Income Eligibility Determinations
Yellowstone Country Assistance Network must ensure anyone receiving services supported by CSBG funds must NOT have a gross income that exceeds 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and CSBG CARES Act funds must NOT have a gross income that exceeds 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. In addition, there must be documented proof of income for the past 30 days.
What Income is Reported?
Regular Payment. Those that come from social security, SSI, SSDI, TANF, railroad retirement, unemployment compensation, strike benefits from union funds, worker’s compensation, veteran’s payments, training stipends, alimony, child support, military family allotments, private pensions, government employee pensions, regular insurance or annuity payments. The income for individuals on social security or SSDI who have Medicare deducted from their benefit check before receiving it should have only the net amount they receive considered income. Tribal per capita payments received less frequently than monthly (e.g., quarterly, semiannually, annually) are excluded from consideration as income.
Wages and Salary. Gross income from wages and salary should be used in considering income for eligibility.
Farm and Non-Farm Self Employment. For individuals with farm and non-farm self-employment for income, the adjusted gross income from the prior year’s taxes should be used.
Allowable Income Documents
- Copies of income tax returns for self-employed income.
- Records maintained by self-employed persons.
- Paycheck stubs can be used to determine the period covered by the check and whether it is representative of current and/or past income. Current paycheck stubs showing at least four (4) weeks’ worth of payments will be used to determine eligibility.
- If you just started a new job or don’t have paystubs for the past four weeks please use the Employer Income Verification form below. You are still required to report your employment income.
Employer Income Verification Form
- When the verification is obtained from an employer, complete information concerning the amount and source must be documented. In addition to recording the income amount and the source, documentation must include the name and title of the person who gave the verification.
Documenting Other Income
- Bank statements can only be used for verification of SSI and VA income, and as a supplemental documentation for other stable, unearned income such as retirement. It must be evident that gross income, without any deductions, tax or otherwise, is being verified.
- Award letters and/or other proof of income (Unemployment, Child Support, etc.)
Zero Income Self-Declaration
- Clients with no income at the time of application must sign and date a self-declaration form attesting to that fact. The caseworker must also sign and date that form.
- For ongoing CSBG clients, this form must be dated within one month from the date of application and monthly after that if there is no change in the client’s income.
Frequently Asked Income Questions and Answers
Q: What income is NOT counted?
A1: Benefits from the following programs are NOT counted as income when determining financial eligibility for CSBG funded services: SNAP, WIC, LIEAP, Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing, HUD-VASH, Child Care Voucher, and Affordable Care Act Subsidy.
We are required to ask if you are receiving benefits for reporting purposes, but they do not count towards the household income.
A2: Economic Impact Payments (EIP)§2201 of the CARES Act (P.L. 116-136) provides a one-time tax credit of $1,200 for most individuals. The IRS refers to these tax credits as “economic impact payments,” while many news outlets are using the term “stimulus payments.” The CSP excludes income tax refunds from countable income. Therefore, since EIPs are defined in the CARES Act as a tax credit, they are not counted as income when determining client eligibility.
Q: What happens if I do not provide any documentation to verify income.
Income is verified at the time of the initial application for services. The verification must indicate the client’s income and source(s) of payment at the time of application and/or review the signature of the caseworker, the date YCAN verified the income, and acknowledgment that the client is income eligible.
Proof of income documentation must be in the file of each person served through the Yellowstone Country Assistance Network. YCAN must also upload this documentation into the state-supported CSBG database to allow for monitoring.
A: If you are missing specific eligibility documentation, you will be asked to submit the documentation within 72 business hours. If you do not provide all of the essential documentation within the allotted timeframe, your application may be denied, and you will receive a Denial Letter in writing. However, you will be allowed to apply for assistance after procuring all essential eligibility documentation.
Q: What if I applied with YCAN, but I must submit income documents?
A: If you need to provide YCAN with documents, please go to https://ycanhelp.org/document-uploads/, and you can upload the required income documents there.