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PIH Rental Integrity Summit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Income and Rent Determination FAQs

Annual Income—What Is Included

1. Question: Exemplified in the Calculation Problem Areas (Section 2, pgs. 7-23) PowerPoint presentation slides from the training, does the family have the right to choose between the two acceptable methods for calculating seasonal employment income, or can the PHA adopt in its policies one over the other method?

Answer: The PHA should lay out both scenarios to the tenant, project income under both methods, and let the family decide which method to select. Tenants with seasonal employment should be informed of the PHA's policy regarding the two acceptable methods:

Method 1: The PHA annualizes current income (e.g., $2,000 per month x 12 months), and when seasonal employment ends, it conducts an interim reexamination.

Method 2: The PHA calculates anticipated income from all known sources for the entire year (e.g., $2,000 per month x 8 months, $400 per month x 4 months) and conducts no interim reexamination.

If the family selects Method 1, the family should know that an interim reexamination will be conducted; and if the family selects Method 2, the family should know that an interim reexamination will not be conducted.

2. Question: Regarding child support payments, when the child turns 18 and is still receiving payments for arrears, would the PHA count this as annual income?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to 24 CFR 5.609, annual income means all amounts, monetary or not, which goes to, or on the behalf of, the family head or to any other family member, that are anticipated to be received from a source outside the family during the 12-month period following admission or the annual reexamination effective date.

3. Question: If a family receives different amounts each month (e.g., $500 - $700) in child support payments, and, for one month, receives a lump-sum payment of $10,000 for arrears, must the PHA project annual income including the $10,000?

HUD's Answer: For the year in question, the $10,000 is income received for child support and should be counted as usual.

Answer: See Question# 5, under Annual Income-What Is Included, on the General Income and Rent Determination Web Page, for the answer to this question.

4. Question: When a State is paying the Medicare premium, what amount is used to calculate income, gross or net benefits? Should a PHA add Medicare premium to gross before calculating?

Answer: In the calculation of annual income (24 CFR 5.609), the full amount or gross amount, including Medicare premiums should be used.

Annual Income-What Is Excluded

5. Question: What is the difference between delayed and deferred Social Security (SS) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments? The regulation (24 CFR 5.609) uses both terms.

Answer: Under 24 CFR 5.609(b)(4), what is included in annual income, the term "delayed" means periodic benefit payment amounts, for which a public housing or HCV applicant or tenant is eligible, that are not received timely. These are scheduled benefit amounts that are due to the applicant or tenant, but are simply late.

Under 24 CFR 5.609(c)(14), what is excluded from annual income, the term "deferred" means postponed by SSA to a later date. For example, the applicant or tenant receives a $32,000 deferred SS benefit payment, following a lengthy eligibility dispute.

Annual Income-Earned Income Disallowance (EID)

6. Question: Can a PHA receive a waiver from HUD from the lifetime 48-month exclusionary period for a disabled family member who requests an exemption, claiming disability-related reasons? Would this be considered a "reasonable accommodation" for disabled persons?

Answer: Although Title V, Sec. 508(b) of the 1998 QHWRA does not impose a time limit on the availability of the income disregard, the Changes to Admissions and Occupancy Requirements in the Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Assistance Programs Federal Register (March 29, 2000) limits the EID exclusion to a lifetime period of 48 months. This is a regulatory requirement that applies to all families and persons applying for or residing in public housing or applying for or receiving Section 8 assistance. HUD is not in favor of waiving this requirement, as the intent of the exclusion is to promote self-sufficiency.

7. Question: What about income disallowances for "Welfare-to-Work" programs? Is it still in effect for qualified families?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to 24 CFR 5.617(b)(3) for HCV and 24 CFR 960.255(a)(iii) for public housing, a family member, whose annual income increases, during or within six months after receiving benefits, services, or assistance under a State administered temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or Welfare-to-Work (WTW) program, as determined by the PHA in consultation with the local TANF agency, is qualified for the income disallowance.

8. Question: Has HUD developed a form to help PHAs calculate the amount excluded under the EID and track the time someone qualifies for the exclusion?

Answer: While there is no tracking form available, an Excel-based calculator that can be used to collect information on EID family members is currently available. The EID calculator and worksheet (MS-Excel) can be accessed at the Earned Income Disallowance (EID) Worksheet and Calculator Web Page. Also available are EID in-depth examples and training materials from the January and February Rental Integrity Summit trainings, held in Orlando, FL and Anaheim, CA.

9. Question: If a PHA's policy states it does not do interim reexaminations, and adjustments to rent only occur at the family's annual reexamination, why must a PHA process the EID for family's, beginning on the first of the following month after the increase in earnings?

Answer: Pursuant to the regulation, 24 CFR 960.255 and 24 CFR 5.617, the exclusion begins on the date a member of a qualified family is first employed or the family first experiences an increase in annual income attributable to employment. As this is both a regulatory and statutory requirement, the PHA must perform an interim reexamination, processing the EID for the qualified family member accordingly.

10. Question: If a person receiving EID, looses his job and does not report his or her change in circumstance to the PHA until several months later, does the PHA have to retroactively suspend the exclusionary period?

Answer: Yes. An EID participant is entitled to the full 12-month benefit of 100 percent exclusion and a full 12 months of 50 percent exclusion (24 CFR 960.255 and 24 CFR 5.617). It is the responsibility of the PHA to track the number of months that a participant's income has been excluded and the end of the participant's lifetime 48-month exclusion. As such, the PHA must go back to the participant's date of last employment to determine the time remaining for the exclusion.

11. Question: Must a PHA that is now completely compliant with the EID requirement reimburse eligible tenants, who were not given the exclusion, per QHWRA (October 1, 1999)?

Answer: Yes. The statutory requirement called for PHA's to implement EID as of October 1, 1999. If the PHA failed to apply EID to some of its tenants since 10/99, then the PHA is not completely compliant and must correct those tenant records prospectively, and reimburse the tenants for subsidy underpayments. The PHA must use the October 1, 1999 date as their point of reference to determine how far back to apply reimbursement to families.

12. Question: A resident was entitled to EID, but the PHA failed to implement until eight months later (June 2000). Can the resident ask or demand full repayment? Can a PHA refuse to pay the full amount and put amount owed on Resident's Act?

Answer: A qualified resident can request any amounts due to him or her as a result of the PHA's failure to apply EID. A resident that has been denied the exclusion is entitled to full reimbursement of the amount owed and the PHA must repay this amount, dating back to October 1, 1999, the effective date of QHWRA.

13. Question: A non-disabled, public housing resident receiving an EID is relocated under Hope VI with a voucher. If after receiving for four years the voucher under Hope VI, the resident returns to public housing, can the resident resume his or her remaining months of EID or does the resident loose his or her remaining months?

Answer: The resident will loose his or her remaining months. The EID is limited to one 48-month period from the beginning of the first month after commencement of the qualifying employment of a family member. If the period of increased income does not last for 12 consecutive months, the disallowance period may be resumed at any time within the 48-month period. Since this resident did not return to public housing before the end of the 48-month period, the resident is no longer eligible for EID.

14. Question: An eligible participant, who is a sporadic wage earner begins work on the sixteen day of the month, and then quits five days later, on the twenty-first. Since EID would typically go into effect on the first day of the month following the increase in annual income due to employment, does the participant loose one month of the disallowance? Or, does the "clock" ever start?

