(a) This subsection describes personal property and how it is considered in determining eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Household goods and equipment. Items essential to day-to-day living, such as clothing, furniture, and other similarly essential items of limited value, are excluded as resources.
Livestock and equipment used in a business enterprise. A person's equity in livestock, equipment, or inventory of merchandise in a business enterprise is considered as a resource only when the person is not actively engaged in the business enterprise. Equity is not counted when the person actively participates in the business or is only temporarily inactive, for example, the person is incapacitated and can reasonably expect and has plans to resume the business enterprise. Equity is established on the basis of oral or written information which the person has at hand and counsel with persons who have specialized knowledge about the particular resources.
Livestock and home produce used for home consumption. Any livestock or produce grown and used by the assistance unit for home consumption is exempt.
Cash savings and bank accounts.
Available cash and money in a financial institution is considered as a resource. The person's statement that he or she does not have cash on hand or in a financial institution is sufficient unless there are indications to the contrary. When there is information to the contrary or when the person does not have records to verify the amount on deposit, verification is obtained from bank records.
Section 167.1 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (O.S. 56 § 167.1) provides that financial records obtained for the purpose of establishing eligibility for assistance or services must be furnished without cost to the person or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).
(A) Checking accounts may or may not represent savings. Current bank statements are evaluated with the person to establish what, if any, portion of the account represents savings. Any income deposited during the current month is not considered.
(B) Jointly-owned accounts are considered available to the person unless it can be established what part of the account belongs to each of the owners, the money is separated, and the joint account is dissolved.
56 O.S. § 4001.1, money and assets deposited into or withdrawn from an individual savings or trust account owned by the designated beneficiary of the account and established to pay qualified disability expenses are excluded under the Oklahoma Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program or an ABLE program in any other state for the purpose of determining eligibility to receive, or the amount of, any assistance or benefits from local or state means-tested programs. A person may have only one ABLE account. The client must provide documents to verify that the account meets exemption criteria before the funds are exempted from resource and income consideration. •
1 When verified, the exclusion applies to money:
(i) deposited in the account up to the annual federal gift tax exclusion per Section
2503(b) of Title 26 of the United States Code. Any money deposited in the account in a calendar year that is in excess of the annual federal gift tax exclusion is considered a countable resource and income in the month deposited; or
(ii) withdrawn to pay qualified disability expenses. Money withdrawn for reasons other than to pay qualified disability expenses is considered as income for the month of withdrawal.
Insurance policies and prepaid funeral benefits.
Life insurance policies. The cash surrender value (CSV) less any loans or unpaid interest of life insurance policies owned by members included in the TANF cash assistance is counted as a resource. Dividends that accrue and remain with the insurance company increase the amount of the resource. Dividends paid to a person are considered as income. Assignment of the face value of a life insurance policy to fund a prepaid burial contract is not counted as a resource. In this instance, the amount of the face value of the life insurance is evaluated according to (C) or, when applicable, (D) of this paragraph.
Burial spaces. The value of a burial space for each family member whose needs are included in the cash assistance or whose income and resources are considered when computing the cash assistance is excluded from resources.
Burial funds. Revocable burial funds not in excess of $1500 for each person included in the assistance unit are excluded as a resource when the funds are specifically set aside for the burial arrangements of the person. Any amount in excess of $1500 for each person included in the assistance unit is considered as a resource. Burial policies that require premium payments and do not accumulate cash value are not considered prepaid burial policies.
(i) The term burial funds means a prepaid burial contract or trust with a funeral home or burial association that is set aside to pay for the person's burial expenses.
(ii) The face value of a life insurance policy, when properly assigned by the owner to a funeral home or burial association, may be used for purchasing burial funds as described in (i) of this subparagraph.
(iii) The burial fund exclusion must be reduced by the face value of life insurance policies owned by the person and by the amounts in an irrevocable trust or other irrevocable arrangement.
(iv) Interest earned or appreciation on the value of any excluded burial funds is excluded when left to accumulate and become a part of the burial fund.
(v) When the person did not purchase the prepaid burial contract or trust, even when the person's money was used for the purchase, the person is not the owner and the prepaid burial funds are not considered a resource to the person.
Irrevocable burial contract. Oklahoma law provides that a purchaser of a prepaid burial contract may elect to make the contract irrevocable. Irrevocability becomes effective 30-calendar days after the contract is signed.
(i) When the irrevocable election was made prior to July 1, 1986, and the person received assistance on July 1, 1986, the full amount of the irrevocable contract is excluded as a countable resource. This exclusion applies only when the person does not add to the amount of the contract. Interest accrued on the contract is not considered as added. Any break in assistance requires that the contract be evaluated at the time of reapplication.
(ii) When the effective date for the irrevocable election or application for assistance is July 1, 1986, or later, the amount in any combination of an irrevocable contract, revocable prepaid burial contract or trust, and the cash value of unassigned life insurance policies cannot exceed $10,000. When the principal amount exceeds $10,000, the person is ineligible for assistance. Accrued interest is not counted as a part of the $10,000 limit, regardless of when it is accrued.
