A-1420, Types of Deductions

Body

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

 

A—1421 Child Support Deductions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Diversion policy in A-1424, Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home, applies.

SNAP

Advisors should deduct child support payments (current or arrears) that a household member is legally obligated to pay and that member or another household member:

  • actually pays to an individual outside the SNAP household; or
  • actually pays for an individual outside the SNAP household; or
  • makes to a child support agency.

 

A—1421.1 Allowable Child Support Deductions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Allowable child support payments may be in the form of:

  • cash support;
  • medical support; or
  • payments to third parties.

To be an allowable deduction, these payments must be ordered by a court or administrative authority and be equal to or less than the household's child support obligation.

Payments for alimony or spousal support are not deductible.

 

A—1421.2 Budgeting Child Support Deductions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF and SNAP

Child support collected through a tax intercept is not an allowable child support deduction.

A child support payment may be owed by one household member but paid by another member. The child support expense for the household member paying the expense is allowed.

If the household member with the legal obligation or the household member paying the legal obligation leaves the home, the household's eligibility for the deduction must be redetermined.

SNAP

A child support deduction for households that pay legally obligated child support is allowed. For current support, a deduction up to and including the legally obligated amount is allowed. For arrears, only the amount a household member actually pays is allowed.

For households with new obligations, the anticipated amount is budgeted if the household member can reasonably explain the basis for future payment. For households with previous payments, the amount (not to exceed the legal obligation) is averaged and projected over the certification period. Any other anticipated changes that would affect the payment should be considered.

In some instances, an employer may charge the absent parent a processing fee for garnishing wages or the custodial parent may use the services of a private collection agency, which may charge the absent parent a fee for collecting child support. The processing fee is not an allowable expense. Only the legally obligated amount a household member pays is allowed as a deduction, regardless of whether a processing fee is added or subtracted from the gross amount of the child support.

If a household member pays child support in advance, the household is eligible for the child support deduction. The individual is allowed the option of deducting the entire amount in the month paid or averaging the amount over the period of time it is intended to cover.

If legally obligated child support is paid by a household member who is disqualified due to ... then ...
intentional program violation, employment sanction, felony drug convictions or being a fugitive, deduct the entire amount of eligible child support paid.
alien status, citizenship, Social Security number or 18-50 work requirement, prorate the amount of eligible child support paid by the disqualified member. Deduct all but the disqualified member's share.

 

The full child support expense is deducted when another household member pays the legally obligated child support on behalf of a disqualified member.

 

A—1422 $75 Disregard Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Up to $75 of child support received before the certification date may be deducted.

Related Policy

Child Support, A-1326.2

 

A—1423 Dependent Care Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The maximum dependent care deduction is up to and including:

  • $200 a month for each child under age 2,
  • $175 a month for each child age 2 or older, and
  • $175 a month for each adult with disabilities.

An earned income deduction is allowed for the actual cost of unreimbursed payments up to and including the maximum amount when the individual incurs an expense for:

  • the care of a child or adult with disabilities (even when the child or adult with disabilities is not included in the certified group); and/or
  • transportation of a child to and/or from day care or school.

The expense must be both necessary for employment and incurred by an employed person who is included in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) budget group or would be included except the person is disqualified for a reason listed in 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. The expense for household members meeting these requirements is allowed, even if there are other adults in the household who could care for the children.

The deduction in the budgetary and recognizable needs tests is allowed.

SNAP

A deduction is allowed for the actual cost of unreimbursed payments when the individual incurs an expense for the care of a child or adult with disabilities, or the transportation of a child or adult with disabilities to and/or from day care or school. The deduction is allowed if the expense is necessary for a household member to:

  • seek or continue employment;
  • attend training; or
  • go to school.

The expense for household members who meet one of the above conditions is allowed, even if there are other adults in the household who could care for the children. These expenses are deducted from earned or unearned income. The individual's expense may be considered necessary for employment, training or school attendance if the child or adult with disabilities lives with the individual at least one day a month. The child/adult with disabilities does not have to be a certified member of the SNAP household.

