Sec. 65A-4.210 - Budgeting

ยง 65A-4.210. Budgeting

(1) The department uses a prospective budgeting system. In a prospective budgeting system, eligibility and the amount of the temporary cash assistance benefit for a payment month are based on the department's best estimate of the assistance group's projected income and circumstances for that month. This estimate shall be based on the department's reasonable expectation and knowledge of current or future circumstances based on income and circumstances in the month for which benefits are being calculated. When eligibility or the benefit amount is being determined for a month which has passed prior to the month of the application authorization, the actual income and circumstances for that month will be used. In converting income to a monthly income, the conversion factor of 4.3 shall be used for weekly income; the conversion factor of 2.15 shall be used for biweekly income; and the conversion factor of 2 shall be used for semi-monthly income. When averaging income, all income from the most recent four weeks shall be used if it is representative of the individual's future earnings. A longer period of past time may be used if necessary to provide a more accurate indication of anticipated fluctuations in future income in accordance with 7 CFR 273.10(c)(1)(ii). In budgeting income received by an individual on a contractual basis, at the option of the individual, the income is prorated over the period of the contract or counted when received, in the amount received.

(2) The amount of assistance payment is determined by subtracting the net available income amount, rounded to the nearest dollar, from the applicable payment standard found in Section 414.095(10), F.S.

(3) When a change in the receipt of income is reported and documentation or verification is not received by the eligibility specialist in time to adjust the benefit and also give a 10-day notice of the change in the benefit amount, the budget is computed based on the individual's statement of the amount of income received. The benefit amount will be adjusted if it is learned that income was incorrectly budgeted following receipt of the documentation or verification through the authorization of an auxiliary payment or referral to benefit recovery.

(4) Self Employment Income.

(a) Operating costs, except depreciation and capital expenditures, are deducted from the gross income of self-employment, including farming.

(b) A standard deduction of $58 per month for each boarder is allowed for individuals providing room and board in their home.

(c) One dollar per day per child is deducted from the self employment income of individuals providing child care in their home. This deduction is not allowed if the child for whom care is being provided is a resident of the same dwelling in which the person providing care resides.

(d) Twenty-five percent of the gross rental receipts from improved property owned by the parent or relative is deducted, if they are responsible for the costs of repairs and upkeep.

(e) Fifteen percent of gross rental receipts from unimproved rental property owned by the parent or relative is deducted if they are responsible for the costs of upkeep of fences, wells, etc.

(f) A deduction from rental income is also recognized for taxes and mortgage payments on property other than homestead property. Homestead property is determined by the local property appraiser office.

(g) Income from self employment must be verified. The applicant or recipient must make all business records available to the the eligibility specialist upon request.

(h) Self-employed individuals have the option of having their average income determined based upon the four weeks prior to application or redetermination of eligibility or the last twelve months to determine a representative average. A longer period of past time may be used if necessary to provide a more accurate indication of anticipated fluctuations in future income.

(5) Child support payments, received or expected to be received, are counted as income. Fees charged by the court or another agency for collecting the payments are deducted. Child support payments which are collected by the State and retained to offset the individual's public assistance debt are not considered income in the budget except as required by 45 CFR 302.51. Non-recurring child support is budgeted in accordance with the department's lump sum policy set forth in subsection (6) below.

(6) Non-earned lump sum income is treated in accordance with 7 CFR 273.9. Lump sum income received as earned income will be treated as an asset in the month of receipt.

(New 5-3-98, Amended 5-17-07.)

Rulemaking Authority 414.45 FS. Law Implemented 414.085, 414.095(10), (11), (12), (14)414.14 FS.

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