(A) To be eligible for disability financial assistance (DFA) the resources of all members of the family group as defined in rule 5101:1-5-01 of the Administrative Code shall be evaluated in terms of value and availability. The total equity value of all resources owned by the members of the family group cannot exceed one thousand dollars. When determining the value of resources:
(1) Equity value is the fair market value minus liens or encumbrances;
(2) Fair market value is defined as the price for which an item of a particular make, model, size, material, or condition will sell on the open market in the geographic area involved; and
(3) Geographic area means the area covered by radio, television, newspaper, and other media serving the area where the family group lives and/or the property is located.
(B) What are countable resources?
Resources are possessions belonging to members of the family group which may be used for their support.
(1) Liquid assets are those resources which are in cash or payable in cash upon demand. The most common type of liquid assets are cash on hand, savings accounts, checking accounts, trusts, stocks, and mortgages. The value of such items shall be assessed, combined with the value of all of the family group's other countable resources, and counted toward the one thousand dollar family group resource limitation.
The value of stock is the closing price. The value of stocks traded over the counter is expressed on a "bid" and "asked" basis. The bid price is used to determine the value of a stock. If the closing or bid price of a stock is not shown, a local securities firm shall determine its value. If the ownership of the stock is shared, i.e., more than one name is on the face of the stock certificate, it is jointly owned and each person's share is equal. Shares of stock in an Alaskan native regional or village corporation are exempted from resources.
(b) United States (U.S.) savings bonds.
(i) A U.S. savings bond is an obligation of the federal government but unlike other government bonds, it is not transferable; that is, it can only be sold back to the government. Several series of U.S. savings bonds, e.g., I, J, H, can quickly be converted into cash at local banks. Some bonds, including series E bonds, must be held at least sixty days from the date of issuance before they can be cashed. Other than those bonds, most savings bonds are convertible within one to two days.
(ii) U.S. savings bonds are usually registered in the name of the owner(s) shown on the front of the bond and may be redeemed by the owner by completing a form on the back of the bond. If ownership of the bond is shared (more than one name is on the face of the bond), each person's share is equal, but any one of them can dispose of the bond.
(iii) In establishing the value of a U.S. savings bond, the date of issuance on the face of the bond is controlling. The value of the bond depends on the time elapsed from the date of issue. Although many U.S. savings bonds have a table of values on the reverse of the bond, this table is often inaccurate since the interest rate on U.S. bonds may have changed since the bond was issued.
A mortgage is a pledge of a particular property for the payment of a debt or the performance of some other obligation within a prescribed time period. A mortgage may generally be discounted or sold. The amount for which the mortgage could be discounted or sold is the amount of the countable resources.
(d) Checking and savings accounts.
(i) Having a checking or savings account is like having cash on hand because deposits are payable on demand. An individual should be able to withdraw money from a checking account or savings account on the same day he requests it. The balance(s) of savings and/or checking accounts belonging to the family group member shall be combined with the value of all of the family group's other countable resources and counted toward the resource limitation.
(ii) If the checking or savings account documentation shows deposit and withdrawal activity inconsistent with the family group's stated financial situation, the case is investigated fully to establish the source of the income. If the checkbook or bank statement is not available or there is some reason to doubt the accuracy of the record, verification is obtained from the bank, with the family group's written authorization.
(iii) All funds in a joint account are a resource of the family group member if he has unrestricted access to the funds. In joint account situations which affect the eligibility of the DFA assistance groups within the family group, the family group shall be advised of the responsibility to provide documentation to support the contention that access to the joint account is restricted. The family group member may support the contention by submitting the contract (depository account/signature card) with the financial institution or a statement from the financial institution or by documenting that a substantial portion of the account was contributed by another person who is not a member of the family group. If the family group member's signature is all that is necessary to access the account, then the account is considered in its entirety, unless documentation is provided that indicates the other person deposited a substantial portion of the funds.
(iv) When the family group provides documentation that shows the other person has a substantial interest in the account, only the portion that the family group contributed shall be considered as a resource in determining eligibility for the DFA assistance groups within the family group. Interest accrued on the account shall be allocated according to the portions of ownership. Documentation includes:
(a) A statement of the family group member listing the reason for establishing the joint account, who made deposits to and withdrawals from the account, how withdrawals were spent, etc.;
(b) Supporting statements from other account holder(s); and
(c)Where ownership for prior periods need to be established, the evidence shall include a financial institution record, income statement or work record.
(v) If the coholder of the joint account is incompetent or a minor, it is not necessary to obtain a statement from that individual. That person's incompetency or age may be the reason why the family group member is listed as a joint account holder. The county agency shall obtain a supporting statement from a third party who has knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the joint account. If there is no third party, then the county agency shall make the decision without the statement and document the basis for the decision.
