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INCOME

Meaning of Income

Sec1612[42 U.S.C. 1382a] (a) For purposes of this title, income means both earned income and unearned income; and—

(1) earned income means only—

(A) wages as determined under section 203(f)(5)(C) but without the application of section 210(j)(3) (and, in the case of cash remuneration paid for service as a member of a uniformed service (other than payments described in paragraph (2)(H) of this subsection or subsection (b)(20)), without regard to the limitations contained in section 209(d));

(B) net earnings from self-employment, as defined in section 211 (without the application of the second and third sentences following subsection (a)(11), the last paragraph of subsection (a), and section 210(j)(3)), including earnings for services described in paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subsection (c);

(C) remuneration received for services performed in a sheltered workshop or work activities center; and

(D) any royalty earned by an individual in connection with any publication of the work of the individual, and that portion of any honorarium which is received for services rendered; and

(2) unearned income means all other income, including—

(A) support and maintenance furnished in cash or kind; except that (i) in the case of any individual (and his eligible spouse, if any) living in another person’s household and receiving support and maintenance in kind from such person, the dollar amounts otherwise applicable to such individual (and spouse) as specified in subsections (a) and (b) of section 1611 shall be reduced by 33 1/3 percent in lieu of including such support and maintenance in the unearned income of such individual (and spouse) as otherwise required by this subparagraph, (ii) in the case of any individual or his eligible spouse who resides in a nonprofit retirement home or similar nonprofit institution, support and maintenance shall not be included to the extent that it is furnished to such individual or such spouse without such institution receiving payment therefor (unless such institution has expressly undertaken an obligation to furnish full support and maintenance to such individual or spouse without any current or future payment therefor) or payment therefor is made by another nonprofit organization, and (iii) support and maintenance shall not be included and the provisions of clause (i) shall not be applicable in the case of any individual (and his eligible spouse, if any) for the period which begins with the month in which such individual (or such individual and his eligible spouse) began to receive support and maintenance while living in a residential facility (including a private household) maintained by another person and ends with the close of the month in which such individual (or such individual and his eligible spouse) ceases to receive support and maintenance while living in such a residential facility (or, if earlier, with the close of the seventeenth month following the month in which such period began), if, not more than 30 days prior to the date on which such individual (or such individual and his eligible spouse) began to receive support and maintenance while living in such a residential facility, (I) such individual (or such individual and his eligible spouse) were residing in a household maintained by such individual (or by such individual and others) as his or their own home, (II) there occurred within the area in which such household is located (and while such individual, or such individual and his spouse, were residing in the household referred to in subclause (I)) a catastrophe on account of which the President declared a major disaster to exist therein for purposes of the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act[14], and (III) such individual declares that he (or he and his eligible spouse) ceased to continue living in the household referred to in subclause (II) because of such catastrophe;

(B) any payments received as an annuity, pension, retirement, or disability benefit, including veterans’ compensation and pensions, workmen’s compensation payments, old-age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits, railroad retirement annuities and pensions, and unemployment insurance benefits;

(C) prizes and awards;

(D) payments to the individual occasioned by the death of another person, to the extent that the total of such payments exceeds the amount expended by such individual for purposes of the deceased person’s last illness and burial;

(E) support and alimony payments, and (subject to the provisions of subparagraph (D) excluding certain amounts expended for purposes of a last illness and burial) gifts (cash or otherwise) and inheritances;

(F) rents, dividends, interest, and royalties not described in paragraph (1)(E);

(G) any earnings of, and additions to, the corpus of a trust established by an individual (within the meaning of section 1613(e)), of which the individual is a beneficiary, to which section 1613(e) applies, and, in the case of an irrevocable trust, with respect to which circumstances exist under which a payment from the earnings or additions could be made to or for the benefit of the individual; and

(H) payments to or on behalf of a member of a uniformed service for housing of the member (and his or her dependents, if any) on a facility of a uniformed service, including payments provided under section 403 of title 37, United States Code[15], for housing that is acquired or constructed under subchapter IV of chapter 169 of title 10 of such Code[16], or any related provision of law, and any such payments shall be treated as support and maintenance in kind subject to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

Exclusions From Income[17]

(b) In determining the income of an individual (and his eligible spouse) there shall be excluded—

(1) subject to limitations (as to amount or otherwise) prescribed by the Commissioner of Social Security, if such individual is under the age of 22 and is, as determined by the Commissioner of Social Security, a student regularly attending a school, college, or university, or a course of vocational or technical training designed to prepare him for gainful employment, the earned income of such individual;