Answer: In this case, the EID should not be processed for the participant. The "clock" should not be started for this family member.

15. Question: What is the baseline income for an eligible family member who is earning $600 per month in a HUD funded training program (entire amount is excluded), and then gets a job while in the training program, earning $1,000 per month, and then graduates from the program?

Answer: In this case, the family member's baseline income is $0. The baseline income is the amount of the family member's income before the EID qualifying event. Since the family member's earnings under the HUD funded training program (24 CFR 5.609(c)(8)(i)) are excluded in the calculation of annual income, and the participant had no other income from wages or benefits, the baseline income is $0. For examples provided at the Rental Integrity Summit (RIS) training, see the PH - Calculation Problem Areas, Section 4, Earned Income Disallowance (EID) and the HCV- Calculation Problem Areas, Section 4, Earned Income Disallowance (EID) PowerPoint slides.

16. Question: Under the HCV program, PHAs are only required to keep tenant files for a period of three years (24 CFR 982.158(e)). What if an EID participant leaves the HCV program and then returns 3 ½ years later, after the PHA has already purged his or her previous record?

Answer: In order for the PHA to be aware of the individual's prior receipt of EID and the number of months he or she received the exclusion, the individual would have had to report the information, or the PHA would have had to retain a record of the individual's participation for longer than the HUD required three-year period. Because HUD regulations limit a participant's exclusionary period to 48-months in a lifetime, the Department strongly recommends all PHAs carefully track and retain the records of EID participants for as long as necessary. HUD also recommends PHAs (1) adopt policies that require relevant documents to be provided by former participants claiming they received EID in years' prior; (2) improve the interviewing skills of their staffs; (3) develop comprehensive data collection tools; (4) and make the maximum use of up-front income verification (UIV) tools to prevent and detect false statements.

That being said, if after being re-admitted into the HCV program, or into public housing, the individual qualifies for EID and he or she cannot provide evidence of the prior EID, and the PHA has not been able to locate and verify the individual's prior record, the PHA must give the individual the EID, starting from the date the he or she experiences an increase in annual income as a result of one of the three qualifying factors.

17. Question: If a PHA incorrectly determined the amount of the exclusion under EID, and therefore too much income was excluded, can the PHA collect the overpayment from the family? If not, will the PHA be sanctioned for this overpayment?

Answer: If the PHA incorrectly determined the tenant's rent, as a result of PHA error, the PHA would be required to correct the tenant records and ensure accurate rent payment, prospectively. In accordance with Notice PIH 2003-34, if the PHA does not implement corrective actions or rectify errors in meeting program requirements uncovered during a RIM review, the Field Office will impose sanctions and seek to recover amounts due to HUD in disallowed costs. Tenants are not responsible for rent underpayments (PHA overpayments) due to PHA error.

18. Question: How much latitude or flexibility does a PHA have in defining "participation" in an economic self-sufficiency program (for purposes of determining whether someone qualifies for EID)? For example, can a PHA define "participation" to mean that a person must participate in an activity for a minimum number of hours per week/month?

Answer: The regulation, 24 CFR 5.603(b), provides the definition of an economic self-sufficiency program. Beyond the definition of the types of activities, there is no guidance on defining "participation." A PHA should rely on program sponsors to provide established and written guidelines that define satisfactory participation in an economic self-sufficiency program and include the PHA's policies and procedures.

19. Question: Can a PHA that did not have ceiling rents already established as of October 1, 1999 establish ceiling rents now, in 2004? If not, on what policy is this based?

Answer: No. PHAs that did not have ceiling rents as of October 1, 1999, the effective date of the 1998 QHWRA, cannot establish traditional ceiling rents now. Pursuant to Section 523(B) of the 1998 QHWRA, allowable rent structures include flat rents (24 CFR 960.253(b)) and income-based rents (24 CFR 960.253 (c)). However, the 1998 statute (Section 523(B)(ii)(II)) and the regulation (24 CFR 960.253(d)), give PHAs the discretion to impose (establish) a ceiling on income-based rents, but they must be adjusted to the level required for flat rents and comply with rent option requirements under 24 CFR 960.253(a).

20. Question: What if a PHA that had ceiling rents as of October 1, 1999 misunderstood the statutory requirement, and, as a result, discontinued their ceiling rents. Can a PHA reinstate them now, as long as they are at the flat rent level?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to Section 523(A)(ii) of the 1998 QHWRA, if a PHA had ceiling rents as of October 1, 1999, and later, discontinued ceiling rents, it can reinstate them now, so long as they are adjusted to the level required for flat rents (24 CFR 960.253(b)). Ceiling rents, however, are subject to the rent option requirement under provision 24 CFR 960.253(a).

Assets And Income From Assets

21. Question: The slide (pg. 114) in Calculation Problem Areas, Section 5, Assets and Asset Income states that the PHA can establish a minimum threshold for counting assets disposed of for less than fair market value. Is this true or false?

Answer: The regulation (24 CFR 5.603(b)) does not specify a minimum threshold for counting assets disposed of for less than fair market value. Consistent with Handbook 4350.3 - Rev 1, Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Housing Programs (Chapter 5, 5-7), PHAs may establish a threshold in its Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) or Annual Plan (24 CFR 903.7) that will enable them to ignore small amounts such as charitable contributions (e.g., cash donations to the local food bank, church, etc.).

22. Question: Is a PHA required to pay for a formal appraisal in order to determine the net cash value of real estate property?

Answer: No. However, the PHA must use a reasonable basis for assigning value to real estate property. For example, third-party verification, such as online sources (e.g., HomeValueHunt.com, REALTOR.com) is an acceptable means for obtaining the value of property assets for families reporting real estate property at reexaminations. In some cases, it is acceptable for the PHA to review original documents provided by the tenant. However, before implementation, the PHA is required to state in its Annual Plan (24 CFR 903.7(d)) and/or Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) the PHA's policy for determining the value of family assets; and, during interim and annual reexaminations, if third-party verification is not obtained, the PHA must document in the family's file why third-party verification was not available (24 CFR 982.516(a)(2) and 24 CFR 960.259(c)).

HUD is aware that in some situations the asset or expense to be verified may not be cost effective to obtain third-party verification when the impact on the total tenant payment (TTP) is minimal. That said, PHAs should always begin with the highest level of verification (up-front income verification (UIV)), in accordance with Notice PIH 2004-1, Verification Guidance, issued March 9, 2004.

23. Question: How should a PHA determine the cash value of a retirement account, such as a 401(k), if it is unable to obtain verification of the cash value of the account?

Answer: If the PHA is unable to verify the tenant's 401(k) account balance, the penalty for premature withdrawal (usually 10 percent), and tenant and employer contributions with the independent source (i.e., employer), the PHA may use tenant supplied documentation to determine and verify the cash value of the asset. However, the PHA must document in the tenant's file why third-party verification was not available (24 CFR 982.516 and 24 CFR 960.259). See the Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance for a complete discussion on HUD-established verification policies for income, assets, and expenses.

24. Question: Regarding stocks and mutual funds, is the asset income equal to the appreciated share value, dividends paid, or both?

