Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code,
Section 512 (31 Del.C. §512)
Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 4002 Resources
In compliance with the State's Administrative Procedures Act (APA - Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code) and under the authority of Title 31 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 5, Section 512, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) / Division of Social Services (DSS) is proposing to amend the rules in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) used to determine eligibility for cash assistance as it relates to the special Education and Business Investment Accounts (EBIAs).
Any person who wishes to make written suggestions, compilations of data, testimony, briefs or other written materials concerning the proposed new regulations must submit same to Sharon L. Summers, Policy and Program Development Unit, Division of Social Services, 1901 North DuPont Highway, P.O. Box 906, New Castle, Delaware 19720-0906 by January 31, 2006.
The action concerning the determination of whether to adopt the proposed regulation will be based upon the results of Department and Division staff analysis and the consideration of the comments and written materials filed by other interested persons.
Summary of Proposed Change
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996
In addition to the current resource limit, families are allowed to establish special Education and Business Investment Accounts (EBIAs) of up to $5,000.00, including interest. Families contribute directly to their EBIAs. Funds in such accounts are not considered as a resource. Withdrawals from such accounts must be for approved purposes, as defined in TANF. If funds are withdrawn for non-approved purposes, the money will be counted as a resource in the month received. Approved reasons for withdrawal of funds for self-sufficiency needs include, but are not limited to, dependent care expenses, security deposit for an apartment or house, or vehicle repair costs.
Summary of Proposal
DSSM 4002.2, Available Resources and DSSM 4002.5, Excluded Resources: Language is revised and new language is added:
• To reiterate that EBIAs up to $5000.00 are excluded for TANF;
• To clarify that Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) accounts are considered EBIAs; and,
• To clarify that SEED accounts are excluded as a resource for TANF, GA, or Food Stamps.
DSS PROPOSED REGULATION #05-76
4002.2 Available Resources
Any income or resource which a client actually has on hand for immediate use is an available resource. Examples are,
Ccash on hand, checking accounts, any form of savings or bank accounts, State and Federal Income Tax Refunds.
Note: In addition to the current resource limit, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) families will be allowed to establish Special Educational and Business Investment Accounts of up to $5000.00, including interest. Do not consider funds in such accounts as a resource for TANF or Food Stamp purposes. Withdrawals from such accounts must be for approved purposes. If funds are withdrawn for non-approved purposes, count the money as a resource in the month received. Approved reasons for withdrawal of funds for self-sufficiency needs include, education expenses, employment start-up needs, entrepreneurship, and fulfill life-improvement initiatives.
The special Education and Business Investment Accounts are not counted as available resources unless withdrawals are made for non-approved purposes. See DSSM 4002.5 #14.
A family budget group is not eligible for cash assistance if its available resources exceed $1,000.00.
Available resources must be documented in the case record.
(Break in Continuity of Sections)
4002.5 Excluded Resources
The equity value of real and personal property owned by a family budget group cannot exceed $1,000.00. Resources excluded from the $1,000.00 resource limitation are:
1. The home which is the usual residence of the family budget group.
FOR DELAWARE’S TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES PROGRAM
2. Exclude the equity value of a primary automobile, up to the annually adjusted Food Stamp program's fair market value of vehicles which is excluded in determining the household resources. The excluded amount effective October 1996 is $4,650. The equity value is the difference between the automobile's fair market value and the amount still owed for it. The equity value in excess of $4,650.00 is counted towards the $1,000.00 resource limitation. The entire equity value of other automobiles owned by the individual is counted as a resource.
NOTE: The fair market value of an automobile is determined by finding the car's trade in value in the NADA Used Car Guide. If the client disagrees with this valuation, he/she may obtain a statement of the car's value from a automobile dealer.
FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE
One automobile, the equity value of which does not exceed $1,500.00. The equity value is the difference between the automobile's fair market value and the amount still owed on it. The equity value in excess of $1,500.00 is counted towards the $1,000.00 resource limitation. The entire equity value of other automobiles owned by the individual is counted as a resource.
The increased value of a motor vehicle specially equipped with devices for the handicapped is not counted. Farm vehicles that are used to produce income are excluded from consideration as a resource.
3. One burial plot for each member of the assistance unit.
4. Bona fide funeral agreements (e.g., pre paid burial contracts) up to a total of $1,500.00 for each member of the budget group.
NOTE: If a funeral agreement valued in excess of $1,500.00 includes both prepaid burial expenses and a burial plot, the worker will require that the client provide an itemized statement of the estimated value of the plot and the expenses. The value of the burial plot is an excluded resource and will be considered separately from the value of the prepaid expenses.
5. Basic maintenance items essential for day-to-day living such as clothes, furniture, and other similarly essential items.
6. For a period not to exceed six months, real property that is not used as a residence (see DSSM 4002.6).
7. Tools and equipment necessary to produce income in a self employment enterprise, even if the owner is not engaged in business currently, but plans to continue it at a future date.
8. Federal major disaster and emergency assistance provided to individuals and families and comparable disaster assistance provided by State, local governments, and disaster assistance organizations under P.L. 100 707.
"Emergency" means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.
"Major Disaster" means any natural catastrophe...which in the determination of the President causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance to supplement the efforts of available resources of states, local governments, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.
9. Restitution made to United States' citizens and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who were interned during World War II pursuant to Title I
. of P.L. 100-383.
10. Restitution made by any Aleut who was relocated by authority of the United States from his or her home village on the Pribilof Islands or the Aleutian Islands during World War II pursuant to Title II of P.L. 100 383.
11. Payments made from the Agent Orange Settlement Fund or any other fund established pursuant to the settlement in the In Re Agent Orange product liability litigation, M.D.L. No. 381 (E.D.N.Y.).
12. Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), including Advance EITC.
Disregard as a resource EITC payments received in the month of application or in the month preceding the month of application. Any remaining EITC amounts received before this period are a resource.
Disregard as a resource for the month in which the EITC is received and the following month. After this period, any remaining amounts are a resource.
13. Cash Value of Life Insurance Policies
14. The designated Education and Business Investment Account (EBIA) is excluded up to the $500,000 maximum. In addition to the current resource limit, Delaware’s Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Program (TANF” and General Assistance (GA) Program families will be allowed to establish special Education and Business Investment Accounts (EBIA) of up to $5000.00, including interest.
Do not consider funds in such accounts as a resource for TANF, GA or Food Stamp purposes. Withdrawals from such accounts must be for approved purposes. If funds are withdrawn for non-approved purposes, count the money as a resource in the month received. Approved reasons for withdrawal of funds for self-sufficiency needs include education expenses, employment start-up needs, entrepreneurship, and to purchase a vehicle or home. If staff are unsure if the withdrawal meets an approved purpose, contact the policy unit for clarification.
Furthermore, a Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment (SEED) accounts is considered an EBIA account and is excluded up to the $5000.00 limit.
9 DE Reg. 1034 (01/01/06)(Prop.)