(A) What income is used to determine caretaker eligibility for
publicly funded child care benefits?
The county agency shall use gross earned income
and gross unearned income to determine child care income eligibility and family
copayment. Gross income is the income amount before taxes and other deductions
(B) What is considered gross earned income?
"Gross earned income" means the total
amount of gross earnings received in a month by all of the employed individuals
in the family including wages legally obligated to all members of the family
but which are diverted to a third party.
(C) What is counted as gross earned income for services performed
as an employee?
(1) "Gross earnings for services performed
as an employee" means any of the following:
(a) Wages, salary, back
pay, bonuses and awards paid by an employer.
(d) Payments from job
(e) Earnings from work
training programs and/or on-the-job training programs.
(f) Sick leave paid as
(h) Holiday and vacation
(2) State temporary disability insurance and
temporary worker's compensation payments are considered gross earnings
when such payments meet all of the following conditions:
(a) The payment is
(b) The payment is made to
an individual who remains employed during recuperation from a temporary illness
or injury pending return to the job.
(c) The payment is
specifically characterized under state law as temporary wage
(D) What is counted as gross earned income for individuals who
(1) "Gross self-employment earnings"
means the total profit from a business enterprise. The total profit from the
self-employment business enterprise is determined by one of the
(a) Adding all gross
self-employment income, then deducting the self-employment expenses from the
total gross income, or
(b) Using a standard fifty
per cent deduction from the total gross self-employment income.
(2) Self-employment expenses are those expenses
directly related to producing the goods and services. The following expenses
are not allowable deductions:
(a) Net losses from a
(b) Federal, state and
local income tax.
(c) Money set aside for
(d) Work related personal
expenses, such as transportation to and from work.
(3) Individuals who are self-employed and have no countable
income shall provide written verification documenting how they are meeting
basic living expenses, including, but not limited to, food, housing, utilities
and transportation. This documentation shall be used in determining authorized
hours in paragraph (E) of this rule. Failure to provide sufficient
documentation shall result in the denial or termination of child care
(E) How are work hours determined for individuals who are
(1) For approved self-employment activities, the
work hours used to determine the publicly funded child care category of
authorization shall be for no more hours than it would take an individual to
earn the same amount of money working at the federal minimum wage. This shall
be calculated as follows:
(a) Divide the gross
self-employment earnings determined in paragraph (D) of this rule by 4.3
(b) Divide the number
determined in paragraph (E)(1)(a) of this rule by the federal hourly minimum
(c) Round the number
determined in paragraph (E)(1)(b) of this rule up to the nearest whole
(2) The number determined in paragraph (E)(1) of
this rule is the maximum weekly hours which can be applied to the child care
authorization for the self-employment approved activity.
(F) What income is not
counted as gross earned income?
(1) The gross earnings of a minor child in the
family who is a full-time student as defined by the school, unless the minor is
(2) Alimony or child support payments paid by a
family member. The amount paid, up to the amount ordered, is
(3) The verified amount which is being garnished
from the income.
(4) Earnings received under the Domestic
Volunteer Service Act of 1973 for participation in the "Americorp
(5) Federal work study income as referenced in
rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code.
(6) All income, including in kind benefits,
excluded under the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP)
regulations, as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative
(7) Any other income amounts that federal
statutes or regulations require be excluded.
(8) Any income earned by a person receiving
supplemental security income (SSI).
(G) What about individuals
who are unemployed or on unpaid leave from employment?
(1) Individuals who are unemployed or on unpaid
leave from employment shall provide written verification documenting how they
are meeting basic living expenses including, but not limited to, food, housing,
utilities and transportation.
(2) Failure to provide sufficient documentation
shall result in the denial or termination of child care benefits.
(H) What income is
considered gross unearned income?
(1) "Gross unearned income" means the
total amount of unearned income that is received in the month by all members of
(2) Unearned income is income that is not gross
earned income or is not gross earned income from self-employment, as defined in
(3) Unearned income includes cash contributions
received by the family from absent caretakers, persons, organizations or
assistance agencies; social security administration disability, death or
retirement benefits; and child support payments.
(I) What income is not
counted as gross unearned income?
(1) SSI payments.
(2) Federal, state or local foster care
(3) Federal, state or local adoption assistance
(4) Kinship permanency incentive payments made in
accordance with the requirements of rule 5101:2-40-04 of the Administrative
(5) Payments made with county funds to increase
the amount of cash assistance an assistance group receives in accordance with
section 5107.03 of the Revised Code.
(6) Child support payments paid by a family
member for a child outside the family. The amount paid, up to the amount
ordered, is excluded.
