5101:1-5-40 Disability financial assistance : income.

(A) General definition

(1) Income is earned or unearned payments received by a member of the family group during a calendar month. Income can be received as a result of current or past labor or services, business activities, interest in real or personal property, or as a benefit or contribution from persons, organizations, or assistance agencies.

(2) Income received by all members of the family group (as defined in rule 5101:1-5-01 of the Administrative Code) shall be included in determining whether an assistance group (as defined in rule 5101:1-5-01 of the Administrative Code) is eligible for disability financial assistance (DFA). The income of the family group shall also be included in determining the amount of DFA benefits for which the DFA assistance group is eligible. To be considered in determining the amount of the DFA payment, income must be received or reasonably anticipated to be received by the family group during the budget period.

(3) Certain types of income are excluded from consideration as set forth in paragraph (B) of this rule. In addition, earned income disregards are deducted from each employed family group member's gross monthly earnings. The earned income disregards are set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule.

(4) The determination of eligibility for the DFA assistance group is dependent upon the amount of income received by the family group. Only available income received by the family group is considered in determining eligibility for the DFA assistance groups within the family group. Availability depends upon the date of receipt, and the number of months the income is intended to cover. Sometimes, it may be necessary to apportion income to future months. Such income is current income in the month to which it is apportioned. An employee under an annual employment contract shall have the income from such contract apportioned over the year provided the contract is for at least eight months.

(a) The county agency must explore with each family group the potential development of monthly income. The county agency is responsible for:

(i) Reviewing with the DFA assistance group all of the family group's resources, current and future, in light of their income-producing potential.

(ii) Encouraging the production of income within the DFA assistance group's capabilities.

(iii) Determining whether income is actually received, the regularity of receipt, the net amount of the family group's share, and whether it is excluded or exempt from consideration as income.

(b) The family group is responsible for giving information necessary to income determinations and for taking all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally available income.

(i) The family group must apply for any monthly benefits to which any of the family group members are entitled, including family group members who have potential coverage for unemployment compensation benefits. When these benefits are actually received, they are counted as unearned income in the determination of eligibility for DFA.

(ii) Income shall be considered unconditionally available if the family group has only to apply, claim or accept the income.

(iii) Ineligibility for the DFA assistance groups within the family group results if a family group member refuses to accept unconditionally available income.

(B) Exempt income

Certain types of payments or benefits received by family group members are exempt from consideration as income in the determination of eligibility and level of benefits for the DFA assistance groups within the family group. Paragraphs (B)(1) to (B)(6) of this rule set forth the types of exempt income in the DFA program.

(1) The earnings of an individual who is under the age of sixteen.

(2) All income excluded under the food assistance program regulations as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code.

(3) The value of any tuition payment contract entered into under section 3334.09 of the Revised Code, or any scholarship awarded under section 3334.18 of the Revised Code and the amount of payments made by the Ohio tuition trust authority under section 3334.09 of the Revised Code pursuant to the contract or scholarship. The individual shall not be required to terminate a tuition payment contract entered into under Chapter 3334. of the Revised Code as a condition of eligibility for DFA. However, any refund paid under section 3334.10 of the Revised Code is considered to be income in the month received for DFA.

(4) Court ordered child support payments made by a member of the family group for a child outside the family group. The amount paid, up to the amount ordered, is exempt.

(5) Income tax refunds received by any of the family group members.

(6) Any other income amounts that federal statutes or regulations require be excluded.

(7) All income excluded under the Ohio works first (OWF) program regulations as set forth in rule 5101:1-23- 20.1 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Nonexempt income

(1) Unless specifically listed as exempt income in paragraph (B) of this rule, all earned income (less appropriate earned income disregards and child care deduction) and unearned income is considered as nonexempt income and is to be deducted from the payment standard. All nonexempt monthly income shall reduce the payment standard dollar for dollar.

(2) In calculating gross nonexempt income, the amount shall be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar by dropping all cents. All cents in gross weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly income shall be dropped prior to applying the conversion factors to convert the income into a standard month. All cents shall be dropped before and after multiplying by the appropriate conversion factor, and prior to the application of the earned income disregards and the child care deduction, if applicable. Hourly rates which contain cents are not rounded but are converted in the exact amount.

(3) Gross nonexempt income which is received in a frequency other than monthly must be converted to a standard month rather than adjusting income each month.

