Release 73:  Effective April 1, 2014

TANF -
G.  Financial Eligibility


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  1. Overview

    To meet and continue TANF benefits, the financial group must meet and maintain the TANF income and payment standards.

    1. TANF income and payment standards

      Countable Income Limit
      (with Adult)
      Adjusted Income/Limit
      (with Adult)
      No. in E. Group Amount No. in E. Group Amount
      1 $345 1 $326
      2 499 2 416
      3 616 3 485
      4 795 4 595
      5 932 5 695
      6 1,060 6 796
      7 1,206 7 886
      8 1,346 8 976
      9 1,450 9 1,039
      10 1,622 10 1,150
      Each additional
      person
      172 Each additional
      person
      110

      F SEE THE COMBINED STANDARDS CHART (DHS 5530) FOR MORE INFORMATION.

      Income and Payment Standards; JOBS, REF, TANF: 461-155-0030


  2. Countable income

    Countable means that an available asset (either income or a resource) is not excluded and may be considered by some programs to determine eligibility.

    Definitions for Chapter 461: 461-001-0000

    Example 1: Dorothy and Toto are in the office applying for TANF for themselves and their daughter Glenda. Toto is working and has a steady income of $10.00 an hour and works 20 hours a week: $10*20*4.3=$860.00. Comparing the monthly earnings to the Countable Income Limit for a family of three, the Oz family is OVI for TANF.


  3. Adjusted income

    Adjusted income means the amount determined by subtracting income deductions from countable income.

    Example 2: Chrissy is in the office applying for TANF with her two children John and Janet. Chrissy states that she is working for a food demo company. Per statement from Food Yum, Chrissy earns $10/00 an hour and works a total of 30 hours per month. After calculating her monthly income $10*30=$300.00, Chrissy’s gross is less than the Countable Income Limit for a family of three. To determine the Adjusted Income, the worker will take $330/2=$150.00 and, per the Adjusted Income Limit, $150.00 is less than the Adjusted Income. Based on financial eligibility, the worker can continue to look at eligibility factors for the Roper family.


  4. Resource and resource limit

    A resource is any item that a client has the legal interest in the resource and has the ability to sell or convert to cash (stocks, bonds, settlements, property, etc.) and/or use it for support and maintenance.

    TANF applicants and TANF clients with an active JOBS disqualification and TANF clients who are not progressing in their case plan, the resource limit is $2,500. Once a client has met the $2,500 resource limit as an applicant, and enters the Pre-TANF Program or becomes a TANF recipient, the resource limit goes up to $10,000 . In non-needy caretaker relative situations, the resources of the caretaker relative are not counted against the grant.

    Examples of $2,500 resource limit:

    Example 3: Maria is on SSI. She is receiving TANF for her two children. The TANF resource limit for the family is $2,500 because there are no caretaker relatives or parents receiving TANF.

    Reminder:  Individuals who are receiving SSI fall out of the financial group. Their income and resources should not be considered for the TANF financial eligibility decision.

    Example 4: Jane is on TANF with her children. Both of her children are in school. She has had a JOBS case plan in the past but failed to cooperate with the activities in the plan. She is currently serving a disqualification. She is at a DQ1 and will be moving to a DQ2 next month. The family’s MAA and TANF resource limit is $2,500 because Jane has a current JOBS disqualification.

    Examples of $10,000 resource limit:

    Example 5: Bristol is receiving TANF for herself and her child. She is needed to care for her child who has a disability. Currently she is exempt from JOBS participation. Bristol is a parent in the need group; she is not a new applicant for TANF; she does not have a case plan and is not serving a disqualification.  The TANF resource limit for the family is $10,000.

    Example 6: Harvey and his three children are receiving TANF. Harvey does not have a case plan. All three of Harvey’s children require childcare and one child special needs care. The district does not have the resources to cover the care. Harvey is not a new applicant for TANF; he does not have a case plan or current disqualification; and he is a parent in the need group. Using the new policy, the TANF resource limit for the family is $10,000.

    To qualify for benefits, a need group must not have made a disqualifying transfer of their resources within the preceding three years. They must report any transfer at application, redetermination, and when the transfer occurs. Failure to report, or making a disqualifying transfer of available resources will result in termination of benefits. When the client is ineligible for benefits because of a disqualifying transfer of resources, the client remains ineligible until the disqualification period ends or when the full equity rights in the resource are transferred back to the client or the client receives adequate compensation.