Answer: As stated in the regulation (24 CFR 5.609(b)(3)), when the family has net family assets in excess of $5,000, the asset income is the greater of the actual income derived (e.g., interest or dividends earned) from all net family assets or a percentage of the value of such assets based on the current passbook savings rate. When net family assets are $5,000 or less, the asset income is the actual income from assets. For a complete discussion and examples, see the Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook, Chapter 5, 5.4 and the Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook, Chapter 10, pgs. 121-122)

25. Question: If there are two sisters, both living in public housing although in separate units, and both sisters' names are on both sisters' savings accounts, how is this handled when calculating income from assets? Are both savings accounts counted for each sister?

Answer: Yes. If both sisters living in public housing, although in separate units, have access to amounts derived from each sister's savings account, then both assets (i.e., savings accounts) would be considered when calculating income from assets for both households (24 CFR 5.609(a)(4)).

26. Question: Since there is limited guidance on the treatment of trust accounts under the provisions for public housing and HCV (24 CFR 5.603(b)) programs, can PHAs use the guidance provided in HUD Handbook 4350.3 Rev - 1, Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs?

Answer: Yes. For a complete discussion on the treatment of assets in determining income from assets, PHAs may refer to HUD Handbook 4350.3 Rev - 1, Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs (Chapter 5, 5-7G).

27. Question: If a broker refuses to give a PHA the broker's fee, can a PHA establish a set broker's fee (based on an average) that will be used in determining the net cash value of real property?

Answer: In accordance with the new Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance, if the PHA is unable to obtain third-party verification because the independent source will not facilitate the PHA's request, the PHA may review tenant provided documents (i.e., broker's fee, settlement costs for real estate transactions, legal fees, etc.) to determine the net cash value of real property.

28. Question: If a tenant sells his house to his son, but holds the deed of trust while the son makes monthly payments, how is this handled when determining assets?

Answer: As provided in the regulation (24 CFR 5.609), annual income includes amounts derived from assets, during the 12-month period, to which a family member has access. Since the tenant has access to amounts derived from the house, it is considered an asset and used in the determination of annual income.

29. Question: If a mother is listed on the title of her daughter's home in order for her daughter to qualify for a loan, is the home considered an asset to the mother who is residing in public housing?

Answer: See Question 27 above.

Utility Allowance

30. Question: On the public housing lease agreement with tenants, do utilities have to be specified exactly? Or, is it acceptable to state, "electric, water, sewer, trash, gas, as applicable"?

Answer: According to (24 CFR 966.4(a)(iv)), the lease must state what utilities, services, and equipment are to be supplied by the PHA and what utilities and appliances are to be paid for by the tenant. When maintaining a utility allowance schedule for all tenant-paid utilities (24 CFR 982.517(b)(ii)), the PHA must classify utilities and other housing services according to the following general categories: space heating; air conditioning; cooking; water heating; water; sewer; trash collection (disposal of waste and refuse); other electric; refrigerator (cost of tenant-supplied refrigerator); range (cost of tenant-supplied range); and other specified housing services. The cost of each utility and housing service category must be stated separately.

31. Question: If the owner charges the household for water, does the utility have to be sub-metered (or check-metered) for the tenant to get the allowance?

Answer: No. There are two basic ways to determine utilities allowances: (1) Engineering based-allowances based on calculations, standardized consumption tables for a given area, or in-house information (e.g., derived from energy audit); or (2) Consumption based method-allowances are determined using actual consumption data (check-meters and/or individual-meters) from dwelling units in the PHAs portfolio. For specific on how to calculate, go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/phecc/allowances.cfm

32. Question: If a PHA is doing an interim reexamination in the HCV program and the utility allowance has changed since the last annual reexamination, should the PHA use the old or new utility allowance?

Answer: Pursuant to 24 CFR 982.517(d)(2), the PHA must use its current utility allowance schedule at reexamination.

Non-Citizen Issues

33. Question: If an INS verification (SAVE System) shows "status = pending," does the PHA prorate assistance for an applicant or participant?

Answer: No. Pursuant to 24 CFR 5.514(b)(i) and 24 CFR 5.14(2), an applicant or a tenant's assistance cannot be delayed, denied, or reduced when the immigration status of the family member has not been determined or concluded.

Adjusted Income-Childcare Expenses

34. Question: If a family has a child under the age of five and chooses to put the child into a pre-school instead of a daycare, does the family get the much higher pre-school rate (i.e., childcare expense deduction)? Or, should a PHA only deduct what the daycare amount would have been had the child been enrolled in a daycare?

Answer: Pursuant to the new Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance, the PHA may not choose the type of childcare to be provided for the head of household's child(ren). If provisions are met under 24 CFR 5.603(b), then the family must be given the childcare expense deduction, pursuant to 24 CFR 5.611(a)(4).

Reexamination Process

35. Question: Can a PHA set a policy to conduct interim reexaminations only for FSS participants? What about only FSS participants who have increases in income?

Answer: Yes. Pursuant to 24 CFR 960.257(c) and 24 CFR 982.516(b), the PHA has discretion to set a policy to conduct interim reexaminations only for family self-sufficiency (FSS) participants, including those who have increases in income. However, the PHA's policy must be written in its ACOP or Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) and Annual Plan (24 CFR 903.7) and consistently applied to all FSS participants.

36. Question: Is it mandatory for the annual reexamination date to always match the admission date? For example, the family was admitted on January 2, 2003, so the annual reexamination must be conducted for January 2, 2004.

Answer: No. Although PHAs must conduct a reexamination of family income and composition at least annually (24 CFR 960.257(a) and 24 CFR 982.516(a)), PHA's have the discretion to set and establish in its Annual Plan (24 CFR 903.7 and Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) when and under what circumstances they will conduct such reexaminations. And, considering a family may request, at any time, an interim reexamination of family income or composition because of any changes since the last determination (e.g., annual reexamination), the date of admission and the date of the annual reexamination will more than likely be different.

37. Question: If a PHA has a different interim reexamination policy for residents receiving EID, would the policy be considered to be discriminatory against disabled individuals?

Answer: Similar to Question 34, the same rule applies. The PHA has discretion to set a policy to conduct interim reexaminations only for EID participants. However, the PHA's policy must be written in its Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) and Annual Plan (24 CFR 903.7) and consistently applied to both public housing (any eligible family member) and HCV (only eligible disabled family members) program participants.

38. Question: What if a third-party verification is returned after the effective date of the annual reexamination? Does the PHA have to consider it and recalculate rent? If yes, is this considered an interim reexamination for purposes of the action code on the Form HUD-50058? Is the answer the same irrespective of my interim reporting policy?

Answer: If a third-party verification is returned after the effective date of the annual reexamination, the PHA must conduct an interim reexamination, considering the data, and recalculate the tenant's rent, if the data is different from what was used at the annual reexamination. The PHA would record the new data on Form HUD-50058, as an action code 3 = Interim Reexamination.

HUD Form-50058 (New Topic)

39. Question: The regulation (24 CFR 5.609(b)(2)) states that the net income from the operation of a business is included in annual income and that when determining net income expenditures for business expansion or amortization of capital indebtedness shall not be deducted. The regulation goes on to state that an allowance for depreciation of assets used in a business may be deducted, based on straight-line depreciation.