(e) Life insurance.
In order for the value of any life insurance policy to be considered in the total amount of resources, it is necessary that the policy be owned by the family group or member of the family group. The cash value of any life insurance shall be assessed, combined with the value of all other countable resources, and counted toward the resource limitation.
A trust is a right of property held by one party for the benefit of another. The person who holds the legal title to property for the benefit or use of another is the "trustee."
(i) The county agency shall not automatically consider a trust owned by or created for a member of the family group unavailable. In some instances the beneficiary may petition the court to have funds released early in order to meet current needs. The family group member shall attempt to make the resource available by consulting a legal aid service or the county prosecutor's office. If the family group member is unable to make the resource available or the cost of legal action is prohibitive, the trust is considered unavailable. Unavailability shall be reviewed at each reapplication.
(ii) If the person who created the trust is a family group member, the trust is considered a resource as the family group has the legal ability to dissolve it and to use the money. If a family group member is a beneficiary of a trust, the trust is not considered as a resource to the family group when the family group cannot convert it to cash. Any payment the family group receives from the trust is unearned income and shall be treated in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-5-40 of the Administrative Code.
(iii) A person who is appointed a trustee generally cannot use any of the funds within the trust for his own benefit. Therefore, an individual may be a trustee of a valuable trust and not be able to receive money from it since he has no access to the funds for his personal use. Under such circumstances, it is not a resource to him. If a family group member is acting as a trustee for a trust he created, the trust is a resource.
(2) Personal property consists of those resources that are available for the support or maintenance of a family group's needs. Personal property includes property owned separately by the family group or the family group's prorated share of property owned jointly. It consists of those items which are easily transported and stored, such as cash, bonds, life insurance, etc.
(a) Preneed funeral contracts.
(i) A preneed (prepaid) funeral contract is a written agreement, contract, or series of contracts to provide funeral services and/or funeral goods to be used in connection with the funeral or final disposition of human remains. If the equity value of funeral agreements exceeds one thousand five hundred dollars, the excess value is counted toward the resource limitation. Prior to determining whether the excess value is available to the family group, the contract will have to be reviewed to determine whether it is revocable or irrevocable.
(ii) All payments for funeral goods and services made under a preneed funeral contract remain intact as a fund held by a financial institution or in a common or pooled trust fund until the death of the person for whose benefit the agreement is made or until the goods or services are delivered.
(iii) Any deposit may be released upon demand of the person for whose benefit such deposit was made or upon the demand of the seller for its share of the deposited funds and earned interest if the contract has been canceled.
(b) Real property.
(i) Real property includes all rights in land and objects affixed to land, such as buildings, fences, crops, trees, etc. Only real property in which the family group has a legal interest and legal ability to use or dispose of is counted.
(ii) Real property retained by the family group, which is not exempt according to one of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) and (D)(2) of this rule, is a countable resource. The amount of the countable resource of nonexempt real property is its equity value, the current market value minus liens and encumbrances. This equity value is counted toward the resource limitation. Real property that is owned by the family group but is not used as the family group's residence or used to produce income for the family group, as set forth in paragraph (D)(2) of this rule, shall be sold and the proceeds used for the support of the family group. The family group shall provide verification that the property is listed for sale with a real estate agency or firm. Real property pending a sale may be exempt, provided the provisions set forth in paragraph (D)(3) of this rule are met. The value of real property is determined by the following:
(a) The current market value of all types of real property including homestead is calculated by determining the assessed value used for property taxes. The county agency shall determine the assessed value by using the local county auditor's procedures.
(b) County auditor's assessment of value is presumed to be reasonably accurate as the market value. If the county auditor's value is unreasonable or inaccurate, an appraisal secured from a licensed real estate broker may be submitted as the market value of the real property.
(iii) For all nonhomestead real property which an assistance group owns or is part owner, the current market value and equity value of non homestead real property is a countable resource.
(C) When are resources considered available?
(1) For a resource to be considered in determining eligibility, the resource shall be available or accessible to the family group. The family group shall have the legal right to control and dispose of the property for it to be counted as a resource. The family group's interest in the resource can be determined by checking the deed, mortgage, purchase agreement, contract, county records, etc.
(2) The basic principle in determining the value of the family group's resources for DFA eligibility is that property owned by a member of the family group is regarded as available to all members of the family group.
(3) A resource is considered to be available to the family group as long as the owner of the resource (who is a member of the family group), or any other member of the family group is aware, or has reason to be aware, of the resource. If the recipient convinces the county agency that all members of the family group were unaware of the resource and had no reason to be aware of the resource, then the resource shall be considered to have been unavailable. The family group has the burden of proving that each member of the family group was unaware of, and had no reason to be aware of, the resource. The resource will be considered to have been unavailable only for the period of time the family group can demonstrate that they had no reason to be aware of the resource. Once any member of the family group becomes, or has reason to become, aware of the existence of the resource, the resource will be considered available to the family group.
