340:10-3-5. Personal property
(a) This subsection describes personal property and how it is considered in determining eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
(1) Household goods and equipment. Items essential to day-to-day living, such as clothing, furniture, and other similarly essential items of limited value, are excluded as resources.
(2) Livestock and equipment used in a business enterprise. A person's equity in livestock, equipment, or merchandise in a business enterprise is considered as a resource only when the person is not actively engaged in the business enterprise. Equity is not counted when the person actively participates in the business or is only temporarily inactive, such as when the person becomes incapacitated and reasonably expects and plans to resume the business enterprise upon recovery. Equity is established based on verbal or written information that the person has or by obtaining information from persons with specialized knowledge about the particular resources.
(3) Livestock and home produce used for home consumption. Any livestock or produce grown and used by the assistance unit for home consumption is excluded.
(4) Cash savings and bank accounts. Available cash and money in a financial institution is considered as a resource. The person's statement that he or she does not have cash on hand or in a financial institution is sufficient unless there are indications to the contrary. When there is information to the contrary or when the person does not have records to verify the amount on deposit, verification is obtained from bank records. Section 167.1 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (O.S. 56 § 167.1) provides that financial records obtained for the purpose of establishing eligibility for assistance or services must be furnished without cost to the person or Oklahoma Human Services OKDHS.
(A) Checking accounts may or may not represent savings. Current bank statements are evaluated with the person to establish what, if any, portion of the account represents savings. Any income deposited during the current month is not considered savings.
(B) Jointly-owned accounts are considered available to the person unless it can be established what part of the account belongs to each of the owners, the money is separated, and the joint account is dissolved.
(C) Per Section 529A of Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U.S.C. § 529A) and 56 O.S. §§ 4001.1 through 4001.5, contributions deposited into or distributions withdrawn from an Oklahoma Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) individual savings or trust account or an ABLE account in any other state owned by the designated beneficiary of the account and established to pay qualified disability expenses (QDE) is excluded from income or resource consideration when determining the person's eligibility to receive, or the amount of, any assistance or benefits from local or state means-tested programs. A person may have only one ABLE account. The client must provide documents to verify that the account meets exemption criteria before the funds are excluded. Once the client verifies that the savings or trust account is a valid ABLE account, no further account information is required. • 1
(i) A contribution to an ABLE account by another individual is excluded unless the contribution exceeds the annual federal gift tax exclusion, per 26 U.S.C. § 2503(b). Any money deposited in the account in a calendar year that is in excess of the annual federal gift tax exclusion is considered a countable resource in the month deposited.
(ii) A distribution from an ABLE account that is retained after the month of receipt is excluded in any month when spent on a QDE. Money withdrawn for reasons other than to pay a QDE is considered as a countable resource for the month of withdrawal.
(iii) A QDE is any expense related to the blindness or disability of the individual and made for the benefit of the individual. QDE's include, but are not limited to:
(IV) employment, training, and support;
(V) assistive technology;
(VII) prevention and wellness;
(VIII) financial management and administrative services;
(IX) legal fees;
(X) ABLE account oversight and monitoring;
(XI) funeral and burial; and
(XII) basic living.
(D) In certain instances, a client may receive and access funds from a charitable account in a TANF assistance unit member's name or in a third party's name.
(i) Charitable accounts are typically set up for a specific purpose, such as to help pay for medical expenses not covered by SoonerCare (Medicaid) or the person's insurance, funeral expenses, or living expenses while a person is unable to work. Medical expenses may include travel expenses to obtain treatment, such as fuel, meals, lodging, and incidentals.
(ii) The worker must verify:
(I) the purpose of the account;
(II) the name(s) on the account:
(III) the person(s) who is authorized to withdraw funds from the account;
(IV) the dates and amounts of any deposits into or withdrawals from the account within the most recent 12-month period; and
(V) any limitations or restrictions placed on the access to account funds.
