:

  • If the previous year's records do not accurately represent the household's current self-employment income because the household has experienced a substantial increase or decrease in business, anticipate income using more current information such as updated business ledgers or day books, or contact people who have similar businesses.
  • If the business is new and there is insufficient information to make a reasonable projection based on last year's records, anticipate earnings and expenses using only the recent business records along with the individual's statements about expected income and expenses and any applicable information from collateral sources.
  • If the income terminates before completing the EDG, budget actual income and expenses for the month the income terminates.
  • For Children’s Medicaid programs (TP 43, TP 44, TP 45, and TP 48), the previous year’s business records or tax forms are acceptable, no matter the pay frequency.

When calculating self-employment income, the financial profit from a sale or transfer of capital goods (possessions, such as products, raw materials, equipment or ownership of a business, must be considered).

Financial profit from the sale or transfer of capital goods that the household expects to receive in the next 12 months should be added and the total averaged over 12 months. This averaged amount should be used for each certification period within the next 12 months, unless a new average is computed because the person received a profit from the sale or transfer of capital goods that was unanticipated or a different amount than anticipated.

Determining the Amount of Self-Employment Income at Application

All Programs

New applicants who have not received TANF, Medical Program coverage, or SNAP for a period of three consecutive months before the application month, or new household members who have not received benefits for three months before moving into the household, may not have been keeping accurate records of self-employment income and expenses. The policy in C-932, Advisor Responsibility for Verifying Information, should be used to obtain verifications needed to determine eligibility and what types of verification are readily available to the household. Any business records that are available for use (even if this documentation is for a short period of time) should be accepted, in addition to the individual's statement and any proof that might be available from a collateral source, as sufficient proof.

The advisor must verify:

  • at least the last two recent pay amounts when determining the amount of self-employment income received monthly;
  • at least four consecutive recent pay amounts when determining the amount of self-employment income received more often than monthly, such as semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly; and
  • at least four consecutive weeks for self-employment income received daily.

The individual is not required to provide verification of self-employment income and expenses for more than two calendar months before the interview date for income received monthly or more often.

The applicant's statement is accepted as proof if:

  • there is a reasonable explanation why documentary evidence or a collateral source is not available; and
  • the applicant's statement does not contradict other individual statements or other information received by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).

Exception: If the business is new and there is insufficient information to make a reasonable projection, the income is calculated based on anticipated earnings and expenses.

The advisor must inform the household in writing to keep self-employment records and receipts for verification purposes for future recertifications. Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, contains the self-employment information.

Medical Programs

If the individual applies for three months prior Medicaid, the following should be budgeted in each prior month:

  • actual income and expenses for self-employment income received monthly or more often, or
  • projected monthly average amount for self-employment income received annually or seasonally.

Determining the Amount of Self-Employment Income at TANF Periodic Reviews, SNAP Recertifications, and Medical Programs Renewals

All Programs

For income received less often than monthly, only information from the period of time since HHSC last requested verification of self-employment needs to be verified. Verification that was previously verified is not needed (see C-932). Verification is needed for:

  • at least the last two recent pay amounts when determining the amount of self-employment income received monthly;
  • at least four consecutive recent pay amounts when determining the amount of self-employment income received more often than monthly, such as semi-monthly, bi-weekly or weekly; and
  • at least four consecutive weeks for self-employment income received daily.

The individual is not required to provide verification of self-employment income and expenses for more than two calendar months before the interview date for income received monthly or more often.

If the advisor informed the household to maintain accurate self-employment records and receipts after certification, the household must provide them before being recertified unless:

  • the records and receipts are not available because of a reason beyond the household's control, such as being lost in a fire or flood; or
  • if due to a verified physical or mental disability, the applicant is unable to complete the task. Note: This requirement is not applicable if the self-employed person has not received TANF, SNAP, or Medical Program coverage for three consecutive months before reapplying.

Related Policy
Computation Methods, A-1323.4.6

A—1323.4.5  Allowable Costs of Producing Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Allowable costs of producing self-employment income include labor; sales tax; stock; raw materials; rent; insurance premiums; utilities; repairs that maintain income-producing property; supplies; fuel; linen service; property tax; interest from business loans on income-producing property; identifiable costs of seed and fertilizer; payments on the principal of loans for income-producing property; capital asset purchases, such as real property, equipment, machinery and other durable goods (items expected to last for at least 12 months); capital asset improvements; and allowable transportation costs. The individual may choose to use 56 cents per mile instead of keeping track of individual transportation expenses. Note: Travel to and from the place of business is not allowed.

The following may not be deducted:

  • net loss that occurred in a previous period;
  • work-related expenses, such as federal, state and local income taxes, and retirement contributions;
  • depreciation;
  • costs not related to the self-employment; and
  • costs related to producing income gained from illegal activities, such as prostitution and the sale of illegal drugs.

Note: If the applicant conducts a self-employment business from the applicant's home, the cost of the home (rent, mortgage, utilities) may be considered as shelter costs, not business expenses, unless these costs can be identified as necessary for the business separately.

Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments

All Programs

If the household receives roomer or boarder payments, as explained in A-1323.4.3, Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments, the cost of doing business is deducted from each monthly payment. Count the remainder as self-employment income.

For roomers, the cost of doing business is actual costs. For boarders, the cost of doing business is:

  • the amount of the monthly SNAP allotment for the number of boarders (average of more than two meals a day); or
  • two-thirds of a full allotment for the number of boarders (average of two meals a day or less); or
  • the actual cost of providing room and meals if the actual cost exceeds the monthly SNAP allotment for the number of boarders.

Note: Each expense must be identified and verified when using actual costs.

Net Financial Loss

All Programs

A self-employment net financial loss must not be deducted from other types of household income. Exception: The loss may be deducted from other household income if:

  • the loss results from a self-employment farming operation; and
  • the household received or anticipates receiving annual gross income of $1,000 or more from the farming operation (from Step I, Line A, Page 3, Form H1049, Client's Statement of Self-Employment Income).

TANF

The farm loss amount may be deducted from other non-farm self-employment income during the budgetary (100 percent) needs test.

Any remaining farm loss amount may be deducted during the recognizable needs test.

Medical Programs

The farm loss amount may be deducted from other non-farm self-employment income during the federal poverty income level (FPIL) test.

Any remaining farm loss amount may be deducted after the work expense standard deduction and child/incapacitated care costs.

SNAP

The farm loss may be deducted from other non-farm self-employment income before applying the gross income test.

Any remaining farm loss may be deducted from other earned or unearned income after applying the 20 percent earned income deduction.

A—1323.4.6  Computation Methods

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

There are four computation methods for self-employment income that may be used to calculate monthly income amounts for budgeting purposes:

  • annual,
  • monthly,
  • daily, and
  • anticipated.

Annual Computation Method

For this method, the individual must have been self-employed for at least the past full year.

The self-employment income projection period, usually 12 months, is the period of time the household expects the income to support the family. A projection period should be established for households that receive self-employment income that is intended to support the household for:

  • the year, but is received less frequently than monthly, such as farm income that may only be received a few times per year when crops or livestock are sold; or
  • a specific period in time, but is received less frequently than monthly.

The projection period should be determined at application when the individual reports self-employment income received less often than monthly. Note: For Medicaid EDGs, if the individual is eligible for prior Medicaid, the prior months are not included in the 12-month projection period.

The following steps are used to determine the projection period for self-employment income:

  1. Determine whether the self-employment is annual or seasonal, since that will determine the length of the projection period.
    • Annual – intended to support the household for at least the next full 12 months. The projection period is 12 months whether the income is received yearly or less often than monthly.
    • Seasonal – intended to support the household for less than 12 months since it is available only during certain months of the year. The projection period is the number of months the self-employment is intended to provide support.
  2. Determine the first month of the projection period. It is always the first month the household receives benefits, unless the individual will begin working in a future month. In this situation, use the month the self-employment begins as the first month of the projection period.

Once the projection period is established, it must not be changed. The projection period remains the same until the:

  • individual no longer supports the household through self-employment;
  • 12-month or seasonal period ends; or
  • EDG is denied, and the individual misses one full month's benefits before reapplying.

Exception: When there is a new source of self-employment income received less often than monthly, and the individual expects the income to support the household for the year or a specific period of time, establish a projection period for the months that the individual states the income is intended to cover. Since this projection period covers income from a new source, at redetermination, ensure that the income and circumstances still fit with the annual computation method criteria. Until the household has 12 months of income history, the projection period is conditional and may be changed as may the type of computation method used to calculate self-employment income.

In determining the monthly figure to use for new self-employment income when calculating a budget amount:

  • the monthly computation method is used if there are two full representative months of self- employment income received less often than monthly; and
  • the daily computation method is used if there are less than two full representative calendar months of self-employment income received less often than monthly.

On an active EDG, when an individual reports a new source of self-employment, the first month of the projection period is the change effective month.

Monthly Computation Method

The monthly computation method is used in two situations:

  1. If the frequency is known and consistent, the appropriate conversion factor is used when calculating self-employment income and/or expenses. Conversion factors are not used when income is received on any other basis, such as daily or irregularly.
If the frequency is … use the conversion factor …
weekly 4.33
bi-weekly 2.17
semi-monthly 2
  1. If the individual has at least two full representative calendar months of self-employment income and the source or the frequency is unknown and inconsistent, each month's self-employment income should be totaled and deducted from the allowable expenses for each corresponding month.

Daily Computation Method

The daily computation method is used when:

  • there are less than two full representative calendar months of self-employment income; and
  • the source or frequency of the income is unknown or inconsistent (income received irregularly, not on a weekly, bi-weekly or semi-monthly basis).

The daily method is used until there are at least two representative calendar months of income. Once there are two full representative calendar months, the monthly computation method is used.

Anticipated Self-Employment Method

The anticipated method to calculate self-employment income is used when:

  • there is no income history on which to base an average, and the individual will receive the income on a known and consistent basis; or
  • there is a change that will make the current or actual self-employment income non-representative.

Anticipated means the individual knows who will pay, when they will pay, and how much will be paid. If the individual knows the source, but not the amount and/or frequency, the daily computation method in A-1323.4.7, Determining Net Self-Employment Income, should be used.

A—1323.4.7  Determining Net Self-Employment Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Annual Computation Method

The following steps are used to determine net self-employment income when using the annual computation method:

  1. Determine the projection period.
  2. Determine the total gross self-employment income for the past year.
  3. Determine the total allowable expenses for the past year.
  4. Determine the yearly net income by subtracting the total allowable expenses from the total gross income.
  5. Determine the monthly net income by dividing the total yearly net income by the number of months of earnings history used.

If the self-employment income is annual and no substantial changes are expected, the income should be projected for 12 months. If the self-employment income is seasonal and no substantial changes are expected, the income should be projected for the seasonal period.

Monthly Computation Method

The following steps are used for the monthly computation method:

  1. Determine the total monthly gross self-employment income.
  2. Determine the total allowable expenses for each corresponding month.
  3. Subtract the total allowable expenses from the total gross self-employment income for the corresponding month.
  4. Look at the net monthly income and determine which months are representative of future earnings and project over the length of the certification period.

Note: If the frequency is known and consistent, the appropriate conversion factor should be used in Step 1 and Step 2.

Daily Computation Method

The following steps are used for the daily computation method:

  1. Determine the total gross income earned from the day the self-employment began through the interview date.
  2. Determine the number of days the income was received. The day self-employment begins is the day any part of the self-employment activity occurs (for example, buying supplies, working, earning income, etc.).
  3. Divide the total gross income by the number of days in the period the income was received.
  4. Multiply the daily income by 30 to get the monthly estimate of gross self-employment income.
  5. Determine the total verified self-employment expense paid from the day the self-employment began through the interview date.
  6. Determine the number of days the expense was to cover. Use the same number of days used to calculate income.
  7. Divide the total expense amount by the number of days in the period.
  8. Multiply the daily expense deduction by 30 to get the monthly estimate of the expense.
  9. Subtract monthly expenses from gross monthly income to determine net monthly self-employment.

Anticipated Self-Employment Method

The following steps are used for the anticipated self-employment method:

  1. Determine how often the individual will be paid and the amount.
  2. Multiply the pay amount by the appropriate frequency to determine the projected monthly amount:
    • Weekly: amount x 4.33
    • Bi-weekly: amount x 2.17
    • Semi-monthly: amount x 2

      Note: If the income amounts will fluctuate, a pay period average should be determined and multiplied by the appropriate conversion factor.
  3. Projection should be made over the length of the certification period.

Related Policy
How to Project Income, A-1355
Length of Certification, A-2324

A—1323.4.8  Changes in Annual or Seasonal Self-Employment Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

When an individual reports a change in self-employment income during the certification period, it should be considered part of the normal fluctuations of the business if the current budget already includes fluctuations as significant as the change that the individual is reporting, and the budget is not revised. If a reported change is not part of the normal fluctuations of the business, the income and expenses should be re-evaluated and the change considered substantial if it results in a change to the average monthly net self-employment income of more than $25. If the change results in a change of $25 or less, benefits should not be adjusted.

If a 12-month income projection period was previously established, the period should not be changed, unless it has expired or the individual reports no longer supporting the household with self-employment income. Even if the income or expense changes resulted in a different projected self-employment income, the projection period is the same.

If the income projection period has expired, a new projection period should be established with required verifications, even if the individual indicates no changes in the business.

Note: When the individual reports a change in self-employment income that is not received annually or seasonally, the policy in B-631, Actions on Changes, should be followed.

A—1323.4.9  Rebudgeting Income and Expenses

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

If the individual reports a substantial change in annual or seasonal self-employment income, the income and expenses must be rebudgeted using the following method for actual income and expenses received.

Actual income from the beginning of the projection period through the month before re-evaluation should be used. The following steps are used to rebudget income in this situation.

  1. Determine the actual income for the months from the beginning of the projection period through the month before re-evaluation.
  2. Project the new income for the rest of the projection period.
  3. Add the income from Step 1 and 2 to determine the annual or seasonal amount.
  4. Divide the total from Step 3 by 12 or the number of months in the seasonal period to get the new monthly average.
  5. Compare the new monthly amount to the previous average. If the change is substantial, budget the new amount over the remainder of the projection period.

A—1323.5  Wages, Salaries, Commissions, and Tips

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The actual gross amount of all wages, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and tips count as earned income before deductions such as flexible fringe benefits, cafeteria plans and employee retirement contributions are withheld from the amount.

Wages held by the employer at the request of the employee and garnished wages are counted as income in the month the household would otherwise have been paid. If, however, an employer holds the employee's wages as a general practice, this money counts as income in the month it is paid.

An advance counts in the month it is received. When an advance is repaid, the payback amount is deducted from the gross pay, and the remainder is budgeted as the countable gross amount.

Related Policy
How to Project Income, A-1355
Budgeting Options for SNAP Households, A-1355.1

A—1323.5.1  Federal Tax Refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits (EIC)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Households with tax dependents and earnings below levels established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are potentially eligible to receive EIC payments from the IRS.

EIC money is included in an individual's:

  • paycheck (advance EIC payments) before the individual files an income tax return, or
  • IRS refund after the individual files an annual income tax return.

Federal tax refunds and EIC payments are exempt as income.

Related Policy
Federal Tax Refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits (EIC), A-1232.2

A—1323.5.2  Flexible Fringe Benefits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Fringe benefit plans allow the employee to choose from benefit components such as insurance, extra vacation time, and payments to third parties for medical bills or child care. These are also called "cafeteria plans."

Under some plans, employers may:

  • withhold wages to pay for benefits selected by the employee; or
  • offer benefit credits in addition to wages, which the employee can use to purchase benefits.

Some plans may pay the remaining unused credit as part of the employee's wages.

TANF and SNAP

If the employer … the advisor must count …
withholds the employee's wages to purchase benefits, the held wages as earnings in the pay period that the employee would have normally received them.
provides credit in addition to wages, as earnings only the portion that is paid directly to the employee. If the employer pays the unused credit in cash, the advisor must follow the steps below to determine countable excess income.
  1. Determine the total amount of gross wages/salary.
  2. Add the benefit credit amount to the wages/salary from Step 1.
  3. Subtract the cost of fringe benefits up to the amount of the benefit credit from the amount in Step 2.
  4. The remaining income from Step 3 is the countable gross earned income for the EDG.

Medical Programs

Flexible fringe benefits are exempt.

A—1323.5.3  Income from Tips

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Household members who are employed in service-related occupations (beauticians, waiters, delivery staff, etc.) are likely to earn tips in addition to wages. Tips are counted as earned income.

Tip income is added to wages before applying conversion factors.

