Certain payments and benefits are excluded under federal law/regulation from consideration as income in determining eligibility for Families First.

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

(2) Any funds distributed per capita to or held in trust for members of any Indian tribe under PL 92-254, PL 93-134 or PL 94-540.

(3) Payments received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (PL 92-203, § 21 (a)) payments by the Indian Claims Commission to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation or the Apache Tribe of the Mescalara Reservation (PL 95-443); payments to the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation or any of their members received pursuant to the Maine Indians Claims Settlement Act of 1980 (PL 96-429, § 5); payments of relocation assistance to members of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes (PL 93-531).

(4) Receipts distributed to members of certain Indian tribes referred to in § 6, PL 94-114.

(5) Benefits received from the Nutrition Programs for the Elderly (Title VII) under the Older Americans Act of 1965.

(6) The value of supplemental food assistance received under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (WIC), as amended, and the special food service program for children under the National School Lunch Act, as amended.

(7) Payments for supportive services and reimbursements of out-of-pocket expenses made to individual volunteers serving as health aids, senior companions, RSVP foster grandparents and any other programs under Title II pursuant to § 418 of PL 93-113.

(8) VISTA payments, when the total amount of payments, adjusted for hours served, is determined by the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service to be less than the minimum wage.

(9) Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) Payments for Dependent Children, as follows:

(a) Exclude JTPA earned income (wages and compensation in lieu of wages) for a dependent child applicant or recipient for up to six months per calendar year in the Gross Income Standard (GIS) test and in computing the grant.

(b) Exclude all unearned JTPA needs based and supportive service payments.

(10) JTPA Payment for Other than Dependent Children, as follows:

(a) Exclude unearned payment in determining eligibility and amount of assistance if paid for one of the following reasons:

1. Supportive services such as transportation, child care, medical and other services needed to enable the individual to work.

2. Assistance payments for needs other than those covered by the Families First grant amount, or for unmet need.

(11) Experimental Housing Allowance Program payments made under annual contribution contracts entered into prior to January 1, 1975 under § 23 of the US Housing Act of 1937, as amended.

(12) Nazi Persecution Payments.

(13) Educational grants, loans, scholarships, stipends and/or college work study payments made to or in behalf of a Families First AG member (or a stepparent in the home or parent in the home of a minor Families First parent) in determining eligibility and amount of payment.

(14) Child Support Bonus Payment. Exclude the first $50 per month received by the family on a currently obligated child support collection.

(15) Energy Assistance Payments made by any Federal, State, Local agency or charitable organization to meet energy assistance needs.

(16) Agent Orange Settlement Payments.

(17) Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC).

(18) Certain benefits and payments are not defined as income for Families First eligibility purposes:

(a) Cash items.

1. Business costs of producing self-employment income such as but not limited to:

(i) Wages, salaries, benefits paid to/for employees;

(ii) Inventories and supplies;

(iii) Seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, etc.;

(iv) Utilities at place of business.

2. Clothing allowance for disabled veterans intended for additional clothing needs resulting from the use of prosthetic or orthopedic devices.

3. Educational grants, loans, scholarships, stipends, and/or work study payment made to or in behalf of a Families First AG member, or stepparent in the home or parent of a minor parent in the home.

4. Foster Care board payments made to foster parents for the care of a foster child by a child placing agency. A service fee paid to foster parents, is however, income. This is an amount paid to the foster parents for providing care and is in addition to the board payment.

5. Legally obligated payments otherwise payable to an AG which are diverted by the provider to a third party, unless this arrangement is made at the request of an AG member.

6. Loans which represent an obligation and not a benefit such as chattel mortgages and personal notes. Such loans may be provided by an individual or by a commercial lending institution.

7. Monies received and used for the care and maintenance of a non-assistance group member who is not the parent, spouse, or stepparent of a dependent child living in the home.

(i) Payments for multiple beneficiaries are to be prorated evenly among the intended beneficiaries to determine individual shares. If intended beneficiaries include both AG and non-AG members, the individual shares of the AG members (their responsible relatives) will be considered income to the AG/relative.

8. Income belonging to non-AG members, unless they are parents, spouses, or stepparents of AG members in the home.

9. Reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses incurred (or to be incurred) by volunteers and/or employees in the performance of their duties.

10. Retroactive Families First and SSI payments.

11. Payments that are made either directly to Families First recipients or to a third party for rent or utilities under Section 8 of the US Housing Act.

12. Payments for utilities made to or on behalf of Families First recipients through any federal, state, or local energy assistance plan.

13. Support payments (child and related spousal support) received by an AG but transferred to the IV-D agency as assigned support.

14. That portion of payments made by Vocational Rehabilitation which represents a direct cost to an individual for participation in that program.

15. Casual and inconsequential income (monetary gifts/contributions) not exceeding $30 per quarter received by each Families First recipient.

16. Recoupments withheld by the provider to repay a prior overpayment.

(b) Non-Cash Items. Any gain or benefit not in the form of money payable directly to an AG such as non-monetary or in-kind benefits.

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

(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)(5), 38 USC § 1805(d), 42 USC § 1315(a), Public Acts of 1996, Chapter 950, 45 C.F.R. 233.20, and PL 104-204 § 421(b).

The following state regulations pages link to this page.