TN 39 (09-96)

SI 00835.020 Definitions of Terms Used in Living Arrangements (LA) and In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Instructions


This section is a glossary of commonly used terms in living arrangements (LA) and in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) instructions. Other definitions more narrow in scope may be found in appropriate sections.


1. Actual Value (AV)

Actual value (AV) is the amount of ISM (type “H” income) from inside and/ or outside a household to be charged when the VTR does not apply and the AV is less than the presumed maximum value (PMV). The AV is the result of computations which take into account the number of persons in the household and the individual's contribution or the household's payment toward the ISM.

The AV of ISM from within a household equals the individual's pro rata share minus the individual's contribution. The AV of ISM from outside a household equals the CMV when the individual is the sole member of the household and he /she makes no payment toward the food or shelter item(s) in question. (See
SI 00835.340, SI 00835.350, and SI 00835.400.)

2. Breakpoint

A breakpoint is an event which indicates that the value of ISM chargeable to an individual based on certain circumstances may have changed. (See SI 00835.510.)

3. Contribution

A contribution is used for purposes of computing chargeable ISM from within a household. An individual's contribution equals the average amount of cash he/ she spends on household operating expenses. The contribution may be given to another household member for the purpose of paying expenses or it may be a vendor payment.

Services and goods traded in return for food and shelter are not considered contributions. (See SI 00835.480.)

4. Conversion

Conversion is the adjustment of household costs (defined below) to reflect their true value. Costs are adjusted when they include non-household (e.g., business) charges, charges from another household, or are charged over a period that is not monthly (e.g., weekly, quarterly, semi-annually, etc.). (See SI 00835.470.)

5. Current Market Rental Value (CMRV)

The current market rental value (CMRV) is the amount for which a dwelling would rent on the local open market. (See
SI 00835.370 - SI 00835.390.

6. Current Market Value (CMV)

The current market value (CMV) of any in-kind item is the amount for which the item would sell on the local open market. We generally determine that the CMV of food or shelter is equal to the amount a vendor charges for it. However, when developing for a rental subsidy, we determine whether the vendor charge equals the CMRV. (See SI 00835.350 and SI 00835.370-
SI 00835.390.)

NOTE: Certain in-kind items are not salable on the open market but can be converted to cash (e.g., insurance policy, savings bond). For these items, the CMV is equal to the amount of cash an individual can obtain on conversion. (See SI 00835.310.)

7. Earmarked Sharing

Earmarked sharing is when an individual designates, or earmarks, all or a portion of his/her contribution specifically for food or for shelter. If the earmarked contribution equals or exceeds a pro rata share of the household operating expenses (i.e., the food expenses or the sum of the shelter expenses), the individual's LA basis is earmarked sharing and he/she is not subject to the VTR. (See SI 00835.170.)

8. First-of-the-Month Rule

The first-of-the-month rule states that the value of ISM received in a given month is based on the individual's permanent residence as of the first moment of the month. (See SI 00835.001 and
SI 00835.500.)

9. Home Ownership

Home ownership, for LA/ISM purposes, exists if an individual (or the individual's living-with spouse or a person whose income is deemable to the individual) has specified forms of ownership interest in the home in which he /she lives as a permanent resident. A finding of home ownership means that any ISM from within the household received by the individual must be subject to the PMV rule rather than the VTR. (See SI 00835.110.)

10. Household

A household is a personal place of residence in which the individuals share common living quarters and who function as a single economic unit. For purposes of LA and ISM, members of a household need not be related by blood or marriage, but must live together in a single dwelling and function as an economic unit. A person who is temporarily absent from a household is still a member of the household.

11. Household Costs

Household costs denotes both the expenses paid by the household for food and shelter and the value of items of food and shelter provided by persons outside the household. (See SI 00835.465.)

12. Householder

A householder is a person who has, or whose spouse has, ownership interest in, or rental liability for, the place of residence.

13. Household Operating Expenses

Household operating expenses are the average monthly cash expenditures of a household for food and shelter. The concept is used both to determine LA basis and to compute ISM from within a household under the PMV rule. The value of food stamps is not a household operating expense. (See SI 00835.140 - SI 00835.170, SI 00835.340, and SI 00835.465.)