Note: Tips are not considered as self-employment income unless related to a self-employment enterprise.

A—1323.5.4  Vacation Pay

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

If an individual receives vacation pay … the payment is considered …
during or before termination of employment, earned income.
after termination of employment in one lump sum, a liquid resource in the month received.
after termination of employment in multiple checks, unearned income.

Medical Programs

Vacation pay is counted as unearned income.

Related Policy
Lump-Sum Payments, A-1242 and A-1331

A—1323.6  Temporary Census Income

Revision 10-2; Effective April 1, 2010

All Programs

Exempt wages.

A—1324  Government Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Government payments are counted unless exempted in this section or by other policy in A-1300, Income.

Medical Programs

Government payments are exempt.

A—1324.1  Adoption Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Adoption assistance payments are exempt.

Note: A person receiving adoption assistance in a TANF budget or a certified group is exempt.

Related Policy
Who Is Not Included, A-222, No. 8

A—1324.2  Crime Victim's Compensation Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Crime victim's compensation payments are provided from the funds authorized by state legislation to assist a person who:

  • was a victim of a violent crime;
  • was the spouse, parent, sibling, or adult child of a victim who died as a result of a violent crime; or
  • is the guardian of a victim of a violent crime.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) distributes the payments monthly or in a lump sum. These payments are exempt.

Related Policy
Crime Victim's Compensation Payments, A-1232.1

A—1324.3  Government Disaster Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Federal disaster payments and comparable disaster assistance provided by states, local governments, and disaster assistance organizations are exempt if the household is subject to legal penalties when the funds are not used as intended (including temporary employment of six months or less for disaster-related work, paid under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and funded by the National Emergency Grant).

Examples:
  • Payments by the Individual and Family Grant Program or Small Business Administration to rebuild a home or replace personal possessions damaged in a disaster.
  • Payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist with rent.

Related Policy
Government Disaster Payments, A-1232.4

A—1324.4  Government Housing Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

See A-1326.3, Energy Assistance, for energy or utility payments.

TANF and Medical Programs

The value of government housing or rental subsidies, whether cash, two-party check, in-kind, or vendor-paid, are exempt.

SNAP

The following payments are counted:

  • cash payments;
  • vendor payments paid from state or local government funds unless exempt as shown below; and
  • vendor payments paid from state or local funds for transitional housing for the homeless.

The following payments are exempt:

  • in-kind payments; and
  • federally funded vendor or two-party check payments.

A—1324.5  Transitional Living Allowance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Transitional living allowances (TLA) are exempt. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) distributes TLA to a foster child who:

  • is under age 21;
  • has completed the preparation for adult living (PAL) classes; and
  • has left foster care or is transitioning out of foster care.

Payments:

  • are received for a maximum of 12 months;
  • cannot exceed $500 a month;
  • cannot total more than $1,000; and
  • are intended for expenses other than ongoing room and board.

Related Policy
Transitional Living Allowance, A-1232.5

A—1324.6  In-Home and Family Support Program (IH/FSP) Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

IH/FSP payments are from funds authorized by state legislation to assist persons with disabilities so they can live in the community. These payments are distributed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) to eligible individuals with:

  • physical disabilities, who may receive grants of up to $1,200 annually with a maximum lifetime amount of $3,600; or
  • intellectual disabilities, or eligible children newborn through age 3 with a developmental delay, who may receive grants of up to $2,500 annually.

These grants are available to purchase services, equipment, home modifications, or other items related to the individual's disability. State law requires that, to the extent possible, these funds be disbursed in a manner that does not interfere with the applicant's eligibility for TANF, SNAP or Medicaid.

TANF

If a household member receives one IH/FSP payment during the year, the policy in A-1244, Reimbursements, applies.

If a household member receives more than one payment:

  • any portion of the payment that is a reimbursement for expenses not included in the standard of need or for medical needs that are not paid by Medicaid is deducted; and
  • the budgeting policy in A-1356, Income Received Less Often Than Monthly, and resource policy in A-1243, Payments Exempt as a Resource While Being Considered Income, apply.

SNAP

If a household member receives one IH/FSP payment during the year, the policy in A-1244 applies.

If a household member receives more than one payment:

  • a deduction for any portion of the payment that is a reimbursement for expenses other than normal living expenses is allowed; and
  • the budgeting policy in A-1356 and the resource policy in A-1243 apply.

Notes:

  • Medical expenses are considered as other than normal living expenses.
  • A medical deduction for any part of an expense that is reimbursed is not allowed.

Medical Programs

IH/FSP payments are exempt.

A—1324.7  National and Community Services Act (NCSA)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The NCSA established a corporation to administer paid volunteer service programs. The corporation provides funds, training, and technical assistance to states and communities to develop and expand human, education, environmental, and public safety services.

The corporation oversees programs created under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act (DVSA) of 1973 such as:

  • Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA),
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP),
  • Foster Grandparents, and
  • Senior Companion Program.

The corporation also administers programs established in 1993 that include:

  • AmeriCorps,
  • Learn and Serve, and
  • National Senior Service Corps (Senior Corps).

For programs established in 1973:

Payments, living allowances, and stipends are exempt.

For programs established in 1993:

Payments except OJT payments are exempt.

OJT payments for adults are counted as earned income. A child's OJT payment is exempt if the child is under:

  • age 19; and
  • under parental control of another household member.

Exception: OJT payments received by AmeriCorps volunteers are exempt.

Medical Programs

Advisors must use the exceptions for counting a child’s OJT income in the MAGI household income as explained in A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, Medical Programs, Step 3.

SNAP

Payments under Title V of Public Law 106-501, the Community Service Employment Program for Older Americans (formerly known as the Senior Community Service Employment Program), are exempt.

A—1324.8  Native and Indian Claims

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Exempted payments made to Native Americans under various public laws include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Distributions from Native Corporations made under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) (Public Law [PL] 92-203 and Section 15 of PL 100-241).
  • Funds distributed per capita or held in trust by the Indian Claims Commission for members of Indian tribes, as follows:
    • Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians (PL 94-540);
    • Income to certain tribal members from land held in trust by the United States government (PL 94-114, Section 6);
    • Income resulting from provisions of PL 92-254; and
    • Red Lake Band of Chippewa (PL 98-123, Section 3) or Assiniboine Tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Community, and the Assiniboine Tribe of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation (PL 98-124, Section 5).
  • Funds distributed by the Secretary of Interior to tribal members from:
    • tribal trust funds on a per capita basis (PL 98-64); or
    • judgment funds from claims against the United States and held in trust or distributed on a per capita basis (PL 93-134, as amended by 97-458).
  • Payments by the Indian Claims Commission to the:
    • Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or any of their members [Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, PL 96-420, Section 9(c)].
    • Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Indian Nation or the Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation (PL 95-433).
    • Seneca Nation or its members (Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990, PL 101-503).
    • Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, and Assiniboine tribes of Montana (PL 97-408).
    • Saginaw Chippewa of Mississippi [PL 99-123, Section 6(b)(2)].
  • Payments to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Arizona (PL 97-403).
  • Payments to heirs of deceased Indians made under the Old Age Assistance Claims Settlement Act (PL 98-500).

Exception: Money given to Native Americans from gaming revenues (such as from casino profits, race tracks, lotteries, etc.) is not exempt under these laws. Gaming revenues are counted as unearned income.

Medical Programs

AI/AN disbursement income is exempt and not counted under MAGI only if the individual claiming that income type has verified his or her AI/AN status and provided verification of the income source, as explained in A-1370, Verification Requirements, for Medical Programs. 

AI/AN disbursements include:

  • distributions from Alaska Native corporations and settlement trusts;
  • distributions from property held in trust, in the boundaries of a prior federal reservation;
  • distributions and payments from rents, leases, rights of way, royalties, usage of rights, or using natural resources from land under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior or rights to off-reservations hunting, fishing, gathering, or natural resource usage;
  • payments from ownership/usage rights to items that are religious, spiritual, traditional, or cultural or rights that support subsistence/traditional lifestyle according to tribal law or custom; and
  • student financial assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs education program.

A—1324.9  Nutrition Programs

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The following amounts are exempt:

  • the value of food assistance under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 and under the National School Lunch Act; and
  • benefits received under Title VII, Nutrition Program for the Elderly, of the Older American Act of 1965.

A—1324.10  One-Time Grandparent Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

One-Time Grandparent payments are exempt as income.

A—1324.11  One-Time Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (OTTANF)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

OTTANF is exempt as income.

A—1324.12  Payments to Vietnam Veterans' Children

Revision 03-7; Effective October 1, 2003


A—1324.12.1  Payments to Vietnam Veterans' Children Born with Spina Bifida (Public Law 104-204)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

These VA payments made to Vietnam veterans' children who are born with spina bifida are exempt.

A—1324.12.2  Payments to Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Born with Certain Birth Defects (Public Law 106-419)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

VA payments made to the children of women Vietnam veterans who are born with a birth defect are exempt.

Related Policy
Payments to Children of Women Vietnam Veterans Born with Certain Birth Defects (Public Law 106-419), A-1232.7.2

A—1324.13  Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Payments made to individuals because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution are exempt.

A—1324.14  Payments to World War II Filipino Veterans and Spouses

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Division A, Title X, Section 1002), some World War II Filipino veterans who served in the military forces of the Government of Commonwealth of the Philippines, and their spouses, are authorized to receive one-time lump-sum payments of up to $15,000.

These payments are exempt.

A—1324.15  Relocation Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The following payments are exempt if provided under:

  • Title II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Act of 1970;
  • Title I of Public Law 100-383 (these payments are made to Aleuts or individuals of Japanese ancestry [or their heirs] who were relocated during World War II); or
  • Public Law 93-531 to members of the Navajo or Hopi Tribes.

A—1324.16  Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The benefit amount, including the deduction for the Medicare premium, less any amount that is being recouped for a prior RSDI overpayment, is counted as unearned income.

Note: If DFPS is the payee and the child gets Foster Care Medicaid:

  • No Cash, the RSDI income is counted; or
  • With Cash, the RSDI income is exempt.

See A-1326.15, Income Legally Obligated to Children in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Conservatorship, for more information on foster care types of assistance.

Note: SSA may deposit RSDI benefits into a Direct Express card debit account. See www.ssa.gov/pubs/10073.html.

TANF

RSDI or other income of SSI recipients is exempt.

Related Policy
Debit Accounts, A-1231.2

A—1324.17  Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

The income of an SSI recipient is exempt.

TANF

If the SSI recipient contributes to a member of the TANF unit, the contributions policy in A-1326.1.1, Contributions from Noncertified Household Members, applies.

Exception: All of the SSI benefits are exempt when the SSI recipient meets one of the following criteria:

  • The SSI recipient would otherwise be an eligible member of the TANF unit.
  • The SSI recipient would otherwise be someone whose income is "applied" to the TANF unit.
  • A TANF-certified member is the SSI recipient's payee.

Note: This policy applies to:

  • people who cannot get SSI financial assistance because of earnings but who continue to get SSI Medicaid; and
  • children who get SSI Medicaid (TP 19) if the individual chooses not to include the child in the TANF certified group.

SNAP

Counted as unearned income. The following amounts are deducted if the amount is being:

  • recouped for an SSI overpayment; or
  • collected by a qualified organization providing representative payee services, up to the lesser of 10 percent of the monthly benefit amount or:
    • $50 for SSI benefits based on alcoholism and/or drug abuse (SSI/DAA); or
    • $25 for non-SSI/DAA benefits.

Notes:

  • Advisors must verify with SSA that the qualified organization is authorized to collect a fee for representative payee services. The advisor must also verify with the qualified organization the amount collected for representative payee services.
  • If DFPS is the payee and the child gets Foster Care Medicaid:
    • No Cash, the SSI income is counted; or
    • With Cash, the SSI income is exempt.

A-1326.15, Income Legally Obligated to Children in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Conservatorship, includes more information on foster care types of assistance.

Note: SSA may deposit SSI benefits into a Direct Express card debit account. See www.ssa.gov/pubs/10073.html.

Related Policy
Plan for Achieving Self-Sufficiency (PASS), A-1326.8
Debit Accounts, A-1231.2

A—1324.18 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

TANF benefits are exempt from income.

SNAP

The TANF benefit amount (after recoupment) counts as unearned income.

Retroactive or restored TANF or refugee cash assistance payments are exempt as income. These payments should be considered lump-sum payments and counted as a resource.

Note: TANF benefits may be deposited into an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cash debit account and made accessible to recipients via an EBT card.

Exception: The recommended grant amount continues to be counted when the TANF grant is lowered for one or more of the following reasons:

  • a Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) penalty;
  • a recoupment for a TANF intentional program violation (IPV);
  • a disqualification for IPV or noncooperation with a TANF requirement (unless the individual is disqualified in SNAP for the same offense); or
  • an active TANF EDG is denied because of:
    • the noncooperation disqualification of an individual;
    • failure to sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement;
    • PRA noncooperation; or
    • noncooperation with an audit or investigation.

SNAP benefits must not be increased in an existing certification period when TANF benefits are forfeited because of a noncooperation penalty. In situations where the TANF is denied:

  • the full TANF benefit is counted until the next SNAP certification period begins; and
  • the benefit continues to count when a SNAP certification period is extended.

In situations where there is a break in SNAP benefits of less than a month, the TANF continues to count through the next certification period when the:

  • individual received or will receive SNAP in the month of the PRA noncooperation, and either the first or second noncooperation month is also the first month of a new SNAP certification period; or
  • file date of the SNAP application and the TANF PRA noncooperation date are the same month, and SNAP benefits do not prorate to less than $10 in the month of application.

Note: This policy does not apply to other types of TANF disqualifications or denials or to denied TANF applications.

Examples:

During the SNAP certification period January – June, the date of noncooperation is February 1. The first noncooperation month is February, and the second noncooperation month is March. The TANF grant is denied in April. The TANF grant continues to count in the SNAP budget through June.

At a SNAP redetermination when there is a certified TANF EDG, the household fails to comply with TANF PRA requirements and is denied effective with March benefits. The date of noncooperation is January 1. The first noncooperation month is January, and the second noncooperation month is February. The SNAP application file month is January. When the SNAP redetermination is untimely in January:
  • because the last benefit month was December, the TANF counts in the ongoing SNAP budget since there is not at least a one-month break in SNAP benefits.
  • and the last benefit month was November, the TANF does not count in the forfeit and ongoing months because there is a break in SNAP benefits of one month or more. The TANF grant received in January, the month of redetermination, must be counted.
  • because the last benefit month was December, and the SNAP benefit prorates to zero for the application month, the application month is considered a break in benefits of at least one month. The TANF grant does not count in the forfeit or ongoing months.

When the SNAP redetermination is a new application or the individual was receiving SNAP in a different household, the TANF does not count in the forfeit or ongoing months. However, the TANF grant received in January, the month of application, must be counted.

A—1324.18.1  TANF Annual School Subsidy Payment

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

TANF annual school subsidy payments are exempt.

A—1324.19  Unemployment Compensation

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) are:

  • deposited into a debit account and accessible to claimants via the UIB debit card;
  • deposited directly into a personal checking or savings account; or
  • issued through a mailed paper check.

The gross UIB benefit, less any amount being recouped for a UIB overpayment, counts as unearned income.

Exception: The gross amount counts if the household agreed to repay a SNAP overpayment through voluntary garnishment.

Related Policy
How to Project Income, A-1355
Debit Accounts, A-1231.2
Payments Exempt as a Resource While Being Considered Income, A-1243

A—1324.20  Veterans Benefits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The VA provides payments to veterans with disabilities and/or their spouses/dependents and to spouses/dependents of deceased veterans. VA benefits are not subject to federal or state income tax or child support garnishment.

Three basic VA benefit programs are described in this section:

  • Pension,
  • Disability Compensation, and
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC).

VA Pension

VA pension payments are made to certain veterans with disabilities based on financial needs. Low-income veterans who either have a disability or are age 65 and older may be eligible for a VA pension if they have 90 days or more of active military service with at least one day during a period of war. Payments are made to bring the veteran's total income, including other retirement or Social Security income, to a level set by Congress. Recipients must re-qualify each year to continue to receive payments. There is a similar pension benefit available for surviving spouses and dependent minor children of such deceased veterans.

