340:50-7-22. Income exclusions
The worker excludes income listed in this Section from the household's countable income, from income of disqualified members whose income is counted, and from the income of ineligible aliens who would otherwise be household members, per Section 273.9 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. § 273.9). No other income is excluded.
(1) In-kind income. In-kind income is any gain or benefit that is not in the form of money payable directly to the household, including meals, clothing, housing, or produce from a garden.
(2) Vendor payments. Vendor payments are money payments made on behalf of a household by a person or organization outside of the household directly to the household's creditors or to a person or organization providing a service to the household. When funds owed to the household are diverted to pay to a third party for a household expense, they are counted as income. • 1
(3) Educational assistance. Educational assistance including grants, work-study, scholarships, fellowships, educational loans on which payment is deferred, veteran's education benefits, and the like are exempt.
(4) Family Support Assistance Payment Program. Family Support Assistance Payment Program payments provided by Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) are excluded.
(5) Income excluded by law. Any income that is specifically excluded by law from consideration as income for the purpose of determining Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility is excluded. This includes, but may not be limited to:
(A) reimbursements from the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, Public Law (P.L.) 91-646, § 216. Such payments are:
(i) payments to persons displaced due to the acquisition of real property;
(ii) relocation payments to a displaced home owner toward the purchase of a replacement dwelling when the owner purchased and occupied the dwelling within one year following displacement; and
(iii) replacement housing payments to displaced persons not eligible for a home owner's payment;
(B) payments received:
(i) under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, P.L. 92-203 § 21(a);
(ii) under the Sac and Fox Indian Claims Agreement, P.L. 94-189;
(iii) from the disposition of funds to the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians, P.L. 94-540;
(iv) from the Indian Claims Commission to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation or the Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, P.L. 95-433;
(v) under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 to members of the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot Nation, P.L. 96-420 § 5;
(vi) by an individual as a lump sum or a periodic payment via the Cobell settlement, per the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, P.L. 111-291 § 101(f)(2); or
(vii) by members of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes for relocation assistance, per P.L. 93-531;
(C) any payment to volunteers under:
(i) Title I of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act (DVSA) of 1973, Section 404 of Public Law 93-113 as amended, (42 U.S.C. § 5044(f)(1)), for participation in programs, such as AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) or Special Volunteer Programs when the person receives SNAP or public assistance benefits at the time they join the Title I program. Temporary interruptions in SNAP participation do not alter the exclusion. When the person joined the Title I program and started receiving volunteer payments before applying for SNAP or public assistance, the volunteer payments are counted as earned income; or
(ii) Title II of the DVSA, 42 U.S.C. § 5058, for participation in programs, such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program;
(D) income derived from certain submarginal land of the United States (U.S.) held in trust for certain Indian tribes, per P.L. 94-114 § 6;
(E) Indian per capita payments distributed from judgment awards and trust funds made, per Section 2 of P.L. 98-64, 25 U.S.C. § 117b and 25 U.S.C. § 1407. For purposes of this paragraph, per capita is defined as each tribal member receiving an equal amount. Also excluded is 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. • 2 Any interest or income derived from the funds after distribution is considered as other income. The per capita exclusion applies per person rather than per family;
(F) income up to $2,000 per calendar year received by individual Indians, derived from leases or other uses of individually-owned trust or restricted lands. The income exclusion applies to calendar years beginning January 1, 1994. Remaining disbursements from the trust or restricted lands are considered income; • 3
(G) allowances, stipends, earnings, compensation in lieu of wages, grants, and other payments made for participation in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, or other federally-funded workforce training program to persons of all ages and student status with the exception of income paid to persons 19 years of age and older for on-the-job training, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-7-29(b)(5). This income is treated as any other earned income; • 4
(H) 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, Section 12571 et seq. of Title 42 of the United States Code, and administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service;
(I) payments or allowances made under any federal law other than Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq., for the purpose of providing energy assistance, including utility reimbursements made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Rural Housing Service. Also a one-time payment or allowance made under a federal or state law for the costs of weatherization or emergency repair or replacement of an unsafe or inoperative furnace or other heating or cooling device;
(J) the amount of the mandatory salary reduction of military service personnel used to fund the G.I. Bill;
(K) benefits from State and Community Programs on Aging, per Title III and Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, by P.L. 114-144, Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2016. Each state and various organizations receive Title V funds. • 5 These organizations include:
(i) Experience Works;
(ii) National Council on Aging;
(iii) National Council of Senior Citizens;
(iv) American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation;
(v) U.S. Forest Service;
(vi) National Association for Spanish Speaking Elderly;
(vii) National Urban League;
(viii) National Council on Black Aging;
(ix) National Council on Indian Aging;
(x) Asociación Nacional Pro Personas Mayores;
(xi) Associates for Training and Development, Inc.;
(xii) American Samoa;
(xiii) Easter Seals, Inc.;
(xiv) Goodwill Industries International, Inc.;
(xv) Institute for Indian Development;
(xvi) National Able Network;
(xvii) National Asian Pacific Center on Aging;
(xviii) National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc.;
(xix) National Older Worker Career Center;
(xx) Operation A.B.L.E. of Greater Boston, Inc.;
(xxi) Senior Service America, Inc.;
(xxii) SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc.;
(xxiii) Workplace, Inc.; and
(xxiv) VANTAGE Aging;
(L) Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments received as part of a tax refund and also EITC advance payments received as part of a paycheck, per P.L. 100-435 and refunds of the state EITC as a result of filing a state income tax return;
(M) any payment made to an Oklahoma Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Works participant, per OAC 340:50-5-106, in order to participate in the program;
(N) 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.);
(O) 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;
(P) payments made from the Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund as compensation for injuries or deaths resulting from the exposure to radiation from nuclear testing and uranium mining under P.L. 101-426;
(Q) payments received by an SSI recipient necessary for the fulfillment of a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) approved under Section 1612(b)(4)(A)(iii) or 1612(b)(4)(B)(iv) of the Social Security Act;
(R) payments made to persons who were victims of Nazi persecution under P.L. 103-286;
(S) funds distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) due to a disaster or an emergency 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 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;
(U) Disaster Unemployment Assistance paid to persons unemployed as a result of a major disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288 as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 5177;
(V) benefits paid to certain veterans and the spouses of veterans who served in the military of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines during World War II by the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund under Section 1002(g) of PL 111-5;
(W) 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 designated beneficiary of the account 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.