Related Policy
Disqualified Members, A-1362

 

A—1424 Diversions, Alimony, and Payments to Dependents Outside the Home

Revision 21-2; Effective April 1, 2021

TANF

The following deductions from the income of a caretaker, second parent, or minor parent are allowed before either of the two needs tests are applied (after earned income deductions in the budgetary and recognizable needs tests):

  • Budgetary needs amount for a family size equal to the number of noncertified persons in the home whom the legal parent can claim as tax dependents or is legally obligated to support (including Supplemental Security Income [SSI] recipients). The needs figure applicable to the number of noncertified members is used.
    • An amount for the needs of a dependent who is disqualified for a reason other than citizenship, alien status, time limits, or unmarried minor parent domicile requirement is not diverted.
  • Actual amount of child support and alimony a household member pays to persons outside the home.
  • Actual amount of a household member's payments to persons outside the home whom a household member can claim as tax dependents or is legally obligated to support.

When two household members are married or filing a joint tax return, any portion of their joint diversion amount that exceeds one person's income can be deducted from the other person's income.

Step 3 on Form H1100, Addendum Income Worksheet, should be completed to allow this deduction.

Medical Programs

If the divorce or separation agreements that include alimony payments were executed or last modified:

  • On or before Dec. 31, 2018, alimony paid by members of the MAGI household can be deducted. 
  • After Dec. 31, 2018, alimony paid cannot be claimed as a MAGI deduction. 
     

 

A—1424.1 Determining the Needs Figure

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

The following table may be used when diverting for the needs of noncertified tax dependents in the home.

If the tax dependent is a ... then use the budgetary needs figure for ...
  • parent,
  • spouse (including spouse of child), or
  • child age 19 or older,
an adult.*
child under age 19, a child.

 

* If the number of persons whose needs are diverted includes more than two adults, use the chart figure for two adults and the number of children from the column labeled Caretaker EDGs With Second Parent. If there are a total of three adults, add an additional amount from the chart for the family size of one ($313); or if there are a total of four adults, add an additional amount from the chart for a family size of two ($498). Continue the pattern depending upon whether the number of additional adults is an odd number (5 = $498 + $313) or an even number (6 = $498 + $498).

 

When diverting for an 18-year-old child who turns age 19 during one of the budget months, the budgetary needs figure of an adult is used beginning with the month after the child turns age 19.

 

A—1425 Earned Income Deductions

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Earned income deductions are the:

  • standard work-related expense (up to $120);
  • 1/3 earned income disregard for applicants;
  • 90 percent earned income deduction; and
  • dependent care costs.

An applicant or recipient does not qualify for deductions if:

  • income is gained from illegal activities, such as prostitution and selling illegal drugs.
  • the individual did not notify the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) timely about a new job or increased earnings without good cause. Allow the deduction for ongoing budgets, but do not allow it when determining an overpayment or supplemental budgets. Count the months it should have been budgeted as used months based on when the change would have been effective if the individual had reported it timely.
  • individual voluntarily quits a job without good cause within the 60 days prior to the:
    • application file date, or after filing but before certification; or
    • household addition request date, or after the request but before being added. Deductions are not allowed until the next complete review.

      Deductions beginning with the Texas Integrated Eligibility Redesign System (TIERS) effective month are allowed when processing the next complete review.

SNAP

A 20 percent deduction of all gross earned income is allowed. See B-752, Determining Claim Amounts, for exceptions.

 

A—1425.1 Work-Related Expense ($120 and 20%)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

 

TANF

A work-related expense deduction of up to $120 a month (not to exceed the person's monthly earnings) is allowed from the earned income of each employed household member:

  • whose needs are included in the budget or certified group; or
  • who is a disqualified member.

In TANF, this deduction is allowed in the budgetary and recognizable needs test.

