340:20-1-11. Income and liquid resources
(a) Income. All gross earned and unearned income that the household receives, except for income exclusions per (b) of this Section, is considered in determining financial eligibility, per Section 8624 of Title 42 of the United States Code (42 U.S.C. § 8624). Income received more than once per month from the same source is converted to a monthly amount and rounded to the nearest dollar. • 1 When a household member's income is reduced due to an overpayment recoupment or a garnishment, the gross amount before the recoupment or garnishment is considered.
(1) Gross income standard. Eligible households' income must not exceed the gross income standard, per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-7, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Income and Resource Level by Household Size.
(A) When the household includes one or more ineligible alien(s), part of the ineligible alien(s)' income is considered in determining gross income for the other household members. Refer to (4) of this subsection to determine the ineligible alien(s)' countable income portion. The ineligible alien(s) is not considered in household size when determining the gross income standard for the other household members.
(B) When all household members and their income are included in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), State Supplemental Payment (SSP) cash assistance, or Child Care Subsidy benefits, the gross income used to establish eligibility for the other program is used to determine eligibility for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits unless the household reports new or terminated income. When the household reports income from a new source, or does not report income currently considered for another benefit on the LIHEAP application, the household must verify the income from the new source or verify that previous income is terminated, per (2) and (3) of this subsection.
(C) When some, but not all, household members are included in other benefits, the gross income of the household member(s) whose income was not verified must be determined for the application month, per (2) and (3) of this subsection.
(D) When the household does not receive other benefits, the household's gross income for the application month is verified and calculated to determine income eligibility, per (2) and (3) of this subsection.
(2) Earned income. Earned income is income a household member receives in the form of wages, commission, self-employment, or training allowances, and for which he or she puts forth labor. When all household members' earned income is not established for another program, and a household member works for an employer, gross earned income is calculated for the application month. When a household member is self-employed or a contract employee, the household member's income is averaged over 12 months to determine the average gross monthly income.
(A) When the household member receives an hourly wage, has not received all earned income for the month by the application date, and his or her income fluctuates, the last 30-calendar days of income is used to anticipate income for the pay periods not yet received. When the household member:
(i) receives an extra paycheck in the application month due to a third or fifth week and the income is ongoing, the last 30-calendar days of income is used to determine countable monthly income instead of counting the extra paycheck; or
(ii) starts a new job and the amount of the first paycheck is not known, the earnings are not considered.
(B) When the household member's income does not fluctuate, income received during the month prior to the application month may be used.
(C) When the household member derives his or her annual income by contract or self-employment in a time period shorter than one year or receives an annual salary, the income is divided over a 12-month period to determine countable monthly income.
(D) To arrive at the monthly gross earned income when the household member is self-employed and:
(i) filed an income tax return on the self-employment income for the most recent tax year, the gross self-employment income, including capital gains, shown on the income tax return is divided by 12. When the business operated less than 12 months, the self-employment income is divided by the number of months the business operated; or
(ii) did not file an income tax return for the most recent tax year, the gross self-employment income, including capital gains, shown on the household member's business records is divided by 12 or the number of months the business was in operation when the business operated less than 12 months.
(3) Unearned income. Unearned income is income a household receives that is not in the form of wages, self-employment, or training allowances, and for which a person does not put forth labor. Unearned income received or expected to be received during the month of application is considered unless it is excluded per (b) of this Section.
(4) Income calculation for an ineligible alien. An ineligible alien is a person who does not meet the eligibility criteria, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:20-1-10(d). When an ineligible alien is part of an eligible household, the ineligible alien's earned and unearned gross income and that of his or her ineligible dependents is calculated in the same manner as it is for other household members. The ineligible alien's countable income portion is computed per (A) through (E) of this paragraph and added to household income for the eligible members before determining if the household meets the gross income standard per OKDHS Appendix C-7.
(A) Subtract the earned income deduction, per OKDHS Appendix C-7 for each employed ineligible alien.
(B) Add the ineligible alien's unearned income.
(C) Subtract the need standard, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards Schedule IX, for the ineligible alien and his or her ineligible alien dependents who:
(i) are claimable for federal personal income taxes;
(ii) live in the same household; and
(iii) are not included in the household size when determining the gross income standard or the LIHEAP benefit level for the eligible household members.
