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Appeal

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A request to have a third party review an agency’s decision. Requests may be verbal or written. Typically, appeals are requested when benefits, services, or treatments are denied, stopped, or reduced.

Asset Limit

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The maximum amount of assets you're allowed to own while maintaining eligibility for a particular disability benefits program. Most benefits programs do not count everything you own, including the home you live in and one car you own. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called a "resource limit."

Assets

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Things that you own, like a car or a house. You can only own a certain amount in assets and still qualify for many health care and disability benefit programs. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "resources."

Categorical Eligibility

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A way of automatically qualifying for a benefit because you are in a specific situation. With categorical eligibility, it does not matter whether you meet other program requirements. Categorical eligibility is a common way people qualify for Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps).

Examples:

  • If you get TANF Cash Assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you automatically qualify to get Nutrition Assistance. It doesn't matter if you meet other program requirements.
  • If you receive non-cash services or benefits funded by TANF Cash Assistance or other low-income programs, you may automatically qualify for Nutrition Assistance. It doesn't matter if you meet other program requirements.

Dependent Care Deduction

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This is an amount that is deducted from your countable gross income. If you qualify for (or get) SNAP, you will get the Dependent Care Deduction when you pay for the care of a dependent child or someone who is incapacitated.

Earned Income (EI)

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Salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts you receive as pay for physical or mental work you perform. This can include things you get in exchange for work instead of wages, such as food, shelter, or other items. Funds received from any other source are not included. (Contrast: unearned income.)

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Card

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A card that works like a debit card, it is issued to you from a state or federal agency as a way for you to access your cash benefits directly when making purchases. TANF Cash Assistance and Nutrition Assistance both issue EBT cards.

Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)

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Monthly and annual income amounts used to determine financial eligibility for state and federal benefit programs.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) in the Federal Register. The current FPG for one person is $12,490 per year; for two people, it's $16,910. Add $4,420 for each additional person.

Note: Different state and federal programs adopt the new Federal Poverty Guidelines on different dates each year.

Household (or Budgetary Unit)

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A household (or budgetary unit) is all of the people living together whose income and resources must be counted to figure out if the household is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). People who buy and make meals together have to be counted as the same budgetary unit. Certain people may have to be counted as part of the budgetary unit because of their relationship to each other (parents and their children under 22; spouses living together; siblings living together, depending on how old they are.)

Incapacitated

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You are incapacitated when a legal court finds that you are unable to take care of your essential health and safety needs (such as medical care, clothing, nutrition, and shelter) or financial resources (such as managing your bank account or paying your bills).

Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly "Food Stamps")

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A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. To learn more, go to the Department of Economic Security's Nutrition Assistance website.

Resources

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Cash or property that you own, can convert to cash, or can use to support yourself. Stocks, bonds, and savings accounts are a few examples of resources. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as resources. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance, and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "assets."

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

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A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. Called Nutrition Assistance in Arizona. Formerly called Food Stamps.

TANF Cash Assistance

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This is Arizona's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (sometimes called "welfare-to-work"). It provides cash assistance to low income families with children, and also helps with job training and finding employment.

TANF used to be called "Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)."

Unearned Income (UI)

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Funds received from sources for which no paid work activity is performed. Disability benefits such as SSDI, SSI, short-term disability insurance, and long-term disability insurance; VA benefits; Workers' Compensation; income from a trust or investment; spousal support; dividends, profits, or funds received from any source other than work are all usually considered unearned income.