Income overview

Revised Date: 
December 5, 2016

Purpose: To describe how various types and amounts of income affect an individual’s eligibility for Categorically Needy (CN) or Medically Needy (MN) health care coverage.

Subtopic: Counting

WAC 182-512-0600 SSI-related medical -- Definition of income.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. Income is anything a person receives in cash or in-kind that can be used to meet his/her needs for food or shelter. Income can be earned or unearned.
  2. Some receipts are not income because they do not meet the definition of income above. Some types of receipts that are not income are:
    1. Cash or in-kind assistance from federal, state, or local government programs whose purpose is to provide medical care or services;
    2. Some in-kind payments that are not food or shelter coming from nongovernmental programs whose purposes are to provide medical care or medical services;
    3. Payments for repair or replacement of an exempt resource;
    4. Refunds or rebates for money already paid;
    5. Receipts from sale of a resource;
    6. Replacement of income already received (see 20 C.F.R. 416.1103 for a more complete list of receipts that are not income); and
    7. Receipts from extraction of exempt resources for a member of a federally recognized tribe.
  3. Earned income includes the following types of payments:
    1. Gross wages and salaries, including garnished amounts;
    2. Commissions and bonuses;
    3. Severance pay;
    4. Other special payments received because of employment;
    5. Net earnings from self-employment (WAC 182-512-0840 describes earnings exclusions);
    6. Self-employment income of tribal members unless the income is specifically exempted by treaty;
    7. Payments for services performed in a sheltered workshop or work activities center;
    8. Royalties earned by a person in connection with any publication of his/her work and any honoraria received for services rendered; and
    9. In-kind payments made in lieu of cash wages, including the value of food or shelter.
  4. Unearned income is all income that is not earned income. Some types of unearned income are:
    1. Annuities, pensions, and other periodic payments;
    2. Alimony and support payments;
    3. Dividends and interest;
    4. Royalties (except for royalties earned by a person in connection with any publication of his/her work and any honoraria received for services rendered which would be earned income);
    5. Capital gains;
    6. Rents;
    7. Benefits received as the result of another's death to the extent that the total amount exceeds the expenses of the deceased person's last illness and burial paid by the recipient;
    8. Gifts;
    9. Inheritances;
    10. Prizes and awards; and
    11. Amounts received by tribal members from gaming revenues with the exceptions cited in WAC 182-512-0770(3).
  5. Some items which may be withheld from income, but which the agency considers as received income are:
    1. Federal, state, or local income taxes;
    2. Health or life insurance premiums;
    3. SMI premiums;
    4. Union dues;
    5. Penalty deductions for failure to report changes;
    6. Loan payments;
    7. Garnishments;
    8. Child support payments, court ordered or voluntary (WAC 182-512-0900 has an exception for deemors);
    9. Service fees charged on interest-bearing checking accounts;
    10. Inheritance taxes; and
    11. Guardianship fees if presence of a guardian is not a requirement for receiving the income.
  6. Countable income, for the purposes of this chapter, means all income that is available to the person:
    1. If it cannot be excluded; and
    2. After deducting all allowable disregards and deductions.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

Items an individual may receive that are not considered income include:

  • Weatherization assistance;
  • Proceeds from a loan the individual takes out; or
  • Bills paid directly to the vendor by another party.

Note: Proceeds from timber sales are considered a resource, not income, in the month received. This was a court decision – conversion of a resource: Cootes v. Sullivan, No. 91 36073 (9th Cir. 1992).

Example: Riley just bought his first home. He paid the closing costs that were on the papers, and a month later was sent $300 because the actual closing costs were less than estimated. The $300 is not income; it is a refund of money he already paid.

Example: Debbie just sold her 1989 Toyota because she decided to use public transportation instead of spending money on car repairs. The money she gets for selling the car is not income. She exchanged one resource (the car) for another (cash).

Clarifying Information

  1. When recurring income is received in advance or electronically deposited in the individual’s account, the income is considered available for the month it would normally be received.

    Example: A Social Security check normally received in February is electronically deposited on January 31st because February 1st is a Saturday, the income is still counted for February.
     

  2. Unanticipated nonrecurring lump sums cannot be counted as income in the month received because income must be budgeted prospectively. However, any amount remaining after the month of receipt is considered a resource.
  3. Income that has been anticipated in a different amount than was actually received is not an overpayment if the anticipated amount was reasonable. If the anticipated amount was based on false information or information known at the time to be incomplete, or if the department made an error in calculation, there may be an overpayment.