(4) If a family group member shares ownership of a resource with an individual who is not a member of the family group, or one of the excluded individuals identified in rule 5101:1-5-01 of the Administrative Code, and that individual indicates the intention of blocking the family group's use or disposal of the resource, the family group should be referred to available legal services. If legal means of pursuit are available, the family group is required to take any and all necessary action to make the resource available. If the family group is unwilling to take action to make the resource available, the assistance group is ineligible for DFA. If the family group is unable to make the resource available because one of the owners cannot be located, the cost of legal action is prohibitive, the resource is not considered to be available to the family group. Availability must be reviewed at each reapplication.
(D) What are exempt resources?
Exempt resources are not included when determining a family group's eligiblity. Exempt resources include:
(1) The home which is the usual residence of the family group. The homestead includes one home and all adjoining land.
(a) The family group shall use the homestead property as their home on a permanent basis. In case of temporary absence, they shall return to live in the home within a reasonable amount of time, not to exceed six months.
(b) A mobile home or trailer owned by a member of the family group that is not used as the home is a resource. Its value shall be assessed toward the resource limitation.
(2) Real property that is owned by a family group member but is not used by the family group as the residence may be exempt if it is used to produce income to support the family group. It is exempt if the annual net income produced equals at least six per cent of the current market value as determined by the county auditor and the monthly net income is used to support the family group.
(3) Nonhomestead property pending a sale, provided it is listed for sale at a value not less than the value determined by the county auditor as the current market value and no offer is refused that is at least ninety per cent of the value determined by the county auditor as the current market value.
(4) The entire value of all vehicles owned by any family group member.
(5) Basic maintenance items essential to day-to-day living such as clothes, furniture, appliances, televisions, stereos, and other similarly essential items of limited value.
(6) Bona fide loans from any source.
(7) Educational grants and scholarships from any source for undergraduate and graduate college expenses.
(8) Payments received by individuals of Japanese ancestry under Section Section Section Section Section 105 of Public Law 100-383 (10/1988), and payments received by the Aleuts under Section Section Section Section Section 206 of Public Law 100-383.
(9) Payments received under the provisions of the Agent Orange Compensation Exclusion Act ( Public Law 100-201 )(12/1989), received on or after January 1, 1989.
(10) One burial space for each member of the family group.
(11) Payments received under the provisions of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 ( Public Law 96-420 ) received on or after October 10, 1980.
(12) Payments received under the provisions of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act ( Public Law 101-426 )(10/1990), received on or after October 15, 1990.
(13) Payments received under the provisions of Aroostock Bank of Micmacs Act ( Public Law 102-171 )(11/1991) received on or after November 26, 1991.
(14) Payments received under the provisions of the Child Care and Development Block Grant ( Section Section Section 5082 of Public Law 101-508 )(11/1990).
(15) Escrow accounts established and credited as the direct result of the assistance group's involvement in the family self-sufficiency program on or after May 13, 1992. These escrow accounts are only considered available when the assistance group is no longer receiving any federal, state, or other public assistance for housing.
(16) Payments received under the provision of the Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990 ( Public Law 101-503 ) received on or after November 3, 1990.
(17) The resources of an individual on whose behalf federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments are made.
(18) The resources of an individual on whose behalf federal, state or local adoption assistance payments are made.
(19) The resources of a supplemental security income (SSI) recipient.
(20) Earned income tax credit (EITC) payments in the form of a refund of federal income taxes or in the form of an advance payment by an employer shall be disregarded in the month of receipt of such payment and in the month following. When an applicant has received the EITC refund in the month prior to application, any remaining portion of the EITC payment will be considered an exempt resource in the month of application.
(21) Funeral arrangements with equity value of one thousand five hundred dollars or less for each family group member.
(22) Assistance received in accordance with a federal statute (e.g., the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974) and in conjunction with a catastrophe declared by the president of the United States to be a disaster.
(23) A payment of disaster assistance, casualty insurance, or other settlement specifically designated to replace a resource lost due to a disaster is considered as a resource in the same manner as the exempt resource for a period of six months. When the family group intends to replace or repair the exempt resource but circumstances beyond his control prevent replacement or repair within the six-month period, an extension of up to six additional months may be granted. Any portion of the payment not used within the applicable period to make replacement or repair of the item is considered to be a liquid asset subject to the resource limitation.
(24) Child support payment distributions made by the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) pursuant to division (C) of Section 1 of Am. S.B. 170 of the 124th General Assembly.
(25) As set forth in section 5115.03 of the Revised Code, 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 county agency shall not require any individual to terminate a tuition payment contract entered into under Chapter 3334. of the Revised Code as a condition of eligibility for DFA.