(D) Subtract all applicable deductions per (c) of this Section for the ineligible alien(s).
(E) The remaining amount is added to the countable income of the household members eligible for LIHEAP.
(b) Income exclusions. Exclude from countable income any income that is excluded by SNAP, TANF, SSP, or Child Care Subsidy rules that include, but may not be limited to:
(1) the food benefit amount under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008;
(2) any payment received under Title II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970;
(3) educational assistance including grants, work study, scholarships, fellowships, educational loans on which payment is deferred, veteran's education benefits, and the like;
(4) loans, regardless of use, when a bona fide debt or obligation to pay can be established.
(A) Criteria to establish a loan as bona fide includes an acknowledgment of obligation to repay or evidence that the loan is from a person or financial institution in the loan business.
(B) When the loan is from a person(s) not in the loan business, the borrower's acknowledgment of obligation to repay, with or without interest, is required to indicate the loan is bona fide;
(A) Exclude any interest or investment income accrued on such funds while held in trust or any purchases made with judgment funds, trust funds, interest, or investment income accrued on such funds.
(B) Exclude per capita payments, such as Osage tribe headrights, income from mineral leases, or other tribal business ventures, when they meet the distribution requirements stated in this paragraph. • 2
(C) Consider interest, income derived from the principal, or income produced by purchases made with the funds after distribution as countable income.
(D) The per capita exclusion applies per person rather than per family;
(6) special allowance for school expenses made available upon written petition from trust funds of the student;
(7) benefits from state and community programs on aging from Title III and Title V. Title III and Title V are under the Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965, amended by P.L. 100-175 to become the OAA, as amended in 2000. Each state and various organizations receive Title V funds. • 3 These organizations include:
(A) Experience Works;
(B) National Council on Aging;
(C) National Council of Senior Citizens;
(D) American Association of Retired Persons (AARP);
(E) United States (U.S.) Forest Service;
(F) National Association for Spanish Speaking Elderly;
(G) National Urban League;
(H) National Council on Black Aging; and
(I) National Council on Indian Aging;
(8) allowances, stipends, earnings, compensation in lieu of wages, grants, and other payments made for participation in a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program or other federally-funded workforce training program, with the exception of income paid to persons 19 years of age and older for on-the-job training. This income is treated as any other earned income; • 4
(9) payments for supportive services or reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses made to individual volunteers serving as foster grandparents, senior health aides, or senior companions, and to persons serving in the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Active Corps of Executives (ACE);
(10) payments, allowances, or earnings made to persons participating in programs under Titles I and II of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973, Section 404 of P.L. 93-113 as amended (42 U.S.C. §§ 5044(f)(1) and 5058), such as the:
(A) Senior Companion Program;
(B) AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA);
(C) Special Volunteer Programs;
(D) Foster Grandparent Program; and
(E) Retired and Senior Volunteer Program;
(11) the value of supplemental food assistance received under the Child Nutrition Act or the special food service program for children under the National School Lunch Act;
(12) any portion of payments, made under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Section 21(a) of P.L. 92-203, to an Alaska native, which are exempt from taxation under the Settlement Act;
(13) Experimental Housing Allowance Program payments made under Annual Contributions Contracts entered into prior to January 1, 1975, under Section 23 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, as amended;
(14) a minor dependent child's earnings when he or she is a full-time student;
(15) rental or housing subsidies by governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), received in-kind or in cash for rent, mortgage payments, or utilities;
(16) reimbursements from an employer for out-of-pocket expenditures and allowances for travel or training to the extent the funds are used for expenses directly related to such travel or training.
(A) Uniform allowances are excluded when the uniform is uniquely identified with the company name or logo.
(B) Any amount the employer adds to the employee's gross income as a benefit allowance to pay for a reimbursable expense, such as insurance or dependent care, is excluded.