SNAP

Allow a 20 percent deduction of all gross earned income.

 

A—1425.2 1/3 Disregard for Applicants

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Applicant households that must pass the 100 percent budgetary needs test are also required to pass Part A of the 25 percent recognizable needs test. This Part A test allows the standard work-related deduction ($120) and a disregard of 1/3 of the remaining income. If the applicant fails this test, the household is ineligible for TANF.

Note: For this purpose, an applicant household is one that has not received TANF in any state in the four months before applying.

 

A—1425.3 90% Earned Income Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

Applicant households that pass Part A of the recognizable needs test and all other households must pass Part B of the test (see A-1341, Income Limits and Eligibility Tests). After subtracting the standard work-related expense, 90 percent of the remaining earnings (up to a cap of $1,400) is subtracted. This deduction is allowed 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: A month in which a full-family sanction is imposed is not counted as one of the 90 percent earned income deduction (EID) months.

The 12-month period is a fixed period that begins with the first month the 90 percent deduction is used. The first month that counts as a used month is the first month the individual receives a cash benefit that includes the 90 percent deduction. This period is referred to as the 90 percent EID eligibility period.

If the individual has not used all four months of the deduction within the 90 percent EID eligibility period, a new fixed 12-month period and four new months of the 90 percent EID are allowed after the first 12-month period ends. The new 12-month period begins with the first month that the individual uses the 90 percent deduction again.

If the household member received the 90 percent deduction for four months in a 12-month period, the member may not receive it again until:

  • TANF is denied and remains denied for one full benefit month; and
  • 12 calendar months have passed since the denial. This 12-month period is known as the 90 percent EID ineligibility period and begins with the first full month of denial after the individual used the fourth month of the 90 percent deduction.

 

A—1425.3.1 Who Is Eligible for the 90% Earned Income Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

A household member is eligible to receive the 90 percent EID if:

  • the individual has not previously received the deduction for four months in the individual’s 12-month period; and
  • the individual’s needs:
    • are included in the certified group; or
    • would be included except the individual is disqualified for noncompliance with child support, Social Security number (SSN), Choices, third-party resource (TPR) requirements, intentional program violation (IPV), or for reasons other than alien/citizenship status, TANF state time limit policies, and the TANF unmarried minor parent domicile requirement.

TIERS default settings automatically allow the 90 percent EID for eligible EDG members. The 90 percent EID page appears by choosing the screen from the left navigation bar. The effective begin and end dates are used to allow the deduction for specific months.

An individual may decline use of the deduction even if it results in EDG denial without its use. The individual may decline at any time, but the deduction may not be removed retroactively. Any removal from the budget will take effect according to timely change processing for future months.

If the client wishes to decline the deduction, the client answers "yes" to the questions, "Does individual decline the TANF 90 percent earned income deduction?" and "Does individual decline the FMA 90 percent earned income deduction?" on the 90 percent Earned Income Deduction – Details screen. TIERS requires answers for both questions.

 

A—1425.3.2 Who Is Not Eligible for the 90% Earned Income Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

An individual is not allowed the deduction if any of the situations listed in A-1425, Earned Income Deductions, apply to the individual.

An individual is not allowed the deduction if the member’s needs are not included in the EDG because the member is disqualified due to:

  • alien/citizenship status;
  • TANF state time limits policies; or
  • TANF unmarried minor parent domicile requirement.

The deduction is not allowed if the individual has already received the 90 percent deduction for four months in a 12-month period. When the 90 percent ineligibility period ends,  the deduction is not allowed again until the individual obtains new employment. The new employment must begin after the 90 percent ineligibility period ends.

 

A—1425.3.3 Removing the 90% Earned Income Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

TANF

After the individual receives the 90 percent deduction for four months in a 12-month period, the deduction ends. TIERS automatically removes the deduction and rebudgets the EDG for the appropriate month based on advisor entries.