14. Household Payment

Household payment is the aggregate cash payment of all household members toward an item of food or shelter. The household payment for an item is equal to the actual household operating expense for that item in a month. Household payments are deducted from the CMV and converted if necessary, so that the household members are charged only for the value of food or shelter for which they have not paid.

See SI 00835.350 for more information on household payments and SI 00835.370-.390 for further information on rent-free shelter, rental subsidy, and remuneration situations. See SI 00835.470 for information on arrearages.

15. Housing Assistance Payments

Housing assistance payments are statutorily excluded Federal housing assistance as provided in SI 00830.630.

16. In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM)

In-kind support and maintenance (ISM) is unearned income in the form of food, or shelter or any combination of these. All food, and shelter is considered to meet an individual's basic needs even if an item could be subjectively construed to be a “luxury” item.

17. In-Kind Support and Maintenance from Outside a Household (Outside ISM)

In-kind support and maintenance from outside a household (outside ISM) is the food or shelter provided to household members and paid for by a source outside the household. Outside ISM is considered to benefit all household members. Typically, ISM from outside a household results when a third party (who does not live in the household) makes a payment to a vendor for an item of the household's shelter or food. Two types of ISM from outside a household are rent-free shelter (SI 00835.370) and rental subsidy (SI 00835.380). For computation of outside ISM, see SI 00835.350.

18. In-Kind Support and Maintenance from Within a Household (Inside ISM)

In-kind support and maintenance from within a household (inside ISM) is food and/or shelter provided to an individual through the contributions of other household members toward household operating expenses. Food and shelter provided by someone whose income is considered in determinations of the individual's eligibility and payment (i.e., an eligible spouse or a person whose income is deemable) is not ISM from within the household.

When an individual who has neither ownership interest nor rental liability for the household in which he/she lives receives both food and shelter from within the household, he/she receives ISM subject to the VTR. Food and/or shelter provided to an individual who has ownership interest or rental liability is inside ISM, subject to the PMV rule. Food or shelter provided by other household members' contributions to an individual who meets the criteria for separate consumption, separate purchase of food, or earmarked sharing is also considered ISM from within a household, subject to the PMV rule. See SI 00835.001, SI 00835.200 ff., and SI 00835.340.

19. In-Kind Support and Maintenance to One Person

ISM provided to and benefiting only one person in a household is called in-kind support and maintenance to one person. Such ISM may be provided by someone in the household or someone outside the household. See SI 00835.400.

20. Institution

For the definition of institution see SI 00520.001.

21. Living in the Household of Another

Living in a household other than the individual's own household is referred to as living in the household of another. An individual lives in another's household when he/she does not own the shelter (see SI 00835.110), rent the shelter, pay a pro rata share of the household operating expenses, live in a public assistance household, or live in a noninstitutional care situation (see below).

22. Noninstitutional Care Situation

An individual is in a noninstitutional care situation when all of the following conditions exist:

  • The individual has been placed by a public or private agency under a specific program of protective placement.

  • The placement is in a private household which is licensed or otherwise approved by the State to provide protective care.

  • The placing agency retains responsibility for continuing supervision of the need for placement and of the services provided.

  • The individual, the placing agency, or some other party pays for the services provided, or has a written agreement to pay for the services provided.

See SI 00835.790.

23. Permanent Living Arrangement

For the definition of permanent living arrangement see Residence below.

24. Presumed Maximum Value

Presumed maximum value is a regulatory cap on the amount of chargeable ISM which is not subject to the VTR. The PMV for an individual equals one-third the individual FBR plus $20 (the general income exclusion). Other PMVs are listed in the charts in SI 00835.900 and SI 00835.900. Also see SI 00835.300.

25. Pro Rata Share

Pro rata share is an individual's share of the household operating expenses computed by dividing the household operating expenses by the number of persons permanently residing in the household. The pro rata share represents the dollar value of the individual's food and shelter received from within the household. If the individual pays his/her pro rata share, he/she is not receiving inside ISM. See SI 00835.140-SI 00835.170 and SI 00835.340 for uses of the pro rata share.

26. Public Assistance Household

A public assistance household is a household in which each member receives cash or vendor payments (i.e., direct or indirect payments) from one or more specified public income maintenance programs. See SI 00835.130.

27. Remuneration for Work (In-Kind)

ISM provided to an individual in return for services rendered is called remuneration for work (in-kind). See SI 00835.390.

