Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0210.005.45 Stepparent Cases

IM-73 May 2, 2019; IM-96 August 26, 2005

Include the stepparent’s income (as computed below) in determining both eligibility and grant amount. Exclude the stepparent’s needs in the Temporary Assistance (TA) assistance group. If the stepparent receives SSI, SP or SAB in conjunction with any other income, exclude his/her income. If the stepparent receives BP, count his/her income other than the grant. To determine eligibility and grant amount in stepparent cases, complete the following budget steps:

  1. Determine the stepparent’s gross income (total gross income less overhead expenses).
    • NOTE: Income EXCLUSIONS applicable in determining total gross income of a TA claimant also apply in determining a stepparent’s total gross income.
  2. Subtract the $90 standard work expense from gross earned income.
  3. Add unearned income to the remaining earned income and subtract the following:
    • An amount equal to the full need standard for the stepparent and any other individuals living in the home, whose needs are not considered, and who are claimed or could be claimed by the stepparent as dependents for purposes of federal income tax liability.

No. of Persons










Full Need Standard










    • Amounts actually paid by the stepparent to individuals not living in the home but who are claimed or could be claimed as dependents for federal income tax purposes.
    • Court ordered alimony or child support paid for individuals not living in the household.
  1. Include remaining stepparent income as unearned income in both the 185 percent income eligibility limit, and determining need and grant amount.

NOTE: Verification of the stepparent’s income is necessary to establish eligibility and grant amount. If the stepparent refuses to supply needed information, reject the application or close the case.

EXAMPLE: Mrs. Smith has two children for whom she is applying for TA. Her husband, Mr. Smith (the stepparent), has two children of his own living with them. Mr. Smith has a third child who lives with his mother. Mrs. Smith and her two children have no income. Mr. Smith is employed full time and earns $1299 per month. Mr. Smith claims his two children living with him for federal income tax purposes. He pays court-ordered child support for his third child of $100 per month. He also sends additional money to his third child when he can afford it, usually $10 to $15 a month. Mr. Smith cannot claim his third child for income tax purposes. The computation is as follows:

$1299 – $90 = $1209
$1209 – $846 (full need standard for 3) = $363
$363 – $100 (child support) = $263
$263 is the stepparent’s income to count.

Since $263 is less than $1565 (185 percent of the need standard for the assistance group), the family meets the 185 percent income limit test.

In determining need, subtract $263 from $846. The family is eligible based on need. In determining grant amount, subtract $263 from $292 (percentage of need reduction for the assistance group) and the family is eligible for a cash grant.

  • If the stepparent and spouse have an in-common child(ren) and one parent is disabled or meets unemployed parent criteria, the parents must apply for this child(ren) and cooperate in establishing their eligibility. The household must meet the requirements for TA as in any other (non-stepparent) case. Include the needs and income of the parents and their child(ren) and the stepchildren of either or both parent(s) on the budget as a single TA assistance group. Only one assistance case exists. If the stepparent and spouse have an in-common child(ren), neither parent is disabled or meets unemployed parent criteria, and they wish to receive MO HealthNet for Families benefits for this child(ren), explore eligibility for MO HealthNet.
  • In double stepparent TA cases, treat the families as two separate TA cases. Create separate case records and separate budgets. In such cases, the parent is ALWAYS the payee for his/her children. Apply regular TA budgeting methods to each case.

NOTE: When an in-common child exists in the household and either parent becomes disabled, or meets unemployed parent criteria, apply the instructions in #2 above. Budget the household as a single TA assistance group.