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RULE §6.4Income Determination

(a) Eligibility for program assistance is determined under the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines and calculated as described herein (in some Programs certain forms of income may qualify the Household as Categorically Eligible for assistance; however, Categorical Eligibility does not determine the level of benefit, which is determined through the Income Determination process).

(b) Income means cash receipts earned and/or received by all Household members 18 years of age and older before taxes during applicable tax year(s), but not the excluded income listed in subsection (d) of this section. Income is to be based on the Gross Annual Income.

(c) Exceptions to the use of Gross Annual Income are forms of income:

  (1) From non-farm or farm self-employment net receipts must be used (i.e., receipts from a person's own business or from an owned or rented farm after deductions for business or farm expenses); and

  (2) From gambling or lottery winnings net income must be used.

(d) If an income source is not excluded in this subsection, it must be included when determining income eligibility. Excluded Income:

  (1) Capital gains;

  (2) Any assets drawn down as withdrawals from a bank;

  (3) Balance of funds in a checking or savings account;

  (4) Any amounts in an "individual development account" as provided by the Assets for Independence Act, as amended in 2002 (Pub. L. 107-110, 42 U.S.C. 604(h)(4));

  (5) Proceeds from the sale of property, a house, or a car;

  (6) One-time payments from a welfare agency to a family or person who is in temporary financial difficulty;

  (7) Tax refunds, Earned Income Tax Credit refunds, the economic impact payments from the Internal Revenue Service under section 103 of the American Taxpayer Act;

  (8) Jury duty compensation;

  (9) Gifts, loans, and lump-sum inheritances;

  (10) One-time insurance payments, or compensation for injury;

  (11) Non-cash benefits, such as the employer-paid or union-paid portion of health insurance or other employee fringe benefits;

  (12) Reimbursements (for mileage, gas, lodging, meals, etc.);

  (13) Employee fringe benefits such as food or housing received in lieu of wages;

  (14) The value of food and fuel produced and consumed on farms;

  (15) The imputed value of rent from owner-occupied non-farm or farm housing;

  (16) Federal non-cash benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC); school lunches; and housing assistance (Medicare deduction from Social Security Administration benefits should not be counted as income);

  (17) Combat zone pay to the military;

  (18) College scholarships, Pell and other grant sources, assistantships, fellowships and work study, VA Education Benefits (GI Bill), Bureau of Indian Affairs student assistance programs (20 U.S.C. 1087uu);

  (19) Child support payments received by the payee (amount paid by payor is included income);

  (20) Income of Household members under 18 years of age including payment to Children under the age of 18 made payable to a person over the age of 18;

  (21) Stipends from senior companion programs, such as Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Foster Grandparents Program;

  (22) AmeriCorps Program payments, allowances, earnings, and in-kind aid;

  (23) Depreciation for farm or business assets;

  (24) Reverse mortgages;

  (25) Payments for care of Foster Children. This includes payments to a host Household for individuals in Extended Foster Care;

  (26) Payments or allowances made under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (42 U.S.C. 8624(f));

  (27) Any amount of crime victim compensation (under the Victims of Crime Act) received through crime victim assistance (or payment or reimbursement of the cost of such assistance) as determined under the Victims of Crime Act because of the commission of a crime against the applicant under the Victims of Crime Act (42 U.S.C. 10602(c));

  (28) Major disaster and emergency assistance received by individuals and families under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (93, as amended) and comparable disaster assistance provided by States, local governments, and disaster assistance organizations (42 U.S.C. 5155(d));

  (29) Allowances, earnings, and payments to individuals participating in programs under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3101));

  (30) Payments received from programs funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 3056(g));

  (31) The value of any child care provided or arranged (or any amount received as payment for such care or reimbursement for costs incurred for such care) under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858(q));

  (32) Certain payments received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1626(c));

  (33) Income derived from certain submarginal land of the United States that is held in trust for certain Indian tribes (25 U.S.C. 459(e));

  (34) Income derived from the disposition of funds to the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians (94, §6);

  (35) The first $2,000 of per capita shares received from judgment funds awarded by the National Indian Gaming Commission or the U.S. Claims Court, the interests of individual Indians in trust or restricted lands, and the first $2000 per year of income received by individual Indians from funds derived from interests held in such trust or restricted lands (25 U.S.C. 1407 - 1408). This exclusion does not include proceeds of gaming operations regulated by the Commission;