(iii) When the account is in the name of a TANF assistance unit member and there are no restrictions on accessing funds, the funds in the account are considered as a countable resource. When funds are periodically withdrawn from the account, the amount withdrawn is considered as unearned income in the month withdrawn.
(iv) When the account is in the name of an assistance unit member and funds are restricted for non-elective medical expenses or funeral expenses, the funds in the account are excluded from resource and income consideration. When the restricted funds can be released to the client for other purposes, such as living expenses, the funds are considered as unearned income in the month released.
(v) When the account is held and managed by a third party on the client's behalf and the client does not have direct access to the funds, the account is not considered as an available resource to the client. When the third party disburses funds from the account to:
(I) vendors on the client's behalf, the released funds are not considered as countable income; or
(II) the client for purposes other than non-elective medical bills or funeral expenses, the funds are considered as unearned income in the month received.
(vi) When charitable funds are collected and released to the client in a one-time payment for non-elective medical expenses or funeral expenses, the funds are excluded. When released for other purposes, the one-time payment is considered as a nonrecurring lump sum payment, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-3-28.
(E) Economic impact payments received as a result of a national or state emergency are considered as a rebate or advance payment of a credit and are excluded as income; and from resource consideration for a period of 12 months from receipt date for the purpose of determining eligibility for benefits or assistance under any federal, state, or local program financed, in whole or in part, with federal funds, per Section 103(d) of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, as amended, 26 U.S.C. § 6409.
(5) Insurance policies and prepaid funeral benefits.
(A) Life insurance policies. The cash surrender value (CSV) less any loans or unpaid interest of life insurance policies owned by members included in the TANF cash assistance is counted as a resource. Dividends that accrue and remain with the insurance company increase the amount of the resource. Dividends paid to a person are considered as income. Assignment of the face value of a life insurance policy to fund a prepaid burial contract is not counted as a resource. In this instance, the amount of the face value of the life insurance is evaluated according to (C) or, when applicable, (D) of this paragraph.
(B) Burial spaces. The value of a burial space for each family member whose needs are included in the cash assistance or whose income and resources are considered when computing the cash assistance is excluded from resources.
(C) Burial funds. Revocable burial funds not in excess of $1500 for each person included in the assistance unit are excluded as a resource when the funds are specifically set aside for the burial arrangements of the person, per 56 O.S. § 165. Any amount in excess of $1500 for each person included in the assistance unit is considered as a resource. Burial policies that require premium payments and do not accumulate cash value are not considered prepaid burial policies.
(i) The term burial funds means a prepaid burial contract or trust with a funeral home or burial association that is set aside to pay for the person's burial expenses.
(ii) The face value of a life insurance policy, when properly assigned by the owner to a funeral home or burial association, may be used for purchasing burial funds as described in (i) of this subparagraph.
(iii) The burial fund exclusion must be reduced by the face value of life insurance policies owned by the person and by the amounts in an irrevocable trust or other irrevocable arrangement.
(iv) Interest earned or appreciation on the value of any excluded burial funds is excluded when left to accumulate and become a part of the burial fund.
(v) When the person did not purchase the prepaid burial contract or trust, even when the person's money was used for the purchase, the person is not the owner and the prepaid burial funds are not considered a resource to the person.
(D) Irrevocable burial contract. Oklahoma law provides that a purchaser of a prepaid burial contract may elect to make the contract irrevocable. Irrevocability becomes effective 30-calendar days after the contract is signed.
(i) When the irrevocable election was made prior to July 1, 1986, and the person received assistance on July 1, 1986, the full amount of the irrevocable contract is excluded as a countable resource. This exclusion applies only when the person does not add to the amount of the contract. Interest accrued on the contract is not considered as adding to the contract. Any break in assistance requires that the contract be reevaluated at reapplication.