 

A—1426 Reserved for Future Use

Revision 20-2; Effective April 1, 2020

 

 

A—1427 Homeless Shelter Standard

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

The homeless shelter standard shown in C-121.1, Deduction Amounts, is budgeted for any month the household:

  • meets the definition of a homeless household;
  • has any amount of out-of-pocket shelter expenses; and
  • chooses the standard.

Households that choose the homeless shelter standard are not entitled to any other shelter deductions or utility standards.

Note: Advisors must ensure that the household has out-of-pocket shelter expenses before allowing the deduction.

 

A—1428 Medical Deduction

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

A medical deduction is allowed for households with a member who meets the definition of elderly in B-431, Definition of Elderly, or of having a disability in B-432, Definition of Disability, if the:

  • member who is elderly or has a disability incurred the expense; and
  • medical expenses exceed $35 a month. If two or more people in the household qualify for a medical deduction, combine the medical expenses. If an applicant has been or will be reimbursed for a medical expense, deduct only the nonreimbursed amount.

Expenses that the household is still legally obligated to pay are allowed for someone who was a household member:

  • immediately before entering the hospital or nursing home; or
  • when the member died.

 

A—1428.1 Allowable Medical Expenses

Revision 21-2; Effective April 1, 2021

SNAP

Deductions are allowed for the following medical expenses:

  • medical care provided by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional (e.g., registered dietician);
  • dental care provided by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional;
  • psychotherapy care provided by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional;
  • rehabilitation care provided by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional;
  • hospitalization provided by a facility recognized by the state;
  • outpatient treatment provided by a facility recognized by the state;
  • nursing care provided by a facility recognized by the state;
  • nursing home care provided by a facility recognized by the state;
  • diapers for children with disabilities;
  • incontinence pads for elderly or adults with disabilities;
  • drugs prescribed by a licensed practitioner (including insulin);
  • over-the-counter medication (including aspirin, ibuprofen, medicated creams, etc.) when approved by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional;
  • medical supply costs (including rental) are deductible with a prescription or approval;
  • sickroom equipment costs (including rental) are deductible with a prescription or approval;
  • adaptive aids;
  • health insurance policy costs (including dental insurance, vision insurance, etc.);
  • hospitalization insurance policy costs (including hospital indemnity insurance, etc.);
  • Medicare premiums, cost-sharing and deductibles;
  • Spend Down expenses incurred by Medicaid recipients;
  • Medicaid Buy-In for Children (MBIC) premium payments;
  • dentures;
  • hearing aids;
  • prostheses;
  • service animals. Cost of securing and maintaining any animal trained to serve the needs of a person with disabilities, such as a guide dog or dog to help the hearing impaired. This includes dog food and veterinarian bills;
  • eyeglasses prescribed by a qualified health professional;
  • lodging costs to obtain medical services;
  • care costs. Cost of maintaining an attendant, home health aide, child care provider or housekeeper necessary because of age or illness. In addition to wages, deduct an amount equal to a one-person SNAP allotment if the applicant furnishes most of the attendant's meals. If the applicant has attendant care costs that could qualify under both medical and dependent care deductions, consider the cost a medical expense;
  • repayment of a loan used to pay medical expenses; or
  • transportation costs (such as trips to the doctor, hospital, therapy, drug store, or paying someone to drive the person for medical services, etc.).

Note: When determining transportation costs, the person may choose to use 56 cents per mile instead of keeping track of actual expenses.

Deductions are not allowed for the following medical expenses:

  • the costs of policies that do not specifically cover medical costs (such as income maintenance or lump sums for death or dismemberment);
  • food supplements that can be purchased with SNAP, such as Ensure and baby formula, even if prescribed by a physician;
  • paid or past due expenses billed prior to the initial certification period (that is, before the person was receiving SNAP);
  • medical marijuana, even if prescribed by a physician; or
  • herbal products. (A form of dietary supplements derived from plants used to improve or maintain one's health which usually do not require a prescription.) Examples include: melatonin, valerian root, echinacea, flaxseed, ginseng, ginkgo, St. John's wort and garlic.

