Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Payments/Benefits Excluded In Eligibility Determination

Revised: 

21.26

VENDOR PAYMENTS

Food Stamp Table of Contents

1240-1-4-.15(26)

Money payments that are not payable directly to the household but are paid to a third-party for the household’s expenses are vendor payments and are excluded.

 

Exception:     

 

Monies that are legally obligated and otherwise payable to the household, but which are diverted by the provider of the payment to a third-party for a household expense are counted as income and are not excluded as vendor payments.   The distinction is whether the person or organization making the payment on behalf of a household is using funds that otherwise would have to be paid to a household.   These funds include any wages earned by a household member, support and alimony payments which legally must be paid to a household, educational loans on which payment is deferred, grants, scholarships, etc., which are paid to a third-party for living expenses.   If any employer, agency, former spouse or other person makes payments for household expenses to a third-party from funds that are not owed to the household, these payments must be excluded as vendor payments.

 

Example:  Wages earned by a household member that are garnished or diverted by an employer, and paid to a third-party for a household’s expenses or debt, such as rent, are considered as income.   However, if the employer pays a household’s rent directly to the landlord in addition to paying the household its regular wages, exclude this rent payment as a vendor payment.   In addition, if the employer provides housing to an employee, exclude the value of the housing from the income determination.

 

Example:  Payments specified by a court order or other legally binding agreement to go directly to a third-party, rather than to the HH, and voluntary support payments which are paid to a third-party, rather than the HH, are excluded as vendor payments, even if the HH agrees to the arrangement.

 

Example:  Garnishments include all or part of a cash assistance grant which would normally be provided in money payment to the household, but which is diverted to third-parties or to a protective payee for purposes such as managing a household.   However, payments by the Department that would not normally be provided as a money payment to the household, and that are over and above normal cash assistance grants, are excluded as vendor payments if they are made directly to a third-party for a household expense.   This rule applies even if the household has the option of receiving a direct cash payment.

 

Glossary of Terms

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