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Library: Policy

340:50-7-46. Converting to monthly income

Revised 9-16-19

(a) Converting income.When the household receives income more often than monthly, the worker converts the income to a monthly amount as indicated in (1) through (5) of this subsection.When the amounts to be converted differ, such as fluctuating daily, weekly, or biweekly amounts, the worker averages the income per (c) of this Section.The worker carries cents through all steps and then rounds the monthly income amount to the nearest dollar with one cent through 49 cents rounded down and 50 cents through 99 cents rounded up.  1

(1) Daily.The worker converts income received on a daily basis to a weekly amount.When there is a consistency in days worked each week and a regularity of pay dates, the worker multiplies the weekly income by 4.3.When there is no consistency, refer to (5) of this subsection for irregular income processing.  2

(2) Weekly.The worker multiplies income received weekly by 4.3.

(3) Twice a month.The worker multiplies income received twice a month by 2.

(4) Biweekly.The worker multiplies income received every two weeks by 2.15.

(5) Irregular income.The worker does not convert income received at irregular intervals by 4.3, 2, or 2.15, when there is no consistency in the work offered or when pay is received.Instead, the worker adds all irregular income received in the calendar month together to arrive at a monthly average.When more than one month of irregular income is available, the worker totals the income and divides it by the number of months used.  • 3

(b) Anticipating income.For the purpose of determining the household's eligibility and monthly benefit allotment, the worker takes into account the income already received by the household and any anticipated income the household is reasonably certain to receive during the certification period per Section 273.10(c)(1) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. § 273.10).

(1) Application month income.In the application month, the household's anticipated income may be less than a full month's wages.In this case, the worker uses actual or actual anticipated income for the month of application.When the person receives an extra paycheck in the application month due to a third or fifth week and the income is ongoing, the worker converts the income to anticipated income for the application month.For the remaining months of the certification period, the worker averages and converts the income to a monthly amount.  4

(2) Uncertain income.The worker does not count income when the date and amount to be received is uncertain.Examples of uncertain income include, when a household's anticipated income is from a new job and the date and amount of the first paycheck is not known or when a household member recently applied for public assistance or unemployment benefits and does not know if or when the initial payment may be made.

(A) The worker does not consider the anticipated payment unless there is reasonable certainty concerning the month the payment will be received and the amount of the payment.

(B) When some, but not all, household income is not known, the portion that can be anticipated with reasonable certainty must be considered as income.

(C) When the worker can reasonably anticipate income receipt, but the monthly amount fluctuates, the worker may elect to average the income per (c) of this Section.

(D) Households are advised to report all changes in gross monthly income as required.

(3) Income received in the past 30-calendar days.Income received during the past 30-calendar days may be used as an indicator of income anticipated to be available to the household during the next certification period.Past income is not used to anticipate future income for any month in which an income change occurred, can be anticipated, or terminated.  5

(4) Regular employment.When the head of the household or other members of the household have regular employment, income from previous months is a good indicator of the amount of income to anticipate for the application month and subsequent months.When the household or collateral contact supplies information indicating future income will differ substantially from the previous month's income, the worker uses the information to make a reasonable estimate of the anticipated income.  6

(5) Withheld wages.Wages withheld at the request of the employee are considered income to the household in the month the wages would otherwise be paid by the employer.Wages withheld by the employer as a general practice, even when in violation of the law, are not counted as income to the household unless the household anticipates it will ask for and receive an advance, or the household anticipates that it will receive income from previously held wages.Advances on wages are counted as income when they can be reasonably anticipated.

(c) Averaging income.Households, except for destitute and migrant or seasonal farm worker households, may have their income averaged per 7 C.F.R. § 273.10(c)(3).To determine the household's eligibility, the worker adds all other income to the averaged monthly income and subtracts applicable income exclusions and deductions in the normal manner.

(1) Fluctuating income.Households with fluctuating income may elect to have the income averaged.