(i) 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. • 7
(ii) A contribution to an ABLE account by another individual 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 in excess of the annual federal gift tax exclusion amount is considered as a resource in the amount deposited.
(iii) 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 resource for the month of withdrawal.
(iv) 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) expenses for ABLE account oversight and monitoring;
(XI) funeral and burial; and
(XII) basic living expenses; and
(X) is income received by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, per 37 U.S.C. Chapter 5 and, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.9(c)(20), that is:
(i) received in addition to the service member's basic pay during combat deployment;
(ii) received as a result of the service member's deployment or service in an area designated as a combat zone as determined pursuant to Executive Order or P.L.; and
(iii) not received by the service member prior to the service member's deployment to or service in a federally designated combat zone.
(6) Payments not considered income.
(A) The payments in (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph are not considered as income.
(i) Monies withheld from any income source to repay a prior overpayment from that same source.
(ii) Monies voluntarily or involuntarily returned to repay a prior overpayment received from that same income source.
(iii) Child support payments received by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and sent to Child Support Services to maintain TANF eligibility.
(B) Monies withheld or returned to repay overpayments in federal, state, or local means-tested assistance programs are counted when they are withheld or returned to repay overpayments resulting from an intentional program violation as established by the agency administering the program.
(i) SNAP uses the term intentional program violation.
(ii) The State Supplemental Payment to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled and TANF programs define intentional program violation using the terms restitution, fraud, and willful misrepresentation.
(iii) The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Veterans Benefits Administration programs define intentional program violation as fraud. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a means-tested program within SSA.
(A) Reimbursements for past or future expenses to the extent they do not exceed actual expenses and do not represent a gain or benefit to the household are not considered. • 8 Examples of excluded reimbursements may include:
(i) job or training-related expenses, such as travel, per diem, uniforms, and transportation to and from job or training sites;
(ii) out-of-pocket expenses incurred by volunteers in the course of work;
(iii) medical or dependent care;
(iv) services provided by Title XX of the Social Security Act;
(v) an allowance provided by a state agency for children's clothing to enter or return to school when it is provided no more frequently than annually; and
(vi) expenses necessary to participate in an education program under an employment and training program.
(B) Reimbursements for normal living expenses, such as rent or mortgage, personal clothing, or food eaten at home are a gain or benefit and are not excluded. To be excluded, payments must be provided for an identified expense, other than normal living expenses, and used for the intended purpose.
(C) When a reimbursement including a flat allowance, covers multiple expenses, each expense does not have to be separately identified as long as none of the reimbursement covers normal living expenses. The reimbursement amount that exceeds the actual incurred expenses is counted as income. A reimbursement is not considered to exceed actual expenses unless the provider or household indicates the amount is excessive.
(D) The worker excludes 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. When the monthly benefit allowance exceeds the monthly expense and the employer:
(i) includes the excess in the employee's pay each month, the worker counts the excess benefit allowance as earned income; or
(ii) retains any excess until the end of the year and then provides a yearly refund to the employee, the worker excludes the refund as income as it is considered a non-recurring lump sum payment per (10)(C) of this Section.
(8) Money received for third parties. The worker excludes money the household receives and uses for the care and maintenance of a third-party beneficiary who is not a household member.
(A) When the intended beneficiaries of a single payment include household and non-household members, any identifiable portion of the payment intended and used for the care and maintenance of the non-household member is excluded.
(B) When the non-household member's portion cannot be readily identified, as in TANF cash assistance payments, the payment is evenly prorated among intended beneficiaries. The exclusion is applied to the non-household member's pro rata share or the amount actually used for the non-household member's care and maintenance, whichever is less.