Conversion shall be performed using the following factors:

(a) Income received on a weekly basis is multiplied by 4.3.

(b) Income received biweekly (every two weeks) is multiplied by 2.15.

(c) Income received semimonthly (twice a month) is multiplied by 2.

(4) In situations in which an individual has fluctuating income, the income must first be averaged (as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code) to arrive at a figure to be converted into monthly income.

(5) In calculating the expenses which may be subtracted from gross nonexempt income, the actual amount of each expense shall be used in the calculation. The sum of these expenses shall be deducted from the individual's rounded-down monthly income prior to rounding down in the determination of countable income.

(6) If there are different categories of allowable expenses, the actual amount of the expenses are added by category. The sum of each category of expenses shall be deducted from the corresponding category of rounded-down gross monthly income.

(D) Unearned income

(1) Unearned income is all income that is not wages or net earnings from self-employment. Unearned income includes any tuition refund paid under section 3334.10 of the Revised Code. Unearned income also includes non-recurring lump-sum payments. A non-recurring lump-sum payment is income that is not anticipated or expected to be received again. Receipt of a non-recurring lump-sum payment is income in the month received, and a resource beginning with the month following receipt and subject to the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-5-30 of the Administrative Code. Thus, all income which does not meet the definition of earned income as set forth in paragraph (E) of this rule, is considered unearned income.

(2) Eligibility for an unearned payment does not, by itself, affect the amount of unearned income to be counted; actual receipt is the key factor. Potential income must be pursued by the family group, but the income must actually be received by the family group in order to have it included as income.

(3) The amount of unearned income received by the family group to be used in the determination of eligibility for the DFA assistance groups within the family group is dependent upon the amounts and frequency with which the income is actually received. Sometimes there are deductions or withholding taxes deducted from certain types of unearned income. If the deductions are mandatory, only the net monthly amount of the unearned income is to be used. If the deduction is voluntary, the gross amount of the unearned income must be used.

(4) The policy set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code, regarding the methods of verification of unearned income shall be applied in determining eligibility for DFA.

(E) Earned income

(1) The policy set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule regarding the computation of monthly income shall be applied in determining eligibility for the DFA program.

(2) The county agency shall determine the monthly gross amount of earnings for each family group member, i.e., the amount of earnings before taxes and other deductions, and apply the appropriate earned income disregards and applicable child care deduction (as set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule) to determine the family group member's monthly net earned income.

(3) The policy set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code regarding methods of verification of earned income is applicable.

(4) When income is received from room and board or board only, a standard operating expense is deducted from the total income. The standard operating expense is determined by using the zero income level food assistance program allotment for the number of boarders in the household. The remainder is monthly gross earned income subject to the application of the earned income disregards and applicable child care deduction set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule.

(5) Income from real property not utilized as the home must be pursued and, when received, treated as income. Acceptable plans of utilization are to sell the property at fair market value or to rent the property. Annual rental income, after deducting the actual cost of maintaining the property, must be at least six per cent of its fair market value.

(a) The verified costs of upkeep shall be deducted from the gross income. In no event shall the cost of upkeep exceed the gross income. Upkeep is defined as that which is necessary to maintain the property as habitable. Upkeep does not consist of those repairs made to property for cosmetic purposes, such as aluminum siding, or painting. Paragraphs (C)(5) to (C)(6) of this rule sets forth the process for the calculation of expenses.

(b) If the family group lives in the property, the family group's prorata share of expenses is excluded in computing the actual costs of maintaining the property. The family group's share shall be in proportion to the total number of separate units. The family group's share of housing costs is budgeted depending upon the number of rooms/units and number of persons in the assistance group. The expenses of maintaining the property (excluding the family group's share) are deducted from the gross rental income. The resulting income is considered earned income and the earned income disregards and applicable child care deduction as set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule are applied.

(6) An individual who operates his own business has earnings from self-employment. The gross monthly income from self-employment is the total proceeds or gross receipts of earnings minus operating expenses, or the standard deduction as set forth in paragraph (F) of rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code.

(a) The provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code define allowable and non-allowable operating expenses and shall be applied in determining eligibility for the DFA program.

(b) The provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code regarding the policy for establishing annual gross earned income from self-employment are applicable in the treatment of the self-employment earnings of family group members in the DFA program.

