1240-01-50-.05 - EXEMPT RESOURCES

1240-01-50-.05. EXEMPT RESOURCES

In determining the resources of an AG, only the following shall be exempt:

(1) Home And Lot.

(a) The home owned or being purchased and occupied by the Families First assistance group and the property surrounding the home which is not separated from the home by intervening property owned by others is exempt. Public rights of way (such as roads and/or other public easements) which run through the property surrounding the home do not affect its classification as homestead property. Temporary absences from the home do not affect the classification and/or exemption of the home if the assistance group has not acquired another home and intends to return to the exempted home at a specified time. Proceeds from the sale of homestead property or from a recovery due to a casualty/disaster loss of same, will remain exempt for three months following receipt of the proceeds if the AG expresses an intent to reinvest in the same homestead or in a substitute homestead.

(2) Other Property .

(a) Basic Maintenance Items. Excluded are basic maintenance items essential to daily living such as clothing, furniture, appliances, and other similar essential household goods and equipment of limited value.

(b) Certain Real Property. Real property which is not exempted as a homestead pursuant to 1240-1-50-.05(1) is exempt as a resource if the recipient is making a good faith effort to sell and signs an agreement to repay the Families First grant received during the period of exemption. Exemption of the property, not to exceed nine (9) months, causes an overpayment except when the net proceeds plus other resources at the beginning of the exclusion period are within the resource limit.

Repayment of the grant is made from the sale proceeds not to exceed the total of the net proceeds. Any proceeds remaining after repayment of the grant is considered a resource.

If assistance is terminated for any reason prior to the end of the 9-month exemption period, the assistance group has an overpayment subject to the usual collection procedures.

(c) Burial Plots. One burial plot for each family member may be excluded from consideration as a resources.

(3) Exempt Vehicles .

(a) One operable family motor vehicle used to provide transportation of persons or goods in which the equity value is $4, 600 or less.

1. Equity is determined by deducting the amount of encumbrances from the fair market value. Fair market value is the value listed in the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide.

2. If a vehicle is not listed in the N.A.D.A. Guide, or its value is claimed to be different from the value listed, its value may be taken as that stated by one reputable automobile dealer.

(b) Equity value over $4, 600 of one vehicle, and equity value of all other vehicles owned by an AG member will be counted as a resource to the AG and will be applied to the $2, 000 resource limit set forth in 1240-1-50-.02.

(4) Burial Policies. Burial policies (not prepaid burial agreements) shall be considered exempt for resource purposes.

(5) Pension Funds. The cash value of pension plans or funds shall be exempt.

(6) Inaccessible Resources. The cash value of resources which are not currently accessible to the assistance group or which cannot reasonably be brought to a condition of current availability are exempted. Nonavailability of such resources must be determined prior to approval and at each redetermination of eligibility. Also, resources whose cash value is not accessible to the AG are exempt, such as, but not limited to: security deposits on rental property or utilities; property in probate; real property which the AG is making a good faith effort to sell at a reasonable price and which has not been sold; and jointly owned resources determined to be inaccessible.

(a) Irrevocable Trust Funds

1. When a person applying for or receiving Families First has a trust which is claimed as inaccessible, she/he (or in the case of a child, his/her parent or other relative caring for him/her) will have 60 days from the date of application/redetermination, or from the time the trust is reported/discovered to attempt to have this resource made currently available. The following are exceptions:

(i) If the trust is established by a will, the terms of the trust will be followed as written; or

(ii) If a trust is producing regular income which is available to the beneficiary, the body of the trust will not be considered a currently available resource, but the income will be counted in the determination of eligibility/amount of payment.

(iii) If a trust has been set up for a minor (usually until age 18) and the amount of the trust account is $5000 or less, the caretaker will not be required to attempt to make the trust accessible. In most instances, the legal fees involved in such an attempt would erode the value of the trust to the extent that it would not be cost effective to bring it to a state of availability.

2. If the caretaker is willing to seek to have the trust made currently available, he/she may be included in the assistance unit. If such a person does not initiate action to make the trust available within 60 days, the caretaker will be removed from the assistance group.

3. If the caretaker has initiated the necessary action, assistance may be continued pending further orders of the court. The court's decision, as written in a new or amended order, will be binding. If all or part of the funds in trust are made available at any time, they must be taken into account when received.