WAC 182-512-0700 SSI-related medical -- Income eligibility.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. In order to be eligible, a person is required to do everything necessary to obtain any income to which he or she is entitled including (but not limited to):
    1. Annuities;
    2. Pensions;
    3. Unemployment compensation;
    4. Retirement; and
    5. Disability benefits; even if their receipt makes the person ineligible for agency services, unless the person can provide evidence showing good reason for not obtaining the benefits.
  2. The agency does not count this income until the person begins to receive it. Income is budgeted prospectively for all Washington apple health (WAH) health care programs.
  3. Anticipated nonrecurring lump sum payments other than retroactive SSI/SSDI payments are considered income in the month received, subject to reporting requirements in WAC 182-504-0110. Any unspent portion is considered a resource the first of the following month.
  4. The agency follows income and resource methodologies of the supplemental security income (SSI) program defined in federal law when determining eligibility for WAH SSI-related medical or medicare savings programs unless the agency adopts rules that are less restrictive than those of the SSI program.
  5. Exceptions to the SSI income methodology:
    1. Lump sum payments from a retroactive SSDI benefit, when reduced by the amount of SSI received during the period covered by the payment, are not counted as income;
    2. Unspent retroactive lump sum money from SSI or SSDI is excluded as a resource for nine months following receipt of the lump sum; and
    3. Both the principal and interest portions of payments from a sales contract, that meet the definition in WAC 182-512-0350(10), are unearned income.
  6. To be eligible for WAH categorically needy (CN) SSI-related health care coverage, a person's countable income cannot exceed the WAH CN program standard described in:
    1. WAC 182-512-0010 for noninstitutional WAH coverage unless living in an alternate living facility; or
    2. WAC 182-513-1305(2) for noninstitutional WAH CN coverage while living in an alternate living facility; or
    3. WAC 182-513-1315 for institutional and waiver services coverage.
  7. To be eligible for SSI-related health care coverage provided under the WAH medically needy (MN) program, a person must:
    1. Have countable income at or below the effective WAH MN program standard as described in WAC 182-519-0050;
    2. Satisfy spenddown requirements described in WAC 182-519-0110;
    3. Meet the requirements for noninstitutional WAH MN coverage while living in an alternate living facility (ALF). See WAC 182-513-1305(3); or
    4. Meet eligibility for institutional WAH MN coverage described in WAC 182-513-1315.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Example: An individual reports on April 10th that she will receive a lawsuit settlement that specifies a payment of $5,000 on July 1st. The Agency or it's designee would anticipate the $5,000 payment as income in July. If the individual has $100 of that payment left on August 1st, that $100 is counted as a resource effective August 1st.

WAC 182-512-0750 SSI-related medical -- Countable unearned income.

Effective April 14, 2014.

The agency counts unearned income for Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related medical programs as follows:

  1. The total amount of income benefits to which a person is entitled is treated as available unearned income even when the benefits are:
    1. Reduced through the withholding of a portion of the benefit amount to repay a legal obligation;
    2. Garnished to repay a debt, other legal obligation, or make any other payment such as payment of medicare premiums.
  2. Payments received on a loan:
    1. Interest paid on the loan amount is considered unearned income; and
    2. Payments on the loan principal are not considered income. However, any amounts retained on the first of the following month are considered a resource.
  3. Money borrowed by a person, which must be repaid, is not considered income. It is considered a loan. If the money received does not need to be repaid, it is considered a gift.
  4. Rental income received for the use of real or personal property, such as land, housing or machinery is considered unearned income. The countable portion of rental income received is the amount left after deducting necessary expenses of managing and maintaining the property paid in that month or carried over from a previous month. Necessary expenses are those such as:
    1. Advertising for tenants;
    2. Property taxes;
    3. Property insurance;
    4. Repairs and maintenance on the property; and
    5. Interest and escrow portions of a mortgage.

NOTE: When a person is in the business of renting properties and actively works the business (over twenty hours per week), the income is counted as earned income.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

WAC 182-512-0760 SSI-related medical -- Education assistance.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. The agency does not count:
    1. Educational assistance in the form of grants, loans or work study, issued from Title IV of the Higher Education Amendments (Title IV – HEA) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) education assistance programs. Examples of Title IV – HEA and BIA educational assistance include, but are not limited to:
      1. College work study (federal and state);
      2. Pell grants; and
      3. BIA higher education grants.
    2. Educational assistance in the form of grants, loans or work study made available under any program administered by the department of education (DOE) to an undergraduate student. Examples of programs administered by DOE include, but are not limited to:
      1. Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Program;
      2. Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program; and
      3. Library Career Training Program.
  2. For assistance in the form of grants, loans or work study under the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act, P.L. 101-391:
    1. If the person attends school half-time or more, the agency subtracts the following expenses:
      1. Tuition;
      2. Fees;
      3. Costs for purchase or rental of equipment, materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study;
      4. Books;
      5. Supplies;
      6. Transportation;
      7. Dependent care; and
      8. Miscellaneous personal expenses.
    2. If the person attends school less than half-time, the agency subtracts the following expenses:
      1. Tuition;
      2. Fees; and
      3. Costs for purchase or rental of equipment, materials, or supplies required of all students in the same course of study.
  3. WorkFirst work-study income is not counted.
  4. Income received from work study program that is not excluded under subsection (1) of this section is counted as earned income and is subject to earned income disregards as described in WAC 182-512-0840(2).
  5. If the person receives Veteran's Administration Educational Assistance:
    1. All applicable attendance costs are subtracted; and
    2. The remaining income is budgeted as unearned income.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

WAC 182-512-0770 SSI-related medical -- American Indian or Alaska Native excluded income and resources.

