602-3 B.     UNEARNED INCOME

 

1. Public Assistance

 

a. Definition:   

 

Public assistance income includes TANF payments (Alaska Temporary Assistance Program and Native Family Assistance) and Adult Public Assistance payments (Aid to the Disabled, Aid to the Blind, Old Age Assistance, Interim Assistance).

 

b.  Verification:   

 

Verify through the DPA case file or EIS computer screen, or Native Family Assistance agency.

 

c.  Budget:   

 

Public assistance income belongs to the person or persons it is intended to cover.  The monthly benefit received by the household is counted as unearned income in the month of intended use.

 

 

Exceptions:

Reductions due to Fraud:
When a TANF or APA benefit is reduced to repay a fraud overpayment, the calculation of the SNAP allotment will use the TANF or APA amount the household would have received without the grant reduction.  This applies only if a formal fraud finding has been determined by the administrative disqualification process or a conviction by court.  See MS 604-3I.

Reductions due to Imposed Penalty:
When a TANF benefit is reduced as a result of an imposed penalty for failing to comply with a TANF program requirement, the household's SNAP allotment will be reduced.

• When the Alaska Temporary Assistance or CITC Native Family Assistance benefit is reduced, EIS is programmed to reduce the SNAP allotment by 25%.

• When the AVCP , T&H , or TCC Native Family Assistance benefit is reduced, the caseworker will use the TANF benefit amount the household would have received had the penalty not been imposed.

 

Note:  

The SNAP benefit is not reduced when there is no Alaska Temporary Assistance or Native Family Assistance benefit issued in the month.

  

2. SSI / SSA/ VA Income

 

a.  Definition:  

 

Social Security benefits (SSA) - retirement, survivor's disability, and dependents benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - aged, blind and disabled person's benefits; and Veteran's benefits are considered unearned income.

 

 

b.  Verification:  

 

Verify with a copy of the current check; current Social Security or VA award letter; a statement from Social Security or Veteran's Administration verifying the monthly amount; SDX/Bendex printouts; or EIS interface screen.

 

 

c.  Budget:  

 

The monthly entitlement including the cost of Medicare, if deducted, is counted as income in the month of intended use.

 

 

 

Note:  

In order for the payee to collect a fee, the payee must work for a community based nonprofit social service agency (i.e. no state government entity, for profit company or private citizens).  Verification that the agency is qualified to collect a fee and the amount of the fee are required.

 

3. Child Support Payments

 

a. Definition:  

 

Child support income includes:

 

 

 

b. Verification:   

 

Includes, but not limited to, CSSD computer screen, the CSSD payment stub, a signed statement from the non-custodial parent, the TAIH screen on EIS showing the issuance of a pass-through payment.

 

 

c. Budget:

 

Child support payments are counted as income to the person receiving it.  See MS 603-1 for policy on estimating income.  

 

When the person receiving child support is not a TANF recipient, determine the household's monthly child support income by considering all child support received and expected to be received.  See MS 603-1 for policy on estimating income.

 

Note:  

One-time child support arrearage payments are treated as nonrecurring lump-sum payments and excluded as income.  See MS 602-3D(13).

  

When the person receiving child support is a TANF recipient:

 

 

Note:   

A TANF applicant becomes a recipient the moment the caseworker authorizes the TANF benefit on EIS .  All direct child support payment received and kept prior to this authorization is countable income.

 

4. Third-Party Payee

 

a. Definition:   

 

Payments made to a third-party payee on behalf of a recipient.  For example, SSI , SSA and ATAP payments assigned to payees who represent recipients unable to manage the payments.

 

b. Verification:   

 

Includes, but not limited to, a signed statement from the agency that designated the third-party beneficiary, and a copy of the checks received.

 

c. Budget:   

 

The payment used for the care and maintenance of the recipient is considered income to the recipient in the month received.  Money received in the form of a single monthly payment will be considered received in the month it is normally received if mailing cycles or payment schedules cause two payments to be received in one month.  Late or retroactive payments are considered nonrecurring lump-sum payments.  See MS 602-3D(13).

 

5. Educational Income

 

Education assistance that is not funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act or the Bureau of Indian Affairs student assistance program funds is excluded as income if it is used or will be used for paying tuition, fees, or other necessary education expenses at any educational institution, including vocational, technical, and correspondence schools, and schools for people with disabilities.  

 

Any portion of education assistance that will not be used or set aside for paying tuition, fees, or other necessary education expenses is countable unearned income.

 

See MS 605-1B for budgeting procedures.

 

6. Countable Vendor Payments

 

a. Definition:   

 

Vendor payments are cash payments made by a person or organization outside of a household directly to a provider (vendor) to meet expenses for the household.  In general, a vendor payment is countable income if the household is legally entitled to the payment or legally eligible for it.  If the vendor payment is received after the month of intended use, the payment is exempt as income and counted as a nonrecurring lump-sum payment in the month of receipt.   

 

Example:

Client applied for BIA General Assistance on June 18th for help with an eviction. If the money is received in June, it is countable income. If it is not received by the client or landlord until July, it is a non-recurring lump sum payment and is exempt as income.

 

Exceptions:   

Housing assistance from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) or a local government housing authority and heating assistance payments are specifically excluded as income.  

