Release 81:  Effective April 1, 2016

TANF -
G.  Financial Eligibility


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  1. Overview
  2. To meet eligibility 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 Need Group

      Amount No. in Need 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

      Income and Payment Standards; REF, TANF Rule
      461-155-0030 — Income and Payment Standards; REF, TANF

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

    Definitions for Chapter 461 Rule
    461-001-0000 — Definitions for Chapter 461

    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 ($616), the Oz family is OVI for TANF.

    Example 2: Fred Farmer, his wife, Bessie, and their daughter Banjette are applying for TANF. Bessie is working at the local dairy market and she is bringing home $400.00 a month. Comparing the monthly earnings to the Countable Income Limit for a family of three ($616), the Farmer family is under the Countable Income Limit and worker will need to review the Adjusted Income Limit.

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

    Example 3:

    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 ($616). To determine the Adjusted Income, the worker will take $300/2=$150.00 and, per the Adjusted Income Limit ($485), $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.

    NOTE: a 50 percent earned income deduction is applied to the $300 earned income..

    Example 4: Since Fred and Bessie’s monthly income is only $400.00 and is under the Countable Income Limit. We need to determine if the income is less than the Adjustable Income Limit of $485. At the Adjusted level any earned income must be given the 50 percent earned income deduction. We will take $400.00 and with the 50 percent deduction, compare the new amount of $200.00 to the Adjusted Income of $485.00. The Farmer family is under the Adjusted Income.

    Earned Income Deduction; REF, TANF Rule
    461-160-0160 — Earned Income Deduction; REF, TANF

  7. Exit Limit Increase (ELI)
  8. INTENT
    The new Exit Limit Increase is designed to lessen the benefit cliff impact on families. The policy changes will allow families to gradually phase off of the TANF program when parents become employed instead of experiencing an abrupt loss of benefits from their monthly cash assistance as soon as they hit the income limit. This change hopefully leave families in more stable position in the long run.

    A TANF benefit group that has countable earned income, is eligible for an Exit Limit Increase as used in OAR 461-155-0030 in the following situations:

    1. An open TANF case with income to determine if the case is over the Exit Limit Increase countable income limit; or

    2. Restoring a TANF case within 30 days of closure when the case closed with earned income received by a member of the benefit group.

    ELI serves as both the countable and adjusted income limits for the above two case types.

    Countable Income Limit - Exit Limit Increase (ELI)
    Number in Need Group Amount
    1 $678
    2 $864
    3 $1012
    4 $1242
    5 $1442
    6 $1666
    7 $1846
    8 $2060
    9 $2186
    10 $2408
    +1 +220

    Example 5: Jason and his two children are TANF recipients of $506 a month. He reports he has started working at Coco Nuts. He turned in employer statement saying that Jason is working 20 hours per week at $10.00 an hour and earns a total of $860.00 a month. Since Jason is part of the TANF benefit group and has earned income, the worker will need to check the new Exit Limit Increase Countable chart and determine if his earnings are less than $1,012. Jason’s income is less than the ELI. Once the 50 percent deduction is allowed and the computer counts $430.00, he will remain eligible for TANF with a new GNT amount of $76.00.

    Example 6: Shane and his child are TANF recipients of $432 a month. Shane reports that he started working at the Walking Factory and reports the “Big 3." He will earn $9.75 an hour at 40 hours per week and his first pay check is the 10th of the following month. The worker calculates that Shane’s monthly gross income will be $1677 and he is over the Exit Limit Increase of $864.00. Since he reported the “Big 3” and his first pay date is the 10th of next month, the worker will close TANF the end of next month.

    Exit Limit Increase is only for individuals in the benefit group. If the TANF benefit group reports someone has moved into the home with income, the calculation to determine eligibility is based on the countable income limit (not the Exit Limit Increase).

    Example 7: Jason and his two children receive TANF. In April, he calls to report he is no longer employed. The following month he calls to report his wife Amy has moved into the home and she is working. The agency verifies Amy earns $900 per month. Since Amy was not part of the original TANF benefit group, the worker will use the countable income limit to determine eligibility. Based on the countable income limit of $795 for a family of four, the household is over income. The household is not eligible for the Exit Limit Increase since wife was not part of the benefit group. Timely notice would be sent to close the TANF case.