Effective April 16, 2015.

  1. The agency excludes the following types of income from being considered when determining eligibility for Washington apple health (WAH) categorically needy (CN) and medically needy (MN) SSI-related programs for American Indians or Alaska Natives:
    1. Distributions from Alaska Native corporations and settlement trusts;
    2. Distributions from any property held in trust, subject to federal restrictions, located within the most recent boundaries of a prior federal reservation, or otherwise under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior;
    3. Distributions and payments from rents, leases, rights of way, royalties, usage rights, or natural resource extraction and harvest from:
      1. Rights of ownership or possession in any lands described in (b) of this subsection; or
      2. Federally protected rights regarding off-reservation hunting, fishing, gathering, or usage of natural resources.
    4. Distributions resulting from real property ownership interests related to natural resources and improvements that are:
      1. Located on or near a reservation or within the most recent boundaries of a prior federal reservation; or
      2. Resulting from the exercise of federally protected rights related to such real property ownership interests.
    5. Payments resulting from:
      1. Ownership interests in or usage rights to items that have unique religious, spiritual, traditional, or cultural significance; or
      2. Rights that support subsistence or a traditional lifestyle according to applicable tribal law or custom.
    6. Student financial assistance provided under the Bureau of Indian Affairs education programs; and
    7. Any other applicable income exclusion as provided by federal law, regulation, or rule.
  2. The agency excludes the following types of resources from being considered when determining eligibility for WAH-CN and WAH-MN SSI-related programs for American Indians or Alaska Natives:
    1. Property, including real property and improvements, that is:
      1. Held in trust, subject to federal restrictions, or otherwise under the supervision of the Secretary of the Interior; and
      2. Located on a reservation, including any federally recognized Indian tribe's reservation, pueblo, or colony, including:
        1. Former reservations in Oklahoma;
        2. Alaska Native regions established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; and
        3. Indian allotments on or near a reservation as designated and approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the Department of the Interior.
    2. Property located within the most recent boundaries of a prior federal reservation for any federally recognized tribe not described in (a) of this subsection;
    3. Ownership interests in rents, leases, royalties, or usage rights related to natural resources (including, but not limited to, extraction of natural resources or harvesting of timber, other plants and plant products, animals, fish and shellfish) resulting from the exercise of federally protected rights; and
    4. Ownership interests in or usage rights to items not covered in (a), (b), or (c) of this subsection that have unique religious, spiritual, traditional, or cultural significance or rights that support subsistence or a traditional lifestyle according to applicable tribal law or custom.
  3. When determining eligibility for WAH-CN and WAH-MN SSI-related programs for American Indians or Alaska Natives, the agency counts or excludes amounts received by tribal members from exercise of gaming revenues (per capita distributions) that are retained after the month of receipt based on the type of resource in which the money is retained.  If the amounts are retained in a countable resource (for example, cash, checking account, or savings account), the agency treats the amounts as a countable resource.  If the amounts are converted to an excluded resource (for example, personal property like a refrigerator), the agency treats the amounts as excluded resources.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

  1. Tribal Elder Social Security Assistance (TESSA) Plan Assistance based on need that is not counted as income include:

    TESSA plan payments made to tribal elders to promote their general welfare based on their special needs.

    Some tribes, such as the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, provide this type of cash assistance to its elder members. When determining eligibility for Apple Health, these payments are excluded under the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014. See also 20 CFR § 416.1124(c)(2) – Unearned income we do not count.

  2. Payments made under the Cobell Settlement Agreement for the Land Buy-Back for Tribal Nations are excluded when determining countable income. When determining countable resources, they are excluded for twelve months from the date of receipt. See the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, P. L. 111-291, Section 101(f) for more information. 

WAC 182-512-0780 SSI-related medical -- Employment and training programs.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. The agency excludes income received from the following programs:
    1. Payments issued under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA);
    2. Payments issued under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. This includes payments made through the AmeriCorps program;
    3. Payments issued under Title I of the Domestic Volunteer Act of 1973, such as VISTA, AmeriCorps VISTA, University Year for Action, and Urban Crime Prevention Program; and
    4. All payments issued under Title II of the Domestic Volunteer Act of 1973. These include:
      1. Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP);
      2. Foster Grandparents Program; and
      3. Senior Companion Program.
  2. The agency counts training allowances from vocational and rehabilitative programs as earned income when:
    1. The program is recognized by federal, state, or local governments; and
    2. The allowance is not a reimbursement.
  3. The agency excludes support service payments received by or made on behalf of WorkFirst recipients.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

  1. Rent payments received from roomers or boarders are considered unearned income.
  2. The interest portion of payments on sales or real estate contracts owned by an individual who is resource eligible is counted as unearned income when the combined value of all resources is at or below the resource standard. Count only the portion of the payment that goes toward interest as unearned income.
  3. Puyallup Tribe Settlement Income: Budget interest income from the annuity fund payment or the initial investments as newly acquired income.
  4. Receipt of gaming money by tribal members is considered unearned income in the month received. Gaming money set aside in trust funds by the tribe is not considered available until it may be accessed by the tribal member for whom it is set aside.

    Example: A tribe pays $2,000 per month gaming money to each tribal member. For tribal members under age 18, $1,000 per month is set-aside in a trust fund which can be used by the child on or after his or her 18th birthday. The $1,000 received each month is considered income in the month received. The $1,000 per month set-aside is not considered until the child reaches 18. The month after the child turns 18, any money remaining from the trust fund is considered an available resource and that month’s $2,000 is considered income.
     

  5. Home equity conversion plans: a security interest in the home is given in exchange for a lump sum, a periodic cash payment, or a line of credit. The most common home equity conversion plan is a reverse mortgage that allows the homeowner to borrow from the equity in the home with no repayment as long as they live in the home. The funds received under a home equity conversion plan are a loan, and thus do not count as income. However;
    1. Interest earned on any money received under the home conversion plan is considered unearned income, and
    2. Money retained into the following month is considered a resource as of the first of the month following the month of receipt.

WAC 182-512-0800 SSI-related medical -- General income exclusions.

Effective April 14, 2014.

The agency excludes, or does not consider, the following when determining a person's eligibility for Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related medical programs:

  1. The first twenty dollars per month of unearned income. If there is less than twenty dollars of unearned income in a month, the remainder is excluded from earned income in that month.
    1. The twenty-dollar limit is the same, whether applying it for a couple or for a single person.
    2. The disregard does not apply to income paid totally or partially by the federal government or a nongovernmental agency on the basis of an eligible person's needs.
    3. The twenty dollars disregard is applied after all exclusions have been taken from income.
  2. Income that is not reasonably anticipated or is received infrequently or irregularly, whether for a single person or each person in a couple when it is:
    1. Earned and does not exceed a total of thirty dollars per calendar quarter; or
    2. Unearned and does not exceed a total of sixty dollars per calendar quarter;
    3. An increase in a person's burial funds that were established on or after November 1, 1982, if the increase is the result of:
      1. Interest earned on excluded burial funds; or
      2. Appreciation in the value of an excluded burial arrangement that was left to accumulate and become part of separately identified burial funds.
  3. Essential expenses necessary for a person to receive compensation (e.g., necessary legal fees in order to get a settlement).
  4. Receipts, which are not considered income, when they are for:
    1. Replacement or repair of an exempt resource;
    2. Prepayment or repayment of medical care paid by a health insurance policy or medical service program; or
    3. Payments made under a credit life or credit disability policy.
  5. The fee a guardian or representative payee charges as reimbursement for providing services, when such services are a requirement for the person to receive payment of the income.
  6. Funds representing shared household costs.
  7. Crime victim's compensation.
  8. The value of a common transportation ticket, given as a gift, that is used for transportation and not converted to cash.
  9. Gifts that are not for food, clothing or shelter, and gifts of home produce used for personal consumption.
  10.  The agency does not consider in-kind income received from someone other than a person legally responsible for the person unless it is earned. Therefore, the following in-kind payments are not counted when determining eligibility for WAH SSI-related medical programs:
    1. In-kind payments for services paid by a person's employer if:
      1. The service is not provided in the course of an employer's trade or business; or
      2. The service is in the form of food that is on the employer's business premises and for the employer's convenience; or
      3. The service is in the form of shelter that is on the employer's business premises, for the employer's convenience, and required to be accepted by the employee as a condition of employment.
    2. In-kind payments made to people in the following categories:
      1. Agricultural employees;
      2. Domestic employees;
      3. Members of the uniformed services; and
      4. Persons who work from home to produce specific products for the employer from materials supplied by the employer.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

  1. Funds that do not count as income include:
    1. Payments made replacing income that has been lost, stolen or destroyed;
    2. Interest left to accumulate on funds set aside for burial.
  2. Life insurance policy benefits, which an SSI-related individual receives as a beneficiary, are counted as unearned income, except for any of the money spent on the insured’s (deceased person’s) last illness and burial expenses.
  3. Money paid by a person who is “sharing” the cost of food or housing (rent, utilities, etc.) is not considered income. Housing costs are adjusted according to how they are “shared”.
    Example: If the apartment rent is $800 per month and a husband, wife and child are sharing the costs with an unrelated person, only the costs that each AU pays is allowed for that shelter expense. If the family pays $500 and the other person, $300, then the shelter cost for the family is $500. If that family only pays ½ of the rent for the apartment ($400), then $400 is considered their shelter cost.
  4. When it is necessary to place a value on them, in-kind payments are valued at current market value. In-kind income in the form of food or shelter that is provided by an employer is countable earned income unless:
    1. It is provided on the employer’s premises;
    2. It is provided for the employer’s convenience; and
    3. If it is shelter, its acceptance by the employee is a condition of employment.
  5. An example of excluded income is:
    1. Prescription reimbursement from a health insurer;
    2. A payment to repair damage to the home; or
    3. Replacement of the contents of a home due to a fire or flood.
      Example: A migrant farm worker’s housing, provided by the employer, is not considered income for SSI-related Apple Health purposes.

