340:50-7-29 - Income inclusions

340:50-7-29. Income inclusions

(a) Sources of income considered. The worker considers all household income, unless specifically excluded, per Section 273.9(c) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 § C.F.R. 273.9(c)) and Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-7-22, in determining monthly gross income. Income is classified as earned or unearned.

(1) When one or more household members are absent from the home, before deciding whether to consider the absent household member's income, the worker must determine if the person returns to the home for part of the month.

(A) Per OAC 340:50-5-2, the worker does not include the absent member in the benefit amount and only counts the portion of his or her income that he or she makes available to the rest of the household when the household member does not return for part of the month.

(B) When the household member returns for part of each month, the worker includes him or her in the benefit amount and counts all of his or her income unless excluded, per OAC 340:50-7-22.

(2) Per OAC 340:50-5-5, the household has the option of including a child receiving a foster payment that includes a payment for kinship care, or a Developmental Disability Services (DDS) room and board payment in the food benefit. When the household chooses not to include the child in the food benefit, the worker does not count the child's income, including the foster or DDS room and board payment.

(3) When the household adopts a child previously in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) and receives an adoption subsidy payment for the child, the worker includes the child in the food benefit and counts the child's income, including the adoption subsidy payment.

(4) When a member of the household becomes the guardian of a child and receives a guardianship payment from DHS, the payment is considered as income. The child for whom the payment is received must be included in the food benefit.

(b) Earned income. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.9(b)(1), earned income is income a household receives in the form of wages, commission, self-employment, or training allowances, and for which a person puts forth physical labor. Temporary disability insurance payments and temporary workers' compensation payments are considered earned income when payments are employer-funded and the person remains employed. The types of earnings listed in (1) through (4) of this subsection, including money from the sale of whole blood or blood plasma or a DDS payment to an extended family care provider for services rendered in addition to the child's room and board payment, are considered earned income.

(1) Wages. Wages and salaries include sick pay paid by the employer to an employee who plans to return to work when recovered, excess benefit allowance payments, and wages garnished or diverted to pay a third party for a household's expenses. Countable wages for military personnel include any allowance included on the earnings statement, such as the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and the Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS).

(2) S corporations. When a household member is a shareholder in an S corporation, he or she may receive profits from the business in two ways; as a salary and/or as a profit share of the business. Both types of income are reported on the household member's personal income tax return. Salary income is considered as earned income and profit share income is considered as unearned income per (c)(7) of this Section.

(3) Self-employment. Refer to OAC 340:50-7-30 for self-employment income procedures.

(4) Title I payments of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act. Countable earned income includes payments paid to a household member under Title I of the Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973 as amended per Public Law (P.L.) 93-113, unless excluded, per OAC 340:50-7-22.

(5) On-the-job training (OJT). The worker counts income earned in OJT positions as earned income. This includes OJT provided per Section 3(44) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, P.L. 113-128 for persons 19 years of age or older.

(c) Unearned income. In general, unearned income is income a household receives and is not in the form of wages, self-employment, or training allowances, and for which a person does not put forth physical labor. The income listed in (1) through (6) of this subsection, while not all inclusive, are considered unearned, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.9(b)(2).

(1) Assistance payments. The worker counts payments from a federally-aided public assistance program, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or assistance programs based on need, such as State Supplemental Payments, as unearned income. When such payments are received by a third party, they are counted as income for the person to whom it is legally owed.

(A) A household's food benefit amount does not increase when the public assistance benefit the household receives under a federal, state, or local means-tested public assistance program is reduced, suspended, or closed because the public assistance program imposed a penalty due to an intentional program violation determined as fraud or a household member's failure to comply with a requirement of that program.

(i) To impose a food benefit sanction, the person must be certified for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at the time of the failure to comply and receiving regular benefits from the other program at the time fraud occurred or the household failed to comply with a substantive program requirement.

(ii) Examples of means-tested public assistance programs include SSI and TANF.