(C) When the monthly benefit allowance exceeds the monthly expense and the employer includes the excess in the employee's pay each month, the worker counts the excess benefit allowance as earned income;
(17) advance payments of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) received as part of a paycheck or EITC refunds as a result of filing a federal income tax return, per P.L. 100-435;
(18) state EITC refunds as a result of filing a state income tax return;
(19) payments made from the Agent Orange Settlement Fund or any other fund established pursuant to the settlement in the In Re Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation, M.D.L. No. 381 (E.D.N.Y.);
(20) TANF Work support services payments, such as flexible funds and participant allowances, per OAC 340:10-2-8;
(21) payments made directly to the household's creditors, or to a person or organization providing a service on the household's behalf, when the payment is made by a person or organization outside of the household. When funds owed to the household are diverted to pay a third party for a household expense, they are counted as income;
(22) in-kind benefits that are not in the form of money directly payable to the household. This includes meals, clothing, housing, or benefits that an employee receives from an employer in lieu of wages or in conjunction with wages;
(23) payments made under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (P.L. 101-426) enacted October 15, 1990;
(24) funds distributed by Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) due to a disaster or emergency and to persons directly affected by the event, per the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288, as amended (42 U.S.C. § 5155(d)). This exclusion also applies to all federally-funded disaster assistance and comparable disaster assistance provided by states, local governments, and disaster assistance organizations. For payments to be excluded, the disaster or emergency must be declared by the U.S. President;
(25) interests of individual Native Americans in trust or restricted lands;
(26) income up to $2,000 per calendar year received by individual Native Americans that is derived from leases or other uses of an individually-owned trust or restricted lands. Any remaining disbursements from the trust or the restricted lands are considered as unearned income; • 5
(27) payments made to persons because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution;
(28) monetary allowances, per 38 U.S.C. § 1823(c) provided to certain persons who are children of Vietnam War veterans;
(29) Family Support Assistance Payment Program payments paid to persons by OKDHS Developmental Disabilities Services;
(30) money deposited into or withdrawn from a qualified Oklahoma Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program account, or an ABLE account in any other state, owned by the account's designated beneficiary and established to pay for qualified disability expenses (QDE) is excluded from income or resource consideration, per Sections 4001.1 through 4001.5 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes and the ABLE Act of 2014, 26 U.S.C. § 529A. A person may have only one ABLE account. The client must provide documents to verify 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. • 6
(A) Another individual's contribution to an ABLE account is excluded unless the contribution exceeds the annual federal gift tax exclusion amount, per 26 U.S.C. § 2503(b). Any money deposited in the account in the calendar year that is in excess of the annual federal gift tax exclusion amount is considered as a countable resource in the amount deposited.
(B) 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 withdrawal month.
(C) 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 and personal support services;
(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;
(A) received in addition to the service member's basic pay during combat deployment;
(B) received as a result of the service member's deployment or service in an area designated as a combat zone as determined pursuant to an Executive Order or P.L.; and
(C) not received by the service member prior to the service member's deployment to or service in a federally-designated combat zone;
(32) payments, allowances, or earnings to persons participating in the AmeriCorps State and National program or the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps authorized by the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12637(d)) and other payments to volunteers authorized by the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, P. L. 103-82 (42 U.S.C. §§ 12571, et seq.) and administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service;
(33) payments received under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. These payments are made to persons of Japanese ancestry whose ancestors were detained in internment camps during World War II;
(34) payments received by a Supplemental Security Income recipient necessary for the fulfillment of a Plan for Achieving Self-Support approved under Title XVI Section 1612(b)(4)(A)(iii) or 1612(b)(4)(B)(iv) of the Social Security Act;
(35) money the household receives and uses for the care and maintenance of a third-party beneficiary who is not a household member;
(36) income that is received too infrequently or irregularly to be reasonably anticipated when it is $30 or less per quarter;
(37) non-recurring lump sum payments including, but not limited to:
(A) income tax refunds, rebates, or credits;
(B) retroactive lump sums from Social Security, SSI, public assistance, Railroad Retirement pensions benefits, or other payments;
(C) retroactive lump sum insurance settlements; or
(D) refunds of security deposits on rental property or utilities; and
(38) up to $2,000 in cash deposited and interest accrued in an individual development account operated under the Assets for Independence Act.
