TN 80 (04-99)

SI 00830.400 Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

Citations:

Social Security Act, as amended, formerly Sections 402(a)(24), and 406(b); 1612(a)(2), 1612(b)(2)(A);

20 CFR 416.1102, 416.1124(c)(2), 416.1124(c)(12);

SSR 78-26

A. Introduction

1. Bar to Concurrent Eligibility

AFDC makes a payment to a family unit rather than an individual. The payment is frequently referred to as the "grant." An individual who meets the eligibility requirements for both AFDC and SSI may choose the program under which he/she prefers to receive benefits. However, if the individual receives SSI, he/she may no longer be included in the AFDC grant.

2. Elimination of AFDC Program

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 replaced Title IV-A of the Social Security Act (SSACT) (which provided for AFDC) with cash block grants to States for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This legislation was effective October 1, 1996. States were required to have their TANF plans in effect by July 1, 1997, unless granted an exception by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The following rules apply only to the AFDC program. See SI 00830.403 for the policy and procedures on TANF.

B. Definition

For SSI purposes, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) refers to the payments made under the former Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act except for payments made under the former section 406(e) of Part A. (Payments under section 406(e) are emergency assistance payments and the applicable instructions appear at SI 00830.405.)

C. Policy

1. Dollar for Dollar

AFDC payments are federally funded income based on need and, unless excluded under a PASS (SI 00870.001 ff.), are counted dollar for dollar as income. The $20 general income exclusion does not apply to this income.

2. Always Cash

An AFDC payment is always considered to be a cash payment, even if the AFDC agency makes the payment directly to the vendor. The presumed maximum value (PMV) rule (SI 00835.300 ff.) does not apply to this income.

3. Not a Loan

AFDC payments are never considered loans for SSI purposes.

4. One Person's Share

The income which an individual derives from an AFDC payment to the family unit is the difference between the AFDC payment actually made to the unit and the AFDC payment which would have been make had that individual not been included in the grant. (Note that the AFDC payment may increase when the individual is removed, in which case no income is derived.)

5. AFDC Received Before or After Oral Termination Date Provided by State

Any AFDC payments received prior to the first AFDC termination date communicated orally by the State AFDC agency are income for SSI purposes.

Any AFDC payments issued and received on or after the first AFDC termination date communicated orally by the State AFDC agency are not income for SSI purposes. (These payments should be brought to the AFDC agency's attention since they are AFDC overpayments which are subject to recovery by that agency.)

EXAMPLE l: An individual is about to be put into SSI pay status. The State advises SSA orally that the individual will be removed from the AFDC grant effective June 1. SSA later receives written confirmation from the State indicating that the individual was, in fact, removed from the grant effective June 1.

AFDC received prior to June 1 is income for SSI. There is no AFDC or SSI overpayment.

EXAMPLE 2: Same scenario as in example 1 above, but the written confirmation from the State indicates that the individual actually was removed from the AFDC grant on August 1.

AFDC received prior to June 1 is income for SSI. AFDC received for the period on or after June 1 is an AFDC overpayment.

EXAMPLE 3: An individual files for SSI. SSA is unaware that the individual is receiving AFDC and initiates SSI payments (without consideration of the AFDC). SSA later learns that AFDC is being received.

Upon learning of the receipt of AFDC, SSA obtains an AFDC termination date orally from the State. AFDC received prior to the termination date communicated orally by the State is income for SSI (which may result in an SSI overpayment). Any AFDC received for the period on or after the termination date communicated orally by the State is an AFDC overpayment.

D. Procedure

1. Develop AFDC When Ready to Pay

Complete all development, other than the AFDC, necessary to adjudicate the claim. Develop the AFDC only if the FO determines the individual is otherwise eligible (or presumptively eligible) for SSI.

2. Contact the AFDC Agency

Advise the AFDC agency of the individual's eligibility and the expected date of the first SSI payment.

3. Request a Termination Date

  • Ask the AFDC agency for the date that the AFDC payment will no longer include the SSI recipient.

  • Do not remove AFDC income from the SSR based on the recipient's allegation alone.

  • Do not cease pursuing termination information from the AFDC agency because the recipient indicates continued receipt of AFDC.

NOTE:The applicant/recipient is usually not an accurate source of AFDC information. For example, if asked "Do you still receive AFDC?," an SSI recipient who no longer receives AFDC will often respond "yes" because the family still receives an AFDC check (i.e., the remaining family members receive AFDC).

4. Establish Amount of AFDC

  1. For each month that the individual is eligible for SSI and is also included in the AFDC payment, ask the AFDC agency to provide:

    • The amount of the AFDC grant paid to the family (figure 1) and

    • The amount which would have been paid had the SSI recipient not been included in the grant (figure 2).
       