(iii) Substantive requirements are behavioral requirements of that program designed to improve the well-being of the household. For TANF, this includes:

(I) complying with TANF Work requirements, per OAC 340:10-2. OAC 340:10-2-2 explains the TANF penalty considered for SNAP when the household fails to comply with TANF Work activities;

(II) cooperating to obtain child support, per OAC 340:10-10-5;

(III) providing a Social Security number, per OAC 340:10-12-1;

(IV) ensuring school-age children regularly attend school, per OAC 340:10-13-1;

(V) verifying children meet immunization requirements, per OAC 340:10-14-1; and

(VI) not using the TANF benefit in a prohibited business, per OAC 340:10-1-3.

(iv) Procedural requirements that do not trigger a penalty include failing to:

(I) provide verification;

(II) complete an interview; or

(III) complete a benefit renewal.

(v) When a worker is not able to obtain the necessary information and cooperation from another federal, state, or local means-tested welfare, or public assistance program to comply with the provision in (A) of this paragraph, DHS is not held responsible. The worker must make a good faith effort to get the needed information and record the details and results of this effort in the case file.

(vi) The worker does not reduce, suspend, or close the household's current food benefit amount when the benefits under another assistance program are decreased.

(vii) When the worker adds eligible members to the food benefit, the benefit must be adjusted regardless of whether the household is prohibited from receiving benefits for the additional member under another federal, state, local welfare, or public assistance means-tested program.

(viii) Changes in household circumstances not related to the penalty imposed by another federal, state, local welfare, or public means-tested assistance program are not affected by the provision in (A) of this paragraph.

(ix) The application of the provision in (A) of this paragraph applies for the duration of the imposed penalty or until DHS cannot determine the amount of the penalty.

(x) SNAP sanctions extending beyond one year must be reviewed at least annually to determine if the sanction continues to apply.

(B) The provision in (A) of this paragraph does not apply to persons or households subject to disqualification from SNAP for noncompliance with a comparable work requirement per Title IV of the Social Security Act or an unemployment compensation work requirement.

(2) Pension and Social Security. Annuities, pensions, retirement, veterans' or disability benefits, workers' or unemployment compensation, survivors' or Social Security benefits, and strike benefits are unearned income. When a third party receives Social Security benefits it is counted as income for the person to whom it is legally owed. The worker considers disability payments as:

(A) unearned income when the person is no longer considered an employee of the company and an agency outside of the company pays the disability benefits; and

(B) earned income when the person is still considered an employee of the company and the company pays the disability benefits.

(3) Support and alimony. The worker counts support and alimony payments paid directly to the household from non-household members as unearned income. The worker also counts money deducted or diverted to a third party to pay a household expense as unearned income when the court order directs the payment be made to the household. The worker does not count money the court order states must be paid to a third party as income.

(4) Grants, dividends, royalty, and interest payments. Payments from government sponsored programs, such as Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Programs, grants, dividends, royalties, interest, and all other direct money payments from any source construed to be a gain or profit are considered income. The worker treats income from these sources as unearned income. The household must provide proof of income from these sources so income can be averaged to determine monthly countable income.

(5) Monies withdrawn or dividends that are or could be received by a household from trust funds. Dividends the household has the option of either receiving as income or reinvesting in the trust are considered income in the month they become available to the household.

(6) Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) Aid and Attendance. When a person receives VA Aid and Attendance income and does not pay someone outside of the food benefit household to care for him or her, this is considered as countable income. Any portion of the VA Aid and Attendance paid to someone outside of the food benefit household for care is excluded.

(7) Profit sharing. When a household member is a shareholder in an S corporation or a partner in a limited partnership or limited liability company, he or she may receive a distribution or profit share of the business. This is considered as unearned income.

(d) Income of excluded household members. Per OAC 340:50-5-10.1, excluded household members are termed as disqualified or ineligible. The worker does not consider the needs of a disqualified or ineligible household member when determining the household's size for purposes of assigning a benefit level to the household or comparing the household's monthly income with the income eligibility standard, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.11(c)(2)(iv).

