The excess shelter deduction is the amount of shelter costs that exceed 50% of the unit's adjusted net income. For a unit without a qualifying member, the deduction cannot exceed the maximum of $478. For a qualifying member unit, there is no limit on the excess shelter deduction.
Do not allow shelter expenses that are paid by a vendor payment or that are reimbursed to the unit and excluded as income.
Example: A unit receives a local government disbursing order paid directly to the landlord to pay their $200 monthly rent.
Since the vendor payment is counted as nonexempt income (see PM 08-04-04-n) and not excluded, the $200 rent expense would be allowed.
If a unit shares housing costs with another unit, only allow the amount that the unit actually contributes.
Example: Total housing cost is $400. Unit A is responsible for paying $250 and Unit B is responsible for paying $150. When determining Unit B's benefit amount, allow $150 as their shelter deduction.
Computing Total Shelter Costs
Compute total shelter costs as follows:
- Determine housing costs, which includes continuing charges for shelter, taxes, assessments, and insurance, dropping cents from the total.
- Determine the utility allowance (Air Conditioning/Heating Standard, Limited Utility Standard, Single Utility Standard, or Telephone Standard).
- Add together Housing Costs (Step 1) plus utility expenses (Step 2).
NOTE: When housing cost is paid weekly or every other week, use income averaging (see PM 13-02-04-d).