(2)(A) the first $240 per year (or proportionately smaller amounts for shorter periods) of income (whether earned or unearned) other than income which is paid on the basis of the need of the eligible individual, and

(B) monthly (or other periodic) payments received by any individual, under a program established prior to July 1, 1973 (or any program established prior to such date but subsequently amended so as to conform to State or Federal constitutional standards), if (i) such payments are made by the State of which the individual receiving such payments is a resident, (ii) eligibility of any individual for such payments is not based on need and is based solely on attainment of age 65 or any other age set by the State and residency in such State by such individual, and (iii) on or before September 30, 1985, such individual (I) first becomes an eligible individual or an eligible spouse under this title, and (II) satisfies the twenty-five-year residency requirement of such program as such program was in effect prior to January 1, 1983;

(3) in any calendar quarter, the first—

(A) $60 of unearned income, and

(B) $30 of earned income,

of such individual (and such spouse, if any) which, as determined in accordance with criteria, prescribed by the Commissioner of Social Security, is received too infrequently or irregularly to be included;

(4)(A) if such individual (or such spouse) is blind (and has not attained age 65, or received benefits under this title (or aid under a State plan approved under section 1002 or 1602) for the month before the month in which he attained age 65), (i) the first $780 per year (or proportionately smaller amounts for shorter periods) of earned income not excluded by the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, plus one-half of the remainder thereof, (ii) an amount equal to any expenses reasonably attributable to the earning of any income, and (iii) such additional amounts of other income, where such individual has a plan for achieving self-support approved by the Commissioner of Social Security, as may be necessary for the fulfillment of such plan,

(B) if such individual (or such spouse) is disabled but not blind (and has not attained age 65, or received benefits under this title (or aid under a State plan approved under section 1402 or 1602) for the month before the month in which he attained age 65), (i) the first $780 per year (or proportionately smaller amounts for shorter periods) of earned income not excluded by the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, (ii) such additional amounts of earned income of such individual, if such individual’s disability is sufficiently severe to result in a functional limitation requiring assistance in order for him to work, as may be necessary to pay the costs (to such individual) of attendant care services, medical devices, equipment, prostheses, and similar items and services (not including routine drugs or routine medical services unless such drugs or services are necessary for the control of the disabling condition) which are necessary (as determined by the Commissioner of Social Security in regulations) for that purpose, whether or not such assistance is also needed to enable him to carry out his normal daily functions, except that the amounts to be excluded shall be subject to such reasonable limits as the Commissioner of Social Security may prescribe, (iii) one-half of the amount of earned income not excluded after the application of the preceding provisions of this subparagraph, and (iv) such additional amounts of other income, where such individual has a plan for achieving self-support approved by the Commissioner of Social Security, as may be necessary for the fulfillment of such plan, or

(C) if such individual (or such spouse) has attained age 65 and is not included under subparagraph (A) or (B), the first $780 per year (or proportionately smaller amounts for shorter periods) of earned income not excluded by the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, plus one–half of the remainder thereof;

(5) any amount received from any public agency as a return or refund of taxes paid on real property or on food purchased by such individual (or such spouse);

(6) assistance, furnished to or on behalf of such individual (and spouse), which is based on need and furnished by any State or political subdivision of a State;

(7) any portion of any grant, scholarship, fellowship, or gift (or portion of a gift) used to pay the cost of tuition and fees at any educational (including technical or vocational education) institution;

(8) home produce of such individual (or spouse) utilized by the household for its own consumption;

(9) if such individual is a child, one-third of any payment for his support received from an absent parent;

(10) any amounts received for the foster care of a child who is not an eligible individual but who is living in the same home as such individual and was placed in such home by a public or nonprofit private child-placement or child-care agency;

(11) assistance received under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act[18] or other assistance provided pursuant to a Federal statute on account of a catastrophe which is declared to be a major disaster by the President;

(12) interest income received on assistance funds referred to in paragraph (11) within the 9-month period beginning on the date such funds are received (or such longer periods as the Commissioner of Social Security shall by regulations prescribe in cases where good cause is shown by the individual concerned for extending such period);

(13) any support or maintenance assistance furnished to or on behalf of such individual (and spouse if any) which (as determined under regulations of the Commissioner of Social Security by such State agency as the chief executive officer of the State may designate) is based on need for such support or maintenance, including assistance received to assist in meeting the costs of home energy (including both heating and cooling), and which is (A) assistance furnished in kind by a private nonprofit agency, or (B) assistance furnished by a supplier of home heating oil or gas, by an entity providing home energy whose revenues are primarily derived on a rate-of-return basis regulated by a State or Federal governmental entity, or by a municipal utility providing home energy;