  (36) Payments received on or after January 1, 1989, from the Agent Orange Settlement Fund (101) or any other fund established pursuant to the settlement in In Re Agent Orange Liability Litigation, M.D.L. No. 381 (E.D.N.Y.);

  (37) Payments received under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 (96, 25 U.S.C. 1728);

  (38) Payments by the Indian Claims Commission to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Indian Nation or the Apache Tribe of Mescalero Reservation (95);

  (39) Any allowance paid under the provisions of 38 U.S.C. 1833(c) to children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida (38 U.S.C. 1802 - 05), children of women Vietnam veterans born with certain birth defects (38 U.S.C. 1811 - 16), and children of certain Korean service veterans born with spina bifida (38 U.S.C. 1821);

  (40) Payments, funds, or distributions authorized, established, or directed by the Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990 (25 U.S.C. 1774f(b));

  (41) Payments from any deferred U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits that are received in a lump sum amount or in prospective monthly amounts (42 U.S.C. §1437a(b)(4));

  (42) A lump sum or a periodic payment received by an individual Indian pursuant to the Class Action Settlement Agreement in the case entitled Elouise Cobell et al. v. Ken Salazar et al., 816 F.Supp.2d 10 (Oct. 5, 2011 D.D.C.), for a period of one year from the time of receipt of that payment as provided in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-291);

  (43) Per capita payments made from the proceeds of Indian Tribal Trust Cases as described in PIH Notice 2013-30 "Exclusion from Income of Payments under Recent Tribal Trust Settlements" (25 U.S.C. 117b(a));

  (44) Payments of up to $100,000 a year from an account established under the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 or the ABLE Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-295) to a qualified beneficiary that are expended on qualified disability expenses;

  (45) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (LIHWAP only), and

  (46) Any other items which are excluded by virtue of federal or state legislation or by adopted federal regulations that have taken effect. The Department will, from time to time, provide on its website updated links to such federal or state exclusions. Notwithstanding such information, a Subrecipient may rely on any adopted federal or state exclusion on and after the date on which it took effect.

(e) The requirements for determining whether an applicant Household is eligible for assistance require the Subrecipient to annualize the Household income based on verifiable documentation of income, within 30 days of the application date.

(f) The Subrecipient must document all sources of income, including excluded income, for 30 days prior to the date of application, for all household members 18 years of age or older.

(g) Identify all income sources, not on the excluded list, for income calculation.

  (1) The Subrecipient must calculate projected annual income by annualizing current income. Income that may not last for a full 12 months should be calculated assuming current circumstances will last a full 12 months, unless it can be documented that employment is less than 12 months/year and pay is not prorated over the entire 12 month period. For incomes not able to be annualized over a 12 month period, the income shall be calculated on the total annual earning period (e.g., for a teacher paid only nine months a year, the annual income should be the income earned during those nine months). In limited cases where income is not paid hourly, weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly nor monthly, the Subrecipient may contact the Department to determine an alternate calculation method in unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

  (2) For all customers including those with categorical eligibility, the Subrecipient must collect verifiable documentation of Household income received in the 30 days prior to the date of application.

  (3) Once all sources of income are known, Subrecipient must convert reported income to an annual figure. (One-time employment income should be added to the total after the income has been annualized.) Convert periodic wages to annual income by multiplying:

    (A) Hourly wages by the number of hours worked per year (2,080 hours for full-time employment with a 40-hour week and no overtime);

    (B) Weekly wages by 52;

    (C) Bi-weekly wages (paid every other week) by 26;

    (D) Semi-monthly wages (paid twice each month) by 24; and

    (E) Monthly wages by 12.

(h) If a federal or state requirement provides an updated definition of income or method for calculating income, the Department will provide written notice to Subrecipients about the implementation date for the new requirements.

(i) If proof of income is unobtainable, the applicant must complete and sign a Declaration of Income Statement (DIS).

(j) For CSBG, LIHEAP, and LIHWAP, a live in aide or attendant is not considered part of the Household for purposes of determining Household income, but is considered for a benefit based on the size of the Household. Example: A Household applies for assistance. There are four people in the Household. One of the four people is a live-in aide. To determine if the Household is qualified, annualize the income of the other three Household members and compare it to the three person income limit. However, if the amount of benefit is based on Household size (such as benefit level based on the number of people in the Household), then this is a four person Household.

(k) A Subrecipient shall not discourage anyone from applying for assistance. Subrecipient shall provide all potential customers with an opportunity to apply for programs.

Source Note: The provisions of this §6.4 adopted to be effective December 2, 2021, 46 TexReg 8012

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