      Subtract figure 2 from figure 1. The result is the amount of type "F" income to be charged to the SSI recipient. If the result is "0" or a negative amount, there is no type "F" income to be charged.

  2. If the AFDC agency prefers to calculate the difference between these two figures, accept the AFDC agency calculations without further development.

  3. If there are two or more SSI applicants, see SI 00830.400D.12.

5. Do Not Inquire About an AFDC Overpayment

  1. If AFDC overpayment recovery is involved, continue to follow the instructions in 4. above. Do not mention the overpayment or inquire about the effect of the overpayment recovery.

  2. If the AFDC agency indicates overpayment recovery is involved and does not know what figures to provide, ask that they ignore the recovery and provide the amount of the grant with and without the individual as if there had been no recovery action.

NOTE: The policy pertaining to overpayments in other benefit programs (SI 00830.110) does not apply to AFDC because the overpayment belongs to, and is recovered from, the family unit, not the individual.

6. Document the File

Document the file (e.g., with an RC or written documentation from the AFDC agency, or on the appropriate MSSICS screen) so that the file reflects the date that the individual is no longer included in the AFDC grant and the grant information for each month.

7. Post the Termination Date

Post the termination date for the AFDC income at the same time that the case is put into pay status.

NOTE: Occasionally, because of regional variances due to local circumstances or a particular problem in obtaining an AFDC termination date, AFDC is posted with a final frequency code of "C" in an individual case. In such cases, document the file or the appropriate MSSICS screen to reflect the basis for failure to terminate the AFDC on the SSR (e.g., multiple but unsuccessful followup calls with the AFDC agency). Control these cases for followup until the AFDC income has been terminated on the record.

EXCEPTIONS:

  • Do not document such cases in States where regional POMS instructions provide for using AFDC rate charts and obtaining termination dates postadjudicatively.

  • In States for which a regional precedent exists that explains the basis for failure to terminate AFDC on the SSR, just annotate the file that a regional precedent exists on this issue.

8. Ask for Written Confirmation

If AFDC information is obtained orally, ask for written confirmation of the information and adjudicate the case based on the oral information. No followup on this request is required.

NOTE: Consult regional instructions to see whether the above development applies in your State. Absent regional instructions, the development does apply.

9. How to Process Discrepant AFDC Termination Date

  1. Termination Date is Later than Date Originally Provided to SSA

If written confirmation of information obtained orally or other subsequent information discloses that an individual was removed from the AFDC grant on a date later than the original date provided to SSA by the AFDC agency, do not adjust the SSI payment.

Bring the discrepancy to the attention of the AFDC agency. Remind the agency that, in this situation, SSA uses the date provided at the time of the original contact to determine the last month AFDC was, or will be, received.

  1. Termination Date is Earlier than Date Originally Provided to SSA

    If:

    • written confirmation of information obtained orally or other subsequent information discloses that an individual was removed from the AFDC grant on a date earlier than the original date provided to SSA by the AFDC agency

      and

    • the individual would be underpaid if the SSR were not corrected to reflect the actual AFDC termination date

      then

    • delete any AFDC (type “F”) unearned income charged in the month(s) after the SSI recipient was actually removed from the AFDC grant.

10. Adjust SSR When There is Discrepant AFDC Amount

If written confirmation of oral information provides different information about the amount of the AFDC payment or increment for a month in which we have counted AFDC as income, adjust the SSI payment to reflect the written information.

11. Follow Special Rules for Two or More SSI Applicants

  1. If two or more individuals from the same AFDC unit apply for SSI and one is found eligible before the other, follow the instructions in SI 00830.400D.1.-SI 00830.400D.10. for the first eligible individual.

  2. If two or more individuals from the same AFDC unit are found eligible for SSI benefits at the same time (i.e., will be put into pay status at the same time), ask the AFDC agency to provide:

    • the amount of the AFDC grant paid to the family; and

    • the amount which would have been paid had all the SSI eligibles not been included in the grant.

Treat the difference between these amounts as the AFDC grant attributable to the SSI recipients. Divide this difference by the number of SSI eligibles to establish the amount of AFDC income for each SSI person.

  1. If two or more individuals from the same AFDC unit are found eligible for the same period but one has been put into SSI pay status before the determination is made for the other, do not recompute the AFDC income of the person who has already been paid. Instead, compute the AFDC grant attributable to both SSI recipients as in
    SI 00830.400D.11.b. Subtract from that amount, the AFDC income already charged to the first person and charge the difference as AFDC income to the second person. Continue this computation for future months (i.e., do not revert to dividing the difference evenly among all SSI eligibles).

12. Family Grant Involves Payment Cap

If the grant to the family unit was “capped” by the AFDC agency (e.g., a grant was not increased when a new child was born into the household), continue to