School Lunches

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2004
School Lunches
7
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:24pm

I'm sure some version of this has been done, but I'm curious how others deal with this:

DS (I'm BM and CP) brought home a paper from school on free or reduced school lunches. According to a lot of people here, SPs are to be mostly disengaged. CP and NCP are the parents and they are responsible for their child, correct? Then why is the SPs income required since they ask for "household income"? I work PT and my DH financially supports me to be a mostly SAHM. I receive a decent amount of CS from BD. Shouldn't my income and BDs income be all that's needed to qualify for these things? (still way overqualified)

SMs- if/when such a paper comes home, do you list your income as "household income" on the paper? Or do you leave that out? Does the state catch you?

I see it as unfair to the SP if they are supposed to butt out in taking care of this kid and yet are required to list their income on something that shouldn't be their responsibility.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
In reply to: randi00081
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 11:13pm

It's not the SP's responsibility to pay for lunches, but if the government is going to give you something at a reduced cost, they sure as heck can pick and choose who they give it to based on household income. What that means is that if you don't want to put SP income down on the form, then don't fill out the form and pay the regular price of the school lunch.

I think this is the same rule for college assistance, they go by household income. And probably related to the idea of welfare, that you need to report the full picture of your financial situation in order to qualify for benefits (or at least you are supposed to).

They could have made the form require both BPs income and not require SP income, but the group handing out the financial assistance generally gets to set the rules about who gets the financial assistance.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-12-2003
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 1:08am

my single-mom DD had as roommate my son (her brother) for a time...and yes, his income was included as household and made my granddaughter ineligible for reduced

    

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2008
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 7:30am

Wow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 8:07am
Wow. This just seems wrong - if you have a roommate, not a romantic partner but an actual roommate, you don't get to partake of his or her income, just split the rent and cost of utilities as agreed upon.



I looked it up (please, nobody fall off your chair, it's going to be okay). It seems that the school lunch program is a federal program and you automatically qualify if you are getting SNAP (food stamps) or some other forms of government assistance that are income based. All those programs are based on household income. So if you are on those programs, you qualify for the lunch program. If you are not receiving benefits through those other programs, you have to give household income to see if you would qualify.



I don't think it's really that unfair. I imagine there's a lot more people who would say they have a roommate when really that person is a boyfriend, rather will be caught up in the unfortunate circumstance of having a roommate with an income so much higher than their own that they now don't qualify.



The lesson is, if you want free lunches and earn at or below 130% of the federal poverty level, don't get a roommate that will result in your combined household income being above 130% of the federal poverty level. If you want reduced priced school lunches and earn at or below 185% of the federal poverty level, don't get a roommate that will result in your combined household income being more than 185% of the federal poverty level. Same goes for other government entitlement programs, if you want to be eligible, know the eligibility guidelines before you get the roommate.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 8:25am

I agree with everything you said. I think there would be a lot of couples who live together claiming to be "just roommates". If one does have a room mate and have an income of 1500.00 s month and pay 500.00 in rent that drops their portion down to 250.00 meaning 250.00 is still in their pocket where as someone who doesn't have a room mate is paying the full 500.00 and have less actual money to spend on other stuff.

I think it's perfectly fair the way they do it.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2010
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 12:49pm
Unfortunately this system is set up differently, more like how they determine if you qualify for food stamps.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
In reply to: randi00081
Sat, 08-28-2010 - 3:51pm
Unfortunately this system is set up differently, more like how they determine if you qualify for food stamps. It is based upon household income which includes all people living in the house. The other level of unfair is that as a parent, I have to count my child support. I also have to count my husband (stepdad's) full income, even though he pays child support out. Essentially, all child support is counted twice



According to the SNAP website and the WV site for SNAP, you can deduct your husbands child support payments:



http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm#deductions



Deductions are allowed as follows:



- A 20 percent deduction from earned income;

- A standard deduction of $141 for households sizes of 1 to 3 people and $153 for a household size of 4 (higher for some larger households);

- A dependent care deduction when needed for work, training, or education;

- Medical expenses for elderly or disabled members that are more than $35 for the month if they are not paid by insurance or someone else;

- Legally owed child support payments;

- Some States allow homeless households a set amount ($143) for shelter costs; and
- Excess shelter costs that are more than half of the household's income after the other deductions........



http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/tool/tutorial/helpfull.html



Child Support: This is money you get to support a child in your household. It might be money a court required someone to pay you. Or it might be money someone chooses to pay you. In both cases it counts as income. But if you pay the child support to someone else, because a court made you do so, that payment is a deduction for you. This is because you can’t spend that money on food. However, if the person you pay it to applies for SNAP benefits, it is income for that person.



http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcf/family_assistance/fs.asp



Most people must pass a gross income test and then a net income test. Before total income is compared to the federal net income limits, certain deductions are applied to the income, such as: 20% earned income disregard, child care costs, excess shelter/utility costs, court-ordered child support paid out, medical expenses over $35/mo., etc.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink