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DETERMINING THE CASH ASSISTANCE UNIT

ISSUE DATE: 01/2015

People who apply for a program and are not eligible may be eligible for other assistance as a separate assistance unit. See 0014.03 (Determining the Assistance Unit).

Also see 0014.06 (Who Must Be Excluded From Assistance Unit) for people who must be excluded from the unit because they are not eligible or are disqualified due to non-cooperation with a program procedure.


MFIP:

Some people MUST be in the same assistance unit when they live together. These people are “Mandatory Unit Members”. To determine who meets the definition of family, see 0013.03 (MFIP Bases of Eligibility).


Mandatory members of the unit are:

A child who meets the definition of a minor child and who has a parental caregiver(s). See MINOR CHILD in 0002.41 (Glossary: Medically Necessary...).

The minor child’s minor siblings, minor half-siblings, and minor step-sibling(s), whether birth or adopted.

NOTE:

There must be a relationship from the caregiver to the minor child for that child to be eligible for MFIP even if the child is a sibling or half sibling to the other children in the household.

The minor child’s birth, step-, or adoptive parent(s). If there is no parent in the minor child’s home, see below for who may be optional caregivers.

A pregnant woman.

The spouse of a pregnant woman.

A pregnant minor with no other children, who receives assistance with her parents, must remain as part of her parent’s unit until after the birth of her child.

When the parent who normally resides with the family is living and working away from the home (or the family) and there is no marital or relationship breakdown, consider that parent a mandatory unit member. When a parent does not live in Minnesota, he/she is considered an ineligible mandatory unit member because the parent is not physically present in Minnesota. Count total income and assets of all unit members, including the members away from the family, when determining the unit’s eligibility and benefit level. See 0015.48 (Whose Assets to Consider), 0016 (Income From People not in the Unit). This is not considered temporary absence.

Do NOT include the parent who is away from the home on active military duty as a member of the assistance unit, but count any income and assets the person on active duty makes available to the family. See 0015.48 (Whose Assets to Consider), 0017.06 (Excluded Income), 0017.12.03 (Unearned Income), 0017.15.93 (Military Income).



Some people may choose to be in the assistance unit when they live with mandatory members of the unit. These people are “Optional Unit Members”. Optional members are:

A non-parental eligible caregiver and the spouse of the non-parental eligible caregiver, if there is not a natural or adoptive parent or stepparent in the minor child’s home. If an optional caregiver chooses to be in the unit, that person’s spouse must also be in the unit. Optional caregivers who choose not to be in the unit may be eligible to receive SNAP as a separate unit. See 0022.24 (Uncle Harry Food Support Benefits).

Any of the following adults who live with the child and give the child care and support may be an optional caregiver:

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Grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent, or great-great-great-grandparent.

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Sister or brother.

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Half-sister or half-brother.

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Step-sister or step-brother.

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Uncle, great-uncle, or great-great-uncle, or great-great-great-uncle.

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Aunt, great-aunt, or great-great-aunt, or great-great-great-aunt.

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First cousin or first cousin once removed.

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Niece or nephew.

-

Legal custodian or legal guardian. See LEGAL CUSTODIAN and LEGAL GUARDIAN in 0002.37 (Glossary: Learning...).

-

A spouse or former spouse of any of the above even after the marriage ends by death or divorce.

NOTE:

This may include individuals whose parental rights have been terminated but are now caregivers for their former children as long as they meet any category of MFIP caregiver as listed in the sub-bullets above.

NOTE:

A Power of Attorney or Delegation of Parental Authority completed by a minor child’s parent for an adult to act as the caregiver of the minor child does NOT meet the definition of caregiver. The adult must meet 1 of the caregiver to child relationships listed above for optional caregivers.

Other minor children who are not mandatory members, such as nieces, nephews, cousins, etc.

A relative foster care provider who is receiving federal, state, or local foster care payments and who meets the definition of an MFIP caregiver is eligible even if the only minor child living in the home is receiving foster care maintenance payments. If the provider is living with a spouse, the spouse must also be included in the provider’s unit. See 0020.09 (MFIP/DWP Assistance Standards).



A minor caregiver and his or her children must be a separate assistance unit. See 0012.06 (Requirements for Caregivers Under 20). When the parents of the minor caregiver also have other minor children, the parents and the other minor children are a separate unit.


Adult caregivers of a minor caregiver are also eligible to be a separate assistance unit from the minor caregiver and the minor caregiver’s child when:

The adult caregiver or caregivers have no other minor children in the household.

AND

The minor caregiver and the minor caregiver’s child are living with the adult caregiver or caregivers.

AND

The minor caregiver and the minor caregiver’s child receive MFIP or would be eligible to receive MFIP, if they were not receiving SSI benefits.


Units may choose to "opt out" of the cash portion of the MFIP grant. See 0014.03.03.03 (Opting Out of MFIP Cash Portion).


MFIP and SNAP unit composition rules are different. Some households will have people who are part of the SNAP unit but are not part of the MFIP unit.

Follow the rules in 0011 (Technical Eligibility) and 0014.06 (Who Must Be Excluded From Assistance Unit) to identify members of the MFIP unit.

Follow the rules in 0014.03.06 (Determining the SNAP Unit) and 0014.06 (Who Must Be Excluded From Assistance Unit) to identify members of the SNAP unit.


Any person who would be a member of a SNAP unit but is not a member of the MFIP unit (as opposed to being disqualified or ineligible) may receive SNAP benefits if they are otherwise eligible (commonly referred to as "Uncle Harry" cases). See 0022.24 (Uncle Harry Food Support Benefits).


DWP:

For information on family units eligible for DWP, see 0013.05 (DWP Bases of Eligibility).

Do NOT include the parent who is away from the home on active military duty as a member of the assistance unit, but count any income and assets the person on active duty makes available to the family. See 0015.48 (Whose Assets to Consider), 0017.06 (Excluded Income), 0017.12.03 (Unearned Income), 0017.15.93 (Military Income). Also see TE02.10.90 (Military Families Receiving FS, MFIP or DWP).

When the parent who normally resides with the family is living and working away from the home (or the family) and there is no marital or relationship breakdown, consider that parent a mandatory unit member. When a parent does not live in Minnesota, he/she is considered an ineligible mandatory unit member because the parent is not physically present in Minnesota. Count total income and assets of all unit members, including the members away from the family, when determining the unit’s eligibility and benefit level. See 0015.48 (Whose Assets to Consider), 0016 (Income From People not in the Unit). This is not considered temporary absence.


SNAP:

See 0014.03.06 (Determining the SNAP Unit). Also see MFIP provisions above.


MSA, GRH:

Each participant is a separate assistance unit.


GA:

A married couple who have no minor children or living apart from any children are an assistance unit.

A person who is unmarried and has no minor children or living apart from any spouse or children is an assistance unit.

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