WAC 182-512-0820 SSI-related medical -- Child-related income exclusions and allocations.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. For the purposes of Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related medical eligibility determinations under chapter 182-512 WAC, a child is defined as a person who is:
    1. Unmarried;
    2. Living in the household of the SSI-related applicant;
    3. The natural, adopted or stepchild of the SSI-related applicant or the applicant's spouse;
    4. Not receiving a needs-based cash payment such as TANF or SSI; and
    5. Either:
      1. Age seventeen or younger; or
      2. Age twenty-one or younger and meets the SSI-related definition of a student described in subsection (6) of this section.
  2. The agency allows an allocation for the support of a child when determining the countable income of an SSI-related applicant. The allocation is calculated as follows:
    1. For WAH categorically needy (CN) health care coverage, the allocation is deducted from the countable income of a nonapplying spouse before determining the amount of the nonapplying spouse's income to be deemed to the SSI-related applicant. Allocations to children are not deducted from the income of an unmarried SSI-related applicant.
    2. For WAH medically needy (MN) medical coverage, the allocation is first deducted from the income of the nonapplying spouse as described in subsection (2)(a) of this section when the SSI-related applicant is married, and from the income of the applicant when the applicant is not married.
  3. The child's countable income, if any, is subtracted from the maximum child's allowance before determining the amount of allocation.
  4. Foster care payments received for a child who is not SSI-eligible and who is living in the household, placed there by a licensed, nonprofit or public child placement or childcare agency are excluded from income regardless of whether the person requesting or receiving SSI-related medical is the adult foster parent or the child who was placed.
  5. Adoption support payments, received by an adult for a child in the household that are designated for the child's needs, are excluded as income. Adoption support payments that are not specifically designated for the child's needs are not excluded and are considered unearned income to the adult.
  6. The agency excludes the earned income of a person age twenty-one or younger if that person is a student. In order to allow the student earned income exclusion, a student must:
    1. Attend a school, college, or university a minimum of eight hours a week; or
    2. Pursue a vocational or technical training program designed to prepare the student for gainful employment a minimum of twelve hours per week; or
    3. Attend school or be home schooled in grades seven through twelve at least twelve hours per week.
  7. Any portion of a grant, scholarship, fellowship, or gift used for tuition, fees and/or other necessary educational expenses at any educational institution is excluded from income and not counted as a resource for nine months after the month of receipt.
  8. One-third of child support payments received for a child who is an applicant for WAH SSI-related medical is excluded from the child's income. Child support payments that are subject to the one-third deduction may be voluntary or court-ordered payments for current support or arrears.
  9. The one-third deduction described in subsection (8) of this section does not apply to child support payments received from an absent parent for a child living in the home when the parent(s) or their spouse is the applicant for SSI-related medical. Voluntary or court-ordered payments for current support or arrears are always considered the income of the child for whom they are intended and not income to the parent(s).
  10. The following gifts to, or for the benefit of, a person under eighteen years old who has a life-threatening condition, from an organization described in section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that code, are excluded:
    1. In-kind gifts that are not converted to cash; and
    2. Cash gifts up to a total of two thousand dollars in a calendar year.
  11. Veteran's payments made to, or on behalf of, natural children of Vietnam veterans regardless of their age or marital status, for any disability resulting from spina bifida suffered by these children are excluded from income. Any portion of a veteran's payment that is designed as the dependent's income is countable income to the dependent and not the applicant (assuming the applicant is not the dependent).

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

Child support paid by the individual is not an allowable income exclusion for SSI-related medical eligibility (20 CFR 416.1123(b)(2), POMS 00830.115) Child support paid by the nonapplying spouse of an SSI-related applicant is an allowable deduction for the spouse.

WAC 182-512-0840 SSI-related medical -- Work and agency-related income exclusions.

Effective April 14, 2014.