(c) Income deductions. The household must meet the gross income standard for its household size, per OKDHS Appendix C-7 before allowing applicable income deductions, per (1) through (5) of this subsection except for self-employment business expenses. After allowing income deductions, the net income is used to determine the benefit amount, per (d) of this Section. Deductible expenses may include:
(2) legally binding child support paid by a household member to, or for a non-household member when verified, including payments made to a third party on behalf of the non-household member;
(3) the earned income deduction, per OKDHS Appendix C-7 for each employed household member;
(4) when self-employed, 50 percent of the household member's gross self-employment income for incurred business expenses. Self-employed business expenses are subtracted before determining if the household meets gross income standards, per OKDHS Appendix C-7. When the household member did not incur business expenses, he or she is not eligible for a business expense deduction. The household member is also eligible for the earned income deduction per (3) of this subsection when he or she does not take out a salary from the business; and
(5) child care copayment when the household receives Child Care Subsidy benefits through OKDHS.
(d) Benefit amount. Refer to OKDHS Appendix C-7-A, Estimated Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Benefit Level for all Households, to determine the LIHEAP benefit amount. The LIHEAP benefit amount is based on household size, excluding ineligible aliens, the household's net income after applicable deductions are subtracted per (c) of this Section, and the main energy source.
(e) Resources. Liquid resources, such as, but not limited to, cash on hand, checking or savings accounts, certificates of deposits, stocks or bonds, bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency, cannot exceed the allowable resource level, per OKDHS Appendix C-7. The applicant's statement is accepted as verification unless the information is inconsistent or questionable.
Instructions To Staff 340:20-1-11
1. When income is received on a:
(1) daily basis, there is consistency in the days worked each week, and regular pay dates, it is converted to a weekly amount and multiplied by 4.3 to arrive at a monthly amount. When there is no consistency in the work offered or when pay is received, all income received in the calendar month is added together to arrive at a monthly amount. When more than one month of irregular income is available, the worker totals the income and divides it by the number of months used;
(2) weekly basis, add together the most recent consecutive pay checks, divide by the number of pay checks used, and multiply the income by 4.3 to arrive at the monthly amount;
(3) biweekly basis, add together the most recent consecutive pay checks, divide by the number of pay checks used, and multiply the income by 2.15 to arrive at the monthly amount; or
(4) twice per month, add together the most recent consecutive pay checks, divide by the number of pay checks used, and multiply the income by 2 to arrive at the monthly amount.
2. Per capita payments or income from tribal business ventures, such as some of the tribal gaming payments, do not always have to meet the distribution requirements to be exempt. When it is not known if the payments meet Public Law 98-64 distribution requirements, the tribe must be contacted to verify if the payment meets the requirements.
3. In Oklahoma, Title V funds for older Americans are administered by:
(1) Oklahoma Human Services Aging Services through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). SCSEP is a community service and work-based job training program for older Americans. Services are provided by:
(A) the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments;
(B) the Oklahoma Economic Development Authority; and
(C) Grand Gateway Economic Development Association; and
(2) National Grantee Easter Seals. Services are provided by the American Association of Retired Persons project sites in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and McAlester.
4. (a) Income is excluded for many federally-funded workforce training programs. Some of the more common program examples include income received from Youthbuild, Summer Youth, Job Corps, and paid classroom training.
(b) Income, aid, services, or incentives received by households participating in programs funded by health profession opportunity grants (HPOG), per Section 5507 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), are exempt. HPOG may be granted to state agencies, workforce investment boards, community-based organizations, or institutions of higher learning.
5. (a) The client must provide proof of total disbursements received for the previous calendar year to determine how much, if any, of the income counts. When the client received more than $2,000, the amount over $2,000 is divided by 12 to determine monthly countable income. For example, when total disbursements equaled $2,100, the calculation is $2,100 minus $2,000 equals $100. The $100 is then divided by 12 to determine monthly countable income.
(b) When other household members also receive disbursements, the first $2000 is disregarded for each household member before any income is counted.
6. (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 only one account is allowed per person;
(2) there is no limit to the number of persons who can contribute to the ABLE account;
(3) upon an ABLE Act participant's death, 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) Once the client provides documents that verify the account is a valid ABLE account, no further account verification is required. At application and renewal, the worker asks the client if the account is still 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.