(A) When the household indicates the most recent 30-calendar day's income is representative of anticipated future earnings, the worker uses this income to compute gross monthly income.

(B) When the household indicates the most recent 30-calendar days of income is not representative of anticipated future income, the worker averages additional months of income to compute a representative anticipated monthly gross income.

(C) Income received more often than monthly is converted to a monthly income prior to determining a monthly average.The number of months used to arrive at the average income need not be the same as the number of months in the certification period.For example, when fluctuating income for the past 30-calendar days and the month of application are known and, with reasonable certainty, are representative of the income fluctuations anticipated for the coming months, the income for the two months may be averaged and projected over the certification period.

(2) Employment contract and self-employment.When households derive their annual income by contract or self-employment in a period of time shorter than one year, the worker annualizes the income over a 12-month period.These households may include school employees, sharecroppers, farmers, and other self-employed households.These provisions do not apply to migrant or seasonal farm workers or to contracted employees who receive income on an hourly or piece work basis.  7

(d) Income from the Social Security Administration (SSA).The Oklahoma Department of Human Services receives income information from SSA regarding SSA and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit recipients through automated data exchange records.  8When using the:

(1) Beneficiary and Earnings Data Exchange System (BENDEX) to verify SSA benefits, the worker drops any cents from the gross benefit amount.; or

(2) State Data Exchange System (SDX) to verify SSI, the worker rounds any cents to the nearest dollar to determine countable gross income.

Revised 1-15-19

1. The worker exercises caution when determining whether to multiply income twice per month or biweekly.

2. For example, when a person is paid daily and employed:

(1) five days per week, Monday through Friday, the worker converts daily income to a weekly amount and multiplies the weekly income by 4.3 to arrive at the monthly gross wage; or

(2) three days per week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the worker converts daily income to a weekly amount and multiplies the weekly income by 4.3 to arrive at the monthly gross wage.

3. Examples include, when a person:

(1) is registered with a day labor agency but has only worked two days in the last two full months: May 16, $60, and June 21, $50. The appropriate method for determining monthly gross wage is to average these two months income: $60 + $50 = $110 divided by 2 = $55; or

(2) started working for a day labor agency on May 2nd and applied for food benefits on May 10th. The person worked three days before applying and does not know how many more days he or she will work before the end of the month. It is appropriate to total the wages earned so far in the application month and use that amount as the countable earned income for the initial and ongoing months, as there is no reasonable way to anticipate earnings.

4. Actual income is not used when:

(1) all income for the month has not been received;

(2) the person is paid every two weeks and received three checks in the month of certification from ongoing employment; or

(3) the person is paid weekly and received five checks in the month of certification from ongoing employment.

5.  (a) When income fluctuates to the extent that a 30-day period alone does not provide an accurate indication of anticipated income, a longer period of past income may be requested and used to determine representative income. For example, the client may state he or she worked additional hours in the most recent 30-day period to cover for an absent employee who has returned.

(1) When the client and the worker are unable to obtain additional pay information to better anticipate future income, the worker uses the best available information, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-7-45(b) to calculate income. This may include basing the computation on the client's explanation for the fluctuation. The worker documents the income computation method used in the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.

(2) When the worker requests additional verification at application, mid-certification, or certification renewal and the client fails to provide the verification without explanation, the worker denies or closes the food benefit.

(b) When the client states he or she received a pay raise or his or her hours increased or decreased and the changes are not reflected on the past 30- calendar days of pay stubs, the worker requests additional pay information from the employer.

6. (a) The worker fully documents the method used to compute income in FACS case notes.

(b) The worker follows procedures listed in (1) through (5) of this subsection when using pay stubs to compute ongoing earned income.

(1) The worker uses the most recent 30-calendar days of pay stubs for an initial application or a certification renewal. When the applicant expects to receive a paycheck on the interview date but does not bring the paycheck to the interview, the worker does not request it.

