906 Allowable Expenses/Deductions for Food Stamps
A. Understand the standard Food Stamp deduction is based on Table II.
B. Request completion of the Application for Allowable Deductions (DFS 300) when the following occurs but DO NOT deny benefits when the Assistance unit refuses to sign the form:
1. At application, Recertification or when a change is reported which might affect the Assistance unit’s deduction;
2. Adding a new person who might affect the previous deduction choices;
3. Changing residence;
4. Reinstating POWER from nonpayment status, as appropriate;
5. Child Support is court ordered and not previously allowed;
6. An assistance unit member attains age 60.
C. Advise the assistance unit the eligibility level will be determined without deducting unverified expenses and without the appropriate utility standard when verifications are not provided within 30 days from the Date of application.
D. Increase the benefit level, when appropriate, by the first allotment after the Verification of any expenses(s) is provided.
E. Restore any disallowed benefits when the expenses could not be verified in time due to delays caused by DFS.
F. Calculate expenses of the assistance unit based on the expenses the assistance unit will be billed for, and expected to make a money Payment to someone outside the assistance unit, during the certification period:
1. Base the anticipation, except utility, on the following:
a. The most recent Month's bills unless the assistance unit is reasonably certain a change will occur;
b. A rental Verification form showing the amount of rent, what the heating and/or cooling utility is and who is responsible to pay the expense.
2. Allow expenses only in the month the expense is billed or is otherwise due regardless of when the assistance unit intends to pay the bill;
3. Disallow amounts carried forward from past billing periods even if:
a. Included with the most recent billings; and
b. Actually paid by the assistance unit.
4. Allow all assistance units to elect to have fluctuating expenses averaged, excluding utility;
5. Allow assistance units who have expenses billed less often than monthly to average the expense over the period it is intended to cover;
6. Allow one-time expenses to be averaged over the entire Certification period, or a medical deduction over the remainder of the Certification period, or a one-time deduction at the option of the assistance unit;
7. Convert expenses to a monthly amount whenever a full month's expense is anticipated but is billed on a weekly, biweekly or semimonthly basis as follows:
a. Weekly - Multiply by 4.3;
b. Biweekly - Multiply by 2.15;
c. Semimonthly - Multiply by 2.
G. Disallow an expense covered by an Exempt reimbursement or Vendor payment except LIEAP.
H. See Section 507 for deductions for excluded, Disqualified or sanctioned individuals.
I. Document why a deduction was not used when the assistance unit is entitled to a deduction.
J. Allow monthly Shelter costs as follows:
1. Allow an excess shelter deduction for the projected monthly shelter cost that exceeds 50% of the assistance unit's monthly Income after all other applicable deductions when there is an Elderly or Disabled assistance unit member; and
2. Limit the maximum excess shelter deduction as provided in Table II for nonelderly/nondisabled assistance units.
3. Include the following when calculating the shelter deduction:
a. Rent or mortgage (including second mortgages), excluding deposits;
b. Other continuing charges leading to the ownership of a shelter such as repayments for a trailer or mobile Home;
c. Interest on Loan or mortgage payments;
d. Property taxes, state and local assessments, mortgage insurance, and insurance on the structure itself:
(1) Exclude insurance for furniture and personal belongings if these costs can be separated;
(2) Prorate the property taxes and homeowner’s insurance over the period it is intended to cover.
(3) Exclude life insurance.
e. Shelter costs for the home if temporarily not occupied by the assistance unit because of Employment or training away from home, illness or Abandonment caused by a natural disaster or casualty when:
(1) The assistance unit intends to return;
(2) The current occupants of the home, if any, are not claiming the shelter’s costs; and
(3) The home is not leased or rented during the Absence of the assistance unit.
f. Charges for the repair of the home that was substantially damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster (such as fire or flood) unless reimbursed from another source;
g. Condominium fees.
h. Service fees (not a late charge fee). .
K. The Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) expense must be entered next to an eligible assistance unit member to not have the SUA pro-rated.
L. When it has been determined that an ineligible assistance unit member is “billed and pays” a shelter expense, other than the SUA, then the expense must be pro-rated;
M. When it has been determined that an eligible assistance unit member is “billed and pays” a shelter expense, then the expense must not be pro-rated;
N. The assistance unit member that “claims” s/he is being billed and is paying a shelter expense must have the income to support her/his statement.
O. Allow the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA), Utility Only Allowance (UOA), Telephone Only Allowance (TOA) or actual cost for one utility expense per the following Food Stamp Utility Deductions Chart.