The Form HUD-50058 Instruction Booklet seems to conflict with the regulation. It instructs PHAs to list expenditures for business expansion, amortization of capital indebtedness, and an allowance for depreciation as "exclusions" from income in column 7e. This appears to be incorrect. Although these three items are considered in determining net income, they are not exclusions from income. Should PHAs disregard the HUD Form-50058 instructions, in this instance?

Answer: Yes. In this case, you should use the regulatory policy. The booklet will be modified to clarify this matter.

40. Question: Is it acceptable for a PHA to record an application for housing assistance in the computer, while the applicant is present, and have him or her sign the printout?

Answer: Yes. If the PHA is using its computer system to receive data from an applicant for housing assistance, and instead of collecting the data on paper, the PHA Intake Specialist enters the data into the computer system, prints it off, and the tenant signs it, this would be acceptable to HUD.

General Questions

41. Question: What is the status of the automated rent calculator designed by the Office of Policy Development and Research?

Answer: The automated rent calculator project has been discontinued.

Verifications FAQs

42. Question: Will HUD require verification of the amount of income that is excluded?

Answer: Yes. In accordance with 24 CFR 960.259(c)(1)(i) and 24 CFR 982.516(2)(i), PHAs must obtain adequate documentation to reasonably determine the excluded amount of income. If without that verification, a PHA would not be able to determine whether the income is to be excluded when calculating annual income. Depending on the circumstances, any or all of the following may need to be verified: source of excluded income, circumstances that qualify a family member's income to be excluded, and the amount of the exclusion.

43. Question: Will HUD be providing a template for documenting third-party oral verifications?

Answer: Yes. HUD has provided examples of file documentation of third-party oral verifications (See the new Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance). The documentation of oral third-party verification should include the date and time of the oral verification, along with the organization name, employee name and title, telephone number, and information verified by the individual.

44. Question: We have a problem with obtaining food stamp data from the local TANF agency; it is reluctant to release this data, due to its established, written polices. Since the tenant does not always know how much he or she receives monthly, how can the PHA verify TANF payments, services, and benefits?

Answer: In the event the PHA does not receive a written or oral response to third-party verification requests, the PHA may review original tenant-provided documents. For example, the TANF benefit letter, or the current TANF benefit amount for the appropriate household size listed on the State's current TANF payment schedule. However, in accordance with 24 CFR 960.259 and 24 CFR 982.516, the PHA must document in the family file why third-party verification was not available.

45. Question: Since PHAs cannot pass the cost of doing business to the family (e.g. obtaining verification, notarizations), can the PHA claim reimbursement from HUD through the housing assistance payment (HAP) account?

Answer: No. The PHA may not claim a reimbursement from HUD through the HAP account for verification costs. HUD provides PHAs with administrative fees to cover the cost of doing business (24 CFR 982.152).

46. Question: Why must PHAs request and verify income of minors that are excluded? Many jobs such as snow removal, lawn care, or babysitting are difficult to verify. The tenant will have a difficult time providing an amount, which is not even counted in the calculation of annual income. This would upset some tenants because PHAs are asking for the amounts, but not counting them. Should PHAs limit minor wages to what the minor would actually receive on a W-2?

Answer: The PHA has the responsibility of establishing procedures that are appropriate and necessary to assure that income data provided by the applicant or participant families is complete and accurate. HUD requires the PHA to obtain third-party verification of reported family annual income in accordance with 24 CFR 960.259(c)(1)(i) and 24 CFR 982.516(2)(i).

47. Question: Can a PHA amend Form HUD-9886 to include additional sources of income?

Answer: No. A PHA may not amend Form HUD-9886 to include additional sources of income. The Form HUD-9886 specifically authorizes HUD to obtain third-party verification of income information from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and income return information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The HUD Form 9886 also specifically authorizes the PHA to obtain third-party verification of income information from State Wage Information Collection Agencies (SWICAs) and income information from previous and current employers.

48. Question: What should a PHA do if a State is unresponsive to requests for third-party verification of unemployment or workers compensation?

Answer: In the event the PHA does not receive a written or oral response to third- party verification requests, the PHA may review original tenant-provided documents. If the tenant is unable to provide the PHA with original documents, as a last resort, the PHA may accept a tenant declaration. In accordance with 24 CFR 960.259 and 24 CFR 982.516, the PHA must document in the family file why third-party verification is not available.

49. Question: Does a PHA have to run a criminal background or credit check, and check UIV and TASS for an eligible non-citizen, who just entered the U.S., if the non-citizen has proof that he or she just came from another country? Can the non-citizen just provide the INS document, showing he or she just entered the U.S.?

Answer: The PHA has the responsibility of preventing crime in federally assisted housing. The PHA should complete a criminal background check and should use the SAVE system on all applicants, regardless of their arrival date into the United States. Once the applicant has been admitted into a HUD-assisted unit, the PHA should utilize all up-front income verification (UIV) tools and systems (UIV System and TASS) to verify accurate disclosure of income by the family. The PHA must establish procedures that are appropriate and necessary to assure that income data provided by the applicant or participant families is complete and accurate (24 CFR 982.516(f) and 24 CFR 960.259(4)).

50. Question: Can a PHA use IRS Form 4506 instead of IRS Letter 1722? The IRS Form 4506 permits the mailing of the return to a third-party, which would be the PHA.

Answer: The IRS Letter 1722 is no longer in existence. PHAs may use IRS Form 4506 to request a copy of a tax return. However, there is a fee of $39 for this service. It may take up to 60 calendar days for the IRS to complete a request for a tax return.

PHAs may request a transcript of a tax return by completing IRS Form 4506-T at no cost. Most requests will be processed within 10 business days. However, if the information requested relates to information from a return filed more than four years ago, it may take up to 30 days. On either form, the PHA may specify that the information be mailed to the PHA directly (i.e., third-party verification).

51. Question: How does HUD feel about blanket verification and generic consent forms?

Answer: HUD does not encourage the use of blanket consent forms. However, HUD regulations (24 CFR 5.230(c)) do not prohibit the use of such forms. PHAs should consult with their legal counsel to ensure that local and state laws do not prohibit the use of blanket consent forms.

52. Question: Does HUD require a notarized statement from each head of household stating the household's "total household income" on one statement? If so, will a PHA be required to obtain these documentations more than once? Are school emergency cards required?

Answer: No. HUD regulations (24 CFR 960.259 and 24 CFR 5.240) do not require notarized statements from households that declare the "total household income," nor do they require school emergency cards. PHAs are, however, required to conduct a reexamination of family income and composition at least annually and verify tenant-supplied documentation (24 CFR 960.257(a) and 24 CFR 982.516(a)). If the PHA decides to require these types of documents from tenants, it must be written its Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54 and/or Annual Plan 24 CFR 903.7).

53. Question: Is a picture ID required, if there is a birth certificate in the adult tenant's file for establishing legal identity?

Answer: A birth certificate does not establish an adult's legal identity in determining citizenship for eligibility. Therefore, a PHA may request a picture ID from an adult for this purpose. HUD regulations (24 CFR 5.508(b)(1)) give PHAs the discretion to determine what appropriate documentation an applicant or participant is required to furnish to the PHA. Although not inclusive, the following are acceptable documents to establish identity:

53. Question: It is clear that verification documents cannot be older than 60 days for new admissions and 120 days for reexaminations. What is not clear is age of documents from the effective date of action? Is it from the effective date of the annual reexamination, if a voucher is not issued; the date of voucher issuance for new admissions and portables; or is it from the date of the interview with the client or the day the file is "worked up"?