VA Disability Compensation

VA disability compensation is a payment made to a veteran with a service-related disability. Eligibility is not based on financial need. The amount of the payment varies with the percentage of the veteran's disability and the number of the veteran's dependents living in or out of the home. The payment can also be made to a spouse, child or parent of a veteran because of the service-related death of the veteran.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

DIC is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of active duty service members and survivors of those veterans whose deaths are determined by VA to be service-related. This payment is a flat monthly payment, regardless of other income. The payment is payable for the life of the spouse, provided the spouse does not remarry before age 57; however, should a remarriage end, DIC benefits can be reinstated. This payment is adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases and is non-taxable. VA adds a monthly transitional payment to the surviving spouse with minor children for the first two years of DIC entitlement or until the last child turns age 18, whichever occurs first. See www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/rates/comp03.htm#BM02 for current payment amounts.

Veterans with certain disabilities may be eligible for additional special monthly compensation such as:

  • Aid and Attendance and Housebound payments, which are an allowance to veterans and dependents who are in need of regular aid and attendance by another person, or a veteran who is permanently housebound; and
  • reimbursement for unusual medical expenses.

TANF and SNAP

The gross benefit less any amount recouped or suspended for VA overpayment is counted as unearned income, except as described below for reimbursement for medical and attendant care expenses.

These special compensation payments that are intended to cover medical and attendant care expenses are exempt. These payments are exempt as reimbursement as explained in A-1332, Reimbursements.

Apportioned VA payments are a direct payment of the dependent's portion of the VA benefit to a dependent spouse or child not living with the veteran. Apportioned VA payments are unearned income to the dependent spouse or child not living with the veteran.

Other Types of Veterans Benefits

  • Military retirement payment — A payment made to an individual who retired from active duty military service after at least 20 years of service. Military retirement is not a VA program, but is paid by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service in Cleveland (DFAS-CL). The gross payment is counted as unearned income.
  • Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) — Active duty members are automatically enrolled in this program. Surviving spouses and/or children of service members who die while on active duty may be entitled to SBP payments made by DFAS-CL. SBP payments are equal to 55 percent of what a member's retirement pay would have been had the member been retired at 100 percent disability. An SBP payment is reduced by the amount of payments provided under the VA DIC program.

At retirement, retirees may choose to purchase the SBP.  In this case, the SBP pays retired military members’ eligible survivors an inflation-adjusted monthly income. Basic SBP for a spouse pays a benefit equal to 55 percent of the retired individual's pay. Eligible children may also be SBP beneficiaries while they are dependents of the retired individual, either alone or added to spouse coverage. Any VA DIC paid to a spouse is subtracted from SBP payments, although VA DIC payments to or for children do not affect SBP payments. SBP premiums are refunded to the survivor if the monthly VA DIC amount is greater than the SBP monthly annuity.

The gross amount of any SBP payment is counted as unearned income.

  • VA educational assistance programs — Different programs provide education assistance, including vocational rehabilitation. The policy in A-1322.1, Educational Assistance, applies.

Medical Programs

All veterans benefits are exempt from income

A—1324.21  DFPS Relative Caregiver Reimbursement Program Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

One-time integration payments are exempt from income.

Flexible support payments are exempt from income.

Related Policy
DFPS Relative Caregiver Reimbursement Program Payments, A-1232.13

A—1324.22  Healthy Marriage Development Program Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

A payment received for completing the Healthy Marriage Development Program is exempt. The advisor must document as required by policy in A-1380, Documentation Requirements.

A—1325  Income from Property

Revision 02-8; Effective October 1, 2002


A—1325.1  Dividends and Royalties

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Dividends count as unearned income. Exception: Dividends from insurance policies are exempt as income.

TANF and SNAP

Royalties count as unearned income, less any amount deducted for production expenses and severance taxes.

Medical Programs

Royalties count as unearned income. For allowable expenses, see A-1420, Types of Deductions.

A—1325.2  Payments for Oil, Gas, and Mineral Rights

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Payments for oil, gas, and mineral rights count as unearned income.

A—1326  Other

Revision 08-1; Effective January 1, 2008


A—1326.1  Cash Gifts and Contributions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Cash gifts and contributions count as unearned income unless they:

  • are made by a private, nonprofit organization on the basis of need; and
  • total $300 or less per household in a federal fiscal quarter. The federal fiscal quarters are January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December.

If these contributions exceed $300 in a quarter, the excess amount counts as income in the month received.

Exception: Contributions from noncertified household members are budgeted according to policy explained in A-1326.1.1, Contributions from Noncertified Household Members.

Medical Programs

Cash support may only be counted if:

  • it is given from a taxpayer to his or her tax dependent;
  • it is given by a taxpayer who is someone other than the receiver’s spouse or parent; and
  • the total amount exceeds $50 a month.
For example, an individual gives $100 a month to her nephew and plans to claim her nephew as her tax dependent. This cash support will count for her nephew because the individual is a taxpayer giving an amount to her tax dependent. She is not her nephew’s parent or spouse, and the amount exceeds $50 a month.

Related Policy
Energy Assistance, A-1326.3
Lump-Sum Payments, A-1242 and A-1331

A—1326.1.1  Contributions from Noncertified Household Members

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

If a noncertified person(s) lives in the home with a TANF/SNAP unit and shares household expenses (no landlord/tenant relationship), any payments the noncertified person makes to the unit for common household expenses (including food, shelter, utilities, and items for home maintenance) are exempt. If a noncertified household member makes additional payments for use by a certified member, it is a contribution.

If a noncertified household member makes payments to a certified member under a formal or informal landlord/tenant relationship, countable income is determined according to the roomer/boarder policy in A-1323.4.3, Noncommercial Roomer/Boarder Payments.

Medical Programs

For contributions from noncertified household members, advisors must follow the policy explained in A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions, for Medical Programs.

A—1326.1.2  Gifts from Tax-Exempt Organizations

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Gifts from tax-exempt organizations are exempt if the gift is for a child with a life-threatening condition and the amount of the gift is:

  • less than $2,000 annually, and
  • not converted to cash.

If the gift is converted into cash or exceeds $2,000 a year, the conversion or the excess counts as unearned income in the month of receipt and is exempt as a resource in the months that follow.

Medical Programs

See A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions, for Medical Programs.

A—1326.2  Child Support

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Payments obtained on behalf of a child count as unearned income. See A-1326.2.1, Counting Child Support, for when to count for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Payments are considered as child support if:

  • a court ordered the support, or
  • the child's caretaker or the person making the payment states the purpose of the payment is to support the child.

Child support collections distributed through the Texas OAG may be received through warrants, direct deposits or the Texas Debit Card. Refer to A-1326.2.1 for the various methods and availability.

Child support payments may be received by a person in Texas through another state’s Office of Attorney General. Several other states use debit accounts for the distribution of child support payments.

Note: If DFPS is the payee and the child receives Foster Care Medicaid:

  • With Cash, child support is exempt.
  • No Cash, the child support income is counted.

Advisors must contact DFPS child support representatives to verify the amount of child support and dates of disbursements because DFPS may not forward the total legally obligated amount. OAG inquiries are not used in this situation. 

See A-1326.15, Income Legally Obligated to Children in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Conservatorship, for further information on foster care types of assistance.

Advisors must consider the following in determining child support:

  • Gifts or donations as contributions are not considered child support. Gifts are items or money that only benefit the child for a specific purpose, such as a birthday present. These gifts or donations include (but are not limited to) clothes, toys, or personal items, or money to purchase clothes, toys, or personal items.
  • Ongoing child support income is considered as income to the children, even if someone else living in the home receives it.
  • Child support arrears is considered as unearned income to the caretaker.

If an absent parent is making child support payments but moves back into the home of the caretaker and child, the child support is not counted. The earnings and/or other income count as a regular household member.

If a caretaker receives current child support for a nonmember (or a member who is no longer in the home) but uses the money for personal or household needs, the amount counts as unearned income. The amount actually used for or provided to the nonmember for whom it is intended to cover is not counted.

If a single payment covers two or more children (including at least one who is not an applicant/recipient) and the support order does not specify a portion for each child, the payment is prorated among all of the children. When two or more children receive child support from the same father and one child receives Supplemental Security Income, the payment is always prorated.

Medical Programs

Child support is exempt.

A—1326.2.1  Counting Child Support

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

For child support payments issued via … funds are …
warrants, mailed from Austin, Texas, the day after the disbursement date listed on the Texas Child Support Enforcement System (TXCSES) inquiry system. When determining availability, consider the distance the payment has to travel through the mail.
direct deposit/electronic transfers, available two business days after the disbursement date listed on the TXCSES Web inquiry system.
Texas debit cards, available two business days after the disbursement date listed on the TXCSES Web inquiry system.

Related Policy
How to Project Income, A-1355
Debit Accounts, A-1231.2

TANF

Applicants are not required to remit any child support received before the certification date. At application and prior to certification, the following procedures may be used to determine the countable child support to budget.

When determining … count …
eligibility, all child support already received and/or expected to be received each month, less the $75 disregard. If the countable child support plus other countable income is less than the TANF recognizable needs, proceed to determining the benefit amount.
benefits, child support received from the beginning of the month through the date of certification, less the $75 disregard.

Exception: For One-Time TANF, issue the full grant.

Note: If the applicant refuses to remit the child support after signing Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement, prior to certification, a child support penalty is applied.

TANF recipients should be instructed to remit all child support received after the certification date to the OAG. See A-1124, TANF, for instructions on remitting child support payments to the state. Child support payments remitted to the OAG as required are not counted.

Child support received after certification is counted if the:

  • individual receives an excess payment from the OAG; or
  • legal parent keeps payments received directly from the absent parent instead of remitting them to the state.

A sanction is imposed for noncooperation. Child support payments are counted, less the $75 disregard deduction. The advisor must process a claim for any overissuance.

SNAP

Child support counts as unearned income. If a TANF individual remits child support to the state, only the portion the OAG sends to the individual is counted.

Computer Action on Disregard Payment

The OAG sends HHSC a monthly computer tape for all TANF individuals receiving OAG child support payments that month. Each month, the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS):

  • updates the child support payment history file on SNAP data inquiry; and
  • rebudgets any associated SNAP EDG not correctly budgeted. This rebudgeting results in an automated Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, if rebudgeting results in adverse action.

TANF-State Program

Full child support payments are counted, less the $75 disregard deduction.

A—1326.2.2  Lump-Sum Child Support Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Lump-sum child support payments received or anticipated to be received more often than once a year count as unearned income in the month received. Lump-sum child support payments received once a year or less frequently count as a resource in the month received. See A-1242, Lump-Sum Payments.

Lump-sum payments on child support arrears are received from the following sources:

  • IRS intercept program This occurs when the IRS intercepts the absent parent's tax refund to pay child support arrears.
  • Excess payment — When the OAG sends a second excess payment to the individual, the advisor receives Form H1719, Notice of Excess Payment, with the date and the amount. See the glossary for more information.
  • OAG adjustments — The advisor receives a PBS-OAGF1 Report, Clients Receiving a Lump Sum Adjustment from OAG-Possible Ineligibility. HHSC produces this report when the OAG makes adjustments to an EDG that result in a lump-sum amount being distributed to the individual. Adjustments may occur when federal distribution changes are implemented, court orders are modified, or EDG errors are corrected.

Lump-sum payments on current child support are received from the following sources:

  • Advance pay Advance pay occurs when the absent parent is current on obligated amounts and voluntarily pays an amount in advance of the obligated monthly amount. Example: The absent parent is obligated to pay $200 a month and is current on that amount. The absent parent loses his job and receives a severance payment of $2,000 and decides to pay $1,000 in advance to cover child support for the next five months. The payment to the individual counts as a resource in the month received.
  • Future pay Future pay occurs when the absent parent is current on obligated amounts and voluntarily and routinely pays an extra amount over the obligated amount. Example: The absent parent is obligated to pay $200 a month and is current on that amount. The absent parent pays $25 extra each month (or some months). The OAG releases the money as received. This payment counts as unearned income if the advisor can anticipate that it will be received more often than once a year.

Related Policy
Calculating Household Income, A-1350
TXCSES Menu Screens, C-832.2

A—1326.2.3  Medical Support Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

When a court order is entered, it designates the amount of child support and/or medical support a parent receives on behalf of the children. Medical support is in the form of:

  • health insurance, ordered in addition to child support; or
  • a cash amount for the purpose of offsetting medical expenses.

TANF and SNAP

If the individual does not receive Medicaid and is responsible for paying medical expenses, the payments are considered a reimbursement and the policy for reimbursement in A-1332, Reimbursements, applies.

Cash medical support payments the individual receives and remits to Third Party Recovery (TPR) are not counted. Any of the cash medical support payment from the absent parent that the individual continues to keep counts as income.

Related Policy
Remitting Cash Medical Support Payments to the Third-Party Resources (TPR) Unit, A-861.5
TANF, A-1124
Reimbursements, A-1332

Medical Programs

Medical support payments are exempt.

If the individual has an open child support case with the OAG for children receiving Medicaid, the OAG processes medical support payments through an interface with HHSC/TPR, and the individual does not receive a direct payment. If an individual is not referred to the OAG for services and is receiving or begins receiving cash medical support payments, the individual is required to remit the payments to the TPR unit.

A—1326.3  Energy Assistance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Energy or utility payments and supplements are paid to or on behalf of the TANF, SNAP, and Medical Programs households from various governmental and private sources. The assistance may be in the form of cash, vendor, in-kind, and two-party check payments.

The chart below indicates when to exempt or count energy/utility assistance as TANF, SNAP, and Medical Programs income. Note: If an energy assistance payment is combined with other payments, only the energy assistance portion is exempt from income (if applicable).

Source Type Payment TANF SNAP Medical Programs
Federally-funded, state, or locally administered programs including CEAP, weatherization, Energy Crisis, and one-time payments for emergency repairs of a heating or cooling device (down payment and final payment)
  • Vendor
  • In-kind
  • Two-party check
  • Cash
Exempt Exempt Exempt
Energy assistance received through HUD, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) or Farmer's Home Administration (FmHA)
  • Vendor
  • In-kind
  • Two-party check
  • Cash
Exempt Exempt Exempt
State or local government-funded utility supplement or energy assistance payments (not federally-funded)
  • Vendor
  • In-kind
  • Two-party check
Exempt Exempt Exempt
State or local government-funded utility supplement or energy assistance payments (not federally-funded) State or local government-funded utility supplement or energy assistance payments (not federally-funded)
  • Cash
Exempt Count Exempt
Private nonprofit organization
  • Vendor
  • In-kind
  • Two-party check
Exempt Exempt Exempt
Private nonprofit organization 
  • Cash
Count per A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions Count per A-1326.1 Exempt
State or federal regulated utility company, a municipal utility company, or a supplier of home heating oil or gas
  • Vendor
  • In-kind
  • Two-party check
Exempt Exempt Exempt
State or federal regulated utility company, a municipal utility company, or a supplier of home heating oil or gas
  • Cash
Exempt Count Exempt

A—1326.4  Foster Care and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

Foster care or permanency care payments are exempt.

TANF

Do not include a person receiving foster care or permanency care payments in a TANF budget or certified group.

SNAP

If a foster parent or caregiver chooses to exclude a foster/PCA child/adult from the certified group:

  • the foster care/PCA income for the foster/PCA child/adult who is excluded from the certified group is exempt; and
  • all other income received by the excluded foster/PCA child/adult is exempt.

If a foster parent or caregiver chooses to include a foster/PCA child/adult in the certified group:

  • the foster care/PCA income counts as unearned income for the foster/PCA child/adult;
  • any other non-exempt income received by the foster/PCA child/adult is counted; and
  • the foster care/PCA income under the foster/PCA child's/adult's name is budgeted for whom the payment is intended.

Related Policy
Who Is Not Included, A-222, No. 8

A—1326.5  In-Kind Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

In-kind income is exempt.

A—1326.6  Interest

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Interest counts as unearned income.

Note: “Note interest” is one type of interest that is also counted as unearned income.

A—1326.7  Loans (Noneducational)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Financial assistance is considered a loan if:

  • there is an understanding that the individual will repay the money; and
  • the individual can reasonably explain how the loan will be repaid.

These loans are exempt from income. Contributions that are not considered loans must be considered as explained in A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions.

Note: See A-1234, Noneducational Loans, for policy on treating loans as a resource.

A—1326.8  Plan for Achieving Self-Sufficiency (PASS)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Any amount an SSI recipient deposits into a PASS account or uses toward completion of a PASS plan is exempt.

Note: If the PASS contribution is made from earned income, the advisor should enter the PASS income in the Employer – Employee Screen – Amount Totals – PASS Income. TIERS will deduct the PASS contribution from the gross earnings.

A PASS can be, but is not limited to, money that is:

  • deposited into a savings account to purchase a vehicle for employment transportation;
  • deposited into a savings account to start a new business; or
  • used toward an educational program.

