DHS compares your income and needs to decide if you are eligible to get AABD, and what your payment amount will be.
DHS does not look at what you actually pay for your needs, but has set allowances for certain kinds of needs, like shelter, utilities, food, clothing, and others. You may qualify for one or more of these allowances if you actually pay for these costs.
DHS then adds up most of your sources of income. Certain payments do not count as income, like earned income tax credit and energy assistance payments.
After adding up income from countable sources, DHS subtracts $25 from the total, and if you work, DHS will subtract work related travel and other work-related expenses as income.
Whatever is left after subtracting expenses will be considered your countable income.
If the total needs allowances you qualify for are greater than your countable income, you may be eligible for an AABD cash grant.
Assets and eligibility for AABD
DHS will also decide if your assets, or property, are below the allowable limits. You are not eligible if you own assets worth $2,000 or more. The asset limit amount is increased to $3,000 if you are living with a spouse or other dependent person, and is further increased by $50 for each additional dependent.
DHS will not count certain assets at all. These are called exempt assets, and include the following:
- The family home
- Clothing, personal effects, and household furnishings (up to $2,000 total equity value)
- One automobile
- Life insurance policies with a total face value of $1,500 or less, and all term life insurance policies
- Burial spaces which are intended for the use of the adult, his or her spouse, and other immediate family, and
- Funds set aside for the burial expenses of the adult and his or her spouse (up to a limit of $1,500 each)
There are regulations establishing the minimum amounts, called allowances, which you need to meet the costs of housing, utilities, clothing, laundry, household supplies, personal essentials, food, and transportation. If your income is not enough to meet these minimum living expenses, then DHS will give you an AABD grant to make up the difference.
Assistance amounts vary based on income and needs, but the minimum payment is $1, and generally payments do not exceed around $70 if the person is receiving SSI.