Answer: The age of verification is determined by using the interview date in which the information is provided to the PHA. Pursuant to Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance (pg. 10), verification documents must not be more than 60 days old from the interview date.

54. Question: Based on the Verification Guidance Notice that is soon to be issued, will PHAs be required to attempt written third-party prior to oral, as opposed to the regulations, which don't distinguish between the two types of third-party verifications?

Answer: Yes. While the regulations (24 CFR 960.259(c) and 24 CFR 982.516(a)) do not specify what type of third-party verification is required, through the issuance of Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance, HUD requires PHAs to follow the hierarchy of verification methods. If UIV is not available, the PHA is expected to pursue written third-party verification and if the PHA does not receive a response to its written request for information, the PHA may then resort to oral third-party verification.

55. Question: Are there any benefits to having families provide notarized statements?

Answer: The only benefit that a notarized statement has is that the identity of the signer is verified.

56. Question: A PHA receives UIV data and conducts a recertification; after which, data is returned from a third-party. The third-party shows that a tenant will make more than anticipated using UIV, but the increase is below the $200 per month threshold, as allowable per HUD guidance. Can a PHA set a threshold amount for conducting interim reexaminations, based on the receipt of the third-party verification?

Answer: Yes. A PHA may set a threshold amount by which the PHA will require an interim reexamination (24 CFR 960.257(c) and 24 CFR 982.516(b)), as a result of an increase in family household income. This policy must be incorporated in the PHA Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) or Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP).

57. Question: A family declares that it has received a "loan" from a family member who resides outside of the assisted family household. The family member who loaned the money has signed a declaration certifying the amount and terms of the loan. Is this "loan" excluded from annual income? Can a PHA establish a policy that requires a tenant to provide documentation that they are actually repaying the loan in order for the loan amount not to be considered annual income?

Answer: In response to the first question, a loan is excluded from annual income, as it is a debt that must be repaid (24 CFR 5.609(c)(9)). In the event that the debt is unpaid or forgiven, the loan is considered nonrecurring or sporadic income and is still excluded from annual income. In response to the second question, the family must supply any information that the PHA or HUD determines is necessary in administration of public housing or HCV programs (24 CFR 5.659 and 24 CFR 960.259). As such, the PHA may establish a policy to specify what documents a tenant must provide to the PHA, as long as the requested documents are applicable to the administration of the programs.

58. Question: If a third party (e.g., employer, banking institution, school, etc.) has notified the PHA that it charges the tenant a fee for providing third-party verification, does the PHA have to request from that source for each tenant file? Or, is it sufficient to have a written statement in the file documenting the requirement to pay a fee?

Answer: If a third party source charges a fee for verification, the PHA may simply make a photocopy of the letter or statement from the source that confirms the imposition of a verification fee and place a copy of the letter or statement in each tenant file in which the fee is applicable.

59. Question: If a local SSA has informed a PHA that it will not provide third-party verification directly to the PHA, does the PHA have to notate every tenant file explaining the circumstances, or can the PHA establish one central file that contains the reasoning?

Answer: The local SSA will no longer provide verification of SS benefits, so the PHA must use TASS to verify benefits. If the information is not available in TASS, the PHA must document in each tenant file the reason third-party verification was not available. Below are some examples of acceptable file documentation:

Tenant Assessment Subsystem (TASS) (New Topic)

60. Question: The PHA has a valid Social Security Number (SSN) for a tenant that is supported by the original Social Security Card; however, the SSN is not accepted by TASS. How can the PHA resolve the matter and get a TASS report for the tenant?

Answer: TASS data (i.e., Social Security (SS) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits) for a tenant is provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) only if the SSN, Last Name and Date of Birth of the tenant on Form HUD-50058 matches the SSN, Last Name and Date of Birth in SSA's database. If the information submitted on Form HUD-50058 does not match with the information in SSA's database, TASS returns a 'Verification failed' error message. If there is no benefit history report available for the tenant, PHAs should check the TASS error report to see if there was an error returned by the SSA. For such cases, PHAs should request from the tenant an original benefit verification letter that is dated within the last 60 days of the interview to verify social security benefits for the current income reexamination, and document in the tenant file why third-party verification was not available (24 CFR 960.259 and 24 CFR 982.516).

61. Question: Data in TASS is not current. For example, the PHA is currently processing February 2004 reexaminations, but the data in TASS is only as of September 2003. In this case, what should PHAs do? Should PHAs use the outdated TASS data?

Answer: TASS processes and creates the SS/SSI benefit history reports four months prior to the reexaminations. For example, SS/SSI benefits for February 2004 are available to the PHAs for use in October 2003. The SS/SSI benefits for the tenant may change after the benefits have been posted; in which case, PHAs should compare the benefit verification letter provided by the tenant against the TASS benefit history report. Use the current tenant provided benefit verification letter if the amount does not match the TASS benefit history report. PHAs are required to use HUD's TASS system to seek third-party verification of social security benefits.

62. Question: Why are there errors in TASS for families (benefits for children) and deceased fathers, and why is TASS Medicare deduction data for 2003 not updated?

Answer: TASS will report income discrepancies for families where benefits are being paid on a deceased parent's record and the Form HUD-50058 does not reflect social security benefit income for the children.

Regarding TASS Medicare deduction data not being updated, TASS processes and creates the SS/SSI benefit history reports four months prior to the reexamination. For example, SS/SSI benefits for February 2004 are available to the PHAs for use in October 2003. Every year, SSA updates its database with the COLA amounts around the end of November. Upon notification of the updates from SSA, TASS updates the benefit amounts and the Medicare deductions for the months of January and February with the new amounts as received from SSA. The dates for the COLA updates are posted on the TASS website in the month of November. In the calculation of eligible medical expenses for reexamination effective in January, and thereafter, PHAs should use the new Medicare amount.

63. Question: TASS Social Security (SS) verification forms are somewhat unclear. Is Medicare paid by the tenant or by the Social Security Administration (SSA)?

Answer: Medicare premiums are typically paid by the tenant. The TASS report will show "Y" next to "Buy-in," if the Medicare premium is paid by a third party. Medicare payments paid by a third party on behalf of the tenant are not eligible for a medical expense deduction.

64. Question: Is there a form or other document that defines the codes on the TASS forms?

Answer: No. This information will be available at a later date. Check the RHIIP website for updates.

65. Question: When will TASS data be available for interim reexaminations?

Answer: TASS data (i.e., SS and SSI) information will be available for interim and annual reexaminations at a later date.

66. Question: What should a PHA do when the information in TASS is incorrect? The PHA has verified the tenant's first and last name and SSN, but the information is still incorrect.

Answer: The PHA needs to verify the information submitted to PIC on the Form HUD-50058. In the event that the information on the Form HUD-50058 does not match the information in SSA's database, the PHA will need to confirm with the tenant their current name, date of birth (DoB), and SSN by viewing original documents. In the even the PHA is unable to resolve the identity issue, the PHA should refer the case to HUD's Inspector General for investigation.

67. Question: Why does TASS say "no data available" for a resident who has been on the program for 3-4 years and the resident's name and DoB are correct?