The PASS plan must be approved by the Social Security Administration.

The SSI recipient will receive a notice from SSA approving or disapproving the PASS plan. Advisors may use this notice as verification of the PASS plan.

Related Policy
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), A-1231.3

A—1326.9  Pensions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

A pension is any benefit derived from former employment (such as retirement benefits or a disability pension). A pension counts as unearned income.

A—1326.10  Trust Funds

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Withdrawals or dividends that the household can receive from a trust fund (also referred to as trust payments) count as unearned income.

Related Policy
Trust Funds, A-1237

A—1326.11  Resettlement-Reception and Placement (R&P)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

R&P payments are exempt.

A—1326.12  Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Individuals can receive RCA only if they are not eligible for TANF.

SNAP

RCA counts as income in the month received.

Medical Programs

RCA income is exempt.

A—1326.13  Match Grant

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Individuals can receive Match Grant only if they are not eligible for TANF.

SNAP

Follow the policy in A-1326.1, Cash Gifts and Contributions.

Medical Programs      

Match Grant is exempt.

A—1326.14  Spousal Diversion and Dependent Allowance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

The portion of income from a spouse or parent in a nursing facility that is diverted to the family members living in the community counts as unearned income.

The spousal diversion and dependent allowance are determined by the Medicaid for the Elderly and People with Disabilities worker processing the application for nursing facility coverage. When nursing facility coverage is approved and disposed, TIERS will add this income in the community family member's approved Texas Works (TW) EDGs upon running Eligibility. Advisors do not make Data Collection entries for this income.

Medical Programs

Spousal diversion payments are exempt.

A—1326.15  Income Legally Obligated to Children in Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Conservatorship

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

DFPS has systems in place to become a payee for legally obligated income the child received prior to DFPS taking conservatorship. This income may include (but is not limited to) child support, RSDI and SSI.

Foster care (FC) types of assistance (TOA) are identified in TIERS Inquiry as:

  • Foster Care – Federal Match – With Cash,
  • Foster Care – No Federal Match – With Cash,
  • Foster Care – No Federal Match – No Cash, and
  • Foster Care – Federal Match – No Cash.

Federal Match identifies Medicaid paid by matched funds from the federal government. No Federal Match identifies state-paid Medicaid only without matching federal funds. With Cash types of assistance (with or without federal match) indicate that the foster parent receives FC financial assistance for an FC child in addition to FC Medicaid. No Cash indicates the foster parent does not receive an FC financial payment but DFPS provides FC Medicaid only.

When reviewing inquiry systems such as WTPY/SOLQ and OAG, and DFPS is identified as the payee for the legally obligated income:

  • The legally obligated income for an FC child who is receiving FC With Cash is not counted since DFPS keeps the legally obligated income.
  • Legally obligated income for the FC child who receives FC No Cash is counted since DFPS sends the legally obligated income to the foster parent.
  • The legally obligated income is counted when a child is placed back in the home of the individual from whom the child was removed. DFPS remains the conservator of the child receiving FC No Cash, and the legally obligated income is not forwarded. The individual must inform the income source they are now the payee. If DFPS has not already provided the issuing agency this verification, that agency must verify with DFPS before changing the payee.
  • FC and Adoption Assistance (AA) children placed in Texas from another state will receive a TOA No Cash from DFPS in Texas. However, the child may receive an FC or AA payment from the home state. When a child is receiving FC or AA in Texas and is from another state, the advisor must contact the home state to verify any countable legally obligated income.

Examples:

  • A child receives SSI. DFPS removes the child from the custody of her mother. DFPS becomes the payee for the child’s SSI.
  • The child is placed with a foster parent. The child receives FC – Federal Match – With Cash. The foster parent chooses to include the child in the foster parent’s SNAP household. The child is added to the foster parent’s SNAP EDG. Since the child receives an FC payment, DFPS retains the child’s SSI. The FC payment and SSI are not budgeted in the SNAP EDG because the FC payment is exempt income and DFPS keeps the SSI income.
  • Months later, DFPS places the child with her great-aunt. The child now receives FC – Federal Match – No Cash. The child’s great-aunt chooses to include the child in the great-aunt’s SNAP household. The child is removed from the former foster parent’s EDG and is added to her great-aunt’s EDG and SNAP EDG. DFPS remains the payee for the child’s SSI but sends it to her great-aunt. The SSI must be counted in the SNAP budget.
  • Several months later, DFPS places the child back with her mother; however, DFPS retains conservatorship. The child continues to receive FC – Federal Match – No Cash. DFPS informs the SSA that the child now resides with her mother. The child’s mother must inform SSA to have the child’s SSI sent to her. The SSI must be counted in the SNAP budget.

Note: DFPS does not become the payee for children who receive adoption assistance.

A—1326.16  Welfare-to-work Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Welfare-to-work income is exempt.

Medical Programs

Welfare-to-work income is counted as earned income.

A—1326.17  Alimony (Spousal Support) Received

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is payments received from a spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation decree.

Alimony received is counted as unearned income for the individual who received the payment.

A—1326.18  Annuity

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

An annuity is a series of payments paid under a contract and made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year. Payments can be either fixed (under which one receives a definite amount) or variable (not fixed). An individual can buy the contract alone or with the help of an employer.

Annuity payments are counted as unearned income.

A—1326.19  Capital Gains

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

Capital gains are profit from the sale of property or of an investment when the sale price is higher than the initial purchase price (for example, profits from the sale of stocks, bonds, or from the sale of real estate).

TANF and SNAP

Capital gains are exempt.

Medical Programs

Capital gains are counted as unearned income.

A—1326.20  Housing Allowance

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Follow policy in A-1323.3, Military Pay Allotments and Allowances, or in A-1324.4, Government Housing Assistance, for specific types of housing allowances. All other housing allowances are counted as unearned income.

Medical Programs

Housing allowances are counted as unearned income.

A—1326.21  Life Estate

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Life estate income is income an individual receives from ownership of property that an individual only possesses ownership of for the duration of one’s life (for example, rental income).

Life estate income is counted as unearned income.

A—1326.22  Jury Duty Pay

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

Jury duty pay is taxable income received from jury duty as compensation.

TANF and SNAP

Jury duty pay is exempt.

Medical Programs

Jury duty pay is counted as unearned income.

A—1326.23  Court Awards

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

Court awards are taxable money that an individual receives as the result of a lawsuit (for example, compensation for lost wages or punitive damages awards).

TANF and SNAP

Follow policy in A-1331, Lump-Sum Payments.

Medical Programs

Court awards income is counted as unearned income.

A—1326.24  Canceled Debt

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

Canceled debts are debts that have been canceled, forgiven, or discharged, and the canceled amount is included as countable income on federal income tax returns (for example, loan foreclosures or canceled credit card debt).

TANF and SNAP

Canceled debt income is exempt.

Medical Programs

Canceled debt income is counted as unearned income.

A—1330  Types of Payments

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004


A—1331  Lump-Sum Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Lump sums received once a year or less are exempt, unless specifically listed as income. These sums are considered as a resource in the month received, and the policy in A-1242, Lump-Sum Payments, applies.

Note: Retroactive or restored payments are considered to be lump-sum payments and count as a resource. Any portion that is ongoing income is separated from a lump-sum amount and counted as income.

Example: A person receives a lump-sum payment in the amount of $4,950 from the SSA in the month of March. Effective that same month, the person receives his first monthly RSDI payment of $950, which is included in the $4,950 lump-sum payment. Staff must budget the $950 RSDI payment beginning with the month of March as an ongoing payment and consider the $4,000 as a lump-sum payment.

A lump-sum payment counts as income in the month received if the individual gets it or expects to get it more often than once a year.

Exceptions: Contributions, gifts, and prizes count as unearned income in the month received, regardless of frequency of pay.

If a lump sum reimburses a household for burial, legal, medical bills or damaged/lost possessions, the countable amount of the lump sum is reduced by the amount earmarked for these items.

Federal tax refunds and EICs are exempt as income.

Medical Programs

All lump-sum payments are counted as income in the month they are received.

Note: Award prizes are considered lump-sum payments and are counted in the month they are received.

Related Policy
Cash Gifts and Contributions, A-1326.1
Federal Tax Refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits (EIC), A-1232.2

A—1332  Reimbursements

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

A reimbursement (not to exceed the individual's expense) is exempt if it is provided specifically for a past or future expense:

  • that is not included in HHSC's standard of need, or
  • for medical needs that are not paid by Medicaid.

If the reimbursement exceeds the individual's expenses, any excess counts as unearned income. A reimbursement to exceed the individual's expenses is not considered unless the individual or provider indicates the amount is excessive.

Note: A reimbursement for future expenses is exempt only if the individual plans to use it as intended.

SNAP

A reimbursement (not to exceed the individual's expense) provided specifically for a past or future expense other than a normal living expense is exempt.

If the reimbursement exceeds the individual's expenses, any excess counts as unearned income. A reimbursement is not considered to exceed the individual's expenses unless the individual or provider indicates the amount is excessive.

Note: A reimbursement for future expenses is exempt only if the individual plans to use it as intended.

Medical Programs

A reimbursement is exempt. Reimbursements include private insurance payments.

A—1333  Third-Party Beneficiary

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Money an individual receives that is intended and used for maintenance of a nonmember is exempt.

If an individual receives a single payment for more than one beneficiary, the amount actually used for the nonmember is excluded up to the nonmember's identifiable portion or prorated portion, if the portion is not identifiable.

A—1334  Vendor Payments

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Payments that a person or organization outside the household makes directly to the individual's creditor or person providing the service are exempt.

TANF and SNAP

Exception: Money legally obligated to the household, but which the payer makes to a third party for a household expense is counted as income.

Example: In a SNAP EDG, the absent parent is court-ordered to pay $400 a month. Instead, the absent parent pays $150 cash support and also pays $300 of the custodial parent's rent directly to the landlord for a total of $450. The $150 cash and $250 of the vendor-paid rent counts as child support, since that portion is legally obligated to the individual. The $50 amount over the legally obligated child support of $400 is considered an exempt vendor payment.

Related Policy
Cash Gifts and Contributions, A-1326.1
Child Support, A-1326.2

A—1334.1  Vendor Payments from State and Local Government Funds

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

All vendor payments made for a household with a migrant farm worker in the workstream that are paid with state or local government funds are exempt.

Vendor payments paid to other people with state or local government funds are counted unless the payment provides assistance for:

  • medical expenses,
  • child care, or
  • expenses related to natural disasters (for example, fires or floods).

Note: Vendor payments paid with federal funds (for example, federally funded housing assistance) are exempt. Policy in A-1326.3, Energy Assistance, applies.

TANF and Medical Programs

Vendor payments from state and local government funds are exempt.

A—1340  Income Limits

Revision 08-1; Effective January 1, 2008


A—1341  Income Limits and Eligibility Tests

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

There are two eligibility tests for TANF.

Budgetary Needs Test

The budgetary needs test is the first eligibility test for the household. This test applies to all households who have not received TANF in the last four months (in Texas or another state).

If an unmet need of less than 50 cents remains, the household is ineligible.

Recognizable Needs Test

The recognizable needs test is the final eligibility test for the household. This test applies to all applicant and certified households.

The recognizable needs test has two parts. Applicant households (those subject to the budgetary needs test) must pass both Part A and Part B. All other households must pass only Part B.

If an unmet need of one cent or more remains, the household is eligible.

Needs Tests Instructions

All countable earned and unearned income is included:

  • Total the gross earned and unearned income for each individual.
  • Add the amount of any applied income.
  • Subtract the child support disregard, if applicable.
  • Subtract the standard work-related expense (not to exceed the member's monthly earned income) for each member who qualifies for it and who has countable earnings.
  • Subtract each member's allowable costs for dependent care (up to the maximum).
  • Subtract any child support expense.
  • Compare the net income to the budgetary needs amount in C-111, Income Limits. If the net income is 50 cents or more, the household passes the budgetary needs test.

Note: If there is a diversion amount and someone other than the individual with diversions has countable income (or two members with joint diversions both have countable income), each member's income/earned income deductions are computed separately until after subtracting the actual amount allowed to be diverted from each individual's income. Then the total net incomes are combined.

When two members have joint diversions, any amount of the diversion that exceeds one member's income can then be diverted from the other member's income.

  • Subtract 1/3 of the net income for applicants with earned income who have not been active TANF in the last four months.
  • Subtract 90 percent of the remaining earnings (up to a cap of $1,400). Allow this deduction for each employed household member who is eligible for it. The individual can receive this deduction for four months in a 12-month period. The four months do not have to be consecutive. Note: Do not count a month in which a full-family sanction is imposed as one of the 90 percent earned income deduction (EID) months.

Note: If there is a diversion amount and someone other than the individual with diversions has countable income (or two members with joint diversions both have countable income), each member's income/earned income deductions are computed separately until after subtracting the actual amount allowed to be diverted from each individual's income. Then the adjusted gross incomes are combined.

When two members have joint diversions, any amount of the diversion that exceeds one member's income can then be diverted from the other member's income.

For each household member with earnings, the deductions cannot exceed the individual's total income. This also applies when there is more than one household member with earnings and/or diverted income.

The adjusted income should be compared to the recognizable needs amount in C-111, Income Limits. If the adjusted income is one cent or more, the household passes the recognizable needs test.

The adjusted income is subtracted from the maximum grant amount in C-111 to determine the benefit amount.

Related Policy
Child Support Deductions, A-1421
$75 Disregard Deduction, A-1422
Dependent Care Deduction, A-1423
Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, A-1424
Work-Related Expense ($120 and 20%), A-1425.1
1/3 Disregard for Applicants, A-1425.2
90% Earned Income Deduction, A-1425.3
Income Limits, C-111

SNAP

There are two eligibility tests for SNAP.

Gross Income Test

Gross income is the total countable income. This test applies to all households except those:

  • with a member who is elderly or has a disability as specified in B-430, Households with Elderly Members or Members with a Disability; or
  • that are categorically eligible.

To be considered categorically eligible, all household members must be approved for TANF or SSI, or a combination of TANF and SSI, or the household must meet resource criteria and have gross income below or equal to 165 percent FPIL for its size.

A household subject to the gross income test is ineligible if unrounded gross income exceeds the limit by one cent or more.

Note: For households with a deductible farm loss, the loss is subtracted before applying the gross income test.

Net Income Test

Net income is the gross income minus allowable deductions. This test applies to all households, except categorically eligible households.

Note: The net income test applies to a household with a member who is elderly or has a disability if the household’s gross income exceeds 165 percent FPIL and the household does not meet categorically eligible requirements.

If a household's rounded income exceeds the net income limits, the household is ineligible. Fifty cents or more is rounded up; 49 cents or less is rounded down. The EDG is denied if net income results in zero allotment for the initial and ongoing months.

TIERS will assign the appropriate income test at Eligibility Summary after running Eligibility Determination Benefit Calculation (EDBC).

Related Policy
Maximum Income Limits, C-121
Benefits, A-2322

Medical Programs

For Medical Programs, MAGI financial eligibility is determined by comparing the applicable program income limit defined in C-130, Medical Programs, and the MAGI household income calculated using Step 1 through Step 5 below.

Advisors must use the following five steps in the specified order for each individual applying for benefits to determine MAGI financial eligibility for each individual.

Step 1 — Determine MAGI Household Composition

The MAGI household composition for the individual, as explained in A-240, Medical Programs, will be used to complete Steps 2, 3, 4, and 5. 

Step 2 — Determine MAGI Individual Income

Identify and list all income, expenses, and overpayments for each individual in the MAGI household.

Form H1042, Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) Worksheet: Medicaid and CHIP, is used for each person included in the individual’s MAGI household composition to list and calculate:

  • earned income;
  • unearned income;
  • self-employment income;
  • AI/AN disbursement;
  • overpayments; and
  • expenses.

Step 3 — Determine Whether Any Exemptions Apply to MAGI Household Income

If an individual meets one of the following exceptions for the taxable year in which Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility is requested, their MAGI individual income is not included when calculating MAGI household income (as explained in Step 4).

Exception 1:

An individual is a child who is:

  • under age 19;
  • included in the MAGI household composition of a parent; and
  • not expected to be required to file a federal income tax return since the child’s monthly income is below the monthly IRS income threshold listed in C-131.5, IRS Monthly Income Thresholds.

Exception 2:

An individual is a tax dependent who is:

  • included in the MAGI household composition of the taxpayer claiming them as a tax dependent; and
  • not expected to be required to file a federal income tax return since the tax dependent’s monthly income is below the monthly IRS income threshold listed in C-131.5.