(26) The cash value of pension plans or funds shall be excluded, including public employees retirement system (PERS) and Ohio public employees deferred compensation program funds as long as the funds remain in PERS or Ohio deferred compensation, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Keogh plans that involve no contractual obligation with anyone who is not a family group member, and simplified employer pension plans (often referred to as SEP-IRAs), which are operated like IRAs and in which employers make direct deposits in IRA-like retirement accounts for workers.
(27) Individual development accounts are excluded regardless of their funding source.
(E) How is a property transfer handled?
Property, real or personal, constitutes a resource and is subject to the basic principle that resources which are actually available to the family group shall be considered in evaluating need and in determining eligibility. The transfer or assignment of property for less than the fair market value shall be examined to determine if the transfer was done to qualify for aid, or for a greater amount of aid, or to avoid utilization of the property. Such transfers, if during the two years preceding application for or most recent redetermination of eligibility for DFA, shall result in ineligibility for any or all DFA assistance groups within the family group.
(1) Property transfers may result in ineligiblity in the following circumstances:
(a) A transfer of property to reduce the family group's remaining holdings to within the maximum family group resource limit results in ineligibility. If the transfer occurred more than two years prior to the date of application or most recent redetermination for DFA, there is a presumption that the transfer was made in good faith and not for the purpose of qualifying for DFA.
(b) Even though the county assessed value of real property owned by the family group is within the maximum, a transfer of all or a portion of such property results in ineligibility if the transfer is made:
(i) To avoid utilization of the property; or
(ii) To safeguard future eligibility status by divesting the family group of proceeds which the family group would receive if the property were sold.
(c) There is a presumption that a transfer of income producing property is for the purpose of qualifying for a greater amount of aid. Unless this presumption is overcome, ineligibility results for all DFA assistance groups within the family group.
(d) The reason that a family group transferred property, i.e., the actual intent in doing so, is the single most essential element to be considered in determining the effect of the transfer upon the eligibility of the assistance groups within the family group. A transfer of property is, in itself, disqualifying only when the family group's reason for making the transfer was to qualify the assistance groups within the family group for aid, for a greater amount of aid, or to avoid utilization.
(e) In determining the family group's intent, it is necessary to evaluate the stated reason for the transfer and the consistency of such statement with the known facts. The consideration received for the transferred property may not have been adequate, the transfer may have been ill-advised, and/or the family group in making the transfer may have exercised poor judgment. However, these facts alone do not automatically establish that a transfer was disqualifying. The family group's motives shall be carefully scrutinized, the important determination being the family group's actual reason for the transfer and the relationship of that reason to the application for or continued receipt of aid.
(f) The transfer of property to qualify for aid, for a greater amount of aid, or to avoid utilization results in ineligibility for the assistance groups within the family group beginning the first day of the month subsequent to the month the transfer was made and continues either:
(i) For a period which would have supported the family group member at the rate of three hundred twenty-four dollars a month for the individual and an additional one hundred six dollars for each family group member until the difference between the fair market value and the resource limitation was reduced to zero.
(ii) Until the property was reconveyed to the family group member.
(2) Counting resources when they are exchanged, replaced, sold or transferred.
(a) If an exempt resource is exchanged by the family group for another exempt resource of equal value, the resulting resource is exempt. If an exempt resource is exchanged for a nonexempt resource of any value, the nonexempt resource is a countable resource.
(b) If an exempt resource is sold, the resulting cash is an exempt resource for six months only if it will be used to purchase an exempt resource.
(c) If a nonexempt resource is exchanged for another nonexempt resource of the same type and of equal value, the new resource is nonexempt.
(d) If a nonexempt resource is replaced because of loss due to theft, accident, or disaster, the replacement amount or the replacement item is considered to be a nonexempt resource.
(e) If a nonexempt resource is sold, the amount received can be considered as a nonexempt resource only if it is used to purchase the same type of resource of equal value within a thirty-day period of the sale. Otherwise, the amount received from the sale of the nonexempt resource is considered as income.
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5115.03
Rule Amplifies: 5115.02, 5115.03
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/76, 9/1/76, 5/1/80, 10/1/83, 5/1/84, 7/1/84 (Emer.), 7/15/84, 9/10/84, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 12/17/84, 12/27/84, 8/1/85 (Emer.), 10/17/85, 11/1/87, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 12/1/89 (Emer.), 12/6/89, 3/2/90, 3/20/90, 6/1/90, 7/12/91 (Emer.), 4/1/92, 9/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 12/21/92, 7/30/93 (Emer.), 10/23/93, 5/1/94, 9/1/94, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/00, 7/1/01, 7/1/02, 7/1/03 (Emer.), 9/30/03, 11/1/07