PM 13-02-03

Best Estimate

At initial application, REDE, including EZ REDE, or when adding a person with income

Use the person's income from the last 30 days to project future income unless a change in income is expected. Anticipate income, deductions, and nonfinancial factors for the payment month.

Review the unit's circumstances for the payment month.

  1. Review the unit's circumstances for the payment month.
  2. If the amount of each pay varies, determine the average pay. To determine the average pay, drop cents from each individual pay and total the paychecks received in the last 30 days. Divide the total by the number of paychecks received.
    • NOTE: When paid weekly (2 in Freq) and 4 pays or less are entered, Revised textACM adds up the pays and divides by 4. If 5 pays are entered, the system adds up the pays and divides by 5. When paid biweekly (3 in Freq) and only 1 pay is entered the system divides the pay by 2. If 3 pays are entered then the system adds up the pays and divides by 3.
    • New textIES automatically calculates missing pay verification. IES uses the pays provided, adds them up and divides by the number of provided pays to come up with an average that is used for the missing pay verification.
      • Example: John is paid weekly, and in the 30-day pay verification period (between September 2 and October 2), he submitted 3 pay verifications: September 6th -$300, 13th - $400, and 20th - $350. He did not submit a pay verification for the 4th week - September 27th. Enter the 3 pay verifications tjat the customer provided. IES adds the 3 pays (300+400+350=1050) then divides by 3 to come up with a$350 to apply to the missing pay verification.
  3. To determine Best Estimate of earnings received twice a month if the semi-monthly pay is based on a monthly salary, use the monthly amount. To determine the best estimate of earnings received twice a month when no stubs are available and the pay is based on an hourly rate (e.g., for a new job or when a change is reported) and only the hours of work per week and rate of pay are known: 
  • multiply the hourly wage rate by the number of hours worked weekly (drop cents), then 
  • multiply the weekly pay amount by 4.3 to get the monthly pay amount (drop cents).

Change in Income Anticipated

If a change in income is expected, best estimate is based on the person's statement of what the income will be.  Document the method used to project the future income. 

Example 1:  Ms C phones to report she was hired by ABC Company.  She will begin working on January 2 and will earn $250 on a weekly basis.  Document the customer's statement and use $250 weekly for your best estimate.

Example 2: Ms S phones to report she will be receiving $100 monthly in child support beginning February.  Document the customer's statement and use $100 monthly for your best estimate.


An EZ REDE unit is redetermined every 6 months. The income amount for the next 6 months is based on the income received in the last 30 days, unless the unit reports a change. Accept the last 4 pay stubs if paid weekly, last 2 pay stubs if paid every other week or twice monthly, and the last pay stub if paid monthly that the customer provides.

Example 1: Mr B applies for SNAP benefits on 05/05/09. He provides the following pay stubs:

05/01 $375

04/24 $375

04/17 $450

04/10 $375

Total  $1575 ÷ 4 = $393.75

Enter the pay amounts by date in ACM. Add the pays together, divide by 4 (drop cents) to determine an average of $393 weekly. Enter $393 beginning 05/08/09 in ACM and continue the $393 through the 1st regular roll month.

Example 2: Mr. G completes his PSI REDE application on 06/05/09. He reports his new earnings will be $950 monthly. Budget $950 effective the first month of his new approval period.

Example 3: Ms D completes her REDE application on 06/09/09. Ms D reports the following earnings received every other week:

05/08 $250

05/22 $475

06/05 $450

Total $1175 ÷ 3 = $391.66

Beginning 07/09 enter $391 every two weeks in ACM.

revised textWhen Income is Discovered or Reported

When a new income is reported or discovered, only budget the amount anticipated to be received in the first month. In revised textACM this means calculating and entering a monthly amount on the Actual Screens.  Starting with the first full month of income, budget the converted monthly amount, see PM 13-02-04.

Example: Ms M is on medical leave during April, May and June, and June was the last month of her approval period. At her REDE in June she said she would be returning to work on 07/15 and would receive her first pay on 07/29. Starting August she would receive a full month's pay. She anticipates earning $450 every two weeks. For July budget the anticipated amount of the 07/29 check, $450 (if entering in AIS or ACM, enter the $450 with a Frequency of 5 on the Actual Screens).  Starting with August budget the converted monthly amount ($450 x2.15), see PM 13-02-04.