    CAUTION
      The Exit Limit Increase chart is not to be used at initial eligibility.

    Income and Payment Standard; REF, TANF Rule
    461-155-0030 — Income and Payment Standard; REF, TANF

  9. Coding Exit Limit Increase (ELI) and No Adult Standard Exit Limit Increase (NAS)
  10. The new Exit Limit Increase (ELI) and the No Adult Standard (NAS) codes will have to be coded on all cases with an EML or SLF coding.

    At Initial Eligibility

    Workers will need to calculate Earned Income (EML) or Self-Employment (SLF) income for TANF. This is a manual calculation:

    Countable: 100% EML or SLF and 100% Unearned income

    Adjusted: 50% EML or SLF and 100% Unearned income

    Then compare the total to the appropriate standard chart for coding on UCMS.

    Example 8: Brian is applying for TANF with his son. He works at Target earning $300.00 per month. The worker will need to determine if Brian’s income meets the countable and adjusted limit for a family size of 2 on the Adult Standard Chart or TANF Calculator. The worker determines that the countable income for 2 is $499 and Brian’s earnings of $300 is less, so the worker can now look at the adjusted limit of $416. The worker will use 50% of Brian’s earned income which is $150. Brian is under the adjusted as well and since he met all other TANF eligibility the worker will code UCMS with:

    Brian as an ‘AD’ in grant code with c/d ELI
    and n/r EML C 300.00

    Example 9: Amber is applying for TANF with her two children. She is employed at Target and earning $300 per month. Amber has received TANF more than 60 months and does not meet any reasons for an extension. The worker will need to determine if Amber’s income meets the countable and adjusted limit for a family size of three on the No Adult Standard Chart or TANF Calculator. The worker determines that the countable income for three is $410 and Amber’s earnings of $300 is less, so the worker can now look at the adjusted limit of $334. The worker will use 50 percent of Amber’s earned income which is $150. Amber is under the adjusted as well and since she met all other TANF eligibility the worker will code UCMS with:

    Amber as a ‘NO’ in grant code with c/d NAS

    and n/r EML C 300.00

    Example 10: Ambian is applying for TANF with her five daughters. She is self employed as a massage therapist. She turns in her tax documents and states that her income is consistent. Ambian’s taxes shows that she grosses $10,000 a year. The worker determines Ambian’s monthly gross is $833.33. Per the One or More Adult Standard Chart, Ambian’s monthly gross is less than the countable income limit of $1060. The worker will use 50% of Ambian’s self-employment which is $416.66. Ambian is under the adjusted as well and since she meets all other TANF eligibility the worker will code UCMS with:

    Ambian as an ‘AD’ in grant code with c/d ELI

    and n/r SLF C 833.33

    Ongoing Eligibility

    Workers will be able to code ELI or NAS on cases with EML or SLF and the computer will do the calculation.

    CAUTION
      Only code ELI or NAS on the X payee.

    Benefit Group Rule
    461-110-0750 — Benefit Group

    Prorated Standards; Adjusted Number in Household Rule
    461-155-0020 — Prorated Standards; Adjusted Number in Household

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

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

  11. Resource and resource limit
  12. 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:

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

    Example 11:

    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 12:

    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 TANF resource limit is $2,500 because Jane has a current JOBS disqualification.

    Examples of $10,000 resource limit:

    Example 13:

    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 14:

    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. 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 Rule
    461-140-0020 — Availability of Resources

    Asset Transfer; General Information and Timelines Rule
    461-140-0210 — Asset Transfer; General Information and Timelines

    Adjustments to the Disqualification for Asset Transfer Rule
    461-140-0300 — Adjustments to the Disqualification for Asset Transfer

    Determining if a Transfer of an Asset is Disqualifying Rule
    461-140-0220 — Determining if a Transfer of an Asset is Disqualifying

    Determining the Uncompensated Value of a Transferred Asset Rule
    461-140-0250 — Determining the Uncompensated Value of a Transferred Asset

    Disqualification Due to an Asset Transfer: REF, REFM, TANF Rule
    461-140-0270 — Disqualification Due to an Asset Transfer: REF, REFM, TANF

    Resource Limits Rule
    461-160-0015 — Resource Limits

  13. Determining the resource value of vehicles for the Pre-TANF Program and TANF
  14. 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.