Answer: See the following scenarios/assumptions:

Scenario 1: The PHA searched for a household for a re-certification month prior to December 2003 and did not find any record.

TASS started publishing the error reports for re-certification months due Dec 2003 onwards. Prior to December 2003 re-certifications, TASS only published the list of tenants that were receiving SS/SSI benefits. If a benefit history report was not published for a household, the PHAs could not determine whether there were no benefits reported for the household or whether the identity for the members in the household were not verified by SSA. This issue has been addressed by publishing the error reports for the cases where SSA could not verify a tenant's identity. The household cases where SSA reported no benefits do not appear in the benefit history report or the error report. If a PHA does not find a household in the error report or the benefit history report, the PHA needs to perform a search by household. The household should appear under 'No benefits Reported by SSA'.

Scenario 2: PHA searched for a household for a re-certification month December 2003 or later and did not find any record.

This should not happen since TASS publishes information on all the households that are received from PIC. However, if a household record is not found, the PHA needs to check and do the following:

If the household information is updated in PIC, the PHA should contact the Technical Assistance Center at 1-888-245-4860.

Rental Integrity Monitoring (RIM) FAQs

68. Question: If up-front income verification (UIV) or the Tenant Assessment Subsystem (TASS) is not currently included in the PHA's Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP) or Administrative Plan in the hierarchy of verifications, will HUD consider this to be a RIM finding at the time of the re-review? Can a PHA begin to use the new verification guidance prior to formally revising its policies?

Answer: The PHA must first amend its ACOP or Administrative Plan (24 CFR 982.54) to reflect the new verification procedures prior to implementing UIV or TASS requirements. Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance, issued March 9, 2004, requires all PHAs to include verification procedures in the ACOP or Administrative Plan. The absence of a UIV/TASS policy will not warrant a finding for RIM reviews conducted through FY 2004, as the Verification Guidance Notice was just released. However, the PHA must demonstrate that it is in the process of revising its ACOP and/or Administrative Plan to reflect the revised verification procedures. In addition, it is suggested that PHAs notify residents, in writing, of the new verification procedures in the interim.

69. Question: Will RIM reviewers review files of tenants who are no longer receiving assistance?

Answer: Perhaps. Once onsite, the HUD reviewer may find that the review of additional tenant file samples, beyond the regular sample of current tenant files, are necessary to get a complete picture of PHA income and rent determinations. Additional files could include applicants, rejected applicant files, former tenants, terminated tenant files, and tenant files where the PHA has taken lease enforcement actions related to income and rent, etc. See the Rental Integrity Monitoring (RIM) Guide for Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs.

70. Question: Will RIM reviewers be looking at issues related to limited English proficiency (LEP) and an LEP family's ability to understand rules for calculating their subsidy?

Answer: Potentially. RIM reviewers may assess the PHA's policies and procedures for explaining requirements and providing information to residents and applicants.

71. Question: If a PHA believes that a Field Office's requirements are more stringent than a regulation, what are the procedures for challenging the requirement?

Answer: If a PHA believes a Field Office's requirements are outside the purview of the regulation (and it results in a finding, observation, error, etc.), the PHA may submit its concerns to the jurisdictional HUD Field as part of a RIM Review Dispute. See the RIM page for the procedures for disputing findings.

72. Question: What should a PHA do if they are unable to come to an agreement with the Field Office regarding the RIM report findings that result in sanctions and/or recovery of disallowed costs?

Answer: A PHA has a right to dispute RIM review report findings, errors, corrective actions, observations and recommendations identified and prescribed by the HUD Field Office, in writing within thirty (30) calendar days from the receipt of the PHA Review Summary Report. See the RIM Review Dispute Process on the RIM page for processing information.

73. Question: Are PHAs required to address "concerns" or "observations" in their written response to the Field Office's RIM review report?

Answer: No. PHAs are not required to respond in writing to Field Office "concerns" or "observations." However, if it is discovered during the conduction of the RIM re-review, the "concern" or "observation" was not addressed at the PHA (i.e., PHA did not update its policies, procedures, and current practices) and they resulted in errors, the PHA may be issued a finding and sanctions may be imposed pursuant to Notice PIH 2003-34. PHAs should take into account, "concerns" and "observations," as they will generally lead to better processes and procedures that will reduce errors.

74. Question: Why doesn't HUD's RIM procedure require a control sheet, including a listing of all the names associated with the tenant file error reports?

Answer: HUD's RIM procedure does not require a control sheet, including this information, because the first and last name of the head-of-household, as well as the household address is identified on the Tenant File Error Report (MS-Excel).

75. Question: When will re-reviews be scheduled? What files will field offices look at on re-reviews?

Answer: RIM reviews will be scheduled and completed as follows:

Baseline I: The scheduling of RIM re-reviews, to the extent possible, will allow for fieldwork to be completed by April 30, 2004.

Baseline II: The scheduling of RIM re-reviews, to the extent possible, will allow for fieldwork to be completed by September 30, 2004. Field Offices will not perform onsite re-reviews for PHAs where a CAP was not required and systemic errors were not identified.

Field Offices will be looking at newly selected tenant files to determine the accuracy of income and rent calculations made after the corrective actions were to have been in place. If the review of the new files shows no new errors and the Field Office has received sufficient evidence from the PHA to close out findings related to the files from the initial review, the review of old files may not be reviewed. However, if the review of the new tenant files shows systemic errors that are similar to or the same as errors found during the initial RIM review, the Field Office will review the tenant file errors identified in the initial review to assure prior discrepancies have been corrected.

If there are findings or errors that do not impact the entire universe of tenants (e.g. earned income disallowance (EID), calculation of assets, medical expenses, child care expenses, etc.), the Field Office will pull a sample of new files targeted at the specific areas of concern. There is no minimum sample size requirement in the case of targeted samples. It is left to the Field Office's discretion to determine the number of files that should be reviewed to confirm that corrective actions have resolved previously identified problems.

Incentives and Sanctions FAQs

76. Question: If a PHA received a RIM review report prior to the issuance of the Sanctions Notice, and the RIM report required the PHA to go back three, four, or five years to identify amounts due to tenants, and then reimburse tenants, is this still required now that the Sanctions Notice has provided, "PHAs are required to reimburse residents for overpayment of tenant rent in accordance with PHA policy"?

Answer: Yes. RIM directives issued by the Field Office prior to the publishing of the Notice PIH 2003-34, Rental Integrity Monitoring (RIM) Disallowed Costs and Sanctions under RHIIP will prevail.


77. Question: What is PIH considering for program simplification?

Answer: To simplify the delivery of rental subsidies for low-income families and allow for greater administrative flexibility to PHAs, the new flexible voucher program (FVP) will replace the housing choice voucher (HCV) program. Under FVP, HUD is proposing to switch from a unit-based to a dollar-based grant approach, including administrative costs as part of the total grant. PHAs will continue to receive a set dollar amount, adjusted annually for inflation, from the Housing Certificate Fund; however, PHAs will have the freedom to adjust subsidy levels based on local market conditions rather than having HUD set these for every market in the Nation. PHAs will have the autonomy to develop and implement their own, more simplified, rent policies that are easier for PHAs to understand, administer, and explain to the residents they serve.