28. Rent

Rent is a consideration which consists of cash only and which is due to the landlord or his/her authorized agent under a rental agreement. In addition, an individual's payment of the landlord's mortgage, rent (as in sublease situations), or real property taxes for the dwelling in which the individual lives constitutes rent even if the individual pays the vendor directly rather than the landlord or his/her agent. (Services provided in return for shelter do not constitute rent.) See SI 00835.120.

NOTE: “Rent” may or may not be a readily identifiable payment by an individual. For example, a vendor payment of the landlord's taxes may constitute rent. An individual may not perceive such a payment to be “rent”; but if it is the required method of payment for shelter, it is nonetheless “rent” by definition and the individual has rental liability. On the other hand, an individual may allege payment of “rent” when the payment is actually a contribution toward household expenses and the individual and the alleged “landlord” reside in a common household. See Rental Liability, Rent-Free Shelter, and Sharing below.

29. Rental Liability

Rental liability is an oral or written agreement between an individual (or the individual's living-with spouse or a person whose income may be deemed to the individual and a landlord that the landlord will provide shelter in return for rent.) See SI 00835.120.

30. Rental Subsidy (Reduced Rent)

Rental subsidy (reduced rent) is a type of outside ISM, subject to the PMV rule, which is the difference between the value of the shelter (i.e., the converted current market rental value) and the rent required by the landlord. See SI 00835.380.

31. Rent-Free Shelter

Rent-free shelter is a type of ISM from outside a household. It is ISM in the form of shelter, subject to the PMV rule, which is received by an individual living in a household in which no household member has an ownership interest or rental liability. See SI 00835.370.

32. Residence

A residence is, for LA/ISM purposes, the location of abode or dwelling place. A residence is also a place where a person makes his/her home. “Residence” is synonymous with the term “permanent living arrangement.” See Temporary Absence below regarding absences from the residence (or permanent living arrangement). Also see SI 00835.001.

33. Separate Consumption

Separate consumption is when an individual (or at least one member of an eligible couple) eats all meals during a month outside the household in which he/she lives. A finding of separate consumption means that any ISM received from within the household by the individual/couple is in the form of shelter and subject to the PMV rule. See SI 00835.140.

34. Separate Purchase of Food

Separate purchase of food is when an individual (or at least one member of an eligible couple) buys all of his/her own food (excluding certain items such as condiments) apart from the food of other household members even though the food is consumed inside the household. A finding of separate purchase of food means that any ISM received from within the household by the individual/ couple is in the form of shelter and is subject to the PMV rule. See SI 00835.150.

35. Sharing

Sharing exists when an individual contributes his/her pro rata share of household operating expenses or an eligible couple contributes their combined pro rata share. A finding of sharing means that the individual/couple does not receive ISM from anyone else in the household. See SI 00835.160 and SI 00835.340.

36. Shelter

Shelter is living quarters for an individual in the individual's permanent LA. In household LA's, shelter costs (also known as “items of shelter” ) are mortgage payments, property insurance (if required by a mortgageholder), rent, gas, electricity, heating fuel, water, sewer, garbage collection service, and real property taxes. See SI 00835.465.

37. Successful Rebuttal

Successful rebuttal is evidence obtained that supports a finding that the CMV or AV of ISM is less than the PMV. If the PMV is successfully rebutted, the CMV or AV, whichever is less, is the amount of ISM to be charged. See SI 00835.320.

38. Temporary Absence

Temporary absence is an individual's physical move from his/her permanent place of residence which does not constitute a change in living arrangement. In general, a temporary absence is an absence from a permanent residence which is not intended to, and does not, exceed a full calendar month. For a complete explanation and exceptions to this general rule, see SI 00835.040.

39. Transient

A transient is an individual who has no fixed place of domicile and who is neither a member of a household nor a resident in an institution. Transients are considered to have no permanent LA. See SI 00835.060.

40. Value of the One-Third Reduction (VTR)

Value of the one-third reduction (VTR) is countable ISM valued at one-third the individual's or couple's Federal benefit rate (as applicable). See SI 00835.100-SI 00835.200.

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SI 00835.020 - Definitions of Terms Used in Living Arrangements (LA) and In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Instructions - 10/27/2005
Batch run: 01/27/2009