The agency excludes the following when determining eligibility for Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related medical programs:

  1. Work related expenses:
    1. That enable an SSI-related person to work; or
    2. That allows a blind or disabled person to work and that are directly related to the person's impairment.
  2. First sixty-five dollars plus one-half of the remainder of earned income. This is considered a work allowance/incentive. This deduction does not apply to income already excluded.
  3. Any portion of self-employment income normally allowed as an income deduction by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
  4. Earned income of a person age twenty-one or younger if that person meets the definition of a student as defined in WAC 182-512-0820.
  5. Veteran's aid and attendance, housebound allowance, unusual/unreimbursed medical expenses (UME) paid by the VA to some disabled veterans, their spouses, widows or parents. For people receiving WAH long-term care services, see chapter 182-513 WAC.
  6. Department of veterans affairs benefits designated for the veteran's dependent as long as the SSI-related applicant is not the dependent receiving the income. If an SSI-related applicant receives a dependent allowance based on the veteran's or veteran's survivor claim, the income is countable as long as it is not paid due to unusual medical expenses (UME).
  7. Payments provided in cash or in-kind, to an ineligible or nonapplying spouse, under any government program that provides social services provided to the person, such as chore services or attendant care.
  8. SSA refunds for medicare buy-in premiums paid by the person when the state also paid the premiums.
  9. Income that causes a person to lose SSI eligibility, due solely to reduction in the SSP.
  10. Tax rebates or special payments excluded under other statutes.
  11. Any public agency refund of taxes paid on real property or on food.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

Work Incentives

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs include a number of employment support provisions commonly referred to as work incentives. Many of these incentives help individuals receiving such benefits maintain their eligibility for health care coverage. For a general description of these work incentives, see the Social Security Red Book.

Veterans Benefits

There are several different types of veteran's benefits issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA). The benefit type, who the benefit is for, and what the intention of benefit determines how the Agency treats the income source for SSI-related Apple Health.

The VA publishes its current payment standards in the VA benefits chart which is available from the ADSA website.

Verification of VA income may be obtained by requesting a copy of the VA award letter or by using the information in the PARIS cross match. The VA claim number must be coded in ACES to ensure the cross-match data is current and accurate.

Listed below are common types of VA income sources. VA income may be needs-based which means other income affects the total VA payment or it may be compensation based on disability or death.

Service-Connected Disability Compensation

Service-connected disability compensation is a benefit paid to a veteran because of a service-related injury or disease. These benefits are countable income for SSI-related Apple Health eligibility. Since these benefits are not needs-based, other income of the veteran or their family is not taken into consideration when determining the amount of the payment. However the payment may include an amount for the veteran’s dependents (spouse or children). Any portion of the VA payment designated as a dependent’s income must be split out of the total VA compensation amount and coded as that individual’s income. A dependent’s income is not considered the veteran’s income for SSI-related Apple Health purposes.

Example: John receives VA compensation based on 40% disability. He has two children under the age of 18. The total payment John receives is $651.84 per month. The Veterans Compensation Benefits Rate Table shows the VA payment at 40% disability includes:
$620.17 for the veteran (John) + one child; and
$31.67 for each additional child under age 18.
$588.50 is John's countable income and $31.67 is countable income for each child.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

DIC is a tax-free monetary benefit generally payable to a surviving spouse, child, or parent of service members who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or to survivors of veterans who died from their service-connected disabilities. Parents DIC is an income-based benefit for parents who were financially dependent on of a service member or veteran who died from a service-related cause. The VA payment was based on a different formula for veterans who died prior to January 1, 1993. After January 1993, the VA switched to a basic rate with add-on amounts for dependent children or aid and attendance expenses.

As with service-connected disability, any amount designated for a dependent child needs to be identified and coded on that dependent’s screen in ACES. Both the widow’s and the child’s income are countable income for SSI-related Apple Health, although any amount designated as aid and attendance is not counted. If there is no surviving spouse, DIC benefits may be paid directly to children through the age of 18 or 21 if a student is still in school. DIC compensation has its own allowances.

Example: Jose is the surviving spouse of a veteran who was killed on active duty in 2009. He has one child, age 14. Jose receives a total VA payment of $1538.75:
$1233.23 = basic rate payment. This is Jose's countable VA income.
$305.52 = dependent allowance. This is the child's countable VA income.

Parent’s Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (PDIC)

PDIC is a tax free income-based monthly benefit for the parent(s) of military Service members who died in the line of duty or veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease. It is countable income for SSI-related Apple Health. All income received by the household is taken into consideration when determining the amount of the VA payment.

The parent(s) may also be eligible to receive an additional amount to cover aid and attendance (A&A) expenses. Amounts designated for A&A are not countable for SSI-related medical. The VA benefits chart provides a breakdown of the payment amount and any A&A amount. Amounts designated for A&A are not countable for SSI-related Apple Health.