(b) Prepaid Burial Agreements or Burial Trusts. Exclude one burial agreement with equity value of $1500 or less (whether revocable or irrevocable) per family member as a resource.

(c) Equipment. Equipment used in a self-employed enterprise to produce income is considered an inaccessible resource.

(7) Resources Excluded By Law. The following types of payments are excluded by law from consideration as income or as resources in the determination of eligibility and level of benefit:

(a) Relocation Assistance Payments. Relocation payments received under Title II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 are excluded.

(b) Alaska Native Claims Payments and Sac and Fox Indian Claim Payments received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, PL 92-203, § 21 (a) and the Sac and Fox Indian Claims Agreement, PL 94-189 are excluded.

(c) Payments for Certain Indian Tribes. Payments derived from certain submarginal lands of the United States which are held in trust for certain Indian Tribes are excluded.

(d) Job Training and Partnership Act. Payments received pursuant to the Job Training and Partnership Act (JTPA).

(e) Payments from Disposition of Funds of Ottawa Indians. Payments made to the Grande River of Ottawa Indians under PL 94-540 are excluded.

(f) Student Grants and Loans. Education grants and loans to Families First AG members (or stepparents or parents of a minor in the home) are excluded.

(g) Energy Assistance Payments. Any payments or allowance made by any federal, state or local organization for the purpose of energy assistance are not counted.

(h) Domestic Volunteer Service Act. Payments received by volunteers for services performed in programs stipulated in the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended are excluded.

(i) Payments from Crisis Intervention Program. One-time payments to assist with utility costs from the Crisis Intervention Program are excluded.

(j) Benefits from Food Programs. The following benefits from food programs are excluded:

1. WIC;

2. Value of Food Stamps;

3. Value of school lunches or other school food programs.

(k) Allowances paid under PL 104-204 to children of Vietnam veterans who are born with spina bifida are excluded.

(8) Resources Of Non-AG Members. Resources of non-AG members, other than those who are disqualified because of an intentional program violation or a Families First Employment and Training Program sanction, are excluded.

(9) Other Exempt Resources.

(a) Earmarked Resources. Any governmental payments which are designated for the restoration of the home which has been damaged in a disaster if the household is subject to a legal sanction if the funds are not used as intended are exempt.

(b) Prorated Income. Resources, such as those of students or self-employed persons, which have been prorated and counted as income, are exempt.

(c) Indian Lands. Indian lands held jointly with the tribe, or land that can be sold only with the approval of the Bureau of Indian Affairs are exempt.

(d) Livestock and poultry consumed as home produce.

(e) Up to $5, 000 in profits from a business enterprise may be placed in escrow in a Low Income Entrepreneurial Escrow Account with a micro-lending intermediary program and shall be excluded as a resource; interest earned by such funds shall also be excluded.

(f) Proceeds from the sale of exempt property if received as a lump sum will be exempt for a period of up to three (3) months following the sale if intended to be used to replace the exempt resource.

(g) Up to $5, 000 in an Individual Development Account for career development goals for a Families First recipient who is a part of an Individual Development Account Pilot Project.

(10) Handling Of Excluded Funds.

(a) Excluded liquid assets that are kept in a separate account and that are not commingled in an account with non-excluded funds, shall retain their resource exclusion for an unlimited period of time.

(b) Resources which have been excluded as prorated income that are commingled in an account with non-excluded funds shall retain their exclusion for the period of time over which they have been prorated as income (i.e., they will not be counted as both income and resources during the same period of time).

(c) All other excluded monies which are commingled with non-excluded funds shall retain their exemption for six months from the date they are commingled. After six months all funds in the commingled account other than those in (a) above are counted as a resource.

(Original rule filed December 2, 1996; effective February 15, 1997. Amendment filed July 5, 2002; effective September 18, 2002.)

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-201 et seq., 71-1-105, 71-3-154(a)(2), 71-3-155(d), 38 USC § 1805(d), 42 USC § 1315(a), Public Acts of 1996, Chapter 950, 45 C.F.R. 233.20, 45 CFR 233.20(a)(3)-(7), (11), PL 104-204 § 421(b), and § 1115 of the Social Security Act.

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