33. Child support payments made by a household member to someone not in the household
The Food Stamp Program treats child support payments that a household member is legally obligated to pay to a non-household member as an income exclusion, or at state option, as a deduction. [7 C.F.R. §§ 273.9(c)(17); 273.9(d)(5) and 273.10(d)(8)] California has determined that they will deduct these payments from the income. [MPP §63-502.2(p).] As such, this deduction is taken after applying the 20% earned income deduction (but before the gross income test, when applicable.) [7 C.F.R. § 273.10(e)(1)(i)(B); [ACL 06-31 (counties to deduct the child support payments from the household's gross monthly income before applying the gross income test.] Federal law clearly states that alimony payments cannot be used for the deduction. 7 C.F.R. §273.9(d)(5).
The household can only exclude from its gross income the amount that the household member must pay under a court order or other legal authority. [MPP §63-502.2(p)(4).] Payments made to a third party on behalf of the non-household member (for example, rent, utility, etc.) under a support order are also excluded. [7 C.F.R. § 273.9(d)(5); MPP §63-502.2(p)(5).] The household can also exclude the amount paid toward arrearages. [7 C.F.R. § 273.9(d)(5); MPP §63-502.2(p)(6).] The household must verify the support payments to claim the exclusion. [MPP §63-502.2(p)(2) and (3).] The child support exclusion does not include alimony payments. [7 C.F.R. § 273.9(d)(5).]