Food Stamps

1115.035.25.35 Shelter Costs of a Vacated Home

IM-#50 September 2, 2011 IM-#150 November 14, 2003IM-#61 May 21, 1999

The EU is eligible for utility expenses of a vacated home not occupied by the EU because of employment or training away from home, illness, or abandonment caused by a natural disaster or casualty loss. The EU must intend to return to the home for the shelter costs of the vacated 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.

    • If the vacated home is the only home claimed by the EU:Use the NHCS or LUA in calculating the shelter costs for the vacated home If the EU incurs or is billed for two or more utility expenses at the vacated home, allow the NHCS. If the EU incurs or is billed for only one utility expense at the vacated home, allow the LUA.

      EXAMPLE: Mr. Y’s is attending training away from home but plans to return when his training is complete. He is temporarily living with friends; however he is still responsible for shelter expenses at his home. He has the following monthly expenses for his vacant home: rent of $500, electric expense for heating and cooling of $100 and telephone expense of $40. The ES will enter shelter expenses of

    • VS(vacated home including non-heating/cooling standard) in the amount of $576 ($500 plus $76)
    • PH (telephone) in the amount of $40, which the new system will give them the telephone expense standard.
  • If the EU claims utility costs for an occupied and a vacated home:Use actual utility costs for both homes. If budgeting actual costs for both homes, allow the telephone standard if the EU incurs the cost of a telephone for either the occupied or the vacated home.

EXAMPLE: Mr. X’s home was damaged in a natural disaster, and is uninhabitable. He is temporarily living in an apartment until he gets his home fixed. He has the following monthly expenses for his vacant home: a house payment of $1200, gas for heat of $80, electric of $200 per month and telephone expense of $40. The rent for his apartment is $800 per month; he is paying gas of $20, and electric of $50 for heating and cooling. The ES will enter shelter expenses of

  • VA (vacated home exp including actual utilities) in the amount of $1530 ($1200 plus $80 plus $200 plus $20) plus $50) to cover the cost of the vacated home and actual utilities,
  • RT (rent) in the amount of $800, and
  • PH (telephone) in the amount of $40, which the new system will give them the telephone expense standard.