When Income Ends

revised textIn ACM, at initial application or REDE when income is expected to end do not use the income from the last 30 days to determine future income. Best Estimate is based on the person's statement of future earnings such as but not limited to rate of pay, hours of work, and number of expected paychecks.

Example: Ms J filed an initial application on 08/16/09. She is in Group 06 and her fiscal month is 08/16 - 09/15. She provided the following pay stubs; 08/14 - 275, 08/07 - 225, 07/31 - 275, 07/24 - 275 07/17 - 250. She expects to receive one more pay on 08/21/09 for $325. Budget $325 for 08 and enter it in the system as a monthly amount (Frequency = 5).

Example: Mr N is in Group 22 and files his REDE application on 01/12. The last month of his approval period is January. Mr. N reports he expects to receive 2 more UI checks on 01/22 and 02/05 for $450 each. Budget $450 for February and enter it in the system as a monthly amount (Frequency = 5). Beginning March, budget zero.

Budgeting Income That Varies

When income varies over the approval period due to an anticipated change such as; hours, rate of pay, time off work, or an interuption in income, figure the total amount of anticipated income for the approval period, and divide by 6 months. Budget that monthly average.

Example 1: Ms P's approval period ends in June. At REDE in June, Ms P reported that she would be going on maternity leave starting 08/13, with her baby due on 08/28. Her last pay in August is due 8/20. She expects to return to work on 10/15 with her first pay due on 10/29.

Figure out the total amount of income she would receive for July, August, October, November and December: At the June REDE she verifies she is paid every other week and provides the following amounts:

  • 05/21 $375 06/04 $415.

Determine the income she will receive for the approval period:

  • $375 + $415 = $790 divided by 2 equals $395. She will receive two pays for the following months; July, August, November, December. In October she will only receive 1 pay, for a total of 9 pays:9 x 395 = 3,555.

Determine the average monthly amount to budget for each month of the approval period.

  • 3,555 divided by 6 months in the approval period equals $592 to budget for each month of the approval period.

Example 2: Mrs. W's approval period ends in January. At the REDE in January she reported that she would be starting her seasonal job on 04/15, with her first pay on 04/29. No income should be budgeted for February or March, since the job starting in April is new employment and not an income that varies situation. Tell Mrs. W to report if her earnings together with any other income exceeds the Maximum Gross Income Standard.

Example 3: Ms J's approval period ends in March. At the REDE in March, she reported that her son's father who voluntarily contributes $200 per month will be laid off in May and June and would be contributing $50 per month for those 2 months. Figure out the total amount of contributions she would receive during the approval period April through September and divide that amount by 6 months. Budget that average monthly amount for each month of the approval period.

For the approval period she will receive $200 for 4 months for a total of $800. Two months she will receive $50 for a total of $100. $800 + $100 = $900 divided by 6 = $150 to budget for each month of the approval period.

SSA Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)

ACM allows entry of different amounts of SSA income for medical assistance and SNAP budgeting. When completing a redetermination of a Group 22 case in central budgeting, enter the "old" December amount for SNAP if the January COLA SSA increase has not yet been centrally budgeted. Central budgeting of the annual SSA COLA for Group 22 SNAP occurs at Group 01 cut-off for February, and is effective for March SNAP benefits.

Example: Mr. B's 93 case is due for a redetermination in December. According to SOLQ, Mr. B's January SSA check will increase 1.4% from $505.00 to $512.00. Mr. B's worker budgets his medical assistance and SNAP for January in ACM on December 13. The worker enters Item 90 code 510 with the new amount of $512.00. Since central budgeting for SNAP has not yet occurred, the worker responds with N to "IS SAME AMOUNT BUDGETED FOR SNAP?" and enters the old amount of $505.00 on the SNAP screen. ACM "backs out" the increase for medical assistance, so the December SSA amount of $505.00 is budgeted for January for both medical assistance and SNAP.