 

A—1428.2 Budgeting Medical Deductions

Revision 21-4; Effective October 1, 2021

SNAP

Households that have a member who is eligible for a medical expense are eligible for a deduction using either the standard medical expense (SME) or actual medical expenses.

At ... then budget ... and verify ...
application, if the household has medical expenses greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170 a month, the SME, the household has medical expenses greater than $35.
application, if the household has medical expenses greater than $170 a month, actual medical expenses, the actual monthly medical expense(s). If the household chooses not to provide verification of expenses exceeding $170, then allow the SME instead of actual expenses. The household must provide proof of expenses exceeding $35.
redetermination, if:
  • the household already has actual medical expenses greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170, and
  • there is no change, or there is a change in the amount but the monthly medical expense is still greater than $35 and is less than or equal to $170,
the SME, N/A, no verification is required.
redetermination, if the household does not already have the SME budgeted and the household states an eligible member has medical expenses greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170, the SME, the household has medical expenses greater than $35.
redetermination, if the household does not already have actual medical expenses budgeted and the household states an eligible member has medical expenses greater than $170, actual medical expenses, the actual monthly medical expense(s). If the household chooses not to provide verification of expenses exceeding $170, then allow the SME instead of actual expenses. The household must provide proof of expenses exceeding $35.
redetermination, if:
  • the household has actual medical expenses greater than $170 already budgeted, and
  • there is a change in the monthly amount of more than $25,
  • the SME if the new total is greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170, or
  • actual medical expenses if the new total exceeds $170,
the change in medical expenses.

When the expense ends, the advisor must end date the expense record in TIERS.

TIERS will subtract $35 from the SME or actual medical expenses to determine the net amount of the medical deduction.

If a member is disqualified for:

  • SNAP Employment and Training (E&T), a felony drug conviction, IPV, refusal to cooperate with the quality control review process, or being a fugitive, and is billed for or pays medical expenses — the full deduction is allowed; or
  • SSN noncompliance, citizenship requirements, alien status, or the 18-50 work requirement, and is billed for or pays medical expenses for the disqualified member’s own expenses or the medical expenses of another household member who is elderly or has a disability — the expense or the standard medical deduction is prorated among all household members and the pro rata share for people disqualified for SSN noncompliance, citizenship requirements, alien status, or the 18-50 work requirement is not allowed. The full medical deduction is allowed if the medical expenses are paid by an eligible household member.

If the disqualified person has the only income, the expenses are considered to be paid by that person.

The following information describes how the SME or actual medical expenses are prorated in the event a disqualified member pays for some or all the allowable medical expenses.

Eligibility for the SME or actual medical expenses is determined based on verified medical expenses of all aged members or members with disabilities, including a disqualified member. The SME is used if the total verified medical expenses are greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170. The household may claim actual expenses if the total verified expenses exceed $170.

If ... then ... and ...
the household is eligible for the SME, prorate the SME among all household members, use the eligible household members’ portion of the SME in the budget. In TIERS, enter the amount each member actually pays, and TIERS prorates accordingly.
the household is eligible for actual medical expenses, prorate the portion paid by the disqualified member among all household members, add the eligible household members’ prorated portion to the actual amount of medical expenses any eligible member pays and use this amount in the budget. In TIERS, enter the amount each member actually pays, and TIERS prorates accordingly.

Example 1 (SME): The household consists of three eligible members with total verified monthly medical expenses of $75 and one member who is disqualified due to citizenship. The disqualified person pays for half of the medical expenses, and an eligible person pays for the other half. The household is eligible for the SME because the total verified monthly medical expenses are $75 (greater than $35 but less than $170). The SME is prorated among the eligible members, because the disqualified member pays for part of the medical expenses.