(7) Alimony paid pursuant to a court
(8) Contributions for shared living
(a) These include cash
payments received by a family from an individual who is not a family member but
who resides in the household and shares responsibility for the household
expenses through an informal arrangement.
(b) The cash payment given
to the family is not available to the family because the payment represents the
non-family member's share of the household expenses.
(9) Bona fide loans from any source, including
rural housing loans made by the federal housing administration.
(10) Experimental housing allowance program
payments made under annual contributions on contracts entered into prior to
January 1975, under section 23 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937.
(11) HUD community development block grant funds
paid under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Public
(12) Home energy assistance support and
maintenance paid in cash or in-kind, Public Laws 97-377 (December 21, 1982),
97-424 (January 6, 1983), and 98-21 (April 20, 1983).
(13) Income tax refunds received by any of the
(14) The verified amount which is being garnished
from the income.
(15) Earned income tax credit payments when
received as part of an income tax refund.
(16) The value of surplus commodities donated by
the department of agriculture.
(17) Benefits received under Title VII, nutrition
program for the elderly, Older Americans Act of 1965, Public Law 89-73 as
amended through Public Law 114-144 (April 19, 2016).
(18) Retroactive payments made as a result of a
(19) Escrow accounts established or credited as
the direct result of the assistance group's involvement in family
self-sufficiency on or after May 15, 1992.
(20) Ohio works first cash payment for support
services, pursuant to section 5107.66 of the Revised Code.
(21) Prevention, retention and contingency (PRC)
(22) The value of SNAP allotments.
(23) Money received in the form of a nonrecurring
lump sum payment, including, but not limited to:
(a) Retroactive lump sum
social security, SSI, or pension benefits.
(b) Retroactive lump sum
(c) Retroactive lump sum
payment of child support arrearage.
(d) Refunds of security
deposits on rental properties or utilities.
(e) Publicly funded child
care overpayment reimbursements.
(f) PRC payments not
defined as cash assistance.
(24) Income excluded under the SNAP regulations,
as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code, unless the income
is included under the provisions of this rule.
(25) Any other income amounts that federal
statutes or regulations require be excluded.
(J) How is the
family's gross monthly income calculated?
(1) When determining eligibility and copayment
for child care benefits, the county agency shall calculate the family's
gross monthly income.
(2) Earned and unearned income that is received
on a monthly basis shall be rounded down by dropping all cents.
(3) Earned and unearned income that is received
weekly, bi-weekly or semi-monthly shall have all cents dropped before and after
being converted into a monthly amount. Amounts shall be converted as follows:
(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 two.
(4) Hourly rates which include cents are not
rounded but are converted into monthly figures using the exact
(K) What if an individual
has fluctuating income?
If an individual has fluctuating income, the
income shall first be averaged to arrive at a figure to be converted into a
monthly amount, according to the following procedures:
(1) If the employed individual works the same
number of hours per pay period, that number of hours shall be used in computing
the individual's gross monthly income.
(a) The gross monthly
income shall be computed by one of the following:
(i) Using the gross earnings listed on the
individual's pay stubs; or
(ii) Multiplying the number of hours per pay
period by the hourly rate of pay.
(b) The figure determined
in paragraph (K)(1)(a) of this rule is used to convert the income into a
(2) If the employed individual has fluctuating
hours of employment, the income shall be averaged.
(a) Cents shall be dropped
prior to calculating the average income amount.
(b) The average income
amount is used in converting the income into a monthly figure.
(c) When possible, the
county agency shall average the income received in the preceding four
(3) When the income from the prior four week
period is not representative of current or future income, the county agency
shall project income based on a best estimate. The best estimate shall consider
the following variables which may affect the determination:
(a) More than four weeks of
pay stubs, if they are available and the individual states that an average of a
longer period of time is more representative because the income received in the
most recent four weeks was less or greater than the average. The county agency
shall use all available income related information for the immediately
preceding three month period.
(b) The individual's
projection of future earnings, when the individual disagrees with the use of
income for the past four weeks period as representative of future income. The
county agency shall determine a representative figure using all available
income related information, including the individual's projection of
(c) Year-to-date earnings,
if listed on an individual's pay stub. Year-to-date earnings may be used
to determine average income for periods longer than four weeks.
(d) All available income
related information, which shall be used to determine a representative figure
when there are fewer than four weeks of pay stubs available. This includes
situations when the employed individual disagrees with the use of earnings from
the past four week period as indicative of future earnings.
(e) Written documentation
from the employer, which shall be required if there are no pay stubs available
because the employment is new.
(L) What if an
individual's income is sporadic?