(c) The provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code regarding the policy for establishing gross earnings from self-employment on a monthly basis are applicable in the treatment of the self-employment earnings of family group members in the DFA program. For the reasons set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code, it may be necessary for the county agency to obtain an estimate of gross earnings for the entire taxable year and distribute this figure equally into all months of the taxable year, even if the business is seasonal. If the amount of gross earnings from self-employment is not ascertainable from the business records, use the first of the following methods that is likely to give the most accurate estimate of current and future earnings which may be distributed on a monthly basis.

(i) When the individual has been carrying on the same trade or business for some time, his gross earnings from self-employment have been fairly constant from year to year and he anticipates no change or gives no satisfactory explanation of why the earnings for current and future months would be substantially different from what it has been in the past, the estimate for his current taxable year should be the same as the previous year. His monthly income should be determined as one-twelfth of the gross earnings as shown on his tax return for the preceding taxable year.

(ii) When the individual is engaged in the same business that he had the preceding taxable year and he anticipates no change or gives no satisfactory explanation of why the earnings for current and future months would be substantially different from what has been in the past, his tax return or business records may be used to establish a ratio between his gross earnings and gross receipts for the last year. The actual gross receipts from the current taxable year are projected from the remainder of the year and the ratio is applied. The resulting figure gives an estimated gross earnings for the year which is distributed into monthly income. This method is not suitable for businesses which are seasonal or have income peaks at certain times of the year.

(iii) When the individual can estimate his gross earnings based upon business records, the county agency may use the individual's best estimate.

(F) Countable monthly income

(1) Countable monthly income is defined as the family group's gross monthly nonexempt earned and/or unearned income less appropriate disregards and child care deduction (earned income disregards and deductions for the DFA program are set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule.) The amount of countable monthly income is compared to the DFA payment standard representing the number of individuals in the family group.

(2) If the family group's countable monthly income exceeds the DFA payment standard representing the number of individuals in the family group, the DFA assistance group is ineligible.

(3) If the family group's countable monthly income is less than the DFA payment standard representing the number of individuals in the family group, the DFA assistance group is eligible. DFA eligibility for the DFA assistance group is determined in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraph (H) of this rule.

(4) The policy set forth in paragraph (C)(3) of this rule regarding the computation of income received other than monthly into converted monthly income shall be applied in determining eligibility in the DFA program.

(5) The policy set forth in paragraph (C)(2) of this rule regarding the rounding down of income shall be applied in the determination of eligibility in the DFA program.

(G) Earned income disregards and deductions

(1) There are certain earned income disregards and deductions that are subtracted from the earned income of each employed individual in the family group in determining eligibility for the DFA assistance groups within the family group. Earned income disregards are deducted from the earned income of each ineligible family group member described in rule 5101:1-5-01 of the Administrative Code. Paragraphs (G)(2)(a) to (G)(2)(d) of this rule set forth the provisions for the application of the program eligibility test. The two hundred fifty dollars and one-half of the remainder earned income disregard, the child care earned income deduction, the summary of the financial determination of eligibility, and the determination of the DFA grant amount are set forth in paragraphs (G)(3) to (H)(3)(g) of this rule, respectively.

(2) In order to determine program eligibility for applicant assistance groups, total all gross monthly earnings of each employed member of the family group.

(a) The first seventy-five dollars of the gross income is deducted from the gross monthly earnings of each employed family group member as a work expense disregard.

(b) If there are any child care costs paid directly by an employed family group member, deduct the actual verified child care expense (as set forth in paragraph (G)(4) of this rule) following the seventy-five dollar work expense deduction.

(c) The remaining income is then added to the family group's other countable income (i.e., unearned income) and compared to the appropriate DFA payment standard for the family group size. None of the exempt income received by any member of the family group is included in the program eligibility test, or in any subsequent determination of eligibility or grant amount.

(d) If there is a deficit, program eligibility exists and the DFA assistance group's eligibility and level of benefits shall be determined by applying the earned income disregards and applicable child care deduction as set forth in paragraphs (G)(3) to (G)(4) of this rule to each family group member's gross monthly earnings.