Needs-based Pensions

Disability pensions are benefits paid to wartime veterans with limited income who are no longer able to work. Pensions are available to veterans, surviving spouses, and children if the veteran has qualifying service, there is financial need, and the veteran has a qualifying disability. In addition to the veteran’s pension amount, the VA may increase the payment by a dependent allocation, an aid and attendance or housebound allowance, or monies to reimburse veterans for unusual medical expenses (UME). Any portion of the payment determined to be the pension is countable income to the veteran. Any portion of the payment determined to be the dependent’s income is countable income to that dependent. A&A, housebound allowance and UME are not countable income for the purposes of SSI-related Medicaid.
Currently, the only pension program that the VA accepts applications for is the Improved Pension. However, veterans who applied for a pension prior to 01/01/1979 may be receiving one of the following pension types:

  • Old Law Disability or Death Pension
  • Section 306 Disability or Death Pension; or
  • Improved Pension

Old Law and Section 306 Pensions (approved prior to 1979)

These plans have an income cap. Veterans may have household income up to the cap and still be eligible for the full benefit amount. Veterans continue to be eligible for these pensions as long as they:

  • Remain disabled
  • Don't lose a dependent
  • Don't have assets over the limit set by the VA
  • Don't exceed the annual income limit set by the VA

A surviving spouse or child is eligible for this pension as long as he or she retains surviving spouse or child status.

Improved Pensions

Improved pensions are directly affected by other household income. The VA pays the difference between the household’s annual income from all sources (except SSI) and the VA’s annual income standard. The improved pension amounts listed in Part 1 of the VA benefit chart show the maximum benefit the veteran would be eligible for based on the household having no other income.

Example: Joe receives $600 per month in Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and $385 per month in veteran's pension benefits. In reviewing the VA benefit chart, you see that the maximum VA pension benefit for a veteran with no dependents is $985 (Dec.08 amount). The benefit Joe receives is $985 less the $600 SSDI for a total VA payment amount of $385. Code the $385 as VI income in ACES.

Example: Imagine Joe has a dependent child living at home. Joe would now be entitled to receive a total VA payment of $691. In reviewing the VA benefit chart, you see that the maximum VA pension benefit for a veteran with a single dependent is $1291. Again the VA subtracts the $600 SSDI benefit from the maximum payment. Line 2 on the chart shows you that the dependent's allowance is $306. Code $385 VI income in Joe's UNER screen and $306 VI income on the child's UNER screen.

Note: Subtract the dependent's income in ACES to correctly determine allocations and deeming to dependents for SSI-related purposes. In some situations the VA may pay a dependent allocation for a child that does not live in the home. That income is counted for the veteran if he keeps the money and is not counted if he gives the income to that dependent.

It is extremely important to separate out the dependent’s income in ACES so that the ACES system can correctly determine allocations and deeming to dependents for SSI-related purposes. In some situations the VA may pay a dependent allocation for a child that does not live in the home. In those situations, the income is countable income to the veteran if he keeps the money and noncountable if he gives the income to the dependent it's intended for.

Aid and Attendance/Housebound Allowances (VT code in ACES)

These are additional benefits paid to veterans, their spouses, surviving spouses, and parents. This allowance is available within all compensation, DIC and pension programs. Aid and Attendance (A&A) is paid based on the need for personal care services from another person or based on a specific disability. The housebound allowance is paid based on certain specific disabilities and is a lesser amount than A&A. Any amount designated as A&A or a housebound allowance is excluded income for SSI-related Apple programs.

Example: Use the same example above of Joe and his child, but Joe tells you he's now been approved for A&A. Joe's total income is $1349 VA income plus the $600 SSDI income, for total income of $1949 per month. Of this, $385 is his pension payment (code as VI in ACES), $306 is his child's income (code as VI on the child's screen in ACES) and $658 is A&A (code as VT in ACES), which is exempt income for SSI-related Medicaid. Joe's total countable income is $985 per month.

Unusual Medical Expenses (UME) (VU code in ACES)

Individuals or surviving spouses who receive Improved Pension or Improved Death Pension benefits may be eligible to receive UME which provides a higher VA pension benefit. UME is paid to offset increased medical costs, similar to an income reimbursement. Amounts designated for UME are not countable for SSI-related Apple Health and must be split out from the total VA payment amount.

Example: Joe receives $600 SSDI benefits and a VA Improved Pension benefit of $985 for total monthly income of $1585. Joe doesn't have a dependent in this example and is not getting A&A. We know from the example above that the maximum pension benefit Joe could receive is $385 based on the other income of $600 SSDI, so he must be receiving an allowance for unusual medical expenses in the amount of $600. (The VA 'offsets' his SSDI income by the amount he is expending on high medical expenses). In ACES $385 is his VA pension (code as VI), $600 is UME (code as VU), and $600 is his SSDI income.

The UME calculator. In some cases, you can tell if an individual is receiving an allowance for UME by checking the PARIS interface data. However, for new applicants there may not be a recent cross-match available to review and the VA award letter does not give this information. The UME calculator breaks down the amount of benefits that have been restored due to UME for veterans receiving the Improved Pension. You need to know the following information to use the UME calculator:

  • Total VA payment amount,
  • The type of VA pension benefit,
  • Whether the payment includes an amount for A&A, housebound allowance, or a dependent allowance,
  • All other family income amounts.

UME restores benefits in a certain order – A&A/Housebound, then dependent allowance, then the basic pension. The calculator is programmed with this logic and displays the correct amounts and codes to enter into ACES.

Note: The calculator still uses the ACES code VA for the improved pension and not the VI code. Please record this as VI income in ACES).