P. Allow a medical deduction on current, not past due, medical expenses as follows:
1. Deduct the portion of non-reimbursable medical expenses (not to include the costs of special diets), that are in excess of $35 per month, for an assistance unit member who is:
a. Elderly; or
2. Understand assistance units entitled to a medical deduction shall have the nonreimbursable portion considered at the time the reimbursement is received or verified.
3. Allow a deduction for medical expense based on a Best estimate at the time of certification or recertification as follows:
a. Use a history of expenses paid to determine average monthly medical expenses providing the history is reflective of future expenses; or
b. Use expenses Reasonably expected to occur during the certification period if no history exists or the history is not reflective of the future; or
c. Allow expenses Reasonably expected to occur during the certification period based upon Available information about the Recipient’s medical condition;
d. Allow one-time medical expenses to be averaged over the remainder of the certification period or a one-time deduction at the option of the assistance unit;
e. Assure the Applicant/recipient understands the deduction will not change during the certification period unless a change is reported and verification of the change is provided;
f. Document your best estimate rationale in the Case record.
4. Allow the following medical costs when nonreimbursable:
a. Medical and dental care including psychotherapy and rehabilitation services provided by a licensed practitioner authorized by state law;
b. Hospitalization or out-patient treatment, nursing care and home nursing care to include payments by the assistance unit for an individual who was a Household member immediately prior to entering a hospital or nursing home licensed by the state;
c. Medication, supplies and equipment, including:
(1) Prescription drugs and other over-the-counter medication (including insulin) when approved by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional;
(2) Costs of medical supplies; and
(3) Sickroom equipment (including rentals) or other prescribed equipment.
d. Health and hospitalization insurance policy premiums, except health and accident policies, such as those payable in Lump sum settlements for death or dismemberment, or income Maintenance policies;
e. Medicare premiums related to coverage under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act:
(1) Allow any cost sharing or spend-down expenses incurred by a Medicaid and/or PDA recipient;
(2) DO NOT allow the Medicare premium when the client is not responsible for payment of the premium, such as when the state pays the premium through the "Buy-In" agreement.
f. The costs of dentures, hearing aids and prosthetics;
g. Costs of securing and maintaining service animals specially trained to assist handicapped individuals, i.e. a seeing guide dog or a hearing guide dog, including the cost of dog food and veterinarian bills;
h. The cost of eyeglasses prescribed by a qualified health practitioner;
i. The reasonable cost of transportation and lodging to obtain medical treatment or services;
j. The mileage reimbursement for medical treatment or services, when using a privately owned vehicle, should be calculated by using the current “state” rate;
k. The postage/shipping charges for mail-order prescription drugs;
costs of maintaining an attendant, homemaker, home health aide, child
care or housekeeper, necessary due to age, infirmity, illness
or disability and in addition:
necessary due to age, infirmity, illness or disability and in addition:
Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program
– effective January 1, 2006.
Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program
– effective January 1, 2006.
R. Allow the best estimate of expenses for dependent care not to exceed $200 per month for each child under two, and $175 per month for each individual over two, as follows:
1 When necessary for an assistance unit member to:
When necessary for an assistance unit member to:
or continue employment; or
Accept or continue employment; or
b. Seek employment in compliance with job search criteria (or an equivalent effort by those not subject to job search); or
c. Attend training or pursue education preparatory to employment.
2. Do not allow any amount allowed as a deduction from educational income;
3. Do not allow a deduction for an amount previously exempted;
Example: If $60 per month was exempted and the cost
is $100, $40 could still be used as a deduction.
Example: If $60 per month was exempted and the cost is $100, $40 could still be used as a deduction.
Document in the case narrative the dependent care deduction was offered
and the client chose to use or not use the deduction;
4. Document in the case narrative the dependent care deduction was offered and the client chose to use or not use the deduction;
S. Allow the legally obligated (court ordered) child support actually paid by an assistance unit member on behalf of a child to a non-assistance unit member.
1. Enter the amount on the child support window;
2. Allow child support which may include:
a. Legally obligated monetary payment; and
b. Legally obligated payments to a third party such as rent and/or medical expenses; and
c. Legally obligated Arrearages being paid.
3. Use a history of at least three months and:
a. Average the payments to arrive at the child support deduction;
b. Adjust for any anticipated changes which would affect the payment, i.e., a child becoming of age whereby the Legal obligation would cease;
c. Act on changes reported by the client during the certification period.
4. Establish a best estimate of anticipated payments when there is not a record of at least three months of legally obligated child support paid.