$170 / 4 = $42.50
$42.50 x 3 = $127.50

In TIERS, a medical expense of $37.50 ($75/2) is entered for both the disqualified person and for the eligible member, which is the amount of monthly medical expenses each member actually pays, and TIERS will budget a prorated SME of $127.50.

Example 2 (Actual Medical Expenses): The household situation is the same as Example 1, except that the monthly amount of verified medical expenses is $200. The disqualified member pays $100 of the medical expenses. The household is eligible for the actual amount of medical expenses. The amount the disqualified member pays is prorated and added to the portion paid by the eligible member to determine the total amount of the medical deduction.

$100 / 4 = $25
$25 x 3 = $75
$75 + $100 = $175

The following amounts are entered in TIERS:

  • $100, for the eligible member; and
  • $100, for the disqualified member (TIERS will prorate the allowable amount to $75).

Finally, $35 must be subtracted from the total deduction to determine the net amount of the medical deduction (TIERS does this as a final step).

 

A—1428.2.1 Determining Allowable Costs for Individuals with a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Part D

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

If the applicant is enrolled in Medicare Drug Plan Part D,  the individual’s prescription costs are budgeted following normal rules by reasonably anticipating the individual's unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses.

Note: The household may opt for the SME.

 

A—1428.3 Budgeting Options

Revision 21-4; Effective October 1, 2021

SNAP

When averaging the medical expenses, the SME is budgeted for each month of the certification period, as long as the household’s allowable averaged monthly medical expense is greater than $35. If the expense recurs monthly or more often, and the medical expense exceeds $35 and is less than or equal to $170 a month, the SME is budgeted for each month of the certification period. When allowable medical expenses for the household exceed the SME, the actual medical expenses are budgeted. The following chart is used to determine when to budget the SME or actual medical expenses.

If the expense ... then budget the ...
recurs less often than monthly and the amount averaged for each month is less than or equal to $35, actual amount of verified actual medical expense in the month billed, or use the SME in the month billed if the medical expense is greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170.
recurs less often than monthly and the amount averaged for each month is greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170 a month, SME for each month of the certification period.
recurs less often than monthly and the amount averaged for each month is greater than $170, averaged amount of actual verified medical expenses for each month. Budget the SME only if the household chooses to use the SME or fails to provide enough verification to qualify for actual medical expenses.
occurs one time and the amount averaged over the certification period is less than or equal to $35 a month, actual amount of verified medical expenses in the month billed, or use the SME in the month billed if the medical expense is greater than $35 and is less than or equal to $170.
occurs one time and the amount averaged over the certification period is greater than $35 and less than or equal to $170 a month, SME for each month of the certification period.
occurs one time and the amount averaged over the certification period is greater than $170 a month, averaged amount of the actual medical expenses for each month. Budget the SME only if the household chooses to use the SME or fails to provide enough verification to qualify for actual medical expenses.

 

Note: A deduction is allowed for payments made on a monthly payment plan set up before the expense became past due.

 

A—1428.4 Change in Medical Expenses During Certification

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

SNAP households are not required to report changes in medical expenses during the certification period.

Households should be advised that a new one-time expense or change in a recurring medical expense that is reported and verified timely may be budgeted in the certification period.

If the household voluntarily reports a change in medical expenses and the change is reported and verified timely, the advisor must consider the newly reported change to determine if the individual should consider switching from the SME to actual expenses.

A medical expense, paid or unpaid, is reported timely if it is reported before it becomes past due to the provider:

  • anytime during the certification period, or
  • at the next redetermination.

A one-time medical expense reported and verified too late to budget in the current certification period may be deducted in the first month of the next certification period or averaged over the next certification period.

When the household timely reports and provides timely verification of a paid or unpaid expense (one-time medical expense or recurring) at the redetermination interview:

  • the expense is deducted in the first month of the new certification period, or
  • averaged over the new certification period.
When a change in medical expenses is reported during the certification period by a ... then ...
household member or the authorized representative, follow the procedures in B-600, Changes, for both increases and decreases in benefits.
source other than a household member or the authorized representative, act on the change if it is considered to be verified at the time of receipt and the change can be made without contacting the household for additional information or verification. Note: If the change would require contact with the household, do not act on the change until the household is recertified.

