MANUAL REVISION #5:  SECTION 1115.015.05, page 6;
   SECTION 1115.010.00, page 3
The Food Stamp Manual has been revised to reflect further clarification from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Regional Office regarding Department of Mental Health (DMH) payments.  All DMH payments are vendor payments and are therefore excluded from income.  Section 1115.015.05 in IMNL is changed to reflect the clarification of policy.  Reference to DMH contributions is removed from Section 1115.010.00.

This regulation was effective December 1996.  It will be necessary to restore Food Stamp benefits back to December 1996 for households affected by the change in regulations.  Reevaluate all DMH cases at recertification or at the request of the household or its representative.  Document in the case record the time period and amount of benefits being restored.  Notify the household of the amount being restored.  Restore Food Stamp benefits to the household using the IM-106B.

  • Review the memorandum with all appropriate staff.

  • File the revised section in the Food Stamp Manual.

  • Restore Food Stamp benefits to households as necessary from December 1996.
Distribution #3

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]

and excess shelter deductions.  (Apply the earned income deduction to the total amount of earned income belonging to the excluded member.)

  b. Excluded for ineligible alien status or for refusal to obtain or provide an SSN:  The earned and unearned income of these excluded members is counted less the prorated share representing the excluded member(s).

   Deductible expenses for these excluded members is the 20 percent earned income deduction applied to the prorated earned income attributed to the remaining household members.

   Shelter and dependent care expenses paid by or billed to the excluded member are allowed less the prorated share representing the excluded member(s).

 8. Cash Gifts:  count cash gifts as income if they can be anticipated.

 9. Recurring Lump Sums:  consider recurring lump sum payments from sources such as insurance policies or sale of property as income when received.

 10. All Other Payments:  dividends, interests, royalties, proceeds from trust funds, and all other payments (except loans) from any source, that may be construed to be a gain or benefit.

  NOTE:  Interest paid for savings/checking accounts, etc., must be annualized and budgeted as income.  Consider interest as income whether the household receives a direct payment or the interest accrues to the account.

 11. Contributions:  money paid for expenses directly to the household by a person outside the household.

  EXAMPLE:  Mrs. B. receives SSI and her son gives her the money to pay her monthly phone bill.  The money from the son is counted as unearned income.

  On the other hand, if the son pays the money directly to the phone company, exclude the payment as income and consider it a vendor payment.

  NOTE:  Exclude charitable contributions from non-profit organizations not exceeding $300 per calendar quarter.

 12. Proceeds from Trust Funds:  monies withdrawn or dividends that are or could be received by a household from trust funds under exempt resources.  Consider such trust


  withdrawals as income in the month received unless otherwise exempt under income exclusions.  Consider dividends the household has the option of either receiving or reinvesting in the trust as income in the month they become available to the household unless exempt under income exclusions.

 13. Adoption Subsidy:  treat adoption subsidy payments for general living expenses as unearned income once an adoption is final.  Exclude adoption subsidy payments for reimbursement of child care or medical expenses from income.  Treat pre-adoption payments as Foster Care.

 14. Gambling Income:  consider all gambling income as unearned income.  If the household anticipates receiving a check from one-time winnings, such as a lottery ticket, the household can choose to average the income or count it in the month received.  Treat gambling winnings of a person who regularly plays bingo, bets on racehorses, etc., as unearned, fluctuating income if it can be anticipated.  Do not count one-time winnings that cannot be anticipated as income.

 15. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA):  these benefits are available to workers who lose their jobs or whose work hours and wages are reduced as a result of increased imports.  TRA is a weekly benefit payable to eligible workers following exhaustion of unemployment benefits.  It is paid only to individuals enrolled in a training program.  An individual may also receive an allowance for transportation and living expenses if attending training or conducting a job search beyond the normal commuting distance from home.  If the individual finds a job beyond the normal commuting distance from home and wants to relocate to the job site, TAA may provide a relocation allowance.  Count as income TRA and TAA payments for living expenses (room, board, clothing, etc.).  Exempt from income TRA and TAA allowances for transportation, education, and relocation expenses.

  Employment Security sometimes combines money for living expenses and transportation into one check.  A check which exceeds the weekly amount shown in the IMES screen generally includes a transportation reimbursement.  To correctly decide what amount to budget as income, ask the client what kind of payment is included in their check. 


 2. Vendor Payments:  payments paid to a third party for a household expense.  Treat as income or non-income as follows.
  a. If a person or organization outside of the household makes a direct payment using its own funds to a household's creditors or a person or organization providing a service to the household, exclude it.

   EXAMPLE:  Mrs. Todd's brother, who lives in another town, pays her landlord her rent each month from his own funds.  The rent payment made by the brother is not considered income.

   (1) Exclude rent or mortgage payments made to landlords or mortgagees by HUD or by state or local housing authorities.

   (2) Exclude payments by a government agency to a child care institution for day care for a household member.

  b. Count IM vendor payments as income unless for medical assistance, child care assistance, or energy assistance.

  c. Exclude General Assistance (GA) vendor payments from income.  DMH vendor payments are considered GA and are excluded from income.  All DMH payments are vendor payments, therefore, exclude all DMH payments from income.

  d. Consider payments in money that are not made to a third party but made directly to the household a contribution and count as income.  This does not include payments made directly to the household or the utility provider from HUD or Farmers Home Administration for utilities.

  e. Count monies legally obligated and otherwise payable to the household diverted by the payment provider to a third party for a household expense as income.

   The income/non-income distinction is based on whether the person or organization making the payment on behalf of a household is using funds that otherwise would be paid to the household.  Such funds include wages earned by a household member, an IM grant to which a household