If an individual meets the criteria for Exception 1 or 2 and does not have any income, it is not necessary to determine whether the individual is expected to be required to file an income tax return, since there is no income to compare with the IRS income threshold. The advisor should move to Step 4 at this point.

Note: Even if an individual’s tax status is “non-taxpayer/non-tax dependent,” the individual may be “expected to be required to file” a federal income tax return based on the IRS threshold amounts.

For individuals who are expected to be required to file a federal income tax return, all MAGI individual income from Step 2 counts in every household composition in which that individual is included.

If a child meets Exception 1:

  • his or her income is excluded from the MAGI household income of every applicant or recipient whose MAGI household composition includes that child; and
  • the child’s income is exempt from his or her own MAGI household income.

If a tax dependent meets Exception 2:

  • the tax dependent’s income is excluded from the MAGI household income of the taxpayer who plans to claim that individual on a federal income tax return for the taxable year in which Medicaid or CHIP eligibility is requested; and
  • this tax dependent’s MAGI individual income counts in his or her own MAGI household income and counts in the MAGI household income of everyone else in whose MAGI household they are included.

If an individual meets the criteria for both exceptions — a child under age 19 included in the MAGI household composition of a parent and a tax dependent included in the MAGI household composition of the taxpayer — Exception 1 applies. Exception 1 is more beneficial for the child, because the child’s income would then be exempt from the child’s MAGI individual income.

Example: A child, age 9, lives with her mother, has no income, and her mother expects to claim the child on her federal income tax return. The child would meet Exception 1 and Exception 2. For the purposes of exempting the child’s income, the child is considered a child under age 19 (Exception 1). Since the child has no income, there is no need to compare her income to the tax thresholds, because there is no income to exempt. If the child did have income under the threshold, it would be more beneficial to allow her Exception 1 so that her income would not be counted on her own MAGI household income.

Step 4 — Calculate MAGI Household Income

First, the MAGI individual income for each person included in the applicant’s or recipient’s MAGI household composition is calculated by:

  • adding earned income, unearned income, self-employment income, and AI/AN disbursements (if AI/AN status is not verified as explained in A-1370, Verification Requirements, Medical Programs, or the income source is not verified);
  • subtracting overpayments; and
  • subtracting expenses.

 

Person 1

Person 2

Person 3

Person 4

Total earned/unearned income

 

 

 

 

Add

+

+

+

+

Total self-employment Income

 

 

 

 

Add

+

+

+

+

Total AI/AN disbursement

 

 

 

 

Subtract

-

-

-

-

Total recoupment of overpayments

 

 

 

 

Subtract 

-

-

-

-

Total expenses

 

 

 

 

Equals  

=

=

=

=

MAGI Individual Income

 

 

 

 


Second, the MAGI individual income for all persons included in the applicant’s or recipient’s MAGI household composition must be totaled. Anyone’s income (as applicable) based on Exceptions 1 and 2 from Step 3 is exempt.

Add MAGI Individual Income   +   +   + =

Third, the standard MAGI income disregard, listed in C-131.4, Standard MAGI Income Disregard, by MAGI household size, must be subtracted from the sum of the MAGI individual incomes to get the MAGI household income. The standard MAGI disregard is an income disregard equal to five percentage points of the FPIL. It is a standard amount based on the applicable household size across all Medical Programs that use MAGI rules to determine income.

Sum of MAGI Individual Incomes

Subtract

-

Standard MAGI Disregard

Equals

=

MAGI Household Income

 

Note: The standard MAGI income disregard is updated annually based on the annual updates to the FPIL.

Step 5 — Determine MAGI Financial Eligibility

The individual’s eligibility is determined by comparing whether the applicant’s or recipient’s MAGI household income is less than or equal to the income limit of the applicable program based on FPIL and MAGI household size.

Steps 1 to 5 must be repeated for each individual applying for Medical Programs.

Related Policy
Income Limits, C-131
Guidelines for Providing Retroactive Coverage for Children and Medical Programs, C-1114
Who Is Included, A-241.1

A—1341.1  Grant Amount

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The TANF grant amount is the amount of the monthly benefit. The TANF grant is approximately 17 percent FPIL. The federal government periodically adjusts the FPIL.

After the household passes the recognizable needs test, the recommended grant amount is calculated. The advisor subtracts the household's adjusted gross income (rounded down to the nearest dollar) from the maximum grant amount allowed for the household's size and composition. See C-111, Income Limits.

The minimum grant amount is $10. The household is eligible to receive the minimum grant if the recommended grant amount is less than $10.

Benefits of less than $10 are issued only for:

  • supplemental payments; and
  • payments made after processing a recoupment.

A—1350  Calculating Household Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

A household's income is computed to determine eligibility and benefit amount. Household income is computed by using:

  • actual income (income that was already received), or
  • projected income amounts (not received but expected).

Notes:

  • Both actual income amounts and projected income amounts for the current month are used to determine eligibility and benefits.
  • For households paid on a monthly or semi-monthly basis, income is counted for the month it is intended if the household receives:
    • the income in a different month because of a change in the mailing cycle or pay date; or
    • an additional or missed payment because of weekends or holidays.

Exception: A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income, may be used when using the TWC wage record to calculate income.

TANF

If a child lives with a married relative (not a parent) who wants to be the caretaker, eligibility and benefits are determined using:

  • normal budgeting for the applicant's income, and
  • stepparent budgeting for the income of the applicant's spouse.

Medical Programs

See A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, for Medical Programs.

A—1351  Irregular and Unpredictable Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Income that is irregular and unpredictable is exempt if both of the following conditions apply:

  • The anticipated income will be less than or equal to $30 per household in a federal fiscal quarter; and
  • The individual receives the income too infrequently or too irregularly to reasonably anticipate it. "Reasonably anticipate" means the individual knows:
    • who the income will come from,
    • in what month it will be received, and
    • how much it will be.

A—1352  Terminated Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Terminated income counts in the month received. Actual income must be used and conversion factors are not used if terminated income is less than a full month's income.

Income is terminated if it will not be received in the next usual payment cycle.

Income is not terminated if:

  • someone changes jobs while working for the same employer;
  • an employee of a temporary agency is temporarily not assigned;
  • a self-employed person changes contracts or has different customers without having a break in normal income cycle; or
  • someone receives regular contributions, but the contributions are from different sources.

A—1353  How to Convert Income to Monthly Amounts

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

If actual or projected income is not received monthly, the income should be converted to monthly amounts using one of the following methods:

  • Divide yearly income by 12.
  • Multiply weekly income by 4.33.
  • Add amounts received twice a month (semi-monthly).
  • Multiply amounts received every other week by 2.17.

Note: A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income, can be used for converting TWC wages.

A—1353.1  Converting New Semi-Monthly Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The following procedures should be followed if an individual has a new source of semi-monthly income and has not received enough checks to reliably project the income:

  1. Determine the estimated number of hours the individual will work per week.
  2. Estimate weekly gross income by multiplying the weekly estimated hours by the hourly wage.
  3. Determine the monthly projected gross income by multiplying the estimated weekly gross income by 4.33.
  4. To determine the semi-monthly income amount to enter on the income screen, divide monthly gross income by two.

A—1354  How to Budget Actual Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Actual income is income that has already been received. Actual income is budgeted by:

  • determining the actual income received in a past month; and
  • converting the averaged amount to a monthly amount. See A-1353, How to Convert Income to Monthly Amounts, for instructions on how to convert income to a monthly amount.

Actual income should not be converted when:

  • determining eligibility for three months prior Medicaid; or
  • the income received from a new or terminated source is less than a full month's income.

Note: A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income, can be used for budgeting TWC wages.

A—1355  How to Project Income

Revision 15-2; Effective April 1, 2015

All Programs

Projected income is income a person has not received, but expects to get. To project income:

  1. Evaluate the household's income and circumstances with the person.
  2. Budget income in the month the person anticipates getting it. Budget:
    • actual income received as of the interview date (or the date the information was requested), and
    • income that can be reasonably anticipated for pay periods after the interview or information request date. "Reasonably anticipated" means the person knows:
      • the source of the income,
      • in what month the person will get the income, and
      • what amount of income the person will get.
  3. When a person does not get income monthly but anticipates getting a full month's income, convert it to a monthly amount using conversion factors.
  4. When a person gets an additional payment outside the regular payment cycle, convert the regular payments and add the additional payment to the converted amount.

Note: To determine the date income can be reasonably anticipated, use factors specific to the source of income, distance it has to travel through the mail, electronic transfers, weekends and holidays.

For people getting unemployment insurance benefits, determine the availability of funds in the account by adding one business day to the payment date listed on the Texas Workforce Commission Inquiry Benefit Payment screen, excluding weekends and holidays.

For child support payments disbursed through the Texas debit card, follow policy in A-1326.2.1, Counting Child Support.

Fluctuating Income

If income is ongoing, but the amounts fluctuate, it is best to anticipate income by averaging income from past pay periods. When using this method:

  • Verify at least two pay amounts in the time period beginning 45 days before the file date through the interview date (or the date the EDG is being processed if an interview is not required).
  • Continue to enter amounts for all pay periods in the required budget months, using either year-to-date (YTD) amounts or the average amount of received payments for any unverified pay dates.

If the household states the payments are representative of current income, use YTD amounts, if available, for missing pay periods and use the average amount of verified payments for other unverified pay periods in all budget months. Use more than two pay amounts if they are available, but do not pend to require more than two pay amounts when a person says the pay amounts are representative of current income and the statement is not questionable.

Exception: For Children's Medicaid, see policy in A-1371, Verification Sources.

Use a different method to anticipate income when someone has a new job, seasonal fluctuations occur, or expected changes (such as changes in work hours or rate of pay) cause too many past amounts to be unrepresentative of current income.

Different methods of anticipating future income are:

  • asking the employer for an estimate,
  • using less than the required number of pay periods when they are not all available,
  • multiplying anticipated hours by the rate of pay, or
  • other methods.

Always document the reason and calculations for the method used.

Example: When an applicant has paychecks, use the YTD amounts to find any missing pay amounts, if possible. In this situation, the gross pay on the checks is representative of current income.

Pay Date Gross Pay Amount YTD
05/11 (missing paycheck) (missing paycheck)
05/25 $265.50 $4,675.93
06/09 (missing paycheck) (missing paycheck)
06/23 $262.84 $5,199.18

You must have the checks before and after the missing paycheck. Take the YTD gross amount of the check prior to the missing paycheck and subtract it from the check received directly after the missing paycheck.

$5,199.18

YTD of check dated 06/23

−$4,675.93

YTD of check dated 05/25

$523.25

Difference of the YTD amounts

Then subtract the gross pay amount of the paycheck received after the missing paycheck from the difference of the YTD amounts.

$523.25

Difference of the YTD amounts

−$262.84

Gross pay amount of check dated 06/23

$260.41

Gross pay amount of check dated 06/09

Then add the three amounts together and divide by three to determine the average for the other missing pay period.

$265.50

Gross amount of 05/25

+$260.41

Gross amount of 06/09

+$262.84

Gross amount of 06/23

$788.75 ÷ 3

= $262.92 Average to use for check dated 05/11

Non-Fluctuating Income

All Programs (except TP 43, TP 44 and TP 48)

  • Verify that a source of income (earned or unearned) does not fluctuate.
  • Verify the frequency of the payment.
  • Require gross pay from only one payment received in the 45 days before the file date through the interview date if the individual states the frequency and gross pay have not changed. Use this income amount for unverified pay periods in all budget months.

Exception: Do not apply this policy to sources of income that involve fluctuations in pay due to overtime, tips, commission, bonuses, hourly wages, etc.

Examples:

  • At initial certification, a person gave proof he is paid a salary of $400 gross weekly, with no fluctuations. He is now being interviewed for a SNAP redetermination and has one pay stub dated within 45 days of the application file date showing earnings of $400 for the week. He states there have been no changes in his weekly gross pay or the pay frequency. One pay stub is acceptable proof in this example, because the pay amount and frequency were previously verified and the person stated the pay amount and frequency have not changed.
  • Another person is being interviewed for a SNAP application and has one pay stub dated within 45 days of the application file date. She states she is paid once a week in the amount of $500 gross and that her pay does not fluctuate. The advisor calls and verifies with the employer the pay frequency and that the gross amount does not fluctuate. Once the advisor verifies the pay frequency and that income does not fluctuate, the advisor may accept the single pay stub as proof of gross pay and does not pend for other pay stubs unless the income is otherwise questionable.

A—1355.1  Budgeting Options for SNAP Households

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

If income is received more than once a month, monthly converted amounts are used to compute the monthly average. If the monthly income fluctuates, the household may choose to average its monthly income over the entire certification period. The advisor must determine the household's eligibility and benefits based on the average income.

Exception: The income of destitute households must not be averaged over the certification period.

A—1355.2  How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

The quarterly wage records displayed on TWC inquiry reflect wages earned in the quarter ending as late as one month before the current calendar month, although they are updated only quarterly and therefore may be further in the past. TWC quarters are displayed as a number corresponding to the quarter of the year in which the wages were earned, as illustrated below:

  • the first quarter is January through March and is displayed as a 1 and the corresponding year;
  • the second quarter is April through June and is displayed as a 2 and the corresponding year;
  • the third quarter is July through September and is displayed as a 3 and the corresponding year; and
  • the fourth quarter is October through December and is displayed as a 4 and the corresponding year.

The gross monthly amount determined from using TWC wage records, when applicable, is used in all of the following budget months:

  • application, and
  • ongoing.

Note: A-831.3, Income Computation, may be used when determining the budget for prior Medicaid months.

TANF and SNAP

The following sources continue to be the preferred methods of wage verification if they are available without having to pend the EDG to obtain them:

  • the most recent consecutive check stub(s);
  • Form H1028, Employment Verification; or
  • TALX, income verification system.

If these preferred sources of verification are not available during the interview, or when processed if no interview is required, and it would be necessary to pend for wage verification, the TWC quarterly wage information should be used as verification as explained below.

Using TWC Quarterly Wage Information as Verification of Earned Income
  1. Did the individual receive pay for all pay periods in all months of the most recent quarter posted from the current employer, and none of the months include leave without pay or a change in work hours from full-time to part-time?

Yes – Continue

No – Pend for other wage verification

  1. Is the individual still employed by the employer listed on the most recent TWC quarter?

Yes – Continue

No – Pend for other wage verification
  1. Is the individual's pay rate the same now as it was for each month of the most recent quarter reported to TWC?

Yes – Continue

No – Pend for other wage verification
  1. After discussion with the individual, does the individual agree that the result is representative of anticipated future gross wages per pay period?

Note: The advisor must convert the income to the frequency the individual receives the income before discussing with the individual whether the earnings shown in TWC records are representative of current and/or future earnings.

Yes – Use TWC wage record as verification

No – Pend for other wage verification

When reading the TWC wage detail screen, quarters are coded as shown below:

1 = January–March

2 = April–June

3 = July–September

4 = October–December

The code is then followed by the two-digit year in which the quarter was earned.


TWC quarterly wages are converted by dividing the most recent TWC quarterly wage information by three to get a monthly amount. The monthly amount is divided using the applicable conversion factor (weekly 4.33; bi-weekly 2.17; semi-monthly 2) to obtain the individual's average gross pay per pay period and discuss whether the TWC data reflects "representative" income.

Note: Tip income not included on an individual's wage statement should continue to be verified by having the individual provide a signed and dated statement, as required by A-1370, Verification Requirements.

Medical Programs

If the client-reported income is not reasonably compatible with electronic data sources as explained in A-1370, Verification Requirements, Medical Programs, and the advisor would need to pend for verification of earned income, determine if the TWC quarterly wage information can be used as verification of earnings. The TWC wage record may be used as a verification source if the following conditions are met:

  • the current employer listed on the Medicaid application/redetermination form matches the employer listed on the most recent TWC wage record, and
  • all household members for whom the household is applying are eligible based on the TWC quarterly wage information.

Convert the quarterly wage data to monthly income amounts, as described above.

If the income reported on the application/redetermination form makes the household ineligible, then policy in A-1370 does not require the verification of earnings. If a member is ineligible based on the TWC data but appears eligible based on wages reported on the application form, request other income verification.

Note: If the TWC quarterly wage data is older than the verification used in the current SNAP budget, use the SNAP budget to determine eligibility for Medicaid applications/renewals.

A—1356  Income Received Less Often Than Monthly

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

If income is received less often than monthly, the income is prorated over the period covered.

SNAP

If income is received less often than monthly, the income:

  • counts in the month received, or
  • is prorated over the period the income is intended to cover (at the individual's option).

Exception: Income of destitute farm workers is not prorated.