(3) The two hundred fifty dollars and one-half of the remainder earned income disregard set forth in this paragraph is applied to the earned income of each member of the family group in determining the eligibility and level of benefits for applicant assistance groups who pass the program eligibility test (as set forth in paragraphs (G)(2)(a) to (G)(2)(d) of this rule) and for recipient assistance groups. The family group's countable monthly earned income is computed by deducting the first two hundred fifty dollars plus one-half of the remainder from the monthly gross earnings of each family group member. If the employed family group member has child care costs, those costs shall be deducted following the application of the two hundred fifty dollar and one-half of the remainder disregards, in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraphs (G)(4) and (G)(5) of this rule. If there are no child care costs, the county agency shall apply the methodology set forth in paragraph (H) of this rule to determine if eligibility for benefits exists for the DFA assistance group.

(4) If there are child care costs paid directly by the employed family group member, the actual verified costs of that care, is deducted, following the two hundred fifty dollars and one-half of the remainder disregard (as set forth in paragraph (G)(3) of this rule.)

(5) The cost of care for a dependent child may be deducted even though the child care provider is a household member or relative. The deduction is not applied if the child care provider is an assistance group member, a member of the family group, a parent of the child receiving child care, or the legal guardian of the child receiving child care.

(H) Computation of DFA benefit eligibility

(1) Paragraphs (H)(1) to (H)(3)(g) of this rule summarize the financial determination of eligibility for DFA assistance groups. These provisions are applied to DFA assistance groups who are applicants that have passed the program eligibility test (as set forth in paragraphs (G)(2)(a) to (G)(2)(d) of this rule), and recipient DFA assistance groups. Paragraphs (H)(2) to (H)(3)(g) of this rule set forth the specific provisions for the determination of the amount of the DFA grant for DFA assistance groups. Financial eligibility for the DFA assistance group is determined by subtracting the family group's monthly countable income (i.e., gross monthly earned income less earned income disregards and applicable child care deductions, plus all nonexempt monthly unearned income) from the DFA payment standard that corresponds to the size of the family group. If the family group's monthly countable income is less than the appropriate DFA payment standard, the DFA assistance group is eligible for assistance.

(2) The DFA grant for the DFA assistance group is the lesser of the following figures:

(a) The difference obtained by subtracting the family group's monthly countable income (i.e., monthly gross earned income less earned income disregards and child care deductions, plus all nonexempt monthly unearned income) from the DFA payment that represents the family group size; or

(b) The DFA payment standard for the DFA assistance group.

(3) The steps set forth in paragraphs (H)(3)(a) to (H)(3)(g) of this rule define the process for determining the amount of the DFA grant:

(a) Calculate gross monthly earned income for each family group member.

(b) If the DFA assistance group is an applicant assistance group, apply the program eligibility test as set forth in paragraphs (G)(2)(a) to (G)(2)(d) of this rule. If the applicant DFA assistance group passes the program eligibility test, or if the DFA assistance group is a recipient assistance group, deduct two hundred fifty dollars and one-half of the remainder from the gross monthly earned income of each member of the family group as set forth in paragraph (G)(3) of this rule.

(c) If any of the employed family group members have child care costs, deduct the allowable child care costs in accordance with paragraphs (G)(4) and (G)(5) of this rule.

(d) Total the family group members' monthly earned income after application of the earned income disregard and child care deduction, if applicable.

(e) Add the total amount determined in paragraph (H)(3)(d) of this rule to the family group's nonexempt monthly gross unearned income.

(f) Subtract the total calculated in paragraph (H)(3)(e) of this rule from the DFA payment standard for the family group. The remainder is the maximum DFA grant. If there is no deficit, the DFA assistance group is not eligible for DFA. If there is a deficit, proceed with the step set forth in paragraph (H)(3)(g) of this rule.

(g) The actual DFA grant amount is dependent on the size of the DFA assistance group. The amount of the DFA grant is the lesser of either the amount determined in paragraph (H)(3)(f) of this rule, or the maximum DFA payment standard for the DFA assistance group.

(I) Assessing parental responsibility for the eighteen- to-twenty-two-year-old

(1) Assessing parental responsibility for individuals residing with their parents.

(a) The income of the natural or adoptive parents shall be taken into account in the determination of DFA program eligibility and grant level for covered individuals aged at least eighteen years but under twenty-two years who are living at home.

(b) No portion of the parental gross income shall be considered available to meet the needs of the eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old when:

(i) The income is equal to or less than the income levels shown in column (1) in paragraph (I)(1)(f) of this rule; or

(ii) The child is married.

