Department of Human Services

Food Stamp OnlinePolicy Manual

Definition of Income




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Earned income is money derived from an individualís work efforts, such as wages, salaries, commissions, or as profits from a self-employment enterprise, including farming, carried on either alone or jointly. It includes pay received from jury duty, bonuses, vacation pay, maternity leave pay, and sick pay received by an individual while still employed. Garnished or diverted wages also are considered to be earned income:


(a)   Wages, salaries, commissions


(b)   Profit from self-employment enterprises such as the following:


1.      Farming


2.      small business enterprises


3.      roomer/boarders


4.      rental receipts


Note: If an owner of rental property is actively engaged in the rental, maintenance, management of property at least 20 hours per week, the income from the property is earned.


5.      total gains of any capital goods or equipment related to the business, excluding the costs of doing business.


(c)    Training and Rehabilitation Allowances


Count as earned income any training allowances from vocational and rehabilitative programs sponsored by federal, state, or local governments (such as the Employment & Training Program) unless the allowances are excluded as reimbursements. (Except for WIA training allowances which are excluded.)


(d)   College Work Study Program


Income from college work study employment is excluded in its entirety.


(e)   Vacation, Sick, Longevity and Bonus Pay When Employment Continues


Such payments received by an individual while still employed are considered earned income. When the payment is received in a lump sum, the household has the option to count the payment in the month received or have it averaged over the certification period. (Refer to Unearned Income Section for payments received after employment is terminated.)


(f)     On-The-Job Training Programs


Consider as earned income all monies received through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Americorps, and Youthbuild On-The-Job Training Programs, unless the WIA participant is under age 19 and under parental control of another adult member.


Note:On-the-job training payments received under the Summer Youth Employment and Training Programs are excluded.


Glossary of Terms


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