Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual





Table of Contents


Unearned income is any income, which does not meet the definition of earned income.  No earned income exclusions or work expense deductions are applied to unearned income. 


The following monies are considered unearned income:


·        Unemployment Compensation and Workers’ Compensation.


·        Vacation, sick, longevity, and bonus pay are all unearned income when mandatory deductions are not made.


·        Rental income is considered unearned if the individual is not actively engaged in producing the income.  If the individual carries no specific responsibilities in earning the income, as when rental properties are in the hands of rental agents and the check is forwarded to the individual, or when an individual rents farm land to others and receives a monthly payment, the income is unearned.  The cost of doing business is an allowable deduction regardless of whether the income is earned or unearned.


·        Interest payments in excess of $60 per quarter (less than $60 is disregarded), dividends, royalties, and all other such direct money payments, which can be construed to be a gain or benefit, are considered unearned income.  Convert such income to monthly amounts if received on a weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly basis.  Consider these payments as currently available income.  If such payments are received quarterly, prorate them over three months; semi-monthly, prorate over six months; annually, prorate over 12 months.


·        General assistance payments, pensions, or other countable needs based assistance payments (other than SSI) are unearned income.


·        Payments for rehabilitation made under the Services to the Blind, Vocational Rehabilitation, or other such programs are unearned income.  Deduct expenses from the gross rehabilitation payment.  They may include:


-       Transportation costs to and from the training facility, doctor, clinic, etc., based on the current state mileage allowance.

-       Books, tools, equipment, etc., not furnished by the facility.

-       Supplies such as pens, pencils, etc., not furnished by the facility.

-       Required occupational clothing.

-       Noon meals if not furnished by the facility (not to exceed current VA allowance).

-       Laundry and cleaning expenses related to training.

-       Incidental expenses over and above “personal incidentals” such as coffee breaks, grooming aids, some recreation (not to exceed $30 per month) if the person is away from home.

-       Initial outlay items (such as footlockers, suitcases) not furnished by VR or Services for the Blind.

-       Costs for items not included in our need standard, but necessary to participate in the program can be excluded as assistance from other agencies.

-       Count any remaining rehabilitation payment, after expenses, as unearned income.


·        Annuities, pensions, retirement, veterans or disability benefits, military or Job Corps allotments, and other such pensions and benefits.


·        Contributions in the form of regular cash payments made to the AU that are over $30 per recipient per calendar quarter.


·        Money withdrawn from the body of a trust or interest/dividends paid to a client.  Such monies are treated as regular income or annualized income as appropriate, depending upon the frequency of receipt.


·        Non-IV-E Foster Care board payments are considered unearned income for a minor mother in foster care.  If the dependent child is on non-IV-E funds, that child’s total board rate must also be counted as unearned income. 


Individuals eligible for IV-E are not eligible for Families First.




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