(iii) For an irrevocable contract to be valid, the election to make it irrevocable must be made by the purchaser or the purchaser's guardian or a person with power of attorney for the purchaser.
Medical insurance. When a person has medical insurance, payments made to the medical provider or directly to the person and the payments are applied to the cost of medical services, they are excluded from resource consideration. Any amount remaining after payment for medical services is considered a resource. •
Stocks, bonds, mortgages, and notes. The person's equity in stocks, bonds, including United States Savings Bonds Series A through EE, mortgages, and notes are considered as resources.
(A) The current market value less encumbrances is the equity of stocks or bonds. •
(B) The amount that can be realized from notes, mortgages, and similar instruments, when offered for immediate sale, constitutes a resource.
(7) Non-negotiable resources. Installment payments received on a note, mortgage, and similar instruments, for which a buyer cannot be found, are considered as monthly income.
Vehicles. For each vehicle, the market value of each year's make and model is established on the basis of the average trade-in value listed in the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) books, other blue books, or one of the Internet websites that provide data on the market value of used vehicles at no cost to the user. •
4 When the person states the vehicle is worth less than the average trade-in value, the person secures written appraisals from two persons familiar with current values. The appraisals must state the appraised value of the vehicle and why it is worth less than the average trade-in value. When there is a substantial unexplained difference between the appraisals or between the blue book value and one or more of the appraisals, the worker and the person jointly arrange for a third person familiar with current values and acceptable to both, to establish the true market value of the vehicle.
Exempt vehicles. The equity value of up to $5,000 in one vehicle is exempt from resource consideration. The amount of the equity in excess of $5,000 is considered against the resource limit.
Other vehicles and personal property. The equity in other vehicles and personal property including boats, travel trailers, motorcycles, motor homes, and campers is considered against the resource limit. The current market value less encumbrances is the equity. Only encumbrances that are verified are considered in computing equity.
Lump sum payments. •
5 A lump sum settlement
compensates for the loss of a resource, such as an automobile, may be disregarded in the amount used to replace the loss.
(A) The person is given a reasonable amount of time to replace the loss not to exceed 30-calendar days. Extension beyond 30-calendar days may be justified in special instances when completion of the transaction is beyond the person's control.
(B) Any amount remaining after the replacement of the loss is considered as income.
(C) Income tax refunds, except for the portion
an earned income tax credit (EITC), must be treated as a resource and considered available to the person upon receipt. Per the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 Public Law 111-312, EITC payments received after December 31, 2009, as a result of filing a federal or state tax return are exempt as a resource for 12 months following receipt.
(D) Retirement benefits received as a lump sum payment at termination of employment are considered a resource. • 6 These benefits are not treated as income because the retirement contribution was regarded as income in the month earned and withheld by the employer.
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are dedicated savings accounts that are used for a qualified purpose, such as purchasing a first home, education or job training expenses, capitalizing a small business, or other purposes designated by the IDA administrative entity.
(A) IDAs are managed by community organizations and accounts are held at local financial institutions.
(B) Cash deposits and interest accrued from the deposits made by a person in an IDA up to $2,000 are not considered as income or resources in determining TANF eligibility.
(C) The account deposits must be made from earned income, EITCs, or tax refunds.
Saving For Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) Initiative accounts. SEED accounts are dedicated savings accounts for persons 13 through 18 years of age that are used for a qualified purpose, such as purchasing a first home, education or job training expenses, capitalizing a small business, or other purposes designated by the administrative entity. SEED accounts are managed by community organizations and accounts are held at local financial institutions. Cash deposits and interest accrued from the deposits made by a person in a SEED account up to $2,000 are not considered as income or resources in determining TANF eligibility.
(b) This subsection describes resources disregarded in determining need. Disregarded resources are:
(1) income disregarded per
Oklahoma Administrative Code340:10-3-40;
(2) trusts of a
child(ren) included in a TANF benefit when the funds are used for educational purposes for a
child(ren). Any court established trust must be examined to determine if the court restricted the trust for other purposes. The client must verify at application and renewal if funds were withdrawn. • 7 Withdrawn funds are treated as lump sum unearned income unless
documentation shows the funds were used for the
child(ren)'s educational purposes; •
(3) any accounts, stocks, bonds, or other resources held under the control of a third party when the funds are designated for educational purposes for a
child(ren) eligible for TANF, even when a
child(ren)'s name is on the account and the third party holder is required to access the funds;
(4) a migratory farm worker's out-of-state homestead if the farm worker's intent is to return to the homestead after the temporary absence;
(5) a non-recurring lump sum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) retroactive payment, made to a TANF recipient, in the month paid and the next following month. The amount remaining in the second month after the month of receipt is a countable resource;
funds in education accounts established per Sections 529 and 530 of the Internal Revenue Code or exempted by O.S.
56 § 4000; and •
(7) child support collected from a child support tax intercept for the month received. The amount remaining in the second month after the month of receipt is a countable resource.