Release 60:  Effective January 1, 2011

G.  Financial Eligibility


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Case Management Opportunity

Ask about reasons for leaving recent jobs, resources available from relatives to support employment and retention, work limitations due to injuries that are now paying disability or insurance payments.

  1. Requirements

    The financial eligibility requirements include meeting the income and resource limits for the program. Income and resources are assets. An asset that is counted as income is excluded as a resource in the budget month. Any remaining amounts are counted as a resource the following month. The need group is ineligible for benefits if they have income or resources above the allowable limits.


    Assets; Income and Resources: 461-140-0010
    Use of Resources in Determining Financial Eligibility: 461-160-0010

  2. Resource and Resource Limit

    A resource is available if the client has the legal interest in the resource and has the legal ability to convert the resource to cash and/or use it for support and maintenance.

    For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants 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 has become an Pre-TANF Program participant or TANF recipient, the resource limit goes up to $10,000 if at least one member of the need group is progressing in the case plan. In non-needy caretaker relative situations, the resources of the caretaker relative are not counted against the grant. If the caretaker relative or the child is making progress on their case plan, the resource limit is $10,000. If at any time a TANF recipient no longer cooperates with their case plan, the resource limit is then reduced back to $2,500.

    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.

    F SEE OARs 461-140-0220, 461-140-0250 AND 461-140-0270 FOR DETAILS.

    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
    Resource Limits: 461-160-0015

  3. 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:

    • Live in areas not served by public transportation;

    • Are fleeing domestic violence; or

    • Cannot access public transportation due to physical disabilities.

    Because the Department of Human Services (DHS) recognizes what an important tool a motor vehicle can be for achieving self-sufficiency, DHS has a generous standard for counting the resource value of motor vehicles for clients in the Pre-TANF Program and TANF applicants and recipients.

    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.

    • Step 1: Determine the availability of the vehicle as a resource. Clients might own or have an interest in a vehicle, but it may not be available to them as a resource. This is especially true if the client is a victim of domestic violence.


    • Step 2: Determine the equity value. DHS will exclude $10,000 in equity value for all licensed motor vehicles excluded when determining the value of motor vehicles (see Step 4).

    • Step 3: Determine the equity value of the vehicle. The equity value of the vehicle is the fair market value of the car minus any "encumbrances." Using the National Automobile Dealers Association's (NADA) Used Car Guide (or similar publication), look at the "Average Trade-in Value" for the vehicle. The Kelley Blue Book is also available on the internet at the DHS Tools for Staff page ( Do not add disability-related apparatus, optional equipment or low mileage to increase the value. Subtract from that amount any amount the client owes on the vehicle, or any other costs, such as liens. The remainder is the equity value.


    • Step 4: Exclude $10,000 in equity value. Total the equity value of all the licensed vehicles. Deduct $10,000 from the total equity value of all vehicles combined. The remainder is the resource value of the vehicle or vehicles.

    • Step 5: Compare the resource value of the vehicle to the resource limit. If the amount exceeds the TANF resource limit, the client is not eligible. In addition to the equity value that exceeds $10,000, any other vehicles and resources are counted toward the resource limit. For TANF applicants and people who are not progressing on their self-sufficiency plan, the resource limit is $2,500. For people who are already in the Pre-TANF Program or receiving TANF and are progressing with their JOBS plan (or in JOBS Plus), the resource limit is $10,000.

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

  4. Availability of Income

    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. 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.

    • 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;

    • The amount of income considered available is the gross before deductions, such as garnishments, taxes or other payroll deductions;


    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.

    • When earned income is withheld or diverted at the request of an employee, it is considered available in the month the wages would have been paid;

    • An advance or draw is money received that will be subtracted from later wages. An advance or draw is available when received;

    • Averaged, annualized, converted or prorated income is available throughout the period for which the calculation applies;

    • Deemed income is available whether or not it has been received;

    • Payments that should legally be made directly to a member of the financial group but are paid to a third party for a household expense are considered available to the financial group when the third party received the payment;

      Example: A noncustodial parent has been ordered by a court to pay child support to the child's mother, but chooses to make a payment to a landlord for shelter expenses for this child (rather than making the payment directly to the child's mother). The shelter payment is considered available.

    • Income that is averaged, annualized, converted or prorated is considered available throughout the period for which the calculation applies;

    • The portion of a payment from an assistance program (such as unemployment compensation (UC) or Social Security benefits) that is withheld to repay an overpayment is considered available.

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

  5. Unavailability of Income and Resources

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

    • The income is wages withheld by an employer as a general practice, even if in violation of the law;

    • The income is paid jointly to the client and other people and the others do not pay the client their share;

    • The income is received by a member of the financial group after they have left the household. Count only the income the person received while they were residing in the household;

    • The client is a victim of domestic violence, the client's abuser controls the income, and pursuing the income would put the client or the client's children at risk.

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

    • When a client is a victim of domestic violence, resources jointly held with the abuser are not available if pursuing the resources would put the person at future risk;

    • The resources are being used by a domestic violence victim to flee the abusive situation (e.g., money needed to move into stable housing);

    • The client is a victim of domestic violence, the resource is jointly owned with or is in the possession of a person who lives in the household the client left or is planning to leave, and pursuing the resource will put the client or the client's children at risk;

    • The client has a legal interest in the resource, but the resource is unavailable because it is not in the client's possession (for example, a client has title to a car, but the car is stolen), and the client is unable to gain possession of it;

    • The resource is jointly owned with others not in the financial group who are unwilling to sell, and the client's interest is not reasonably saleable;

    • The resource is included in an irrevocable or restricted trust and cannot be used to meet the basic monthly needs of the financial group;

    • A resource is considered unavailable during the time the owner does not know he or she owns the resource.

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

  6. 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
    172 Each additional

    Income and Payment Standards; MAA, MAF, REF, SAC, TANF: 461-155-0030

  7. 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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