6220 Types of Countable Unearned Income


  1. Assistance Payments (Food Assistance Only) - Assistance payments from state, federal or federally-assisted public assistance programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (including the Work Incentive payment), or other assistance payments based on need are countable. Unearned income shall also include cash or another form of assistance (excluding in-kind assistance) financed by state or local funds as part of a program which provides assistance to cover living expenses or other basic needs intended to promote the health or well-being of recipients. Such assistance is considered to be unearned income even if provided in the form of a vendor payment unless the vendor payment is specifically exempt as countable income per 6410.

  2. Annuities, Pensions - Annuities, pensions, retirement, veterans, or disability benefits, old-age, survivors, Social Security benefits, or strike benefits are countable. The amount of a VA benefit which has been augmented because of a dependent(s) (spouse and/or child) shall be regarded as income for the dependent, not the veteran. SSA benefits are considered the income of the person for whom they are intended.

    For food assistance, cash, and child care programs, VA aid and attendance payments are countable unearned income. (Note: for food assistance, a veteran getting aid and attendance would be considered disabled. As such, they are entitled to deduct medical expenses that exceed $35 per month including for maintaining an attendant, homemaker, home health aide, housekeeper or adult care services due to age, infirmity or illness. See 7223)

    For food assistance, adoption support payments, and foster care payments for children or adults who are considered as members of the food assistance household are countable. Foster care payments for children or adults who are considered boarders per 4220 shall not be included as income to the household caring for the foster child or adult. Independent Living foster care payments are considered the income of the foster child and are considered as income to the child minus the portion of the payment the sponsor or community advisor is allowed to keep as their fee (usually $50 or less). See 6410.

  3. SSI (Food Assistance Only) - SSI benefits are considered the income of the person for whom they are intended. See 6410 regarding retroactive SSI payments.

  1. Child Support

    1. Prior To Assignment (TANF Only) - Support received in a calendar month of eligibility prior to the date of assignment less the amount exempted per 6410 shall be counted as income in determining eligibility and the amount of payment for that month only.

    2. Assigned Support Retained by CSS (TANF Only) - Assigned support reported as retained by CSS in a month shall be treated as nonexempt income in determining eligibility for each month. This includes child support retained by the state when a child in the home is in state custody.

      The support amount shall be considered with other income in the prospective month to determine if there is a deficit. If there is no budgetary deficit, there is ineligibility for a cash payment. If eligible, the support shall be excluded in determining the amount of payment. The provision for budgeting assigned support reported by CSS is not applicable when the support has terminated due to the: (1) death of the person paying support; (2) death or removal from the case of the individual for whom support is being paid; or (3) termination of the support obligation in court.

    3. Support Retained by The Client (TANF Only) - CSS will be responsible for recovering any court ordered assigned support which is received directly and retained by the client in violation of the assignment. EES staff will be responsible for recovering any voluntary assigned support which is received and retained by the client in violation of the assignment by establishing an overpayment and initiating recovery. See 11124 (4). This applies to TANF cases and their corresponding food assistance cases. The only exceptions are those infrequent cases in which an individual has been sanctioned for noncooperation. In such cases, EES shall count as income the support anticipated to be received during the month(s) in which the individual is sanctioned. EES is to notify CSS of any known cases in which assigned support has been inappropriately retained in order for CSS to take appropriate recovery action. CSS shall notify EES of any noncooperation determinations which may result in such instances. See 6410.

    4. Current Support (All Programs) - Current support and/or alimony payments made directly to the household by nonhousehold members. Support and alimony payments are considered the income of the person for whom they are intended.

      NOTE: For food assistance only, if the child for whom the support is paid is in the home of the parent paying the support, the child support income is not countable, since the income of the parent paying the support has already been counted. To count the child support as income would be double counting income, thus it is not counted. The child support deduction, however, is still allowed for the parent paying the support. Also see 7225.

    5. Arrearage Support (TANF, Food Assistance and Child Care) - Arrearage support made directly to the household by non-household members. This specifically includes regular arrearage payments received with/without current child support.