Example: Maria is a disabled veteran who receives an improved pension and A&A. Her total VA income is $1643 per month. She also receives $800 in Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI). Since $1643 is the maximum amount the VA pays for someone with no other income, the VA must be offsetting her SSDI benefits of $800 with unusual medical expenses (UME). If this information is entered to the UME calculator, you can determine that Maria receives $658 in A&A (code as VT in ACES), $800 in UME (code as VU in ACES) and $185 in improved pension benefits (code as VI in ACES). The VA restores the A&A benefit before it restores the improved pension benefit. Total countable income for Maria is $985.

WAC 182-512-0860 SSI-related medical -- Income exclusions under federal statute or other state laws.

Effective April 14, 2014.

The Social Security Act and other federal statutes or state laws list income that the agency excludes when determining eligibility for Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related medical programs. These exclusions include, but are not limited to:

  1. Income tax refunds;
  2. Federal earned income tax credit (EITC) payments for twelve months after the month of receipt;
  3. Compensation provided to volunteers in the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), formerly known as ACTION programs established by the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973. P.L. 93-113;
  4. Assistance to a person (other than wages or salaries) under the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended by section 102 (h)(1) of Pub. L. 95-478 (92 Stat. 1515, 42 U.S.C. 3020a);
  5. Federal, state and local government payments including assistance provided in cash or in-kind under any government program that provides medical or social services;
  6. Certain cash or in-kind payments a person receives from a governmental or nongovernmental medical or social service agency to pay for medical or social services;
  7. Value of food provided through a federal or nonprofit food program such as WIC, donated food program, school lunch program;
  8. Assistance based on need, including:
    1. Any federal SSI income or state supplement payment (SSP) based on financial need;
    2. Basic Food;
    3. State-funded cash assistance;
    4. CEAP;
    5. TANF; and
    6. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) general assistance.
  9. Housing assistance from a federal program such as HUD if paid under:
    1. United States Housing Act of 1937 (section 1437 et seq. of 42 U.S.C.);
    2. National Housing Act (section 1701 et seq. of 12 U.S.C.);
    3. Section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 (section 1701s of 12 U.S.C., section 1451 of 42 U.S.C.);
    4. Title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (section 1471 et seq. of 42 U.S.C.);
    5. Section 202(h) of the Housing Act of 1959; or
    6. Weatherization provided to low-income homeowners by programs that consider income in the eligibility determinations.
  10. Energy assistance payments including:
    1. Those to prevent fuel cutoffs; and
    2. Those to promote energy efficiency.
  11. Income from employment and training programs as specified in WAC 182-512-0780.
  12. Foster grandparents program;
  13. Title IV-E and state foster care maintenance payments if the foster child is not included in the assistance unit;
  14. The value of any childcare provided or arranged (or any payment for such care or reimbursement for costs incurred for such care) under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act, as amended by section 8(b) of P.L. 102-586 (106 Stat. 5035);
  15. Educational assistance as specified in WAC 182-512-0760;
  16. The excluded income described in WAC 182-512-0770 and other income received by American Indians/Alaska Natives that is excluded by federal law;
  17. Payments from Susan Walker v. Bayer Corporation, et al., 96-c-5024 (N.D. Ill) (May 8, 1997) settlement funds;
  18. Payments from Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund Act of 1998, P.L. 105-369;
  19. Disaster assistance paid under Federal Disaster Relief P.L. 100-387 and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288 amended by P.L. 100-707 and for farmers P.L. 100-387;
  20. Payments to certain survivors of the Holocaust as victims of Nazi persecution; payments excluded pursuant to section 1(a) of the Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994, P.L. 103-286 (108 Stat. 1450);
  21. Payments made under section 500 through 506 of the Austrian General Social Insurance Act;
  22. Payments made under the Netherlands' Act on Benefits for Victims of Persecution (WUV);
  23. Restitution payments and interest earned to Japanese Americans or their survivors, and Aleuts interned during World War II, established by P.L. 100-383;
  24. Payments made from the Agent Orange Settlement Funds or any other funds to settle Agent Orange liability claims established by P.L. 101-201;
  25. Payments made under section six of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act established by P.L. 101-426; and
  26. Any interest or dividend is excluded as income, except for the community spouse of an institutionalized person.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

  1. Tribal Elder Social Security Assistance (TESSA) Plan Assistance based on need that is not counted as income include:

    TESSA plan payments made to tribal elders to promote their general welfare based on their special needs.

    Some tribes, such as the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, provide this type of cash assistance to its elder members. When determining eligibility for Apple Health, these payments are excluded under the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014. See also 20 CFR § 416.1124(c)(2) – Unearned income we do not count.

  2. Payments made under the Cobell Settlement Agreement for the Land Buy-Back for Tribal Nations are excluded when determining countable income. When determining countable resources, they are excluded for twelve months from the date of receipt. See the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, P. L. 111-291, Section 101(f) for more information.