 

When determining if the vendor payment should be counted as income to the household, distinguish whether the person or organization making the payment on behalf of the household is using funds that otherwise would have to be paid to the household. If the person or organization making the vendor payment owes the money to the household, the money must be counted as income to the household.  

 

Example:  

A court order specifies that a former spouse (in the SNAP household) be paid $450 per month child support.  At the former spouse’s request, the $450 is sent instead to the landlord for rent.  The money is owed to the former spouse (by court order), so it is countable income for the household.

 

b. Verification:   

 

Includes, but is not limited to, a letter from the payer, a copy of the legal agreement, or collateral contact.

 

c. Budget:   

 

A vendor payment, which is not exempt income, is considered unearned income to the household in the month it is received by the vendor.  Money received in the form of a single monthly payment will be considered received in the month it is normally received if mailing cycles or payment schedules cause two payments to be received in one month.  Late or retroactive payments are considered nonrecurring lump-sum payments.  See MS 602-3D(13).

  

7. Other Sources of Countable Unearned Income

 

The following are considered other sources of unearned income (not all-inclusive):

 

a.  Workers' Compensation;
 

b.  Unemployment Insurance Benefits ( UIB ), including amounts garnisheed;  See MS 602-3;
 

c.  Other assistance payments, such as Senior Benefits Program payments;
 

d.  Annuities, pensions, retirement, and disability benefits;

 

Note:  

Annuity payments paid quarterly shall be averaged over the three months and counted as monthly income; annuity payments paid annually shall be averaged over twelve months and counted as monthly income.

 

  1. Alimony payments;

 

  1. Rental income (gross income minus costs of doing business).  Costs of doing business may include the mortgage, taxes, and insurance.  See MS 605-2D(3) for a complete list of costs of doing business.   When a household member is actively engaged in the management of the property at least 20 hours per week, it will be considered earned income; 
     

Note:

Rental income received in a lump sum shall be averaged over the months of intended use and counted as monthly income.

Income received from the lease of a limited entry fishing permit is considered unearned rental income. 

 

  1. The total foster care payment made to a household for a legally assigned foster child or adult, if the foster child/adult is included as a member of the household.  If the child/adult is not included, the foster care payment is not included as income to the household; See MS 605-1C.
     

  1. Dividends (including Permanent Fund Dividend, see MS 605-7), interest, royalties and similar recurring payments;

 

  1. Excess reimbursements.  When payments received as an advance or reimbursement for volunteer job training or work-related services exceed the expense incurred, the excess amount is included as income;
     

  1. Strike benefits;
     

  1. Cash payments, including payments to a household from a wage earner not residing with the household because of his or her employment;
     

  1. Deposits made to bank accounts owned or jointly owned by the household, unless identified as income previously considered.  A deposit made to a joint or account will be considered income to the household unless it can be documented that the deposit is not intended for and will not be used by the household;

 

  1. Unearned military income; Please see MS 605-2E for budgeting military income.
     

  1. Any money benefit not otherwise exempted;
     

  1. Lottery winnings;  

 

Note:  

Lottery winnings paid on an annual basis shall be averaged over twelve months and counted as monthly income.

Households that contain individuals who receive substantial lottery or gaming winnings ($3,500 or more won in a single game) must lose SNAP eligibility upon receiving the winnings.  The households may again become eligible for SNAP when the household again meets normal income and resource standards.

 

 

  1. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance Program payments made to the household or to a vendor on behalf of the household, is countable income if received by the household or vendor in the month of intended use.  If the BIA - GA payment is received after the month of intended use, the payment is exempt as income and counted as a nonrecurring lump-sum payment in the month of receipt.

 

  1. Refugee cash assistance payments.  Monthly refugee cash assistance payments made through the Refugee Assistance & Immigration Services program administered by Catholic Social Services are countable income;  See Administrative Procedures Manual section 128-4 for more information about refugee assistance.

 

Note:

The one-time refugee resettlement payment some refugees receive is considered a non-recurring lump sum and is excluded as income, but countable as a resource.  See MS 602-3D(13) and MS 602-2D(2).

 

  1. Subsidized adoption payments are intended to cover expenses incurred due to the special needs of an adopted child.  These payments are countable income for SNAP.

 

  1. Credit card company gift cards; FNS has determined that credit card company gift cards can be spent in the same way as cash and should be counted for program purposes. Consider credit card gift cards as countable unearned income when payments are regularly received and can be anticipated. For more information on when to treat gift cards as a resource refer to MS 602-2 (A) or as exempt income refer to MS 602-3 D(13).

 

Example:

Anthony has a reloadable credit card company gift card that his uncle deposits $150.00 per month on for Anthony to use for his day-to-day needs. Since this money is regularly received and can be anticipated, it is counted by the Eligibility Technician as unearned income.

 

    1. Monthly income deposited directly into a Medicaid Qualifying Trust does not count as income to the individual. If monthly income is deposited into a personal account before being transferred into the Medicaid Qualifying Trust, the full monthly gross income counts when determining eligibility for SNAP.

 

Money withdrawn from a Medicaid Qualifying Trust that are not vendor payments or dividends payable from trusts count as income when the funds are received.

 

 

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2020-02 (09/20)