Under HUD's proposed Freedom to House demonstration program, PHAs will have full discretion to develop their own rent policies and funding initiatives, including merging or "block granting" their operating subsidy, modernization, and HCV subsidies without seeking regulatory waiver from HUD. PHAs may implement flat rents, step rents, rent caps, or any other reasonable method for determining rent that they believe will simplify their programs and reduce operating expenses and program errors. PHAs will have the freedom to adjust the program to the unique and changing needs of their community, including the ability to set their own subsidy levels based on local market conditions. See the President's FY 2005 Budget proposal under Reform Low-Income Housing Assistance.

Up-front Income Verification (UIV) FAQs

78. Question: In trying to reconcile a question or problem, can PHAs now expect the UIV system to follow past examples and develop into a reference source, such as the 24 CFR, HUDCLIPS, PIH notices, housing quality standard (HQS) Manual, FAQs, PIC, and the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook.

Answer: Since the UIV system is new, HUD has developed, and will continue to develop, UIV training materials and provide additional UIV guidance such as Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance and HUD Guidelines for Projecting Annual Income When UIV Data is Available. More information and tools and resources can be found on PIH's UIV RHIIP web page: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/rhiip/uiv.cfm

79. Question: UIV shows old UIV Medicare deductions. SSA & SSI letters presented by tenants show a higher deduction. The "more" than current and "less" than current rule for calculating anticipated income would have to be applied in reverse. Correct?

Answer: TASS was updated in December 2003 to reflect the cost of living adjustment (COLA) and increased Medicare deduction. In the event that a current SSA benefit verification letter (dated within the last 60 days of the interview date) indicates a different amount than the TASS benefit history report, the PHA should use the current tenant-provided benefit verification letter and attach the TASS benefit history report to the tenant-provided documentation to show that third- party verification was obtained, but tenant provided documentation was used to calculate anticipated annual income.

80. Question: Can the UIV system include HUD Form-50058 information from a past PHA?

Answer: No. The UIV system will include Form HUD-50058 information for all current and active PHAs. The UIV system will not include archived Form HUD-50058 information from a past PHA.

81. Question: Are sample SWICA agreements available to PHAs?

Answer: No. HUD does not have sample SWICA computer matching agreements for PHAs. The PHA should contact their local SWICA to obtain the SWICAs standard computer matching agreement. Please note that once UIV is implemented in that State, the PHA will no longer be able to obtain wage and unemployment information from the SWICA. Its agreement with the SWICA will be void, and the PHA will be required to obtain all wage and unemployment information from HUD's UIV system.

82. Question: Which States currently have agreements with HUD to provide SWICA data? What States are HUD currently negotiating with or planning to negotiate with?

Answer: HUD has executed agreements with the following states: District of Columbia, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia. HUD is currently negotiating agreements with: Arkansas, Maine, Montana, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. See the HUD Agreements with SWICAs page for continual updates.

83. Question: How will HUD's implementation of UIV impact PHAs that already have working relationships and agreements with TANF agencies and SWICAs? Will those agreements become void, if and when HUD signs agreements with those States?

Answer: No. HUD's implementation of UIV will not impact a PHAs' working relationships with TANF agencies, since HUD does not receive welfare benefit information from the local agencies. However, in States where HUD has executed a computer matching agreement with the local SWICA, PHAs will no longer be able to obtain wage and unemployment information from the SWICA. PHAs will be required to obtain all wage and unemployment information from HUD's UIV system. PHA agreements with local SWICAs will become void once UIV is implemented in that State.

84. Question: Will PHA staff that currently does not have access to PIC be able to get access to the UIV system?

Answer: Yes. However, in order for PHA staff to access the UIV system, the staff person must have a PIC ID. The PHA must authorize the assignment of a PIC ID for each staff person that will need access to the UIV system.

85. Question: Will UIV data show the address of participants as reported by their employer?

Answer: No. UIV data will not show the address participants report to employers. However, UIV data will show the address reported to the SSA for payment of SS benefits.

86. Question: Will PHAs be able to get UIV data from a neighboring state(s), if it has program participants who work in neighboring state(s)?

Answer: No. At this time, UIV data will not be available for tenants who live in one state, but work in another. There are plans to make this information available in the future.

87. Question: Under the "HUD Guidelines for Projecting Annual Income When UIV Data is Available,"guidance is provided about projecting income when UIV income data is not "substantially different" than "tenant-provided" income information. What is meant by "tenant-provided" documents: pay stubs, bank statements, tenant declarations, self-certifications?

Answer: Tenant-provided documents are any documents that the tenant provides to the PHA (i.e., pay stubs, letters sent directly to the tenant, bank statements, award letters, etc.).

88. Question: Will non-PHA, contracted staff be able to access UIV?

Answer: Yes. HUD will allow PHAs and PHA-designated individuals (administrators of public housing and HCV programs) to access the UIV system.

89. Question: When will UIV be rolled-out to all of the PHAs within States that have entered into agreements with HUD?

Answer: HUD plans to roll out the UIV system to those States for which data is available by Summer 2004.

90. Question: Will TANF be rolled into UIV eventually?

Answer: There are no plans to include TANF benefits in the UIV system.

91. Question: When the UIV system is compared to information on the Form HUD-50058 (under the Exceeds Threshold Report), is total income compared, or only those sources of income on which UIV reports?

Answer: The Exceeds Threshold Report will only compare income sources reported in UIV and on the Form HUD-50058. There will be a comparison of reported wages, unemployment benefits, social security benefits, and supplement security income benefits.

92. Question: What happens if the UIV system is "unavailable" at the time that a PHA checks? How often should PHAs check the system's unavailability? What documentation would be necessary to show that the system was unavailable? How will HUD handle this?

Answer: There will always be UIV data available for each participant. Data will be updated on a quarterly basis. The UIV system will display a notification of when new information is available. In the event that the PHA receives a notification that the UIV system is not available, or data is not available, the PHA shall print the screen displaying the unavailability of the system and/or data and place it in the tenant's file to support justification for relying on tenant provided documents. HUD recommends the PHA check the system daily to obtain the income data.

93. Question: Why is the SWICA data in New York State two quarters old?

Answer: Due to the processing of quarterly data, UIV data will be at least one quarter old. As of March 10, 2004, UIV will display data as of the fourth-quarter of 2003. First-quarter 2004 data will not be available until approximately June 2004.

94. Question: Regarding UIV discrepancy reports, what will HUD do if a PHA's policy is not to process interims (few exceptions) with increases? Will a PHA have to change its plan?

Answer: No. Presently, HUD does not require PHAs to process interim reexaminations (24 CFR 960.257 and 24 CFR 982.516), as a result of increased income. However, the PHA may determine that based on the review and analysis of income discrepancies, there is a need to revise the PHA's policy on interim reexaminations for increases in income.

95. Question: Will HUD take into consideration the PHA Annual Plan when reviewing the UIV discrepancy reports?

Answer: Yes. HUD will take into consideration the PHA's Annual plan (24 CFR 903.7), policies, and procedures when reviewing UIV discrepancy reports. For example, if the PHA's Annual Plan, and/or policies, and/or procedures do not require interim reexamination for increases, HUD will not expect rent adjustments, based on increases in income, until the next reexamination.