(c) The family size shall include the parents, all their children under age twenty-two, and the eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old DFA applicant(s)/recipient(s) living in the home. Neither the income of the DFA applicant(s)/recipient(s) nor the income of the siblings of the DFA applicant(s)/recipient(s) is considered when comparing the income of the parent(s) to the chart in paragraph (I)(1)(f) of this rule.

(d) If the parental gross income exceeds the income levels shown in column (1) in paragraph (I)(1)(f) of this rule but is equal to or less than the income levels shown in column (2) in paragraph (I)(1)(f) of this rule, the DFA payment standard for the eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old's assistance group shall be reduced by fifty per cent. Any countable income of the eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old shall be deducted from the reduced payment standard to determine DFA eligibility and grant level.

(e) If the parental gross income exceeds the income levels shown in column (2) in paragraph (I)(1)(f) of this rule or if the parent refuses to verify his income, the eighteen-to-twenty-two-year-old's assistance group is not eligible for DFA.

(f) Income levels:

Family Size Column (1) Column (2)
1 $ 755 $ 1226
2 1038 1604
3 1267 1981
4 1567 2359
5 1830 2735
6 2039 3114
7 2281 3184
8 2531 3255
9 2782 3326
10 3032 3381
For each person above 10, add 313 378

(2) Assessing parental responsibility for individuals who are not residing with their parents.

(a) According to section 3103.03 of the Revised Code, parental duty to support continues as long as a child eighteen-to-twenty-two years of age is continuously attending any recognized and accredited high school on a full-time basis. If the individual is married, or has been married, assessment of parental responsibility shall not be required.

(b) The income of the natural or adoptive parent(s) shall be assessed in determining DFA eligibility and grant amount for an individual who is a full-time high school student and who is not residing with his parents. The same income assessment is required when the individual is not a student but is under the age of eighteen.

(i) The income of the parent(s) shall be assessed to determine if there is income which may be considered available to the individual. If the parent(s) receives income based on need, such as supplemental security income (SSI), OWF or DFA, it is assumed that the parent(s) does not have the ability to support and no action is taken. If the parent(s) has income not based on need, potential parental support exists and a referral shall be made to the county prosecuting attorney in order to obtain support for the individual.

(ii) If the individual is eighteen, not a full-time student, and does not reside with his parent(s), no assessment of parental income shall be required.

(iii) Any parental contribution is treated as unearned income and is deducted when received by the individual.

(3) For purposes of determining whether an individual lives with their parents, consideration shall be given to the following:

(a) When the individual has a separate entrance to his living quarters. If the entrance requires passing through one living quarter to gain access to another, further evaluation will be necessary and the county agency should determine whether another condition in paragraphs (I)(3)(b) to (I)(3)(d) of this rule are met.

(b) When the owner of the property considers the property to consist of separate units and if he would rent the structure as separate living quarters.

(c) When the addresses are commonly recognized as separate in the community.

(d) When the persons involved have separate utility meters and are billed separately for the utilities.

(4) If none of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (I)(3)(a) to (I)(3)(d) of this rule are met, an individual shall be considered to be residing with the individual's parents.

Effective: 10/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 06/29/2011 and 07/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5115.03
Rule Amplifies: 5115.03 , 3103.03
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/76, 11/1/76, 5/14/77, 12/31/77, 4/1/79, 4/5/79, 12/1/79, 2/3/80, 5/29/80, 9/7/81, 10/1/81, 12/1/82, 3/1/84, 6/1/84, 7/1/84 (Temp.), 9/1/84, 9/10/84, 7/1/85, 8/1/85 (Emer.), 10/17/85, 1/1/86 (Emer.), 1/2/86, 2/23/86, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 10/31/86, 10/1/87, 1/1/88 (Emer.), 3/21/88, 7/1/88 (Emer.), 9/25/88, 4/1/89, 6/1/89 (Emer.), 7/1/89 (Emer.), 8/21/89, 9/23/89, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 11/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 1/29/90, 4/1/90, 6/1/90, 7/1/90, 10/1/90, 5/1/91 (Emer.), 6/17/91, 7/11/91, 7/12/91(Emer.), 9/22/91, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 4/1/92, 7/1/92, 9/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 11/1/92, 12/21/92, 11/1/94, 3/1/95, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 7/1/98, 7/1/01, 7/1/02, 7/1/03 (Emer.), 9/30/03, 7/1/06, 1/1/09