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BUDGETING AND BENEFIT DETERMINATION

ISSUE DATE: 07/2016

Budgeting is assigning a client's income to a specific month and determining eligibility and benefit level from that income. For some programs determining the benefit level is a separate process from determining eligibility.

Retrospective budgeting is using income from a budget month to determine a client's benefits for the payment month. The budget month is the month 2 months before the payment month. See 0022.06 (How and When to Use Retrospective Budgeting). Do not always count income from the budget month for the payment month. See 0022.06.03 (When Not to Budget Income in Retro. Cases).

Prospective budgeting is determining the client's income eligibility and benefit level using anticipated income and deductions for the payment month. See 0022.03 (How and When to Use Prospective Budgeting).

MFIP, Uncle Harry SNAP, MSA, and GA use prospective budgeting to determine the 1st 2 months’ eligibility and benefit levels in most cases. All SNAP units and GRH recipients subject to Six-Month Reporting or to change reporting always use prospective budgeting. See 0022.03 (How and When to Use Prospective Budgeting). After the 1st 2 months use prospective or retrospective budgeting, depending on the program and the client's circumstances. See 0022.09 (When to Switch Budget Cycles - Cash), 0022.09.03 (When to Switch Budget Cycles - SNAP).

DWP uses prospective budgeting for each of the 4 months of DWP eligibility. See 0022.12 (How to Calc. Benefit Level - MFIP/DWP/GA).

GRH is budgeted using the client’s actual income for the benefit month, unless the client is a Six-Month Reporter. See 0007.03.02 (Six-Month Reporting), 0024.03.03 (When Benefits Are Paid - SNAP/MSA/GA/GRH).

Calculate the benefit level using the income from the appropriate budget month. See 0022.12 (How to Calc. Benefit Level - MFIP/DWP/GA), 0022.12.01 (How to Calculate Benefit Level - SNAP/MSA/GRH). Some programs require prorating benefits. Proration can begin from the date of application, the date the client meets all eligibility requirements, or from the date the agency receives a late household report form or a late Combined Six-Month Report form. See 0022.12.03 (Proration), 0022.12.03.03 (Proration Table).

For GA Participants, budget lump sums differently from other types of income. See 0022.15 (Counting Lump Sums as Income), 0022.15.03 (Budgeting Lumps Sums in a Prospective Month), 0022.15.06 (Budgeting Lump Sums in a Retrospective Month).

In some cases when clients will be income ineligible for only 1 month, suspend rather than terminate benefits. See 0022.03.03 (Ineligibility in a Prospective Month - Cash), 0022.18 (Suspensions).

When you suspend or close GA, determine whether the unit was overpaid in the 2 months before the suspension. See 0022.21 (Income Overpayment Relating to Budget Cycle).

There are special provisions for budgeting self-employment income. See 0017.15.33 (Self-Employment Income), 0017.15.33.03 (Self-Employment, Convert Inc. to Monthly Amt).

For information on budgeting for MFIP pregnant women cases, also see 0008.06.12.09 (Converting a Pregnant Woman Case), 0013.03.03 (Pregnant Woman Basis – MFIP/DWP).

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