N.J. Admin. Code § 10:69-10.25 - Prospective budgeting

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) Prospective budgeting policy shall be applied to applicants and beneficiaries of AFDC-related Medicaid program benefits, including Medicaid Special.
(b) AFDC-related Medicaid program eligibility shall be based on a best estimate of the family's income and other circumstances that will exist until the next reported significant change in circumstance or redetermination, whichever is first. The best estimate of income is based on the family's and the agency's reasonable expectations and knowledge of current, past, and future circumstances. In determining the best estimate of income, the CWA shall use income projections and the concept of "significant and non-significant" income and circumstance changes. Verification of the income used shall be clearly documented in the case record.
1. For purposes of determining the family's eligibility, the CWA shall determine earnings by obtaining wage information for the four consecutive week period immediately preceding the date of application, redetermination, or change in circumstance based on the submission of documentation of income from the employer that is representative of a typical full pay period from each employer who provides wages to the applicant and/or the members of the eligible unit as defined at N.J.A.C. 10:69-3.7 and 3.8. Likewise, all unearned income received within this four-week period is also determined. All earned and unearned income received within this four week period shall be verified and documented in the case record, even if all four weeks of income are not ultimately used to calculate the best estimate.
2. The receipt of income generally occurs weekly, biweekly, or on a semi-monthly basis. The CWA shall convert the reported income amount to a gross monthly amount by multiplying the reported income amount by the appropriate conversion factor as follows: weekly amounts by 4.333; biweekly amounts by 2.167; and semi-monthly amounts by two.
(c) Significant income and circumstance changes are defined as changes in sources or amounts of earned or unearned income or changes to the eligible unit size that are expected to continue into the future. Examples of significant changes include, but are not limited to: starting a new job or gaining a new source of unearned income; losing a job or a source of unearned income; permanent or long term changes in hours worked and/or rate of pay; permanent or long term changes in unearned income; changing from part-time to full-time employment (or vice versa); promotion or demotion; beginning to work piece work or regular overtime (or vice versa); changing employers; short term plant closings (such as one or more weeks); periods of sick leave without compensation (more than one day); or addition of or loss of an eligible family member.
1. The CWA shall use information about past significant changes of a continuous nature in estimating future income. The date of an anticipated significant income/circumstance change may be used to schedule a desk review to coincide with the expected date of the change, in order to recalculate the best estimate of income.
2. Families shall be required to report all significant changes in income and circumstances that could affect eligibility as soon as possible, but in no event later than 10 business days of the date the change happened. The CWA shall initiate appropriate action on the reported change within 10 business days of receiving the report of the change, subject to timely and/or adequate notice requirements.
(d) Non-significant income/circumstance changes are defined as temporary, very short term variations in the earned or unearned income amount or eligible unit size caused by a situation which is not of an ongoing nature, or which is of a variable nature. Examples include, but are not limited to: fluctuations in wages due to ongoing (reported) earnings from piece work; occasional changes in wages due to very irregular overtime; or an occasional unpaid day off.
(e) The following procedures are to be followed in determining the best estimate of income:
1. Verification through wage stubs or documentation from the employer, of income received within the specified time frame in (b) above. All earned and unearned income received within this four week period shall be verified and documented in the case record even if all four weeks of income are not ultimately used to calculate the best estimate.
2. Determination, through a review of the income documentation and discussion with the family, if there have been any significant changes during that period. If a significant change has occurred and the change is of a continuous nature, the change shall be documented and taken into consideration when determining the best estimate. For example, if a family has received an increase in hourly rate, the new hourly rate shall be multiplied by the appropriate number of hours (either stable or averaged) to determine anticipated income.
3. Determination of any significant changes that are expected in the future. If a significant change is expected and the exact nature of the change is known, the CWA shall use the information in determining the best estimate of income and shall require that the family provide the required verification subsequent to the change to determine if the best estimate was correct or needs to be recalculated. If the exact nature of the anticipated change is not known, then a desk review can be scheduled to coincide with the expected date of change and/or the client advised to report the change within 10 business days of the date of change.
4. The final step shall be to average the income that has been determined to be representative of the eligible family's circumstances and to convert that average to a gross monthly income "best estimate" amount by using the conversion factors set forth in (b)2 above. The best estimate amount shall then be used to determine eligibility until the next redetermination or report of a significant change.
(f) If there are no significant changes in circumstances, a new best estimate of income shall, at a minimum, be completed at the time of the next redetermination of eligibility.
1. When non-significant changes are reported, it shall not be necessary to redetermine eligibility immediately. Non-significant changes shall, however, be taken into consideration when determining the best estimate of income at the next regularly scheduled redetermination. When such changes are reported, the case record shall be clearly documented to show that the change was non-significant.
2. A significant change in circumstances of the eligible family may result in loss of eligibility. The termination of eligibility shall be effective no later than the first day of the month following the month in which the significant change in circumstance occurred, or 10 business days after the change is reported to the CWA, whichever is later. Termination of eligibility shall be subject to timely and adequate notice and meet the requirements of N.J.A.C. 10:69-6.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 10:69-10.25
Amended by 49 N.J.R. 3729(a), effective 12/4/2017

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