    Resource Limits Rule
    461-160-0015 — Resource Limits

    Motor Vehicle Rule
    461-145-0360 — Motor Vehicle Rule

  15. Availability of income
  16. 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 averaged over the applicable period. 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 Rule
    461-140-0040 — Determining Availability of Income

    Treatment of Periodic Income Rule
    461-140-0110 — Treatment of Periodic Income

    Availability and Treatment of Lump Sum Income Rule
    461-140-0120 — Availability and Treatment of Lump Sum Income

    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 Rule
    461-140-0040 — Determining Availability of Income

    Treatment of Periodic Income Rule
    461-140-0110 — Treatment of Periodic Income

    Availability and Treatment of Lump-Sum Income Rule
    461-140-0120 — Availability and Treatment of Lump-Sum Income

  17. Unavailability of income and resources
  18. Income is not available if any of the following is true:

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

    Domestic violence Rule
    461-135-1200 — Domestic violence

    Availability of Resources Rule
    461-140-0020 — Availability of Resources

    Determining Avaliability of Income Rule
    461-140-0040 — Determining Avaliability of Income

  19. Non-needy caretaker relative grants
  20. 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 “non-needy caretaker relative 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; this includes the adult income limit standards.

    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 $2,470 $3,108 $3,747 $4,385 $5,023 $5,663 $6,304 $6,946 $642


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

    Example 16: 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 dating she but they divorced and she left to Costa Rica. With this revelation, Daryl is not eligible for TANF.

    Example 17: 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 $2,470 for a filing group of two.

    Definitions for Chapter 461 Rule
    461-001-0000 — Definitions for Chapter 461

    Filing Group; TANF Rule
    461-110-0330 — Filing Group; TANF

    Poverty Related Income Standards; Not OSIP, OSIPM, QMB Rule
    461-155-0180 — Poverty Related Income Standards; Not OSIP, OSIPM, QMB

  21. Noncitizens
  22. 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.

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

    Example 18: 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 determine eligibility using the countable adjusted income test for the need group.

    Step 1: Countable income test for need group

    Earned income 250
    Countable income limit for persons in NEED group 616

    Since $250.00 is under the countable income limit, move to Step 2.

    Step 2: TANF adjusted income test for need group

    Earned income             250
    Minus 50% earned income deduction             125
    Adjusted income limit for persons in NEED group              482

    Since $125 is under the adjusted income limit, move to step 3.

    Step 3: Calculate the prorated income of the ineligible noncitizen

    Earned income            250
    Divide by number in the need group               /3
    Multiply by number in the benefit group               x1
    Prorated earned income               83.33
    Minus 50% earned income deduction               41.66
    Result: total adjusted income               41.66
    Payment standard for BENEFIT group (Chart B)             180

    Since $41.66 is under the payment standard, move to step 4.

    Step 4: Determine TANF grant amount

    Payment standard for BENEFIT group (Chart B):    180
    Minus adjusted income above -       41.66
    Result: TANF grant     138

    On UCMS the worker will code Michonne NO and add TNC on the C/D line; the N/R line will have EML C $83.33. Judith will be a CH and the second child will be NO.

    NOTE
      Do not code undocumented noncitizens as IA; this is medical coding. Code undocumented noncitizens in-grant code NO and a case descriptor of TNC.

    Example 19: 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.

    On UCMS, the worker will code Michael and Rosemary NO and add TNC on the C /D line for both of them . Both children will be coded CH. Freddy will have an N/R line of Sup c $200.00 and DSP C 50.00.

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

    NOTE
      For TANF cases with ineligible noncitizens , always use TNC (TANF Noncitizen) on the Case Descriptor line for each ineligible noncitizen.

  23. Sponsored noncitizens
  24. 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 determin if the deeming requirements apply.

  25. Deeming income
  26. 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 Rule
    461-145-0830 — When to Deem the Assets of a Sponsor of a Noncitizen and How Income is Deemed

  27. Deeming resources
  28. 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.

  29. Asset Quick-Reference Chart
  30. 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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