    Availability of Resources: 461-140-0020
    Asset Transfer; General Information and Timelines: 461-140-0210
    Adjustments to the Disqualification for Asset Transfer: 461-140-0300
    Determining if a Transfer of an Asset is Disqualifying: 461-140-0220
    Determining the Uncompensated Value of a Transferred Asset: 461-140-0250
    Disqualification Due to an Asset Transfer: REF, REFM, TANF: 461-140-0270
    Resource Limits: 461-160-0015


  5. Determining the resource value of vehicles for the Pre-TANF Program and TANF

    Motor vehicles (cars, trucks, and vans) are often important tools for clients to use to attain self-sufficiency. They are critical employment tools for clients who:

    The resource value of motor vehicles is counted the same way for TANF applicants, Pre-TANF Program participants and TANF recipients. There are five steps to determining the resource value of a motor vehicle for these clients.

    Note:  The resources of non-needy caretaker relatives and SSI recipients do not count toward the TANF resource limit.


  6. Availability of income

    Income is available immediately upon receipt, or when the client has a legal interest in the income and the legal ability to make the income available. Income for TANF includes both earned and unearned income received monthly, periodically, or in a lump sum. Most earned income is countable income; i.e., used to calculate the benefit amount.

    Caution:  Unearned income can be excluded, counted as income, or counted as a resource.

    Income received on a regular basis, but not monthly - such as quarterly, semiannually, annually or as a contract employee - is called periodic income. Periodic income is counted as income in the month received. Depending on the source, it can be counted as earned or unearned income.

    Income received too infrequently or irregularly to be reasonably anticipated, or received as a one-time payment, is called lump-sum income. Income that can be received in a lump sum is considered lump-sum income even when the client chooses to receive it in monthly installments. Lump-sum income is counted as a resource.

    Determining Availability of Income: 461-140-0040

    Note:  If the income is usually paid monthly or twice monthly on the first or last day of the month, but is paid early or late because the regular payday falls on a holiday or weekend, it is still considered to be paid on the regular payday.

    Determining Availability of Income: 461-140-0040
    Treatment of Periodic Income: 461-140-0110
    Availability and Treatment of Lump-Sum Income: 461-140-0120


  7. Unavailability of income and resources

    Income is not available if any of the following is true:

    Resources are not available if any of the following is true:

    Domestic violence: 461-135-1200
    Availability of Resources: 461-140-0020
    Determining Avaliability of Income: 461-140-0040


  8. Non-needy caretaker relative grants

    In the TANF program, a caretaker relative other than a parent, who chooses not to be included in the need group is subject to the “no-adult countable income limit standard.” Once the caretaker relative decides they are in need of TANF benefits, the household is subject to the same TANF and JOBS requirement as parents.

    Who can be a non-needy caretaker relative:

    A stepparent or stepsibling may be considered a caretaker relative even if the marriage to the biological or adoptive parent ended in death or divorce. When a caretaker relative of one child applies for another child in the same household, the groups must be combined. A dependent child can be in only one filing group at a time.

    Number in
    Filing Group
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 +1
    NNCR Countable Income Group $2,426 $3,051 $3,677 $4,303 $2,426 $4,929 $5,555 $6,181 $626

    Note:  The "non-needy countable income limit standard" for the filing group is set at 185 percent of the federal poverty level.

    Example 8: Daryl is in the office needing to apply for TANF. Daryl states that his grandchildren, Beth, Mika, and Lizzie are all living with him. During the interview, Daryl reports that the grandchildren are not his biological grandkids. Daryl was married to their grandmother but they divorced and she left to Costa Rica. With this revelation, Daryl is not eligible for TANF.

    Example 9: Uncle Rick needs to apply for TANF for his nephew Carl, but he is employed and wonders if his earnings will be looked at. The worker informs Rick that they will look at his monthly income and determine if his monthly gross is less than the NNCR countable income of $2,426 for a filing group of two.

    Definitions for Chapter 461: 461-001-0000
    Filing Group; TANF: 461-110-0330
    Poverty Related Income Standards; Not OSIP, OSIPM, QMB: 461-155-0180


  9. Noncitizens

    To qualify for TANF cash benefits, there must be at least a dependent child who meets citizen/alien status (unless the caretaker relative has a current safety issue related to domestic violence). If the child meets all other eligibility requirements, they are potentially eligible for cash benefits.

    Note:  USE THE ONLINE DHS 22IT FORM TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY AND BENEFIT LEVEL FOR GROUPS WITH NONCITIZENS.

    To determine eligibility and benefit level for filing groups with ineligible noncitizens, do the following:

    Example 10: Michonne is in the office needing to apply for TANF for herself and her two kids. Michonne states that she is working at a bakery and her youngest daughter Judith is a U.S. citizen. The worker will need to take her pay verification of $250.00 a month and complete the DHS 221T form.

    Adjusted number in household ___3_____ (for no-adult benefit group)

    Number in need group ___3_____ (include ineligible noncitizens in the need group)

    Number in benefit group __1______

    Step 1: Countable income test

    Countable income limit for persons in NEED group (Chart A) 616
    Minus countable income - 250
    Total 366.00

    If greater than 0, continue. Income is below the countable income limit. If not, stop; the group is ineligible.