 

A—1428.5 Switching Between Actual Medical Expenses and the Standard Medical Expense

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Households may switch between actual expenses and the SME at redetermination. Households may also switch at an incomplete review if changes in medical expenses are reported and it is to the household's advantage to switch from the SME to actual medical expenses.

 

A—1429 Shelter Costs

Revision 20-3; Effective July 1, 2020

SNAP

A deduction is allowed for all households that incur a shelter expense using the following rules:

  • Households may deduct monthly shelter costs that exceed 50 percent of the income remaining after other deductions.
  • The shelter deduction cannot exceed the maximum shown in C-121.1, Deduction Amounts, unless there is a member of the household who is elderly or has a disability as defined in B-430, Households with Elderly Members or Members with a Disability.

    Exception: Households with members who are disqualified for not meeting SSN requirements, alien status requirements or for reaching Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) time limits are ineligible for an uncapped excess shelter deduction. Household members who are disqualified for another reason are eligible for the uncapped excess shelter deduction when there is a member of the household who is elderly or has a disability. 
     
  • The uncapped deduction is not allowed for households that only receive a medical deduction for a former member.
  • A deduction is allowed only for charges for the shelter the household currently occupies. Exceptions:
    • If a required household member is employed in another city and maintains a residence there, shelter costs are allowed for both the regular residence and the residence maintained where the member is employed. The household may claim one of the utility allowances.
    • See A-1429.2, Shelter Deductions for an Unoccupied Home.
  • Households sharing shelter costs are both entitled to a shelter deduction for their share.
  • Shelter expenses paid by an exempt vendor payment or reimbursement are not deductible. Exception: A deduction for utility expenses as noted in A-1429.3, Utility Allowances, is allowed.
  • One of the utility allowances or standards is allowed.
    Note: The utility and telephone standards for households with disqualified members or households sharing utility expenses must not be prorated.
  • Property taxes that are averaged as explained in A-1411, Rules That Apply to Deductions, are deducted, even if the expense is paid or past due when reported.

Related Policy

Special Provisions for Households with Elderly Members or Members with a Disability, B-433
Deduction Amounts, C-121.1

 

A—1429.1 Allowable Shelter Costs

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

Allowable costs include:

  • Rent, mortgage payments and other continuing charges leading to ownership of the property, such as mandatory maintenance and homeowner association fees, are allowed.

    Notes:

    Costs to repay a loan are allowable shelter costs only if the lender places a lien on the property as a result of the loan. The loan may be for home repair/improvement or for purposes unrelated to the home, but the payments due are considered a mortgage if the loan results in a lien on the property.

    Maintenance fees must be mandatory as a condition for the continuation of residence for renters and homeowners. The fees must be a required fee payment, not a requirement to maintain the property.

  • Taxes and insurance on the shelter, but not its contents, are allowed. The cost of insurance for the shelter and the contents are allowed if they cannot be separated.
  • Charges for fuel, utilities, sewage, and garbage collection are used to determine whether the household may be eligible for one of the utility expense deductions found in A-1429.3, Utility Allowances.
  • Expenses related to a telephone, including a cell phone, are used to determine whether the household may be eligible for a standard telephone deduction.
  • Unreimbursed expenses for the repair of a home damaged by a natural disaster are allowed.

Note: Shelter costs do not include one-time deposits.

 

A—1429.2 Shelter Deductions for an Unoccupied Home

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

The actual shelter costs are budgeted for a home (excluding utility costs) unoccupied because of employment or training, illness (including receiving medical treatment), natural disaster or casualty loss (fire, flood, state of disrepair, etc.), if the:

  • household intends to return to the home;
  • current occupants are not claiming the same shelter costs the owner is claiming for SNAP purposes; and
  • home is not leased or rented.