(2) For mid-certification renewals, the worker uses the paystubs that were received 30- to 60-calendar days prior to the date that the renewal was submitted.

(3) Pay stubs must be consecutive. Using a calendar to identify the pay dates ensures there are no missing pay stubs. Exception: The worker can complete a missing check calculation when only one check is missing between the checks that were provided. Each check must show the gross income and the year-to-date income in order to complete a missing check calculation. Refer to Finding Missing Pay Stubs article and Missing Pay Stub Calculator on Quest.

(4) Gross amounts of income must be used in the calculation process.

(5) When the hours worked fluctuate each pay period, the worker asks the client why hours fluctuate and documents the reason in FACS case notes.

(6) Only those pay periods determined as representative pay for the next certification period are used in the calculation. The worker documents in case notes the reason for excluding any pay stubs.

(c) When a person receives a benefit allowance from his or her employer, count the regular gross earnings, plus any money left after deducting the cost of the reimbursable expenses covered by the benefit allowance as earned income. Count as earned income any amount the employer provides in the employee's pay for a reimbursable expense, when the employee chooses not to use it for the expense.

(d) When a person has not received a full pay check from new employment, it is appropriate to use an employer's statement or Form 08AD094E, Employment Verification, when completed by the employer. The statement or form must include the client's scheduled hours per week, rate of pay, and how often paid. When anticipating new income based on an employer's statement only, the worker converts the income to a monthly amount, per calculation methods described in (a) of this Section.

7. The worker verifies if the contract pay is hourly or salaried and:

(1) annualizes salaried contract pay; or

(2) converts hourly pay to a monthly amount, per OAC 340:50-7-46(a).

8. (a) The Beneficiary and Earnings Data Exchange System (BENDEX) provides verification of Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits and Medicare entitlement. To view, enter BEN space Social Security claim number. The worker may view BENDEX code information in Quest at "IMS: BENDEX Income Codes."

(1) When using BENDEX to verify SSA benefits, the worker drops any cents from the gross benefit amount in BENDEX Field B27 and uses only the whole dollar figure. For example, round $349.50 to $349.00. (2) When a person is dually entitled to receive SSA benefits under two claim numbers, the person may receive benefits under one or both claim numbers.

(2) When a person is dually entitled to receive Social Security benefits under two claim numbers, the person may receive benefits under one or both claim numbers.

(A) When the person receives a combined benefit, BENDEX displays two records for the person. Each record displays a D for dual entitlement in Field C21 and the cross referenced claim number in BENDEX Field B20.

(i) The worker counts the income displayed under the BENDEX record with a current pay (CP) payment status code in Field B20. The person receives the combined SSA benefit amount under this claim number.

(ii) The worker does not count the income displayed in the BENDEX record with the adjusted for dual entitlement (AD) in payment status code Field B20. The person does not receive income under this BENDEX record.

(B) The SSA benefit issuance process may cause a $1 or $2 difference in the actual payment made to a person who receives combined benefits.

(C) When the person receives benefits under both claim numbers, each BENDEX record displays a CP in the payment status code Field B20. The worker adds the whole dollar figures in Field B20 and drops the cents to arrive at the person's SSA income. For example, when one record shows $202.51 and the other shows $361.23, the worker adds $202 to $361 to arrive at the person's countable income of $563.

(b) The SSI/State Data Exchange System (SDX) contains data for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants and recipients viewed by entering SDX space and the person's Social Security number. When using SDX to verify SSI income, the worker rounds down the amount shown to the nearest dollar. For example, 1¢ to 49¢ is rounded down and 50¢ to 99¢ is rounded up. Refer to information in Quest regarding SDX at "How to Read SDX Screens, State Data Exchange (SDX) Payment Status Codes, State Data Exchange (SDX) Resource Codes, State Data Exchange (SDX) Miscellaneous Codes, and Resolving a SDX Discrepancy."

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