    Step 2: TANF adjusted income calculation

    Earned income             250
    Minus 50% earned income deduction x 0.5            x0.5
    Adjusted earned income              125
    Add unearned income +              0.00
    Result: total adjusted income = (1)    125.00

    Step 3: TANF adjusted income test

    Adjusted income limit for persons in NEED group (Chart A)            485
    Minus total adjusted income (1, above)            125
    Total = (2)    360.00

    If greater then 0, continue. Income is below the adjusted income limit. If not, stop; the group is ineligible.

    Step 4: TANF income coded calculation

    Payment standard for BENEFIT group:  
    with an adult (Chart A) or no-adult (Chart B) (3)        180
    Minus (2) above - 360
    Result (4)      -180

    Code the result in (4) as TNC income. If the result is $0 or less than $0, code TNC $0.00.

    On UCMS the worker will code Michonne NO and add TNC on the c/d line and on the n/r line TNC 0.00. Judith will be a CH and the second child will be NO.

    Example 11: Michael and Rosemary are both noncitizens and they are in the office applying for TANF for their two sons, Freddy and Jason who are both US citizens. Michael states that they are both not working but they do receive child support every month for Freddy in the amount of 250.00.

    Adjusted number in household ___4_____ (for no-adult benefit group)

    Number in need group ___4_____ (include ineligible noncitizens in the need group)

    Number in benefit group __2____

    Step 1: Countable income test

    Countable income limit for persons in NEED group (Chart A) 795
    Minus countable income - 0.00
    Total 0.00

    If greater then 0, continue. Income is below the adjusted income limit. If not, stop; the group is ineligible.

    Step 2: TANF adjusted income calculation

    Earned income                0.00
    Minus 50% earned income deduction x 0.5                x0.5
    Adjusted earned income                0.00
    Add unearned income +            200.00
    Result: total adjusted income = (1)   200.00

    Step 3: TANF adjusted income test

    Adjusted income limit for persons in NEED group (Chart A)              595
    Minus total adjusted income (1, above) -              200 (deduct 50.00 dsp)
    Total = (2)    395.00

    If greater then 0, continue. Income is below the adjusted income limit. If not, stop; the group is ineligible.

    Step 4: TANF income coded calculation

    Payment standard for BENEFIT group:  
    with an adult (Chart A) or no-adult (Chart B) (3)        322
    Minus (2) above - 200
    Result (4)      122

    Code the result in (4) as TNC income. If the result is $0 or less than $0, code TNC $0.00.

    On UCMS the worker will code Michael and Rosemary NO and add TNC on the c/d line for both, and on the n/r line of the payee add TNC 122.00. Freddy will be a CH and DSP 50.00 and Jason is a CH, as well.

    F SEE THE TANF CHILD SUPPORT QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.

    How Income Affects Eligibility and Benefits; REF, SFPSS, TANF: 461-160-0100

    Note:  For TANF cases, use the TNC (TANF Noncitizen) always on the Case Descriptor line, and TNC on Need Resource line when there is any income.


  10. Sponsored noncitizens

    Noncitizens who were admitted as Lawful Permanent Residents meet the alien status requirement for TANF regardless of when they were admitted. However, some of them are sponsored so the deeming process will apply to them. If the sponsored noncitizens were admitted before December 1997, the sponsor's affidavit of support will show three years of financial responsibility. If the sponsored noncitizens were admitted after December 1997, their sponsor's financial responsibility ends only when the noncitizen has worked 40 qualifying quarters of work or when they receive their naturalized U.S. citizenship.

    Note:  SEE NONCITIZENS A.4 (NC-A.4) FOR EXAMPLES OF THE COMMON STATUS CODES FOR SPONSORED NONCITIZENS AND NONCITIZENS A.8 (NC-A.8) TO DETERMINE IF THE DEEMING REQUIREMENTS APPLY.


  11. Deeming income

    If deeming applies, treat all the countable income as if it were the sponsored noncitizen's income. Allow 50 percent off the earned income of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse. Add the remaining to all the unearned income of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse. This is the countable deemed income for each sponsored noncitizen.

    When to Deem the Assets of a Sponsor of a Noncitizen and How Income is Deemed: 461-145-0830


  12. Deeming resources

    To determine the amount of resources deemed from the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse (if living together), first total all of their countable resources. Then, divide the total by the number of noncitizens sponsored by the individual or couple. This is the countable deemed resource for each sponsored noncitizen.


  13. Asset Quick-Reference Chart

    Note:  This chart does not include treatment of assets for a client working under a JOBS Plus agreement. See Counting Client Assets Chapter for that specific situation.

    Click here to view the Asset Quick-Reference Chart in PDF format.


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