(ii) When the effective date for the irrevocable election or application for assistance is July 1, 1986, or later, the amount in any combination of an irrevocable contract, revocable prepaid burial contract or trust, and the cash value of unassigned life insurance policies cannot exceed $10,000, per 56 O.S. § 165. Any amount in excess of $10,000 is considered a countable resource. Accrued interest is not counted as a part of the $10,000 limit, regardless of when it is accrued.
(iii) For an irrevocable contract to be valid, the election to make it irrevocable must be made by the purchaser or the purchaser's guardian or a person with power of attorney for the purchaser.
(E) Medical insurance. When a person has medical insurance, payments made to the medical provider or directly to the person and the payments are applied to the cost of medical services, they are excluded from resource consideration. Any amount remaining after payment for medical services is considered a resource. • 2
(6) Stocks, bonds, mortgages, and notes. The person's equity in stocks, bonds, including United States Savings Bonds Series A through EE, mortgages, and notes are considered as resources.
(A) The current market value less encumbrances is the equity of stocks or bonds. • 3
(B) The amount that can be realized from notes, mortgages, and similar instruments, when offered for immediate sale, constitutes a resource.
(7) Non-negotiable resources. Installment payments received on a note, mortgage, and similar instruments, for which a buyer cannot be found, are considered as monthly income.
(8) Vehicles. The market value of each vehicle owned by the person is established based on the average trade-in value listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) books, other blue books, or one of the Internet websites that provide data on the market value of used vehicles at no cost to the user. • 4 When the person states the vehicle is worth less than the average trade-in value, the person secures written appraisals from two persons familiar with current values. The appraisals must state the appraised value of the vehicle and why it is worth less than the average trade-in value. When there is a substantial unexplained difference between the appraisals or between the blue book value and one or more of the appraisals, the worker and the person jointly arrange for a third party familiar with current values and acceptable to both, to establish the true market value of the vehicle.
(A) Exempt vehicles. The equity value of up to $5,000 in one vehicle is exempt from resource consideration. The amount of the equity in excess of $5,000 is considered against the resource limit.
(B) Other vehicles and personal property. The equity in other vehicles and personal property including boats, travel trailers, motorcycles, motor homes, and campers is considered against the resource limit. The current market value less encumbrances is the equity. Only encumbrances that are verified are considered in computing equity.
(9) Lump sum payments. • 5 A lump sum settlement that compensates for the loss of a resource, such as an automobile, may be disregarded in the amount used to replace the loss.
(A) The person has up to 30-calendar days to replace the loss. Extension beyond 30-calendar days may be granted when completion of the transaction is beyond the person's control.
(B) Any amount remaining after the replacement of the loss is considered as income.
(C) Income tax refunds, except for the portion representing an earned income tax credit (EITC), must be treated as a resource and considered available to the person upon receipt. Per the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 Public Law 111-312, EITC payments received after December 31, 2009, as a result of filing a federal or state tax return are exempt as a resource for 12 months following receipt.
(D) Retirement benefits received as a lump sum payment at employment termination are considered a resource. These benefits are not treated as income because the retirement contribution was regarded as income in the month earned and withheld by the employer.
(10) Individual Development Accounts (IDA). IDAs are dedicated savings accounts that are used for a qualified purpose, such as purchasing a first home, education or job training expenses, capitalizing a small business, or other purposes designated by the IDA administrative entity.
(A) IDAs are managed by community organizations and accounts are held at local financial institutions.
(B) Cash deposits and interest accrued from the deposits made by a person in an IDA up to $2,000 are not considered as income or resources in determining TANF eligibility, per 56 O.S. § 230.54.
(C) The account deposits must be made from earned income, EITCs, or tax refunds.
(11) Saving For Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) Initiative accounts. SEED accounts are dedicated savings accounts for persons 13 through 18 years of age that are used for a qualified purpose, such as purchasing a first home, education or job training expenses, capitalizing a small business, or other purposes designated by the administrative entity. SEED accounts are managed by community organizations and accounts are held at local financial institutions. Cash deposits and interest accrued from the deposits made by a person in a SEED account up to $2,000 are not considered as income or resources in determining TANF eligibility.