(1) If income is sporadic, the income for a
period of one year shall be used to determine an average adjusted monthly
income. An example of sporadic income is commission-based income.
(2) When income is from work that normally
involves seasonal periods of unemployment, the family's adjusted monthly
income shall be determined from the adjusted annual income of the family
divided by twelve months.
(M) How is self-employment
For situations in which an individual has
self-employment income, the county agency shall determine the gross earnings
for the month based on an estimate of the individual's gross annual
(1) The self-employed individual shall provide
copies of the tax return from the previous year as well as current business
records in order to project annual gross income.
(a) The income shown on the
previous year's tax return shall be used to estimate earnings for the
current and future months.
(b) The gross monthly
earnings shall be determined by dividing the previous year's tax return by
the number of months the individual was self-employed the previous
(c) Estimation of
self-employment income shall be used when the individual has been self-employed
for some time, the gross earnings have remained fairly constant, and there is
no anticipated change in the individual's circumstance.
(2) If the individual contests the estimate of
income from self-employment based solely on information on the previous
year's tax return, the individual shall provide a projected estimate of
gross earnings for the current taxable year, based upon current business
(a) When the individual
cannot estimate gross earnings for the current taxable year based on current
business records, the county agency shall accept the individual's best
(b) Using the
individual's best estimate of income for the current taxable year, the
county agency shall allocate one-twelfth of the gross annual income equally
into each month of the taxable year.
(3) If the individual contests the county agency
estimate of the income from self-employment based solely on information on the
previous year's tax return but does not provide a projected estimate of
gross earnings for the taxable year based on current business records, the
county agency shall project the earnings based on the gross earnings listed on
the previous year's tax return.
(a) If the individual does
not have a tax return from the previous year, the county agency shall project
an estimate of the individual's annual gross earnings from self-employment
based on the individual's current business records. The county agency
shall determine that one-twelfth of the projected gross earnings from
self-employment shall be allocated monthly.
(b) In the absence of both
previous year's tax return and current business records, the county agency
shall require the individual to provide a written best estimate of his or her
projected annual income and expenses. The county agency shall then determine
that one-twelfth of the projected annual gross earnings from self-employment
shall be distributed into all months of the taxable year.
(N) What are acceptable forms of income
All income shall be verified by the best
available information from the following list:
(1) Documentary evidence is written confirmation
of the applicant's income. The county agency should include copies of all
documents used for verification in the case file. If copies of documents cannot
be obtained, a description of the documentary evidence shall be included in the
case file. Documentary evidence includes, but is not limited to, the
(a) Pay stubs.
(b) Income tax
(c) The most recent W-2
(e) The most recent W-38
self-employment income verification.
(f) Data from providers of
(h) Correspondence or data
from the social security administration.
(i) Data from the Ohio
bureau of worker's compensation.
(j) A signed statement from
the employer that includes gross income and/or hourly wage and work
(2) A collateral contact is an oral confirmation
by someone that is not a member of the applicant's household, including
employers, human resources personnel, social service agencies or migrant
(a) A confirmation may be
made in person or over the phone.
(b) The collateral contact
may be anyone who can provide an accurate third-party verification. The person
who will act as the collateral contact may be provided by the applicant or
selected by the county.
(c) If income received is
cash without a receipt, a contact with the employer is required.
(d) The county agency is
not required to use a collateral contact provided by the applicant if there is
reason to believe the contact will not be able to provide accurate third-party
verification. In these cases, the county agency may request another collateral
contact from the applicant or may select an alternate contact
(e) The county agency may
contact individuals or agencies with receipt of a signed application as defined
in rule 5101:2-16-02 of the Administrative Code, or other signed written
consent by the caretaker, in order to obtain all pertinent information
regarding family income.
(3) A statement from the applicant may be
acceptable on a case-by-case basis when no other verification is available.
When an applicant statement is used it shall be documented in the case
(O) Who is responsible for
providing verifications of income?
The caretaker shall provide verification of the
source and amount of any income received, unless such information is already
available to the county agency.
(1) The county agency shall assist the caretaker
in obtaining verification provided the caretaker has not refused to cooperate
in the development of documentation for any source of income received. If it
would be difficult or impossible for the caretaker to obtain verification in a
timely manner, or if the county agency can obtain the verification faster, the
county agency shall offer assistance in obtaining the
(2) Failure to cooperate in the development of documentation for
any source of income received is acceptable grounds for a delay in the
processing of an application or a determination of eligibility.
(3) If failure to cooperate continues beyond thirty days from the
date of application, the application shall be denied.
(4) Denial of an application does not prohibit the caretaker
parent from reapplying for child care benefits.