In order to provide a guideline for treating income received from farm employment and the methods used to determine eligibility and basis of coupon issuance, farm workers may be classified for FS purposes in three broad categories.
Households falling within this category are regularly employed farm workers receiving a regular monthly salary and those households receiving income during the work season and deferred or advance payments against future earnings during the non-work season. Such deferred or advance payments can be in the form of cash, a line of credit from the employer, or a guaranteed line of credit from another source.
Income received by such households is considered earned income and subject to the three month certification limit unless the only earned income belongs to the elderly or disabled household member(s).
For households receiving deferred or advance payments during the non-work season, calculate the basis of coupon issuance in a manner that considers the income variance.
EXAMPLE: Mr. J is a farm worker and received $200 per month during the work season. During the non-work season, he received $50 a month in deferred earnings. During the work season, calculate the basis of coupon issuance at $200 per month. During the non-work season, consider the difference in income received, and revise the basis of issuance to reflect receipt of $50 per month.
This category includes households with income during the farm season derived from farm employment but not regularly employed at such work, or that do not receive deferred or advance payments during the non-work season. Such households may work for a variety of employers and may also engage in non-farm work during the off season.
If the income of these households during the farm season can be reasonably predicted, establish the certification period not to exceed three months unless the only earned income belongs to the elderly or disabled household member(s).
This category includes those households that engage in farm employment on an as-needed or itinerant basis. Determine eligibility, basis of coupon issuance, and the certification period based on anticipated income.
Anticipation of income from farm employment for a certification period may be difficult. In interviewing the farm worker, and if necessary, the employer:
Only migrant or seasonal farm workers are designated as destitute. Evaluate each migrant and seasonal farm worker household to determine if the household can be considered destitute to qualify for expedited services or special budgeting for the first month of the certification period. (see Expedited Service)
Consider the migrant or seasonal farm worker who changes jobs but continues to work for the same employer as still receiving income from the same source. Consider the migrant's source of income the grower for whom he/she is working and not the crew chief. Therefore, consider a migrant who travels with the same crew chief but moves from one grower to another to move from a terminated source to a new source.
Use the following to determine when a migrant or seasonal farm worker meets the destitute criteria to qualify for expedited services or special budgeting for the first month of the certification period.
Non-receipt of this income from the same source in the balance of the month of application or in the following month is inappropriate to determine whether the income is terminated.
EXAMPLE: If income is received on a quarterly basis (i.e., on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1), and the household applies in mid-January, do not consider the income terminated merely because no further payment will be received in the balance of January or in February. The test for whether this household's income is terminated is whether the income is anticipated to be received in April.
NOTE: The $25 maximum from the new source applies to the entire FS household. For example, if two persons in the FS household each received $20 from a new source within ten calendar days after the date of application, the household is not considered a destitute household since $40 exceeds $25.
NOTE: Count as income travel advances given per written contract for wages that will be deducted from wages later earned by the employee. However, the receipt of a wage advance for travel of a new employee does not affect whether subsequent payments from the employer are from a new source of income nor whether a household is considered destitute.
EXAMPLE: A household applying on 8/10 received a $50 advance for travel (by written contract considered an advance on wages) from its new employer on 8/1. The household will not receive any other wages from the employer until 8/31 so it is therefore considered destitute. Disregard the 8/31 payment, but count the wage advance received prior to the date of application as income.
EXAMPLE: Mr. J. applied for FS on 5/11. On 5/1, he received a $50 travel check for travel expenses (not advance wages) from his new employer. He will not receive his first regular paycheck until 5/31 so he is considered destitute. Disregard both the 5/31 paycheck and the travel advance as income.
Use the following budgeting procedures for destitute migrant/seasonal farm workers for the first month of the certification period only.
Migrant/seasonal farm workers who are not destitute are subject to regular budgeting procedures.
EXAMPLE: Income from a previous grower received on 6/2 is the only source of income for Mrs. A's migrant household. The new grower will not pay her until 6/18. Mrs. A applies for FS on 6/5. She is considered eligible for expedited services as she will receive no income from this terminated source during the balance of the month of application or not more than the $25 from the new source within ten calendar days. The budget will not show the income from the new source as it will not be received from the first of the month of application and the date of application. Budget the income received on 6/2.