(b) Resources disregarded in determining need include:
(1) income disregarded, per OAC 340:10-3-40;
(2) trusts of a child(ren) included in a TANF benefit when the funds are used for educational purposes for a child(ren). Any court established trust must be examined to determine if the court restricted the trust for other purposes. The client must verify at application and renewal if funds were withdrawn. • 6 Withdrawn funds are treated as lump sum unearned income unless documentation shows the funds were used for the child(ren)'s educational purposes; • 7
(3) any accounts, stocks, bonds, or other resources held under the control of a third party when the funds are:
(A) designated for educational purposes for a child(ren) receiving TANF, even when a child(ren)'s name is on the account and the third party holder is required to access the funds; or
(B) established to pay for non-elective medical expenses or funeral expenses for an assistance unit member;
(4) a migrant farm worker's out-of-state home property when the farm worker intends to return to the home after the temporary absence;
(5) a retroactive, nonrecurring lump sum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, made to a TANF recipient, in the month paid and the next month. The amount remaining after the second month is a countable resource;
(7) child support collected from a child support tax intercept for the month received. The amount remaining in the second month after the month of receipt is a countable resource.
1. (a) The Oklahoma State Treasurer is responsible for certifying an achieving a better life experience (ABLE) account. The program name is Oklahoma STABLE. The program is administered through a partnership with Ohio's STABLE Accounts. ABLE account rules state:
(1) only persons whose disability was established before 26 years of age can set up an ABLE account and one account is allowed per person;
(2) there is no limit to the number of persons who can contribute to the ABLE account; and
(3) upon the death of an ABLE participant, qualified disability expenses (QDE) and funeral expenses may be paid from the account. All remaining funds in the account must be paid to the state Medicaid agency to repay costs of care received by the participant up to the amount of Medicaid paid after establishment of the ABLE account.
(b) Since ABLE accounts are set up for persons with disabilities, it is more likely that a family member in an Aid to the Disabled companion case may have an ABLE account than it is for a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participant to have one.
(c) At application and renewal, the worker asks the client if the ABLE account is open and if he or she believes the deposits in, and expenditures from the account, are in compliance with the terms and requirements of that particular 529 account. When the client answers yes, no further inquiry is needed.
2. The type of insurance is documented in Case Notes on Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS).
3. Paper savings bonds were last issued in 2011, at half of the face value on the savings bond. Electronic savings bonds began issuing in 2012, at full face value. Refer to Savings Bond Calculator at savingsbonds.gov to determine the current value of a savings bond.
4. (a) The average trade-in value listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) books, other blue books, or one of the Internet websites that provide data on the market value of used vehicles at no cost to the user can be used. Available websites include:
(1) CarPrices www.carprices.com;
(2) Edmund's www.edmunds.com;
(3) Kelley Blue Book www.kbb.com.; and
(4) NADA www.nada.com.
(b) The value of a vehicle cannot be increased by adding the value of low mileage or optional equipment. The Kelley Blue Book requires users to include mileage prior to calculating a vehicle's value. Other online services with a mileage field assume average mileage when the mileage field is left blank. To ensure any vehicles are not assigned a higher value based on unusually low mileage, the worker uses the greater of the vehicle's actual mileage or 12,000 miles per year.
(c) The case record must include sufficient documentation indicating the website or blue book used to determine the market value of the vehicle.
6. Refer to OAC 340:10-3-6 for information regarding trust accounts.
7. Funds for educational purposes are for any necessary expenses related to school activities, such as fees, books, and clothing.
8. Money withdrawn from an education account is not considered unless withdrawn for use other than education. This exclusion includes:
(1) Oklahoma College Savings Plan accounts. Information about these accounts may be found at http://www.ok4saving.com/;
(2) Coverdell Education Savings, also known as Section 530 accounts; and
(3) Qualified Tuition Program, also known as Section 529 accounts.