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Income Limits for Public Housing and Section 8 Programs

Income Limits

Federal Public Housing Income Exclusions
Annual income does not include the following:
  1. Income from employment of children under the age of 18 years;
  2. Payments received for the care of foster children or foster adults;
  3. Lump-sum additions to family assets, such as inheritances, insurance payments (including payments under health and accident insurance and worker's compensation), capital gains and settlement for personal or property losses;
  4. Amounts received by the family that are specifically for, or in reimbursement of, the cost of medical expenses for any family member;
  5. Income of a live-in aide;
  6. The full amount of student financial assistance paid directly to the student or to the educational institution;
  7. The special pay to a family member serving in the Armed Forces who is exposed to hostile fire;
  8. Amounts received under training programs funded by HUD;
  9. Amounts received by a person with a disability that are disregarded for a limited time for purposes of Supplemental Security Income eligibility and benefits because they are set aside for use under a Plan to Attain Self-Sufficiency (PASS);
  10. Amounts received by a participant in other publicly assisted programs which are specifically for or in reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses incurred and which are made solely to allow participation in a specific program;
  11. Amounts received under a resident service stipend. A resident service stipend is a modest amount (not to exceed $200 per month) received by a resident for performing a service for the BHA or owner, on a part-time basis, that enhances the quality of life in the development;
  12. The increase in income resulting to any family member from participation in qualifying State or local employment training programs (including training programs not affiliated with a local government) and training of a family member as resident management staff. To use this exclusion the employment training programs must have clearly defined goals and objectives, and the increase is only excluded for the period while the family member participates in the program;
  13. Temporary, nonrecurring or sporadic income;
  14. Reparation payments paid by a foreign government pursuant to claims filed under the laws of that government by persons who were persecuted during the Nazi era (Holocaust payments);
  15. Earnings in excess of $480 for each full-time student 18 years old or older other than the head of household and spouse (Note: A full time student is enrolled in and attending an accredited educational or vocational institution and is carrying a course load that is considered full time for day students);
  16. Adoption assistance payments in excess of $480 per adopted child;
  17. Increased income to any family member resulting from the participation in a program providing employment training and supportive services under the Family Support Act of 1988, or any comparable program authorized by law during the exclusion period. (The exclusion period is effectively the time participating in the training program and the first eighteen (18) months of work after completion provided work is not funded by public assistance);
  18. Deferred periodic amounts from supplemental security income and social security benefits that are received in a lump sum amount or in prospective monthly amounts (Deferred are payments that are provided because of delay in verifying the person's eligibility for the program or because a person is retroactively enrolled in a program and provided back payments after successfully challenging denial of, or discontinuation of benefits);
  19. Amounts paid by a State agency to a family with a member who has a developmental disability and is living at home to offset the cost of services and equipment needed to keep the developmentally disabled family member at home;
  20. Amounts specifically EXCLUDED BY ANY OTHER federal STATUTE FROM CONSIDERATION AS INCOME FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY OR BENEFITS UNDER A Category of assistance programs that includes assistance under any program to which an exclusion would apply. (i.e. Title V Income or those that appear on HUD list)
  21. Increase income from employment after unemployment or receipt of public assistance must be excluded from income calculations for the first twelve months following the date the resident was hired. During the second twelve-month period after the hire date , 50% of the increased income must be excluded. The twelve-month periods are cumulative and not consecutive. The only limitation is that any exclusion must be taken within four years of the hiring date that first triggered the income exclusion. To quality for the exclusion , families must fit into one of the following categories:
  • A family whose income increased because of the employment of a family member who has been unemployed for a year of more before this employment.
  • A family whose income increased because of increased income from a family member who is participating in any job training or self-sufficiency program.
  • A family whose income increased because a family member becomes employed during or within six months of receiving TANF or any other temporary assistance for needy families, including Welfare to Work programs.

  • State Public Housing Income Exclusions
    For state-funded public housing a household's annual income does not include the following:
    1. Temporary, nonrecurring or sporadic income;
    2. Lump-sum amounts, which are specifically received for or are reimbursement of the cost of illness or medical care, and payments which are made for personal injury or property damage or loss under health, accident or liability insurance, worker's compensation, and court judgments or settlements or court cases, except insofar as these payments compensate for loss of income. An unallocated lump sum settlement or similar payment for lost wages shall be equitably allocated to reflect current and future wages, and such current and future wages shall not be excluded;
    3. Amounts of educational scholarships or stipends for housing while at an educational institution, whether paid directly to the student or the educational institution and amounts paid by the United States Government to a Veteran for use in meeting the cost of tuition, fees and books, to the extent that such payments are so used, including amounts paid for these purposes to a part-time student;
    4. The special pay to a member of the Armed Forces, who is the head of the household, and serving in a war zone;
    5. Relocation payments made pursuant to state or federal law;
    6. Payment made and properly held pursuant to the Social Security Administration program known as the Plan to Attain Self Sufficient (PASS), provided that recipient fulfills all PASS program requirements;
    7. The value of coupon allotments for the purchase of food (Food Stamps);
    8. Payments received by participants or volunteers in programs pursuant to the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973;
    9. The increased amount of wages earned by one or more household member for one twelve (12) month period which otherwise would result in a rent increase provided that the household's:
      • net income has been derived, at least in part, from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children program (EAEDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for each of the previous 12 months; and
      • increased earned income has been accompanied by a decrease in the amount of AFDC, EAEDC, SSI or SSDI received; and
      • the recipient of such public assistance would have remained eligible for the same or a higher amount of assistance without the earned income. (Note: This earned income exclusion shall be in effect for one continuous period of 12 months, regardless of changes or gaps in employment during that period. This moratorium may be invoked by the tenant when a household member has procured either full or part-time employment. It is the tenant's sole determination whether or when to exercise this one-time earned income exclusion for the household.);
    10. Stipends received in association with participation in a bona-fide education, training, or employment program, approved by the Department or sponsored or administered by a governmental agency, to cover education, or costs related to training or employment, such as transportation, child care, meals, books, or uniforms. This exclusion does not apply to hourly wages received through employment programs, such as on-the-job training or work exclusion programs;
    11. Wages or salary earned by a full-time student or minor who is not emancipated (Note: A full time student is a dependent household member [excluding the tenant and the tenant's spouse] between the ages of 18 and 25, who is enrolled in and attending an accredited educational or vocational institution and is carrying a course load that is considered full time for day students);
    12. Income of a full-time, live-in personal care attendant (PCA) who is not a family member and who is paid for the fair value of his or her services to the disabled person, shall be excluded but the PCA shall be required to substantiate that he or she receives wages for the fair value of his or her full-time services and that such income is not available to the household's needs.

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