(14) assistance paid, with respect to the dwelling unit occupied by such individual (or such individual and spouse), under the United States Housing Act of 1937[19], the National Housing Act[20], section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965[21], title V of the Housing Act of 1949[22], or section 202(h) of the Housing Act of 1959 [23];

(15) the value of any commercial transportation ticket, for travel by such individual (or spouse) among the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands, which is received as a gift by such individual (or such spouse) and is not converted to cash;

(16) interest accrued on the value of an agreement entered into by such individual (or such spouse) representing the purchase of a burial space excluded under section 1613(a)(2)(B), and left to accumulate;

(17) any amount received by such individual (or such spouse) from a fund established by a State to aid victims of crime;

(18) relocation assistance provided by a State or local government to such individual (or such spouse), comparable to assistance provided under title II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policies Act of 1970 which is subject to the treatment required by section 216 of such Act[24];

(19) any refund of Federal income taxes made to such individual (or such spouse) by reason of section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986[25] (relating to earned income tax credit), and any payment made to such individual (or such spouse) by an employer under section 3507 of such Code[26] (relating to advance payment of earned income credit);

(20) special pay received pursuant to section 310 of title 37, United States Code[27];

(21) the interest or other earnings on any account established and maintained in accordance with section 1631(a)(2)(F);

(22) any gift to, or for the benefit of, an individual who has not attained 18 years of age and who has a life-threatening condition, from an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code[28]

(A) in the case of an in-kind gift, if the gift is not converted to cash; or

(B) in the case of a cash gift, only to the extent that the total amount excluded from the income of the individual pursuant to this paragraph in the calendar year in which the gift is made does not exceed $2,000;

(23) interest or dividend income from resources—

(A) not excluded under section 1613(a), or

(B) excluded pursuant to Federal law other than sections 1613(a);

(24) any annuity paid by a State to the individual (or such spouse) on the basis of the individual’s being a veteran (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code[29]), and blind, disabled, or age; and[30]

(25) any benefit (whether cash or in-kind) conferred upon (or paid on behalf of) a participant in an AmeriCorps position approved by the Corporation for National and Community Service under section 123 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12573)[31]; and[32]

(26)[33] the first $2,000 received during a calendar year by such individual (or such spouse) as compensation for participation in a clinical trial involving research and testing of treatments for a rare disease or condition (as defined in section 5(b)(2) of the Orphan Drug Act), but only if the clinical trial—

(A) has been reviewed and approved by an institutional review board that is established—

(i) to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in scientific research; and

(ii) in accord with the requirements under part 46 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(B) meets the standards for protection of human subjects as provided under part 46 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.


[14]  P.L. 93-288.

[15]  See Vol. II, 37 U.S.C. 403.

[16]  See Vol. II, 10 U.S.C. Chapter 169, subchapter IV.

[17]  See Vol. II, Appendix K, Income and Resource Exclusions, for a list of provisions from Federal laws regarding exclusions from income and resources.

[18]  See Vol. II, P.L. 93-288.

[19]  See Vol. II, P.L. 75-412.

[20]  See Vol. II, P.L. 73-479.

[21]  See Vol. II, P.L. 89-117.

[22]  See Vol. II, P.L. 81-171.

[23]  See Vol. II, P.L. 86-372.

[24]  See Vol. II, P.L. 91-646, §216.

[25]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §32.

[26]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §3507.

[27]  See Vol. II, 37 U.S.C. 310.

[28]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §501.

[29]  See Vol. II, 38 U.S.C. 101(2).

[30]  P.L. 111-255, §3(a)(1), struck out “and”.

[31]  See Vol. II, P.L. 101-610, §123.

[32]  P.L. 111-255, §3(a)(2), struck out the period and inserted “; and”.

[33]  P.L. 111-255, §3(a)(3), added this new paragraph (26); §3(d), provided that the effective date shall be “on the date that is the earlier of—

(1) the effective date of final regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Social Security to carry out this section [3] and such amendments; or

(2) 180 days after the date of enactment” — (October 5, 2010) — April 5, 2011.

P.L. 111-255, §3(e), provides: “SUNSET PROVISION.—This Act and the amendments made by this Act are repealed on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.”*.

*P.L. 111–255 was enacted on October 5, 2010.