The shelter costs for a vacated home temporarily not occupied by the EU because of employment or training away from home, illness, or abandonment caused by a natural disaster or casualty loss may be allowed as a shelter expense. The EU must intend to return to the home for the shelter costs of the unoccupied home to be allowed as a deduction. The home must not be leased or rented during the absence of the EU. The current occupants of the home, if any, must not be claiming shelter costs for food stamp purposes. Charges for repair of the home damaged or destroyed due to a natural disaster may be allowed unless the EU is reimbursed by public or private agencies, insurance, or some other source.
Enter shelter costs for a vacated home on the Shelter Expense (FMXK) screen. There are three valid types of shelter expenses for vacated homes. They are:
- VA–vacated home exp — including actual utilities,
- VH–vacated home — no utilities and
- VS–vacated home — non-heating/cooling standard or lower utility allowance.
Type or prompt for the appropriate code. (See Section 1115.035.25.35) Enter the rent or house payment including the appropriate utility standard or actual expense in the Amount field. If the EU claims utility costs for both an occupied and unoccupied home and incurs a telephone expense for either home, enter the telephone expense as a phone expense on the Shelter Expense (FMXK) screen. Enter a comment regarding the actual amount being paid by the EU and the reason for entering the telephone standard.