(9) Child's earnings. When a child is head of his or her own household, his or her earned income is counted. The earned income of an elementary or high school student 17 years of age and younger, under parental control of an adult household member is excluded. This exclusion continues to apply during temporary interruptions in school attendance due to semester or vacation breaks, provided the child's enrollment resumes following the break. When the child's earnings cannot be differentiated from those of other household members, the total earnings are prorated equally among the working members, and the child's prorated share is excluded. • 9
(10) Other types of excluded income.
(A) Loans. All loans, including loans from private individuals and commercial institutions, are excluded as income. When the household states someone is loaning the household money to meet expenses, a statement signed by both parties is required indicating the payment is a loan and must be repaid. When the household states it receives loans on a recurrent or regular basis from the same source, the lender must sign an affidavit stating the payments are loans that must be repaid or that payments will be made in accordance with an established repayment schedule. • 10
(B) Irregular Income. Exclude any income in the certification period that is received too infrequently or irregularly to be reasonably anticipated when it is $30 or less per quarter.
(C) Non-recurring lump sum payments. Exclude money received in the form of non-recurring lump sum payments including, but not limited to:
(i) income tax refunds, rebates, or credits;
(ii) retroactive lump sums from SSA, SSI, public assistance, Railroad Retirement benefits, or other payments;
(iii) retroactive lump sum insurance settlements; or
(iv) refunds of security deposits on rental property or utilities.
(D) Cost of self-employment. Exclude the cost of producing self-employment income, per OAC 340:50-7-30.
(E) Income of non-household members. The income of non-household members who are not considered disqualified or ineligible household members, per OAC 340:50-5-10.1, is not considered available to the household. Non-household members include roomers, boarders, children in foster care or children placed by DDS with extended family care providers who are not included in the food benefit household, live in attendants, students, and persons who share living quarters with the household but who do not customarily purchase food or prepare meals with the household, per OAC 340:50-5-5. • 11
(F) Charitable contributions. Exclude cash contributions based on need to a household from one or more private non-profit charitable organizations, not to exceed $300 in a federal fiscal year quarter. For the purposes of this provision a quarter includes these specific months:
(i) October, November, December;
(ii) January, February, March;
(iii) April, May, June; and
(iv) July, August, September.
(G) Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Family Self-sufficiency Program (FSS) escrow accounts. Families participating in the HUD FSS program may withdraw money from escrow accounts prior to completion of the program. This money is excluded as income. • 12
(H) Individual Development Account (IDA). Up to $2,000 in cash deposited and the interest accrued in an IDA operated under the Assets for Independence Act, as amended, per P. L. 106-554, P. L. 107-110 and P. L. 114-95, is excluded as income.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:50-7-22
1. Examples of excluded vendor payments include payments:
(1) made by a friend, employer, agency, church, relative, or former spouse for household expenses, such as rent or utilities directly to the landlord or utility company when the money is not owed to the household;
(2) made by an employer directly to the household's landlord or financial institution as compensation, in addition to paying regular wages. When the employer provides a house to an employee free-of-charge, the value of the housing is not considered income;
(3) specified by a court order or other legally binding agreement to go directly to a third party rather than the household because they are not otherwise payable to the household. For example, a court awards support payments in the amount of $400 per month and, in addition, orders $200 paid directly to a bank for repayment of a loan. The $400 is counted and the $200 payment is not counted. When the court orders $400 in child support be paid to the household, but the non-custodial parent pays the household's rent directly to the landlord instead, the worker counts the $400 as unearned income because the rent was paid with money owed to the household;
(4) payments by a government agency to a child care facility for the purpose of providing child care for a household member are considered vendor payments and excluded as income; and
(5) payments or allowances made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by the Rural Housing Service directly to mortgage holders, landlords, or utility providers are vendor payments and excluded as income.
2. Per capita payments or income from tribal business ventures, such as some of the tribal gaming payments do not always meet the distribution requirements to be exempt. When it is not known if the payments meet the distribution requirements of Public Law 98-64, the worker must contact the tribe to verify if the payment meets the requirements.
3. (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.
4. (a) There are numerous programs for which income is excluded. Some of the more common examples include income received from Youthbuild, Summer Youth, Job Corps, and paid classroom training. For less common examples, the worker must determine if the program is a federally funded workforce training program.
(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. 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 the:
(A) Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments;
(B) 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.
6. This includes income paid to children of Vietnam War veterans for any disability relating from spina bifida suffered by the child.
7. (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 may set up ABLE accounts 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 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 the 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 ABLE 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.
8. Kinship Startup Stipends are considered a reimbursement for food benefit purposes and are exempt.
9. (a) For purposes of this provision, a high school student includes someone who attends classes to obtain a high school equivalency certificate, when these classes are recognized, operated, or supervised by the student's state or local school district.
(b) The earned income of the student must be counted beginning the month following the month the student reaches 18 years of age.
(c) Per Section 181 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, on-the-job training of a child who has not had his or her 19th birthday is exempt as long as the child is under the parental control of another household member regardless of student status.
12. Exempt income from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) programs includes the:
(1) Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency Program; and
(2) Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Program (ROSS).