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RULE §809.44Calculating Family Income

(a) Unless otherwise required by federal or state law, the family income for purposes of determining eligibility and the parent share of cost means the monthly total of the following items for each member of the family (as defined in §809.2(8)):

  (1) Total gross earnings. These earnings include wages, salaries, commissions, tips, piece-rate payments, and cash bonuses earned.

  (2) Net income from self-employment. Net income includes gross receipts minus business-related expenses from a person's own business, professional enterprise, or partnership, which result in the person's net income. Net income also includes gross receipts minus operating expenses from the operation of a farm.

  (3) Pensions, annuities, life insurance, and retirement income, and early withdrawals from a 401(k) plan not rolled over within 60 days of withdrawal. This includes Social Security pensions, veteran's pensions and survivor's benefits and any cash benefit paid to retirees or their survivors by a former employer, or by a union, either directly or through an insurance company. This also includes payments from annuities and life insurance.

  (4) Taxable capital gains, dividends, and interest. These earnings include capital gains from the sale of property and earnings from dividends from stock holdings, and interest on savings or bonds.

  (5) Rental income. This includes net income from rental of a house, homestead, store, or other property, or rental income from boarders or lodgers.

  (6) Public assistance payments. These payments include TANF as authorized under Chapters 31 or 34 of the Texas Human Resources Code, refugee assistance, Social Security Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, and general assistance (such as cash payments from a county or city).

  (7) Income from estate and trust funds. These payments include income from estates, trust funds, inheritances, or royalties.

  (8) Unemployment compensation. This includes unemployment payments from governmental unemployment insurance agencies or private companies and strike benefits while a person is unemployed or on strike.

  (9) Workers' compensation income, death benefit payments and other disability payments. These payments include compensation received periodically from private or public sources for on-the-job injuries.

  (10) Spousal maintenance or alimony. This includes any payment made to a spouse or former spouse under a separation or divorce agreement.

  (11) Child support. These payments include court-ordered child support, any maintenance or allowance used for current living costs provided by parents to a minor child who is a student, or any informal child support cash payments made by an absent parent for the maintenance of a minor.

  (12) Court settlements or judgments. This includes awards for exemplary or punitive damages, noneconomic damages, and compensation for lost wages or profits, if the court settlement or judgment clearly allocates damages among these categories.

  (13) Lottery payments of $600 or greater.

(b) Income to the family that is not included in subsection (a) of this section is excluded in determining the total family income. Specifically, family income does not include:

  (1) SNAP benefits;

  (2) Monthly monetary allowances provided to or for children of Vietnam veterans born with certain birth defects;

  (3) Educational scholarships, grants, and loans;

  (4) Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Advanced EITC;

  (5) Individual Development Account (IDA) withdrawals;

  (6) Tax refunds;

  (7) VISTA and AmeriCorps living allowances and stipends;

  (8) Noncash or in-kind benefits received in lieu of wages;

  (9) Foster care payments;

  (10) Special military pay or allowances, which include subsistence allowances, housing allowances, family separation allowances, or special allowances for duty subject to hostile fire or imminent danger;

  (11) Income from a child in the household between 14 and 19 years of age who is attending school;

  (12) Early 401(k) withdrawals specified as hardship withdrawals as classified by the Internal Revenue Service; and

  (13) Any income sources specifically excluded by federal law or regulation.

Source Note: The provisions of this §809.44 adopted to be effective January 29, 2007, 32 TexReg 336; amended to be effective September 8, 2008, 33 TexReg 7568; amended to be effective January 8, 2013, 38 TexReg 155

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