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Standard Homeless Shelter Deduction

A homeless household may receive a standard deduction for the household’s shelter expenses.

To qualify,

  1. every person in the household must be homeless, and

  2. the household must incur or expect to incur shelter costs.

Countable Amount

Homeless households may receive a standard shelter deduction or the excess shelter deduction. The system compares the excess shelter deduction to the standard homeless shelter deduction and grants whichever is larger. The Appendix C-3 lists the current standard deduction.

When an ineligible or disqualified person lives in the household, the standard deduction for a homeless household does not prorate.

FACS Coding

Follow these instructions when updating FACS:

  1. Select one of the homeless options from the Shelter Type dropdown box (IMS A23).
  2. HOMELESS – EMERGENCY OR TRANSITIONAL SHELTER


    HOMELESS – TEMPORARILY LIVES IN A MOTEL, HOTEL, OR CAMPGROUND DUE TO NO ALTERNATIVE ACCOMODATIONS FOR LESS THAN 90 DAYS


    HOMELESS – TEMPORARILY LIVES IN THE RESIDENCE OF ANOTHER PERSON DUE TO THE LOSS OF HOUSING, ECONOMIC HARDSHIP, OR SIMILAR REASON FOR LESS THAN 90 DAYS


    HOMELESS – PLACE NOT DESIGNED FOR, OR ORDINARILIY USED AS, AN ACCOMODATION FOR HUMAN BEINGS (CAR, PARK, PUBLIC SPACE, ABANDONED BUILDING, SUBSTANDARD HOUSING, BUS OR TRAIN STATION, OR SIMILAR PLACE

  3. Indicate whether the household has shelter costs in the Homeless Shelter Costs field (IMS C61)
  4. You will choose either yes or no. While the excess shelter deduction considers both shelter and utility costs, consider only actual shelter costs for this deduction.

  5. Update the FACS Shelter Cost (IMS C54) and the Utility Indicator (IMS C59) fields.

Example 1:

Russell applies for SNAP benefits. He reports he sleeps outside and pays $25 per month for a prepaid cellphone. Does he qualify for the standard deduction for homeless person’s shelter expenses?

No, the standard deduction applies only a homeless person’s shelter expenses. You will still code C59 to reflect the Telephone Utility Allowance.

Example 2:

Seth, aged 29, reports he moved in with some friends last week. They charge him $100 monthly. He does not currently pay this amount, but his friends indicate he will have to pay this amount back to them. He is looking for a job. Does he qualify for the standard deduction for homeless person’s shelter expenses?

Yes, he does. Seth is both homeless and paying a shelter expense. Seth qualifies as homeless since he has not been staying with his friends for more than 90 days. He is not currently paying for shelter, but since he must pay it back, he has a loan obligation. You must document the terms of Seth’s loan and approve the shelter deduction.

Example 3:

Rowena and her nine-year-old daughter have been living in Rowena’s minivan for 5 months. Rowena’s car payment is currently $283, and the annual tag costs $59. Rowena is also paying for gasoline. Does this household qualify for the homeless shelter deduction?

Yes, they do. The household is homeless and paying a shelter expense. Since the household resides in a place where humans ordinarily do not sleep, they are not subject to the 90 day timeframe. It applies when a person temporarily resides in the residence of another household. The countable shelter cost only includes Rowena’s car payment. The tag and gasoline costs are not approvable shelter expenses.

Example 4:

Liam and his six-year-old son began staying in a hotel 45 days ago. The rate is $250 per week. Prior to living in the hotel, Liam reports he lost his job and they lost their home. Liam is an Irish citizen and his son is a US citizen. When Liam applies for SNAP benefits, he is not a qualified and eligible alien; he pays for the hotel with his tax return. What deductions will this household receive?

Liam and his son will receive the excess shelter deduction or homeless shelter deduction. The excess shelter prorates, and the homeless shelter deduction does not. Code $537.50 ($250*4.3=$1,075/2=$537.50) for the shelter cost in IMS C54. 

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