For initial applications:
For recertification applications:
If the amount of income that will be received, or when it will be received, is uncertain, do not count the portion of the household's income that is uncertain. For example, a household anticipating income from a new source, such as a new job or recently applied for public assistance benefits may be uncertain as to the timing and amount of the initial payment. Income shall not be anticipated unless there is reasonable certainty of the month in which the payment will be received and in what amount.
EXAMPLE: Mrs. A has a part-time job and was approved for SSA on 1/18. It is not certain that Mrs. A will receive an SSA check in the month of February. Therefore, only the income from her employment is counted for the month of February. If it is certain Mrs. A will receive the SSA payment in February, it is counted as income for February.
Projection is defined as anticipation of the income and circumstances that will exist during the certification period. To project income:
As a result of anticipating income, the EU's allotment for the month of application may differ from its allotment in subsequent months.
Use guidelines to project monthly income as stated for each of the following situations:
NOTE: If income fluctuates seasonally, it may be appropriate to use the most recent season comparable to the certification period, rather than the 30 days as one indicator of anticipated income. Exercise caution in using income from a past season as the income may fluctuate from one season to the next.
When an EU has stable income, such as a regular weekly or monthly salary, as determined by reviewing verification of past income and discussion with the applicant, infrequent and unpredictable overtime or conversely, infrequent and unpredictable work days missed do not alter the certainty of the employment situation. Examples of projecting income:
EXAMPLE: Mrs. Green is employed as a temporary for AAA Employment Agency. Mrs. Green usually works every week, but her days and hours worked vary weekly. Mrs. Green states to the eligibility specialist that she receives a wage stub weekly but she has not saved them. The eligibility specialist asks Mrs. Green to sign an employment information request form to send to AAA Employment Agency and also gives her an FA-325 allowing 10 days for her to provide her next two wage stubs. The eligibility specialist is unable to obtain verification from the employer and Mrs. Green does not send in the wage stubs as requested. The system will reject the pending application for failure to provide verification on the 30th day.
If Mrs. Green provides the wage stubs prior to the 30th day, use the wage stubs provided and project income based on discussion with Mrs. Green.
NOTE: In this example, Mrs. Green has the ability to provide wage verification but has not provided it so the application is rejected. If due to circumstances beyond her control she is unable to provide wage verification, project income based on a discussion with Mrs. Green.
EXAMPLE: Mr. Cook works as “casual labor” for a trucking company and is paid in cash. Mr. Cook's work pattern varies each week and he is paid by the job rather than by the hour or day. Mr. Cook has no record of his past income and the employer is not willing to provide wage verification for “casual labor”. Discuss patterns of income for at least the past 30 days and anticipated changes (e.g. busy season) to arrive at a mutually agreed upon projection of earned income. Advise Mr. Cook to keep his own record of earnings and report when his earnings exceed 130% of poverty.
EXAMPLE: Ms. Smith has worked at the local factory for the past three years doing piece work. She works a regular 40 hours per week. Her income varies from pay period to pay period depending on her production. No changes are expected in the piece work rate of pay or in the hours worked. After a discussion with Ms. Smith regarding variations in her earnings over the past several months, the eligibility specialist determines that eight pay stubs would prove the best projection of anticipated income. Document the use of eight wage stubs to adequately evaluate the income fluctuations.
EXAMPLE: Mrs. Barry has worked at a department store for the past two years. Her income varies from pay period to pay period due to hours worked. A discussion regarding anticipated changes in income reveals that Mrs. Barry has been approved for a pay increase of $.25 per hour. Her rate will change from $7.25 to $7.50 per hour for the next pay period as later verified by her supervisor. Determine the length of time that would best represent her changes in hours worked. Mrs. Barry indicates that five pay periods would provide a good representation of her hours worked and information from the past 30 days supports this. The last five wage stubs are provided. Multiply the hours on each check by the new rate of pay $7.50/hour. Record why five wage stubs were used to project income, and that the projection includes the client's new rate of pay.
EXAMPLE: Ms. Johnson works as a clerk in an insurance firm. Her regular hourly rate is $8.00. However, for the past four months she has been working overtime during each weekly pay period. Ms. Johnson states she expects the overtime to continue. The eligibility specialist determines, through discussion with Ms. Johnson, that the past two months' pay periods best represent wages she anticipates receiving. Two months after approval, Ms. Johnson, calls in to report that she is no longer working overtime. The employer verifies this.
Actual income is budgeted in a month which contains a pay period of no or zero income and when income starts or stops during the month. This may also occur when the person is off work or on leave without pay for any part of the month.
EXAMPLE: An individual applies June 14. The applicant was terminated from employment June 13. The applicant received two paychecks in June; one June 7 for $150 and one June 14 for $120. Budget $270 income for June.
EXAMPLE: An individual applies June 7 and is correctly screened as non-expedited. On June 14, the applicant begins receiving stable earned income of $75 per week. The applicant will receive two checks in June. Budget actual income received for June. Project stable income of $75 per week x 4.333 for July and later months.
An individual applies June 21. The applicant is paid weekly. She missed an entire week of work and received no pay the week of June 21. Earnings for the month of June (four potential paydays) are as follows: 6-7( $115.00), 6-14 ($105.00), 6-21 ($0.00), 6-28 ($95.00). Budget $315.00 income for June. Determine with the applicant the income to project for July and later months.