A—1357  Computing Benefits by EDG Action Type

Revision 14-1; Effective January 1, 2014

All Programs

Action Type Budgeting
Application
  • For past months, use the actual amounts for the entire month and use the appropriate conversion factor. For three months prior, use the actual amounts received for the entire month but do not use a conversion factor.
  • For the interview month, use a combination of actual amounts (amounts that have already been received) and projected amounts for amounts that have not been received yet, based on policy in A-1355, How to Project Income.
  • For future months, project amounts.
  • For TWC, see A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income.
Untimely redetermination – interview after the last benefit month
  • For past months, use the actual amounts for the entire month and use the appropriate conversion factor. For three months prior, use the actual amounts received for the entire month but do not use a conversion factor.
  • For the interview month, use a combination of actual amounts (amounts that have already been received) and projected amounts for amounts that have not been received yet, based on policy in A-1355, How to Project Income.
  • For future months, project amounts.
  • For TWC, see A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income.
Untimely redetermination – interview during the last benefit month
  • For the new certification period, project amounts.
  • For TWC, see A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income.
Timely redetermination
  • For the new certification period, project amounts.
  • For TWC, see A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income.
Changes Project amounts.
Claims/Restored benefits Use actual amounts.

A—1358  How to Budget Expenses

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Only household expenses expected during the certification period should be considered to determine eligibility and benefits.

Expenses should be projected using the most recent month's bills and any anticipated increases or decreases. The household may choose to average expenses if they are anticipated to fluctuate or occur less often than monthly.

If the individual is billed for expenses weekly, biweekly or semi-monthly, the income conversion factors found in A-1353, How to Convert Income to Monthly Amounts, may be used to determine monthly expenses.

Medical Programs

Budgeting MAGI expenses is explained in A-1411, Rules That Apply to Deductions, Medical Programs.

A—1359  How to Determine Spend Down

Revision 05-1; Effective January 1, 2005


A—1359.1  Determining Eligibility/Spend Down for the Application and Following Months

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TP 56 and TP 32

Children and pregnant women with unpaid medical bills must first be determined ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP before being considered for TP 56 or TP 32. 

TP 56 and TP 32 use MAGI rules to determine financial eligibility as explained in A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, Medical Programs, with the following exception.

Exception: When calculating MAGI household income in Step 4 for TP 56 and TP 32, the only income that is included for the applicant or recipient is income from the following individuals, if these individuals are in the applicant’s or recipient’s MAGI household composition:

  • The applicant;
  • The applicant’s parents, if the applicant is under age 19; and
  • The applicant’s spouse (if applicable).

Informing individuals about spend down is explained in A-1532.1, Spend Down EDGs.

A—1359.2  Determining Eligibility/Spend Down for Three Months Prior

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TP 56 and TP 32

Children and pregnant women must be determined ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP before being considered for TP 56 or TP 32 coverage for three months prior to the application month and must have:

  • unpaid medical bills during the prior month(s), or
  • received Medicaid services from the Texas Department of State Health Services during the prior months.

Advisors must determine financial eligibility for TP 56 and TP 32 for the three months prior to the application month by following the MAGI rules as explained in A-1359.1, Determining Eligibility/Spend Down for the Application and Following Months.

Children and pregnant women may be determined eligible for TP 56 or TP 32 coverage for any month in the three months prior to the application month. Advisors must notify the applicant of the eligibility determination for each month.

A—1359.3  Corrections to a TP 56 EDG

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TP 56

The following procedures are used to notify the Medically Needy Clearinghouse (MNC) when:

  • a correction must be made to a TP 56 EDG with spend down; and
  • the Clearinghouse has not processed the EDG.
The claims administrator at 1-800-252-8263 is the contact entity to speak with someone concerning a Medicaid EDG with spend down. Advisors should have access to the following information concerning the EDG before calling:
  • EDG name;
  • EDG number;
  • advisor's name;
  • advisor's employee number and mail code;
  • advisor's telephone number; and
  • all information about the change.

A—1360  Determining Countable Income in Special Household Situations

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


A—1361  Alien Sponsor's Income

Revision 16-2; Effective April 1, 2016

TANF, SNAP, TP 08, TP 43, TP 44, TP 48, TP 40, TP 07, TP 20, TP 56, TP 70, TA 84 and TA 85

Count the income of the alien's sponsor and spouse (if the spouse also signed an affidavit of support). See Glossary for the definition of an alien sponsor.

Do not apply this policy to sponsored aliens who:

  • are children under age 18;
  • are ineligible for benefits (examples include those who are disqualified from getting benefits or those considered non-members, such as students who do not meet SNAP student eligibility criteria);
  • have become naturalized U.S. citizens;
  • have worked or can receive credit for 40 quarters of work;
  • have a deceased sponsor;
  • have a sponsor who is a member of the alien’s household/MAGI household composition;
  • are refugees, parolees, asylum grantees, Amerasians, victims of severe trafficking or Cuban/Haitian entrants;
  • are battered alien spouses of U.S. citizens or of legal permanent residents, children of battered aliens, or parents of battered children, if (1) HHSC determines the battery is substantially related to the need for benefits, and (2) the battered person does not live with the batterer; or

    Notes:
    • Do not deem the sponsor's income for 12 months for these battered aliens, starting the month the alien is certified for any benefit. Do not assign a new 12-month period if the alien reapplies after denial of benefits. After the first 12 months, continue exempting the sponsor's income from deeming if (1) a court or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recognize the battery, (2) HHSC determines the battery has a substantial connection to the need for benefits, and (3) the alien does not live with the batterer.
    • Use the following list of circumstances as a guide in making the substantial connection between the battery and the need for benefits. Determine if the battered alien needs the benefits:
      • to become self-sufficient after leaving the abuser;
      • to escape the abuser and/or the community in which the abuser lives;
      • to ensure the battered alien's safety;
      • to replace financial support lost as a result of the separation from the abuser;
      • because of the loss of a job or reduced earnings resulting from the battery or cruelty;
      • because the battered alien needs medical attention or mental health counseling or now has a disability due to the battery;
      • because the battered alien lost the home, and the separation from the abuser jeopardizes the battered alien's ability to care for the children;
      • to reduce nutritional risks;
      • to get medical care for a pregnancy resulting from sexual assault or abuse; or
      • to replace medical coverage or health care services.
  • are indigent. Only use this criterion if the alien does not meet one of the other exceptions noted in this list. Deem only the amount the sponsor will give the alien for a 12-month period starting the date HHSC makes the indigence determination. Each determination is renewable for additional 12-month periods.

    Each time a determination of indigence is made, send a memo with the name, address, Social Security number and date of birth, of both the indigent alien and the indigent alien's sponsor, to Texas Works Policy Section, 909 W. 45th St., Bldg. 2, Mail Code 2115, Austin, TX 78751. Before sending the memo, tell the alien that state office must report the sponsor to the Attorney General for failure to give support as required on the sponsor affidavit. Allow the sponsored alien to choose to have the sponsor's income deemed if the alien does not want state office to send this report.

TANF, TP 08, TP 43, TP 44, TP 48, TP 40, TP 07, TP 20, TP 56, TP 70, TA 84 and TA 85

This policy does not apply to:
  • sponsored aliens whose sponsors get TANF or SSI, or
  • the dependent child of a sponsor or sponsor's wife.

TP 43, TP 44 and TP 48

When determining eligibility for a child whose parent is a sponsored alien and required member of the budget group, count the income of the parent’s sponsor.

Exception: Do not count the income of the parent’s sponsor if the parent meets one of the sponsored alien exceptions in this section under the All Programs label.  

SNAP

This policy does not apply to:

  • sponsored aliens whose sponsors get SNAP as a member of the same household, or
  • organizations or groups that sponsor aliens.

A—1361.1  Budgeting the Individual Sponsor's Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and Medical Programs

Consider all of the sponsor's gross countable income as available to the alien's household, minus only the following deductions:

  • The lesser of:
    • 20 percent of the total gross monthly earned income (including net self-employment earned income); or
    • $175.
  • The budgetary needs (100 percent) figure of a one- or two-parent caretaker TANF EDG for the sponsor's family size. For Medical Programs, use the appropriate income limits figure for the sponsor's family size. Include all members of the household whom the sponsor claims or could claim as tax dependents. Note: For TANF, see A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, to determine:
    • whether to use the needs allowance of an adult or a child; or
    • the needs amount for more than two adults.
  • The total amount the sponsor pays to a claimed tax dependent living outside the home.
  • Total alimony or child support the sponsor pays to persons living outside the home.

Count the remaining amount as unearned income for the alien.

SNAP

Consider all of the sponsor's gross countable income as available to the alien's household, minus only the following deductions:

  • 20 percent of the sponsor's total monthly gross earned income (including net self-employment earned income).
  • An amount equal to the gross income limit for a household including the sponsor, the spouse, and any others claimed or who could be claimed as tax dependents (even if living outside the home). Do not include people who live with the sponsor but cannot be claimed as tax dependents.

Compare the computed countable income with the actual contributions that the alien received from the sponsor and spouse.

Budget the higher of the two amounts as unearned income to determine the alien's eligibility and benefits.

A—1361.2  Prorating the Sponsor's Income

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

All Programs

If several aliens are sponsored, prorate the remaining income evenly among all the aliens who apply for or receive benefits.

A—1361.3  Budgeting the Organization Sponsor's Income

Revision 01-7; Effective October 1, 2001

TANF

An alien sponsored by an organization is not eligible for TANF unless the alien:

  • can prove the organization no longer exists; or
  • provides income and resource information for the organization.

If the alien provides income and resource information, contact Texas Works Policy Section, state office, for special budgeting procedures.

A—1362  Disqualified Members

Revision 16-2; Effective April 1, 2016

TANF

The income of a disqualified legal parent, including a disqualified second parent, is counted. Procedures in A-1362.1, TANF — Budgeting for a Legal Parent Disqualified for Alien Status, Failure to Prove Citizenship, Noncompliance with the Unmarried Minor Parent Domicile Requirement or State Time Limits, or A-1362.2, TANF — Budgeting for a Household Member Disqualified for Noncompliance with SSN, TPR, Failure to Timely Report a Certified Child's Temporary Absence, Intentional Program Violation, Being a Fugitive or a Felony Drug Conviction, apply.

The income of a disqualified child who is a required member of the certified group is counted. Procedures in A-1362.2 apply.

The income of other noncertified children is not counted.

SNAP

All income, except a prorated portion, is counted for a person disqualified for one of the following reasons:

  • The applicant failed to provide or apply for a Social Security number.
  • The applicant is an ineligible alien (including an alien awaiting sponsor information or proof of sponsor information).
  • The applicant is waiting for verification of a questionable claim of U.S. citizenship.
  • An able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) has received the maximum months of benefits without meeting the SNAP ABAWD work requirement.

All income, unless otherwise exempt, is counted for a member disqualified for:

  • intentional program violation;
  • Employment and Training (E&T) noncompliance;
  • felony drug convictions; or
  • being a fugitive.

Disqualified people are considered household members although they are not allowed to participate.

Medical Programs

Calculate the MAGI household income for each individual applying for Medical Programs using the steps explained in A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, Medical Programs.

A—1362.1  TANF — Budgeting for a Legal Parent Disqualified for Alien Status, Failure to Prove Citizenship, Noncompliance with the Unmarried Minor Parent Domicile Requirement or State Time Limits

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

For EDGs with a legal parent who is disqualified for one of the reasons above and who has income, advisors should follow the budgeting process below to determine the amount of the legal parent's income to count against the needs of the remaining certified group before applying the two needs tests.

  1. Determine the legal parent's countable monthly gross earned income.
  2. Subtract the standard $120 work-related expense deduction from earned income.
  3. Add the disqualified parent's unearned income to the net earned amount and subtract the following three amounts:
    • The monthly amount the parent actually pays to a person living outside the home whom the parent can claim as a tax dependent or is legally obligated to support.
    • The monthly amount of alimony and child support payments the parent actually makes to persons outside the home.
    • The budgetary needs amount for the parent and other noncertified members in the home whom the parent can claim as tax dependents or is legally obligated to support (including SSI recipients). Use the needs figure applicable to the number of noncertified members (including the parent with income). Note: See A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, to determine:
      • whether to use the needs allowance of an adult or a child, or
      • the needs amount for more than two adults.

      Exception: Do not include the needs of a dependent who is disqualified for a reason other than citizenship.
  4. Count the remaining income against the needs of the certified group.
  5. Note: If a noncertified stepparent with income also lives in the home, complete the steps in A-1366.2, Stepparent Budgeting Procedures, before completing this process.


A—1362.2  TANF — Budgeting for a Household Member Disqualified for Noncompliance with SSN, TPR, Failure to Timely Report a Certified Child's Temporary Absence, Intentional Program Violation, Being a Fugitive or a Felony Drug Conviction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The same budgeting procedures used for a certified household member are used for TANF, except the needs of the disqualified member are not included.

Exception: If the household member is not a required member of the certified group, the non-required member’s needs are removed. Additionally, the non-required member’s income and resources do not count against the remaining members of the certified group.

If the member has expenses for which income must be diverted, the policy in A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, should be followed.

A—1362.3  SNAP — Budgeting for Members Disqualified for Citizenship, SNAP ABAWD Work Requirement or Noncompliance with Social Security Number Requirements

Revision 16-2; Effective April 1, 2016

SNAP

  • All of the disqualified person's countable income should be totaled.

    Notes:
    • Income of an alien's sponsor is not applied to a sponsored alien who is disqualified.
    • If a disqualified member receives TANF, the disqualified member's pro rata share of the TANF grant is counted, and each TANF recipient's portion of the grant is entered as TANF income.
  • The disqualified person's countable income is divided by the number of household members, including the disqualified member. This determines the pro rata share of income.
  • All pro rata shares of income are counted, except those of a disqualified member(s).

Earned Income Deduction — The EID is deducted from the part of the disqualified member's earned income that is counted in the household.

Standard Deduction The appropriate standard deduction amount is applied only for eligible household members.

Dependent Care, Child Support Expense, Shelter Expense and Homeless Shelter Standard Deductions — These expenses billed to or paid by the disqualified member are divided equally among all SNAP household members, including the disqualified member. All pro rata shares are included in the household budget, except those of disqualified members. The allowable pro rata share is entered under an eligible SNAP household member.

Note: If only the disqualified member has income, the expenses must be considered to be paid by that member.

Utility or Telephone Deductions — The appropriate utility or telephone standard is allowed. Utility or telephone deductions are not prorated.

Medical Deduction — The actual medical expense or the standard medical deduction is prorated among all household members, and the pro rata share for a disqualified member’s medical bills (including situations in which the disqualified member is billed for or pays the medical bills of a remaining eligible household member) is not allowed.

Note: If only the disqualified member has income, the expenses must be considered to be paid by that member.

Unlimited Excess Shelter Deduction — This deduction is allowed even if the disqualified member is the only elderly member or member with disabilities in the household.

Income Test and Household Size — The disqualified member is not considered in determining the household's income limits or the amount of the household's allotment.

Example of Procedures for Budgeting TANF Income of Households with Members Disqualified for Citizenship/Alien Status Who Are Eligible for TANF but Not SNAP

A household consists of a husband and wife and their four children. The husband and wife are lawful permanent residents, and their four children are U.S. citizens. The husband is unemployed, and the household receives a TANF-State Program grant of $294. Both the husband and wife are eligible for TANF but are disqualified aliens for SNAP.

For TANF/SNAP EDGs, TIERS will automatically prorate the TANF income for the SNAP budget, using the following formula.

Step Action

1

Divide the TANF grant by the number of TANF-certified household members to arrive at the pro rata share for each member.

$294 ÷ 6 = $49 (each member's pro rata share of the grant).
2

Multiply the pro rata shares of the grant by the number of TANF recipients who also are eligible for SNAP benefits.

$49 x 4 = $196

3

Divide the disqualified person's pro rata share of the TANF benefits by the total number of SNAP household members, including the disqualified member(s). Count the pro rata share of TANF attributed to all eligible SNAP household members.

$49 ÷ 6 = $8.17 x 4 = $32.68 (countable share of the husband’s TANF)
$49 ÷ 6 = $8.17 x 4 = $32.68 (countable share of the wife's TANF)

4

Determine the total countable TANF by adding the countable amounts from Steps 2 and 3.

$196 (children’s share) + $65.36 = $261.36.

A—1362.4  SNAP — Budgeting for Persons Disqualified for Intentional Program Violations, SNAP Employment Services Noncompliances, Felony Drug Convictions or Being a Fugitive

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Income  — All income of a disqualified member counts unless it is otherwise exempt.

