The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

53. What is in-kind income and when does DTA count it?

In-kind income is something you get free, such as free rent, utilities, clothing, or food. DTA looks at in-kind income in figuring out the EAEDC grant amount. 106 C.M.R. § 704.210(C). Food stamps, MassHealth, housing subsidies and other benefits are not counted as in-kind income.

DTA does not count in-kind income if it is:

  • for only a part of a living expense identified in the In-Kind Income Chart (e.g., part of the rent); or
  • for an expense not contained in the In-Kind Income Chart (e.g.,  transportation, training or school fees). 106 C.M.R. § 704.510.


In-Kind Income Chart

Need

Living Alone

Shared Living

Rent/mortgage

$110/month

$56/month

Fuel

$23/month

$12/month

Utilities

$17/month

$9/month

Clothing

$18/month

$18/month

Food

$42/month

$42/month

 

Example 1: Sarah is disabled and lives in the house that she bought when she was working. The mortgage is $500 a month, which Sarah can't afford on her EAEDC grant. Sarah's sister Sue pays $250 directly to the mortgage company every
month so that Sarah can continue to have a place to live.

Sue's payments are income in-kind that does not cover the full cost of the mortgage, so none of her payments count as income. If Sue paid the full cost of the mortgage to the bank, DTA would deduct $110 per month from Sarah's EAEDC grant as in-kind income.

Example 2: Carol, a 25-year-old disabled person participating in a Mass. Rehabilitation program lives rent-free with her parents but pays them $100/month toward heat and utilities. She uses the rest of the money for food and travel costs to her program. Because Carol is not charged for rent, DTA counts $110 per month as income to Carol, reducing her EAEDC grant by $110.

But if Carol  pays her parents something each month for both rent and utilities (e.g., her parents could decide to charge her $75 for rent and $25 for fuel/utilities and write this in a letter to DTA), there is no in-kind income. Then Carol would receive the full EAEDC grant with no in-kind income deduction. If her parents are on SSI or EAEDC themselves, Carol can pay the money directly to the mortgage and utility companies so that the payments won't count against her parents' benefits. Alternatively, her parents can deduct the payments as business expenses if they get EAEDC. 106 C.M.R. § 704.210(E).
 


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