96. Question: Will the SWICA information generate an error when there is earned income disallowance (EID)?

Answer: No. An income discrepancy will not be generated as a result of the EID. UIV data is compared to Form HUD-50058 income data before the exclusion. It is imperative that PHAs report the gross wage and the excluded wages on the Form HUD-50058 to reduce the level of income discrepancies reported on UIV Exceeds Threshold Reports.

97. Question: Do PHAs have to request third-party verification from the discrepant income source, or can the PHA just compare the UIV income data with Form HUD-50058 to resolve?

Answer: Pursuant to 24 CFR 5.236(3)(i), PHAs must obtain written third-party verification from the discrepant income source when the tenant-provided income data differs substantially from that received from his or her employer. As provided by HUD guidance, "HUD Guidelines for Projecting Annual Income When UIV Data is Available," a substantial difference is one that is $200 or more per month.

98. Question: It can take a participant several months from the date of voucher issuance, determination of affordability, to executing the housing assistance payment (HAP). The regulations 24 CFR 982.201 require documentation to be no older than 60 days from the time of affordability determination. HUD Notice PIH 2004-01, Verification Guidance mandates documentation to be no older than 60 days from date of "PHA interview date" How do these dates and time periods match-up?

Answer: The regulation (24 CFR 982.201(2)(e)) does not require that documents be no older than 60 days old from date of affordability determination. It requires the PHA to receive information verifying that an applicant is eligible: (1) meets the PHA's definition of "family"; (2) a very-low, low, or moderate-income family; and (3) a citizen or a non-citizen who has eligible immigration status as determined by 24 CFR 5.508 within the period of 60 days before the PHA issues a voucher to the applicant. The forethought is that at the point in time, when the PHA is calculating anticipate annual income (24 CFR 5.609), the PHA should not rely on documents that are older than 60 days from the date of this determination.

99. Question: Is Maryland one of the UIV test sites?

Answer: No. Maryland is not one of the UIV test sites. Please check the HUD Agreements with SWICAs web page, regularly, for updates.

100. Question: When there is not a substantial difference (less than $200 per month) between UIV data and tenant provided income information, HUD guidance states that PHAs may use the higher of the UIV data or the tenant provided information to project income, unless the tenant can provide documentation that the higher amount is no longer accurate due to a change in circumstances. Can this same philosophy be applied to project income when there is no substantial difference between third-party verification and tenant provided income information?

Answer: Yes. "HUD Guidelines for Projecting Annual Income When UIV Data is Available" philosophy can be used in situations where there is a difference between tenant-reported income and income data from third-party verification.

101. Question: Will independent contractors, working for a PHA, have the ability to access the UIV system?

Answer: PHAs may request access to UIV for independent contractors who are responsible for program administration. HUD will authorize access to UIV by independent contractors only if there is a need for them to access the information. Independent contractors must still comply with privacy requirements when using the system. See the UIV System web page for details.

102. Question: Will the Exceeds Threshold Report compare Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC) and UIV data according to current program rules? For example, will both systems exclude from the comparison, employment income of a 16-year old?

Answer: The Exceeds Threshold Report does not consider program rules when identifying household with income discrepancies, nor will the system exclude any income in accordance with program rules.

103. Question: Is there a way for the UIV system to include information that a family has completed the maximum exclusion period under the earned income disallowance (EID)?

Answer: No. The UIV system is only designed to display income data and income discrepancies. The system will not include information on families that have completed the maximum exclusion period under the earned income disallowance. See the UIV System web page for system uses and capabilities.

104. Question: What type of action will HUD take when it appears that a PHA is not following up on discrepancies identified by the Exceeds Threshold Report? For example, if a PHA does not require tenants to report interim changes in income, will HUD assume that PHA is not following up on underreported income?

Answer: The PHA will be subject to disallowed costs as a result of PHA errors uncovered during RIM reviews that result in HUD overpayment of subsidy as emphasized in Notice PIH 2003-34. However, as described in the example, HUD will not assume that a PHA is not following-up on the unreported income, because the PHA's policies do not require interim examinations.

105. Question: If a person has a new last name that has not yet been reported to SSA, will a PHA still be able to get income information from UIV on the tenant?

Answer: If a tenant has a new last name and has not reported this information to SSA, and the PHA records the new name on the Form HUD-50058, the PHA will not be able to obtain income information from SSA. The exact name, DoB, and SSN in PIC must match SSA's records. The PHA will be able to obtain wage information despite the difference in name because only the SSN is matched against the State Wage Information Collection Agency (SWICA) database.

106. Question: Will HUD's UIV system include TANF and court-ordered child support payments?

Answer: No. The UIV system will not contain TANF and child support income because HUD does not have an agreement with local TANF agencies and child support offices to obtain such information. There is no statute that requires these agencies to provide HUD this information.

107. Question: Will PHA staff that want to have access to UIV have to provide their SSN in order to get access?

Answer: Yes. HUD requires disclosure of the SSN for each person who will access the UIV system.

108. Question: How current will the information in HUD's UIV system be? Will it contain historical data?

Answer: Data in HUD's UIV system will be updated quarterly. Thus, at any give time, the data will be as recent as the last quarter (i.e. fourth quarter requests for income data will contain third quarter data). UIV will contain two years of wages and unemployment data and the last eight changes in SS benefits.

109. Question: Will the UIV system include the name of the employer?

Answer: Yes. The UIV system will include the name of the employer.

110. Question: Will PHAs have access to UIV information for tenant's who work in a bordering state?

Answer: Not currently, no. However, there are plans for future enhancement to the current UIV system to provide wages of tenants that work outside of the State in which they reside.

111. Question: Will PHAs only have access to their own tenant's income data or will they be able to access information for other PHA jurisdictions as well?

Answer: PHAs will only be able to access income data of those tenants, within their PHA's jurisdiction; they will not be able to access tenant data for other jurisdictions.

112. Question: On the Exceeds Threshold Report, will HUD be setting or recommending the threshold percentage for PHAs to use? If so, what is the recommended or established percentage?

Answer: HUD recommends PHAs set the exceeds threshold percentage high enough to where the most potentially egregious cases are addressed first, and then move down to a lower percentage, based on PHA available resources. Alternatively, the PHA may set the Exceeds Threshold Report percentage, based on the PHA's interim increases policy.

113. Question: When will PIC error guides be updated so that PHAs are able to correct errors? This will impact the PHA's ability to successfully utilize UIV.

Answer: HUD is working on the update to PIC error guides. HUD understands that successful implementation of UIV is contingent upon accurate, timely, and successful submission into PIC.

114. Question: Will Field Office staff be trained on the UIV system prior to implementation, so that they will be able to assist PHAs?

Answer: Yes. Field Offices will be trained on the UIV system prior to implementation.

115. Question: After a family is terminated from PH or HCV, how long will family data continue to appear in the UIV system?

Answer: Data for a terminated family from public housing or the housing choice voucher (HCV) program will appear in the UIV system for 60 days after termination, but will be available in HUD's archived system (HUD review only) for three years.

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Related Information

-   Admission and Occupancy FAQs (Related to EID)
-   Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project (RHIIP) Initiative FAQs
-   Verification FAQs
-   Rental Integrity Monitoring (RIM) Reviews FAQs

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Content updated June 18, 2004   Follow this link to go  Back to top   


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