Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Special Resource Situations




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Resources owned jointly with any other person(s) outside the household will be considered available in their entirety to that person and to the household unless it can be demonstrated that the resources are inaccessible to the household. When the household can demonstrate that resources are not accessible in their entirety, only the portion of the resource to which the household has access will be counted toward its resource level.


Note:  The fact that a household member’s name appears on a joint bank account with that of a non-household member does not conclusively mean that the funds are “jointly owned”. The household member must be given the opportunity to prove that he/she does not, in fact, have any ownership rights in the funds. The key to determination of ownership lies in the written language or oral understanding surrounding the creation of the joint bank account or other jointly named asset. Consider the source of the funds or asset and for whom the use and benefit of the funds in such an account are intended and used. This may occur, for example, where a household member’s name is listed on a joint checking account in which all of the funds belong to an elderly or disabled relative so that the household member can assist with his/her banking transactions, and the household member does not use any funds for his/her own personal use. In any case, the burden is on the household member to prove that he/she has no ownership in the funds.


(a)   Inaccessible Resources


Resources are considered inaccessible to the household if they cannot be practically subdivided and access to their value is dependent on the agreement of the joint owner who refuses to comply.


Resources are considered inaccessible to persons residing in shelters for battered women if:


1.      the resources are jointly owned by such persons and by members of their former household; AND


2.      the shelter resident’s access to the value of the resource is dependent on the agreement of a joint owner who still resides in the former household.


When determining the household’s resource level, ineligible aliens and disqualified individuals residing with the household shall be considered household members.


(b)   Real property that the household demonstrates it cannot sell If the property cannot be sold because it only has a life estate, use rights, lifetime occupancy, or dower rights shall also be considered inaccessible to the household.


Note:  Ownership of a life estate entitles the individual to any income from the property.



Glossary of Terms

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