The household may claim both the shelter costs of its current residence and the cost of the unoccupied home, and a single utility standard (if the household is eligible for one), but no more than the maximum excess shelter deduction (if applicable).

 

A—1429.3 Utility Allowances

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

The appropriate utility allowance is determined at application, redetermination, and when the individual reports a change in utility expenses.

 

A—1429.3.1 Standard Utility Allowance (SUA)

Revision 20-4; Effective October 1, 2020

SNAP

The SUA is budgeted in the amount shown in C-121.1, Deduction Amounts. No other expenses related to utilities are allowed when using the SUA. The SUA is allowed for households that:

  • have or anticipate out-of-pocket heating or cooling costs separate from their rent or mortgage payments during the next 12 months; or
  • have received a Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payment (or other similar energy assistance payment) more than $20 annually in the previous 12 months or in the current month.

Notes:

  • Cooling costs are limited to the cost related to the operation of an air conditioning system, an evaporative cooler (or swamp box) or window unit air conditioner(s). A fan is not considered a cooling cost for the purposes of qualifying for the SUA.
  • When households share heating or cooling costs and a meter (whether they live together or not), each household is eligible for the SUA.

 

A—1429.3.2 Basic Utility Allowance (BUA)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

The BUA is budgeted in the amount shown in C-121.1, Deduction Amounts, for households that incur utility expenses other than just a telephone expense but do not have heating or cooling costs separate from their rent or mortgage payments. No other expenses related to utilities are allowed when using the BUA.

When households share utility costs other than a telephone but do not have heating or cooling costs (whether they live together or not), each household is eligible for the BUA.

 

A—1429.3.3 Determining the Appropriate Utility Allowance

Revision 20-4; Effective October 1, 2020

SNAP

The following chart may be used as a guide to determine the appropriate utility allowance the household is eligible to receive.

If the person... then the household is eligible for the ...
owns or is buying their home and is billed for utilities that include heating or cooling costs, SUA.
owns or is buying their home and is billed for utilities that do not include heating or cooling costs,
(Example: The household does not have air conditioning and cools their home with fans and uses a cooking stove for heating.)
BUA.
receives LIHEAP payments (or other similar energy assistance payment) more than $20 annually in the previous 12 months or in the current month, SUA.
rents and is billed for utilities from an individual meter for heating or cooling costs, SUA.
rents from a landlord who lives in a separate residence and the landlord bills the household a standard amount for the heating and cooling costs, SUA.
lives in public housing and is billed only for excess heating or cooling costs, SUA.
shares the expense and a meter with another household who lives in a separate residence on the same property and the other household is billed for the utilities that include heating and cooling costs, SUA.
lives together in the same residence with a friend or family member and the person:
  • shares the heating or cooling expenses with the friend or family member (even if the friend or family member is billed for the utilities that include heating and cooling costs);
  • pays the cooling bill and the friend or family member pays the heating; or
  • pays the friend or family member a set amount for the utilities that include heating or cooling costs separate from the rent,
SUA.
lives together in the same residence with another household and the person shares the utility expenses that do not include heating or cooling costs separate from the rent, BUA.
lives together in the same residence with another household who pays for the heating and cooling costs and the person is only responsible for the water bill, BUA.
pays only the phone expense and all other utility expenses are included in the shelter costs, phone standard.
lives together in the same residence with other households who share the heating, cooling or other utility costs and the person is only responsible for the phone bill, phone standard.
lives with a disqualified member and the household pays heating or cooling costs, SUA.
lives with a disqualified member and the household pays non-heating or non-cooling costs, BUA.

 

A—1429.4 Telephone Standard

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015

SNAP

The telephone standard is budgeted as shown in C-121.1, Deduction Amounts, for households that have a telephone expense (including a cell phone) and do not claim the BUA, SUA or the homeless shelter standard.