(1) Disqualified household members. The worker counts the disqualified household member's income in its entirety as available to the remaining household members, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.11(c)(1)(i). The worker does not prorate utility, medical, dependent care, child support expenses, or excess shelter deductions. Per OAC 340:50-5-10.1, disqualified household members are those excluded for:

(A) committing an intentional program violation;

(B) failing to meet work registration requirements;

(C) meeting fleeing felon criteria; or

(D) being a probation or parole violator.

(2) Ineligible household members. The worker prorates the income of ineligible household members among all household members, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.11(c)(2)(ii).

(A) Per OAC 340:50-5-10.1, ineligible household members are those excluded because they do not meet a program requirement, such as:

(i) failure to obtain or refusal to provide a Social Security number;

(ii) not being a citizen or qualified alien; or

(iii) being an able-bodied adult without dependents and not meeting work requirements; or

(iv) failure to cooperate with providing requested verification regarding unclear information.

(B) The worker counts a pro rata share of the ineligible household member's income as income available to the remaining members by first subtracting the allowable income exclusions, per OAC 340:50-7-22, from the ineligible member's income and dividing the income evenly among the eligible household members and the ineligible member.

(C) The worker counts all but the ineligible member's share as income available to the remaining household members. The earned income deduction, per OAC 340:50-7-31, and DHS Appendix C-3, Maximum Food Benefit Allotments and Standards for Income and Deductions, applies to the prorated income attributed to the household when it was earned by the ineligible member.

(D) The portion of the household's allowable shelter, child support, and dependent care expenses paid by or billed to the ineligible member is divided evenly among the household members, including the ineligible member. All but the ineligible member's share is considered a deductible shelter expense for the remaining household members, with the exception of utility expenses, per 7 § C.F.R. § 273.9(d)(6)(iii)(F), or the standard homeless shelter deduction, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.9(d)(6)(i). When the:

(i) household is responsible for utility expenses, the household is allowed the full utility standard for which it qualifies, per OAC 340:50-7-31: or

(ii) homeless household is responsible for shelter costs, the household is allowed the full standard homeless shelter deduction, per Appendix C-3, Maximum Food Benefit Allotments and Standards for Income and Deductions, or the prorated excess shelter deduction incurred by the household, whichever results in the most benefits for the household, per OAC 340:50-7-31(a)(6)(A)(v).

(Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 33, Issue 24, September 1, 2016, eff. 9/15/2016 Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 34, Issue 24, September 1, 2017, eff. 9/15/2017 Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 35, Issue 24, September 4, 2018, eff. 9/17/2018 Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 36, Issue 24, September 3, 2019, eff. 9/16/2019 Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 37, Issue 24, September 1, 2020, eff. 9/15/2020)

Amended at 8 Ok Reg 3463, eff 7-31-91 (emergency); Amended at 9 Ok Reg 2473, eff 6-25-92; Amended at 9 Ok Reg 3843, eff 8-24-92 (emergency); Amended at 10 Ok Reg 1821, eff 5-13-93; Amended at 14 Ok Reg 59, eff 10-10-96 (emergency); Amended at 14 Ok Reg 587, eff 12-12-96 (emergency); Amended at 14 Ok Reg 1351, eff 5-12-97; Amended at 15 Ok Reg 165, eff 11-1-97 (emergency); Amended at 15 Ok Reg 382, eff 1-1-98 (emergency); Amended at 15 Ok Reg 1623, eff 5-11-98; Amended at 17 Ok Reg 473, eff 10-12-99 (preemptive); Amended at 19 Ok Reg 1767, eff 6-14-02; Amended at 20 Ok Reg 872, eff 6-1-03; Amended at 20 Ok Reg 2924, eff 10-1-03 (emergency); Amended at 21 Ok Reg 841, eff 4-26-04; Amended at 26 Ok Reg 840, eff 6-1-09; Amended at 27 Ok Reg 1241, eff 6-1-10; Amended at 28 Ok Reg 850, eff 6-1-11; Amended at 29 Ok Reg 794, eff 7-1-12

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