Income Deductions  — All income deductions and expenses of a disqualified member are allowed.

Standard Deduction  — The disqualified member is not included in the household size when applying the standard deduction.

Shelter/Medical Deductions  — Appropriate shelter and medical deductions are allowed even if the disqualified person is the only elderly person or person with disabilities in the household.

Although the household can receive uncapped shelter deductions, the household must still pass both the gross and net income tests if the disqualified person was the only elderly member or member with disabilities in the household.

Income Test and Household Size  — The disqualified member is not included in determining the household income limits or the amount of the household's allotment.

A—1363  Diverting Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Income is diverted if a caretaker, second parent, minor parent, or married minor has countable income and:

  • pays alimony or child support to persons outside the home;
  • makes payments to persons outside the home whom the individual can claim as tax dependents or has a legal obligation to support; or
  • there are noncertified persons living in the home whom the individual can claim as tax dependents or has a legal obligation to support, including SSI recipients and children receiving TP 19 SSI Medicaid.

This process should also be completed if a noncertified stepparent lives in the home and only the legal parent has income, or they both have income and the stepparent's income does not meet all of the stepparent’s and the noncertified dependent's needs in A-1366.2, Stepparent Budgeting Procedures. If both the stepparent and legal parent have income, the budgeting process in A-1366.2 should be completed before this process.

Line 1 – Payments to Dependents Outside Home — The actual amount of any payments made to persons living outside the home whom the parent can claim as tax dependents or is legally obligated to support.

Line 2 – Alimony and Child Support Payments — The actual amount of alimony or child support payments the parent makes to persons outside the home.

Line 3 – 100 Percent Needs Amount — The budgetary (100 percent) needs figure for all noncertified members in the home whom the legal parent can claim as tax dependents or is legally obligated to support including SSI recipients, except do not include the needs of a parent/dependent who is disqualified for a reason other than citizenship/alien status, state time limits or the unmarried minor parent domicile requirement. Use the single parent caretaker needs figure if there is a noncertified stepparent in the home, or a second legal parent in the home who receives SSI or is disqualified for citizenship/alien status, state time limits or noncompliance with the unmarried minor parent domicile requirement. See A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, to determine:

  • whether to use the needs allowance of an adult or a child, or
  • the needs amount for more than two adults.

Line 4 – Maximum Amount to Be Diverted — The total of lines 1, 2 and 3 (except if A-1366.2 is also completed, follow instructions in A-1366.2 to enter remaining needs). This is the maximum amount of diversions that can be deducted from the individual's total income. The actual amount diverted in any needs test may be less, since the diverted amount cannot exceed the individual's total income and be deducted from income of another household member unless they will be filing a joint tax return or they are married.

TIERS will complete this process based on the entries on the Relationship page.

Related Policy
Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, A-1424

A—1364  Migrant Farm Workers in the Workstream

Revision 02-3; Effective April 1, 2002

SNAP

Migrant farm workers are people who have moved into a county looking for work cultivating crops, canning, or packing. The household must include at least one migrant farm worker to be classified as a migrant household.

A—1364.1  Guidelines for Determining Income of Migrant Workers

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

  • Income should not be anticipated merely because there is work available in the area.
  • Everyone in an area may not be employed, even if work is available.
  • Future income counts only when the amount and month of receipt is known.
  • The effect of future migrations must be considered since these migrations might interrupt the expected income.
  • The grower, not the crew chief, is considered as the source of income.
  • Travel advances and wage advances must be distinguished. If a travel advance is a reimbursement for travel expenses, the advance does not count as income. Wage advances for travel expenses count as income if the migrant worker has a written contract from the prospective employer that states the travel advance is a wage advance that will be deducted from wages earned later.
  • The income of a student under age 18 must be separated from the rest of the migrant household's income. If the student's earnings or amount of work performed cannot be distinguished from that of other household members, the total income is divided equally among the working members, and the child's share is excluded.

A—1365  Unmarried Minor Parent Income

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The following steps should be followed when determining eligibility for households with an unmarried minor parent.

Note: Minor parent budgeting procedures are not used when determining eligibility for married minor parents.

  1. Determine which of the following situations describes the household:

    Situation Household Composition
    A minor parent
    minor parent's child deprived due to absence
    minor parent's legal parent(s)
    minor parent's minor siblings
    B minor parent
    minor parent's child deprived due to absence
    minor parent's legal parent and stepparent
    minor parent's minor siblings
    C minor parent
    minor parent's child deprived due to absence
    minor parent's legal parent and stepparent
    minor parent's minor siblings
    minor parent's legal parent's and stepparent's mutual child
    D minor parent
    legal parent of minor parent's child (not married to minor parent)
    minor parent's mutual child
    minor parent's legal parent(s)
    minor parent 's minor siblings
    E minor parent
    legal parent of minor parent's child (not married to minor parent)
    minor parent's mutual child
    minor parent's child deprived due to absence
    minor parent's legal parent(s)
    minor parent's minor siblings


  2. If the household situation is described in situation … and the legal parent's choice to apply for TANF is … include in the certified group … using these budgeting procedures …
    A

    minor parent

    minor parent's child deprived due to absence

    minor parent's legal parent(s)

    minor parent's minor siblings

    yes, all household members.

    Include the minor parent's child if the caretaker or payee requests that the child be certified. Treat the minor parent as a child.

    count income according to TANF guidelines for exempt and countable income.

    If the household is ineligible, process the minor parent's application using "A" "no" if the minor parent wants to apply.

    - no, the minor parent and minor parent's child deprived due to absence.

    apply the legal parent's income using stepparent budgeting procedures (divert for the legal parent's and siblings' needs).

    Treat the minor parent's income according to adult caretaker policies.

    B

    minor parent

    minor parent's child deprived due to absence

    minor parent's legal parent and stepparent

    minor parent's minor siblings

    yes, all members except the stepparent. Also include the stepparent if the legal parent is incapacitated (A-221, Who Is Included, No. 7).

    Include the minor parent's child if the caretaker or payee requests that the child be certified. Treat the minor parent as a child.
    apply the stepparent's income if the stepparent is not included in the EDG. Follow the budgeting procedures in A-1366, Stepparent EDGs.

    If the household is ineligible, process the minor parent's application using "B" "no" if the minor parent wants to apply.
    - no, the minor parent and minor parent's child deprived due to absence.

    apply the minor parent's legal parent's income using stepparent budgeting procedures (divert for the needs of the legal parent, stepparent, and siblings).

    Do not count the stepparent's income.

    Treat the minor parent's income according to adult caretaker policies.

    C

    minor parent

    minor parent's child deprived due to absence

    minor parent's legal parent and stepparent

    minor parent's minor siblings

    minor parent's legal parent's and stepparent's mutual child

    yes, all household members.

    Include the minor parent's child if the caretaker or payee requests that the child be certified. Treat the minor parent as a child.

    count income according to TANF or TANF-State Program guidelines for exempt and countable income.

    If the household is ineligible, process the minor parent's application using "C" "no" if the minor parent wants to apply.
    - no, the minor parent and minor parent's child deprived due to absence. follow the budgeting procedures in "B" "no" (also divert for the legal parent's and stepparent's mutual child).
    D

    minor parent

    legal parent of minor parent's child (not married to minor parent)

    minor parent's mutual child

    minor parent's legal parent(s)

    minor parent's minor siblings

    yes, all household members except the other parent of the minor parent's mutual child.

    Include the minor parent's child if the caretaker or payee requests that the child be certified. Treat the minor parent as a child.

    apply the income of the minor parent's child's noncertified other parent using stepparent budgeting procedures (divert for the needs of the other parent; also, divert for the other parent's mutual child's needs if the child is not included in the grant).

    If the household is ineligible, process the minor parent's application using "D" "no" if the minor parent wants to apply.
    - no, the minor parent, minor parent's mutual child, and the other parent of the minor parent's mutual child. apply the minor parent's legal parent’ s income using stepparent budgeting procedures (divert for the legal parent’s and the siblings’ needs).

    Treat the minor parent's and second parent's income according to adult caretaker policies.
    E

    minor parent

    legal parent of minor parent's child (not married to minor parent)

    minor parent's mutual child

    minor parent's child deprived due to absence

    minor parent's legal parent(s)

    minor parent's minor siblings

    yes, the same household composition policies as "D" "yes." follow the budgeting procedures in "D" "yes."

    If the household is ineligible, process the minor parent's application using "E" "no" if the minor parent wants to apply.
    - no, the minor parent, minor parent's mutual child, and the other parent of the minor parent's mutual child.

    Also, include the minor parent's child deprived due to absence.

    follow the budgeting procedures in "D" "No."

    Notes:

    • If the minor parent lives with both parents, allow the caretaker EDG with second parent needs figure when diverting their income.
    • If the income of the minor parent's parent is diverted, do not count their resources. Refer to A-1247, Resources of Stepparents, for stepparents.
    • When the parents of the minor parent apply for TANF and the diverted amount from the minor parent's stepparent is a negative number, divert the remaining amount from the minor parent's legal parent's income.

      Do not carry over any remaining diversion amount to other household members' income.

A—1366  Stepparent EDGs

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

A stepparent's income is always considered when determining financial eligibility for the certified group.

Stepparent budgeting procedures are used when a minor parent and the minor parent’s children living with the minor parent's parent are applying for TANF and they meet the criteria in A-221, Who Is Included, No. 6.

If the legal parent and stepparent live in the home and have mutual children, the household members cannot be separated. Both parents' income is budgeted using legal parent budgeting procedures.

Related Policy
New TANF Spouse's Earnings, A-1368

A—1366.1  How to Determine Budgeting Procedures in Stepparent EDGs

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The stepparent is included in the grant only if the stepparent wants to be included and:

  • the stepparent is the only parent in the home, or
  • both the legal parent and stepparent are in the home and the legal parent has a disability (according to procedures in A-1050, Deprivation Based on Incapacity).

If the stepparent is included in the grant, the stepparent's income and resources count as a legal parent's would be counted. The usual earned income deductions are allowed.

If the stepparent is not included in the grant, the stepparent's income is budgeted using the stepparent budgeting procedures in A-1366.2, Stepparent Budgeting Procedures, to determine the amount of monthly income to be applied to the certified group. These budgeting procedures should be followed even if the stepparent does not meet TANF citizenship requirements.

A—1366.2  Stepparent Budgeting Procedures

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The amount of the stepparent's income that is counted to meet the certified group's needs must be determined before applying either needs test, using the following process:

  1. Total the stepparent's countable gross earned income.
  2. Deduct the stepparent's work-related expenses ($120).
  3. Add the stepparent's unearned income to the net earned amount.
  4. Deduct the stepparent's actual support payments for tax dependents outside the home and monthly expenses for alimony or child support. Deduct an amount equal to the budgetary needs (100 percent) of a single parent caretaker EDG for the stepparent and the stepparent's noncertified tax dependents living in the home (do not include the needs of a dependent that is disqualified for a reason other than citizenship).

    Note: See A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, to determine:
    • whether to use the needs allowance of an adult or a child, or
    • the needs amount for more than two adults.
  5. Apply the stepparent's remaining income to the certified group as unearned income.

Notes:

  • Count the stepparent's applied income only from the date of marriage.
  • Use stepparent budgeting procedures when a minor parent and the minor parent's children living with the minor parent's parent are applying for TANF and they meet the criteria in A-221, Who Is Included, No. 6.

See A-1363, Diverting Income, for the budgeting process when only the legal parent has income or the legal parent and stepparent have income.

A—1366.3  Budgeting Procedures in Stepparent EDGs When Both Parents Have Eligible Children for Whom They Want to Apply

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The following steps are used to determine eligibility and benefits for TANF:

  1. Test eligibility for each parent's EDG individually as separate cases. Consider only the income and circumstances of the caretaker and children for whom the caretaker is applying. Do not apply the stepparent's income in this initial step.
  2. If both applicants are eligible, work the TANF as separate cases for each EDG group. Do not divert or apply income from either parent.
  3. If both EDGs are ineligible, deny them both.
  4. If one EDG is ineligible and the other eligible, deny the ineligible EDG and rebudget the eligible EDG. Consider the ineligible parent a stepparent and apply the ineligible parent's income using stepparent budgeting procedures.

Notes:

  • Divert income for an ineligible child from only one parent when budgeting for step 1 and step 3. Divert income from both parents for the same child only when they will be filing a joint tax return or they are married.
  • If the household includes eligible mutual children, the household members cannot be separated. Budget both parents' income using legal parent budgeting procedures.

A—1367  Strikers

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

A striker is anyone who participates with one or more other employees in a work slow-down or stoppage. This includes a stoppage resulting from the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.

A striker's status ends only when the striker returns to the job, retires, quits, is locked out, or is fired, regardless of the length of the strike.

A person is not a striker if the person is:

  • exempt from work registration on the day before the strike for any reason other than employment;
  • not participating in the strike, but cannot work because of the strike;
  • afraid to cross the picket line because of threatened harm; or
  • locked out of the job by an employer, including an individual who was on strike before the lock-out.

A—1367.1  Eligibility of Strikers

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF, TP 08 and TA 31

A family is not eligible for TANF, TP 08 and TA 31 for any month in which the caretaker or second parent is participating in a strike.

SNAP

A household with a striker is ineligible for SNAP unless the household:

  • was eligible immediately before the strike; and
  • is still eligible.

Pre-Strike Eligibility

The income of all household members (including the striker) is used as of the day before the strike. If the household is ineligible, the household is denied.

If the household was eligible before the strike, current eligibility should be computed.

Current Eligibility

  1. The striker's income on the day before the strike should be compared with the striker's current income (including union benefits and part-time jobs). The higher of the two incomes counts.
  2. The striker's income is added to the current income of other household members.

    If the household is not currently eligible, the household is denied.

    If the household is eligible based on both current and pre-strike income, the household is eligible if it meets all other eligibility criteria. Other eligibility criteria are considered the same as income. The household must be eligible currently and before the strike.

TP 40, TP 43, TP 44, TP 48, TP 33, TP 34, TP 35 and TP 36

This policy is not applicable to these programs.

A—1368  New TANF Spouse's Earnings

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The earnings of a TANF recipient's new spouse are excluded for six months, beginning the month after the date of the marriage if the total gross income of the budget group does not exceed 200 percent FPIL for the family size. This applies to both ceremonial and common law marriages.

The following individuals are included in the budget group:

  • the caretaker or payee of the TANF-certified group;
  • the new spouse of the TANF caretaker or payee;
  • each dependent of the TANF caretaker or payee and the new spouse who meets the TANF age and relationship requirements and lives in the household; and
  • anyone who would be a required member if not disqualified or ineligible such as an SSI recipient or ineligible alien.

If the household fails to provide verification of the marriage, the income exclusion is not allowed. The amounts previously excluded count after six months.

A—1370  Verification Requirements

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

  • All countable income must be verified at initial application, redetermination and when a household reports a change.

    Exception: Verification is not required if the amount reported makes the household ineligible.

Verification of earned and unearned income is not required for any pay amount that is older than two months before the interview date.

Related Policy
Verification and Documentation, C-900

  • Verify a child meets the criteria listed in A-1323.1, Children's Earned Income, before exempting the child's earned income.
  • Verify interest income at the periodic redetermination if it’s from a new source or the amount has changed more than $50. Otherwise, accept the person’s statement of the amount.
  • Verify tip income not included on an individual's wage statement by having the individual give a signed and dated statement.
  • Verify all loans or contributions (cash or vendor payments) to determine the countable amount.
  • Verify whether the person got vacation pay before or after a job ended. If the person got vacation pay after the job ended, verify whether the person got the vacation pay in a lump sum or multiple checks.
  • If all attempts to verify income are unsuccessful because the payer fails or refuses to give information and no other proof can be found, use the best available information to determine the budget amount.
  • Verification used for SNAP or TANF in a TIERS EDG is acceptable for the other program unless it is inconsistent with other information or is otherwise questionable. Verification used for Medicaid can be used for SNAP or TANF unless policy specifically says otherwise for a specific type of verification. Verification used for SNAP or TANF also can be used for Medicaid unless policy specifically says otherwise for a specific type of verification.
  • For strikers, contact union and company officials to:
    • find out the probable length of the strike; and
    • verify the striker’s wages from the company, the striker's benefits and any help the striker is getting from the union.
  • For self-employment, see A-1323.4.4, Determining the Amount of Self-Employment Income.
  • For self-employment that has ended, use a collateral source as verification. Use a person’s statement only if a collateral source is not available. Refer to C-940, Documentation, for requirements when an alternate method is used rather than a preferred source.
  • Verify the death of an alien's sponsor.

