The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline 5/14: Shelter and Utility income and deductions

Date: 
05/01/2014
Author: 
DTA

Q. 1. My SNAP client is getting recertified this month (June, 2014) and she has been participating in HEAT. Since H-EAT was not run in the month of April, what should I do with this client’s utility expenses at recertification?
A. 1. Until further notice, leave this client’s case with the full heating/cooling SUA. BEACON will pick up this case and determine continued eligibility for H-EAT in the fall, when the new H-EAT run and new procedures are in place.

Q. 2. My TAFDC client was evicted and is now living with a friend until she can find an apartment of her own. My client is not paying any rent. Should I deduct the income-in-kind rent amount from my client’s payment standard?
A. 2. Yes. For details on the appropriate TAFDC income-in-kind values, see 106 CMR 204.510(B) for more details.
Also remember that in calculating this client’s SNAP benefit amount, even though this client is not paying rent, her total monthly expenses need not reach or exceed $143 for her to receive the SNAP homeless shelter/utility deduction. Any self-declared contribution amount from this client that goes towards her friend’s utility bills is sufficient verification to qualify for the deduction. For more information on the SNAP homeless shelter/utility deduction, refer to 106 CMR 364.400(F).
For more information on verifying shelter and utility costs in the SNAP and TAFDC Programs, refer to Operations Memo 2010-29.

Q. 3. My TAFDC client lives in government-subsidized housing and all of her rent is covered by her subsidy. Should I deduct the income-in-kind shelter amount for this client?
A. 3. No. Per 106 CMR 204.250(U), federal and state housing subsidies are noncountable income in the TAFDC Program and therefore the income-in-kind value for shelter is not deducted.
Note: Federal and state housing subsidies are noncountable income in the EAEDC Program as well. See 106 CMR 321.250(U).

Q. 4. My EAEDC cash-only client is living with a friend until he can find an apartment of his own. My client is not paying any rent. Should I deduct the income-in-kind shelter amount for this client?
A. 4. It depends.

  • If this individual is paying zero shelter costs and states he is homeless, the Homeless indicator on the Address page should be checked. This will give the client Living Arrangement D Standard of Assistance and will calculate the SNAP benefits for a homeless individual. See 106 CMR 321.420(D) for details.
  • If the individual is paying zero shelter costs and states he is NOT homeless, the Homeless indicator should NOT be checked. This will give the client Living Arrangement A’s Standard of Assistance and will calculate the SNAP benefits for an individual who is not homeless. See 106 CMR 321.420(A) for details.
  • If the individual is paying zero shelter AND utility costs and states he is NOT homeless, the Homeless indicator should NOT be checked but In-Kind income must be entered on the Other Income page. This will give the client Living Arrangement A’s Standard of Assistance minus In-Kind income and will calculate the SNAP benefits for an individual who is not homeless.
To save files, right click and choose 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'
File Attachment: 
AttachmentSize
PDF icon Hotline_may14.pdf49.14 KB

Limit Offer