      If the arrearage payment meets the criteria of a lump sum payment per 6410, the arrearage would be exempt.

      Arrearage payments paid for a child whose current support order has ended are not considered child support payments and are considered the income of the person receiving the payment.

      When child support and/or alimony is paid through the court, the gross amount before the fee is deducted is considered countable income. The amount of the fee is considered a household expense and is not to be excluded as income per 6220 (11).
  1. Worker's Compensation and Unemployment Insurance - The amount of Worker's Compensation payments awarded before attorney's fees are deducted is countable income. This is due to the fact that the portion that is an attorney's fee is considered a household expense and is not an allowable deduction from the income. Also refer to per 6220 (11). Refer to 6300.

    The gross amount of unemployment compensation is countable income, even if some of the payment has been intercepted for child support purposes under the UI Intercept Program.

  2. Certain Reimbursements - The amount by which a reimbursement exceeds the actual incurred expense (when so indicated by either the household or the provider) shall be counted as unearned income. Reimbursements for normal living expenses are also considered income. Refer to 6410.

  3. Trust Fund Income - Monies which are withdrawn or dividends which are or could be received by a household from trust funds considered to be exempted resources under 5430 (1) or 5430 (9) shall be considered income in the month received. Dividends which the household has the option of either receiving as income or reinvesting in the trust are to be considered income in the month they become available to the household, unless otherwise exempt under 5430 (1) or 5430 (9). Income producing costs shall be deducted from gross trust income to determine the countable amount. See 6200.

  4. Gambling Winnings - All winnings from such sources as bingo, lotteries, or racetracks are treated as unearned income in the month received. Gross amounts are counted even if taxes are taken out prior to paying the household. A gambling payoff that cannot be anticipated would not be counted for households in prospective budgeting.

  5. Vendor Income Not Exempt as Income - (See 6410 for exempt vender payments.)

    1. Monies that are legally obligated and otherwise payable to the household, but which are diverted by the provider of the payment to a third party for a household expense, shall be counted as income and not be exempted as a vendor payment. The distinction is whether the person or organization making the payment on behalf of the household is using funds that otherwise would have to be payable to the household. If an employer, agency, former spouse, or other person makes payments for household expenses to a third party from funds that are not owed to the household, these payments shall be excluded as vendor payments.

    2. Protective Public Assistance Payments - All or part of a public assistance grant which would normally be provided in a money payment to the household, but which is diverted to third parties or to a protective payee for purposes such as managing a household's expenses, shall be considered income to the household and not excluded as a vendor payment except as provided in 6410.

    3. Diverted Court-Ordered Payments - Money deducted or diverted from a court-ordered support or alimony payment (or other binding written support or alimony agreement) to a third party for a household expense, shall be considered income.

      However, payments specified by the court order or other legally binding agreement to go directly to the third party rather than to the household, and support payments not required by a court order or other legally binding agreement (including payments in excess of the amount specified by a court order or written agreement) which are paid to a third party rather than the household, shall be considered income even if the household agrees to the arrangement.

      Excluding as a vendor payment specifically applies to military retirement benefits where a court has ruled that a percentage of the payment must go to the ex-spouse as part of the divorce decree. Because this is part of the property settlement allowed by law, the ex-spouse's payments are not counted as income to the retiree since they are no longer legally obligated and otherwise payable to the retiree. See section (a) above for countable vendor payments.

  6. Money Withdrawn from an Individual Development Account (IDA) - Money withdrawn from an IDA and used for other than a qualified purpose [see 6410] shall be counted as unearned income in the month it is withdrawn.

  7. Others - The following types of payments are also countable:

    1. Payments from government-sponsored programs,

    2. interest and dividends,

    3. royalties (see 7122.1 (4)),

    4. regular monetary gifts,

    5. GI Bill monthly housing allowance (MHA),

    6. royalty payments made to tribal members from casino profits,

    7. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program payments; and

    8. all other direct money payments from any source which can be construed to be a gain or benefit.

See 6410 for exempt interest and 6410 for exempt monetary gifts.