TANF and SNAP

The following steps are used to get income information on employable household members who have no prior certification history or who have had a month or more break in certification or when adding a new member.

Step If yes … If no …
1. For the month of application or two months before, did any household member have any earned or unearned income that ended? Verify and document the:
  • source,
  • final gross amount and date received,
  • reason the income ended, and
  • end date. Go to Step 2.
Go to Step 2.
2. Is the household claiming no income? If the claim is questionable, follow policy in A-1700, Management, or verify per C-920, Questionable Information. STOP.

TANF

The date of marriage between a TANF recipient and the new spouse must be verified and used to determine the six-month period in which the new spouse's earnings can be excluded as income.

TP 08

The following must be verified to establish eligibility for TP 07:

  • increase in gross earnings; and
  • date the earnings/hours increased.

If verification is not readily available, the individual's statement may be accepted, unless questionable.

If the household gives earnings information sufficient to determine ineligibility for TP 08, but does not give proof of the earnings, the household members should be transferred to TP 07 if they meet the eligibility requirements in A-842, TP 07 Transitional Medicaid.

TANF and Medical Programs

If a person at application claims to have a disability or is caring for a child with disabilities, at the first redetermination, the advisor must verify the person has applied with the Social Security Administration for RSDI/SSI.

SNAP

  • A change may be processed based on best available information if:
    • an increase in earnings results in a decrease in benefits,
    • the person fails to give information, and
    • the advisor can compute benefits based on the information provided.
  • A person’s statement that the person does or does not have a sponsor may be accepted unless the sponsor status is questionable.

    If sponsor status is questionable, the household has two options:
    • The aliens may contact USCIS and get Form G-641, Application for Verification of Information from Immigration and Naturalization Service Records, to show proof of sponsor status.
    • The household may participate without the alien member.
  • A disqualified person's income must be verified the same as any other member.
  • For strikers, advisors should contact union and company officials to find out the probable length of the strike and to verify the striker’s wages from that company, the striker's benefits or any help the striker is getting from the union.

    The services of people or organizations involved in a strike or lock-out must not be used to interview applicants participating in the strike or lock-out. HHSC does not give these people or organizations access to Lone Star Cards, personal identification number (PIN) packets or other documents; nor does it use the facilities of these people or organizations in certifying strikers.
  • Combat pay included in any income made available to the household by an absent military person must be verified as well as the combat zone to which the person is deployed. Note: The military person’s leave and earning statement (LES) is often sent directly to the family, or the deployed military person can mail it to the family back home. The advisor can use the military person’s LES to verify the amount of combat pay, if any is being received, and to verify deployment to a designated combat zone.

    The advisor can also verify deployment to a combat zone by requesting that the household provide the orders issued to the military person, or the advisor can contact the financial office at the local base.
  • Migrant income can be verified through sources such as Employment Services, Farm Labor bureaus, Rural Manpower Development, Farmer's Cooperative Service, growers' associations, Migrants' Service organizations, county agents, and individual growers and crew chiefs.

    If the household states the migrant workers work for various growers or crew chiefs, the household should be given a calendar form with space for recording each day's income and hours worked. The household should get the grower or crew chief's signature for validation and present the form at the next interview.
  • Additional proof of income should not be requested when reactivating a SNAP EDG at redetermination that was denied for failure to provide information. The original proof of income the person gave at the interview date should be accepted, unless the household reports a change in income.
  • For streamlined reporting (SR) households, the individual’s statement as to whether the household exceeded the income limit during the original SR certification should be accepted. If verification of current earnings shows household income does not exceed 130 percent FPIL and there is no indication the household exceeded 130 percent FPIL during the original SR certification period, it is not necessary to verify all income between the original SR certification period and the current certification.
  • If the person began employment during the original SR certification period and reports it at the SR redetermination, the start date of the job should be verified, but it is not necessary to verify all actual income from the start date. If the household's current income exceeds 130 percent FPIL, the person should be asked to estimate the household's monthly income for the previous months. If the person’s estimate of the income exceeds 130 percent FPIL, the person’s statement should be accepted, and an overpayment referral should be submitted. The amount of the overpayment and the overpayment date can be estimated using the policy in B-730, How to File an Overpayment Referral. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) verifies all actual income and recalculates the overpayment.
  • If a member of the SR household has earned or unearned income that ends during the certification, the last terminated income should be verified at the next redetermination.
  • If a member of the SR household changes jobs several times during the certification period, then at redetermination, the advisor must verify termination of the last job and the job the household member had at the start of the previous SR certification period.

Related Policy
Required Verification for SNAP, C-912

Medical Programs

Advisors may only request additional financial verification or documentation from applicants or clients if:

  • acceptable verification is not available through electronic data sources; or
  • information obtained electronically is not reasonably compatible with the individual’s statement of income provided on the application or at redetermination.

Income from electronic data sources is considered reasonably compatible with income reported by an individual when both the income reported by the individual and electronic data is at or below the applicable income limit.

The system will determine whether an applicant’s or client's income is reasonably compatible with available electronic data sources.

If the applicant’s or client's statement of income is not determined to be reasonably compatible with electronic data, income must be verified using other acceptable verifications explained in A-1371, Verification Sources.

An individual’s statement of income would not be reasonably compatible with electronic data if:

  • the applicant’s or client’s statement of income is above the applicable FPIL;
  • the applicant’s or client’s statement of income is below the applicable FPIL, but electronic data indicate that income may be above the applicable FPIL;
  • the applicant or client has unverified countable expenses that need to be verified in order for the individual to be determined income-eligible;
  • the applicant or client did not provide sufficient information to calculate a monthly income (the individual must provide the income type, income frequency, and income amount);
  • the applicant or client has provided more income sources than are available from electronic data;
  • the applicant or client has unverified countable income other than earned income, RSDI, or unemployment; or
  • TIERS is unable to access a third-party system to acquire electronic data, or electronic data was insufficient to complete reasonable compatibility.

When determining ongoing eligibility, the household is not required to provide verification of earned or unearned income of any pay amount that is older than two months before the interview date or the date the action is initiated when an interview is not required.

Advisors must not require an individual to provide additional verification if:

  • verification is available through TWC inquiry, the Birth Verification System (BVS), The Work Number income information from the Data Broker System, or other automated systems that are acceptable verification sources and accessible to the advisor, or if the individual indicates that verification is readily available in the electronic case record; and
  • the information is sufficient to establish current eligibility.

Note: Because a Data Broker report cannot be requested for children under age 16, advisors may request additional verification from the client if earned income is reported by a child under age 16 who did not meet an exception explained in A-1341,  Income Limits and Eligibility Tests, for Medical Programs, Step 3, and other electronic data sources are unavailable.

If the applicant reports that someone living at that physical address receives AI/AN income and includes an amount, but does not provide the name of the individual receiving the AI/AN income, advisors must pend for missing information, and:

  • if the applicant fails to provide the missing information by the final due date, the EDG will be denied for failure to provide information.
  • if the applicant provides the name of the individual receiving the AI/AN income, but does not provide verification for the income type, the income will be counted instead of being exempt. However, the EDG will not be denied for failure to provide information. The applicant will still be eligible for exemptions from cost-sharing if they are eligible for CHIP.

If the applicant indicates someone is eligible to receive services from Tribal/Indian Health Services, but the name of the individual receiving services is not included, advisors must pend for the name. If the name is not provided by the final due date, the EDG will not be denied, but the exemption will not be allowed for cost-sharing if the applicant is eligible for CHIP.

TP 40

After certification, a TP 40 EDG must not be denied for failure to provide proof of income unless income verification was postponed at certification.

A—1371  Verification Sources

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Alien Sponsor's Death

  • Copy of death certificate
  • Birth Verification System record
  • Doctor's statement
  • Social Security claim number or evidence of receipt of widow's or survivor's benefits from the deceased person's Social Security number
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or military service records
  • Indian census record
  • Statement from funeral director
  • Records from the hospital or other institution where the person died
  • Insurance company records

Alternate Sources for Alien Sponsor’s Death

  • Newspaper death notice/obituary
  • State or local public assistance records (including burial payment records)
  • Lodge, club or other organization records
  • Police records
  • Statement from clergy
  • "In Memoriam" card

Contributions

  • Statement from the person or agency giving the money to or making the payment for the individual
  • Contribution check or copy of check
  • Canceled check from the person making the contribution

Earned Income

  • Use The Work Number income information from the Data Broker System. 
  • Have the employer fill out Form H1028, Employment Verification. Make sure the employer completed all items and the information is consistent. Resolve any discrepancies.
  • View at least two pay amounts in the time period starting 45 days before the file date through the interview date (or the date the EDG is being processed if an interview is not required). Verify and document any breaks in pay periods. Do not use pay stubs as the only source of verification if the person:
    • began employment in the application or interview month,
    • reported new employment after certification,
    • ended employment in the application month, or
    • ended employment in the two months before application (TANF and SNAP only).
  • Contact the employer.
  • Use TWC wage records — see A-1355.2, How to Use Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Quarterly Wage Information to Budget Earned Income.
  • Use Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, if the form is complete and indicates the employer verified the information.

Other Income

  • Check or copy of check
  • Statement from the bank paying dividends and interest (accept the person’s statement on periodic reviews and timely recertifications)
  • Statement from the company or union providing pensions or union benefits
  • Form H1050, Check Verification

Other Government Benefits

  • Current award notice, letter or official written statement
  • Check or copy of check
  • Agency contract/record
  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services advisor/representative statement

RSDI

  • Check or copy of check
  • Current award notice, letter or statement from the SSA
  • WTPY/SOLQ
  • Direct deposit slip
  • Computer inquiry to Bendex file, if it is consistent with the person’s statement
  • Form H1050
  • SSA Form 1610, Public Assistance Agency Information Request (if no other source is readily available)

Self-employment

  • Previous year’s IRS tax return or business records (for self-employment income received less often than monthly)
  • Most recent business records and receipts
  • Form H1049, Client's Statement of Self-Employment Income, completed and signed by the individual

    Note:  Use Form H1049 alone only if collateral contacts or documentary information cannot otherwise verify the income and expenses.
  • Statement of estimated earnings
  • Tax Guide for Small Business
  • Receipts for goods/services provided

Unemployment Compensation

  • Check or copy of check
  • Current award notice, letter or statement from TWC

    Note: Other forms of verification must be used in conjunction with Form B-11, Benefits Claim Determination.
  • Former employer
  • TWC inquiry
  • Statement from TWC verifying the primary wage earner's application for unemployment insurance benefits.

All Programs (except TP 33, TP 34, TP 35, TP 43, TP 44 and TP 48)

Application for SSI/RSDI

  • Receipt from the SSA
  • WTPY/SOLQ

TANF and SNAP

Child Support

  • C-820, Data Broker; C-825.14.1, OAG Child Support Data; C-832, Office of the Attorney General (OAG) Inquiry; C-833, TXCSES Web Child Support Portal Inquiry
  • Check or copy of check
  • County clerk records
  • Canceled checks (three months if possible)
  • Wage withholding statements
  • Withholding statements from unemployment compensation
  • Written statement from the parent providing support
  • Current court records such as court order, court support agreement, or divorce or separation papers

Educational Grants, Scholarships or Loans

  • Statement, letter or records from:
    • Schools
    • Organizations, clubs or agencies providing benefits
    • Veterans Affairs (for veteran's educational benefits)

SSI

  • Check or copy of check
  • Current award notice, letter or written statement from the SSA
  • Computer inquiry to SDX file (this source also provides sufficient proof of other types of income available to an SSI recipient)
  • Direct deposit slip
  • WTPY/SOLQ

Veterans Benefits

  • A current award notice, letter or statement from VA or DFAS-CL
  • Contact with a VA representative at 1-800-827-1000
  • Contact with a DFAS-CL representative at 1-800-321-1080
  • Form H1240, Request for Information from Bureau of Veterans Affairs and Client's Authorization

Workers’ Compensation

  • Current award notice letter or statement from:
    • Claims adjuster
    • Attorney
    • Insurance company
  • Check or copy of check

TANF

Ceremonial Marriage

  • Marriage license or certificate,
  • Church records,
  • Statement from clergy, or
  • Family Bible records.

Common Law Marriage

  • Declaration of Informal Marriage filed with the county clerk,
  • Sworn statement signed by both spouses, or
  • Form H1057, Declaration of Informal Marriage.

Medical Programs

Determining whether client-reported income is reasonably compatible with electronic data sources is the preferred method of wage verification for Medical Programs. Reasonable compatibility is explained in A-1370, Verification Requirements, Medical Programs.

TP 33, TP 34, TP 35, TP 43, TP 44 and TP 48

In addition to the verification sources listed for All Programs, the following are also accepted for earned and unearned income:

  • Paycheck stub issued in the last 60 days
  • Most recent tax return
  • Most recent Social Security statement or check
  • Proof of self-employment
  • Letter from an employer verifying current income and frequency of payment

Related Policy
Questionable Information, C-920
Providing Verification, C-930

A—1380  Documentation Requirements

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

All Programs

Exempt Income — Requires documentation that includes:

  • why it is exempt; and
  • the name and address or telephone number of the income source.

Terminated Income — Requires documentation of:

  • any income that terminated in the application month; and
  • vacation pay received before or after termination, including the dates received.

Income — Requires documentation of the:

  • date of each income statement or stub used;
  • date income is actually received;
  • date income is anticipated using factors such as distance it has to travel through the mail, direct deposit/electronic transfers, weekends and holidays;
  • name and address or telephone number of the income source;
  • gross amount of income;
  • frequency of receipt (such as weekly, every two weeks, semimonthly, monthly); and
  • calculations used.

        Notes:

  • If other means are used to verify earned income, the information should be documented comparable to that listed above. The payback amount and gross amount used in the budget for advances should be documented according to policy in A-1323.5, Wages, Salaries, Commissions, and Tips.
  • If using TWC quarterly wage records, advisors must complete the appropriate screens in TIERS.

Fluctuating Income — Requires documentation regarding:

  • the reason for income fluctuations; and
  • why a pay period was included or excluded in the projection. If a pay period is not representative of future earnings, the advisor must document the reason it is not representative.

Income Computations — Requires document verification and computation of household income:

  • at the initial application;
  • when a change is reported; and
  • at each subsequent application/redetermination.

    Note: All sources, amounts, dates, and computations must be recorded.

Other Income — Requires documentation of the method used to verify income other than earned and TANF. This documentation includes the:

  • type of income;
  • check or document seen;
  • date on the check or document;
  • amount recorded on the check or document;
  • date the income was verified; and
  • computation performed to determine the total income.

Self-Employment — Requires documentation of:

  • the method for averaging income;
  • deductions for the costs of doing business;
  • the number of hours engaged in the enterprise; and
  • other factors used to determine the amount of income.

    Notes:
    • Document the reason if Form H1049, Client's Statement of Self-Employment Income, is the only source of verification.
    • Provided the income is entered as self-employment income in TIERS, a statement informing the self-employed individual to keep self-employment records and receipts for verification purposes for future recertifications will appear on Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action. Otherwise, add the statement to the individual's notice and document that the self-employed person was given this information in writing.

Alien Sponsor's Income — Requires documentation that an indigent alien, exempt from deeming requirements, was informed that state office is required to report the indigent alien’s sponsor to the OAG. If the alien does not want this report sent to the OAG, the advisor must document that the alien chose to have the sponsor's income deemed.

TANF and SNAP

Terminated Income — Requires documentation of any income that terminated in the two months before the application month, including:

  • source;
  • gross amount of final check and date received;
  • reason for termination; and
  • date of termination.

TANF and Medical Programs except TP 33, TP 34, TP 35, TP 43, TP 44, TP 45 and TP 48

Requires documentation of the household's plan to pursue income to which it is entitled, including time allowed to pursue the income.

Requires documentation of an individual who no longer claims to have a disability or be caring for a child with disabilities, when they reapply after they were denied for failure to follow the agreed plan to apply for SSI/RSDI.

TANF

Requires documentation of the months during the six-month period in which the earnings of a new spouse of a TANF recipient will be excluded.

Requires documentation of the individual's decision not to apply for SSI, when the individual is not required to pursue it because the individual is physically or mentally unable to complete the application process and HHSC fails or is unable to provide assistance needed to complete the SSI application process.

Requires documentation of an individual’s decision to no longer claim a Choices exemption for disability or caring for a child with disabilities when the individual has failed, without good cause, to apply for SSI/RSDI.

Related Policy
Documentation, C-940
The Texas Works Documentation Guide