Assistance Income Types
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This section includes information about assistance received from federal, federally aided, or state public assistance programs.
Assistance payments are monies provided to eligible applicants.
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The payments above can be from federal, federally aided, or state public assistance programs, that include and are not limited to any of the following:
Arizona Rental Assistance Program (ARAP)
The Arizona Rental Assistance Program (ARAP) alleviates housing instability for eligible low-income seniors and families with children. Eligible households may receive a lump-sum assistance payment equal to three times the household’s monthly rent, not to exceed $10,500. Program benefits may be used to cover rental arrears, future rent, and rent late fees and penalties.
ARAP is funded by State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). SLFRF is administered federally by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and DES administers ARAP in accordance with ARPA, SLFRF, and Treasury guidance to meet the diverse needs of vulnerable Arizonans.
For questions about an ARAP application, please call 1 (833) 912-0878.
To be potentially eligible for ARAP, all of the following criteria must be met:
The applicant must be a tenant, obligated to pay rent by a written lease agreement in an eligible Arizona jurisdiction
The household must be experiencing housing insecurity or risk of eviction, as shown by any of the following:
Eviction notice
Past due rent notice
Past due utility bill when an eviction notice or past due rent notice cannot be provided
At least one of the following must reside in the household:
A child under the age of 18
A senior 60 years of age or older
When all household members are 60 years of age or older, no additional income requirement is necessary. For all other qualifying households, one member of the household meets any of the following:
Have full-time employment (30 hours per week, 130 hours per month).
Be a qualifying recipient of unemployment, workers compensation, or disability benefits.
Be immediately available for full-time employment and had full-time employment in the last four months, completed an education or training program in the last six months, or have a full-time job offer starting within three months.
Household income must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI)
Applicants interested in rental assistance need to provide a copy of all of the following:
Copy of the lease/rental agreement
Proof of identity (photo ID)
Proof of income
Direct deposit bank information
Proof of housing instability (eviction notice or past due rent notice)
Proof of employment
Support payments
Completion of educational, vocational, or job training program for a household member
Failure to provide the required documentation may delay eligibility determination and could result in an application denial.
Rental Assistance Portion of ARAP
The rental assistance portion of the program serves all Arizona counties.
Utility Assistance Portion of ARAP
Until further notice, ARAP is available only as rental assistance.
Households that need utility assistance may be eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
When FAA determines benefits, the participant’s rental or utility expense amount is not removed or reduced as a result of participating in this program.
Assistance Payments From Another State
Assistance payments received by the participant from any other state are considered unearned income.
Any portion of the payment intended for the current month is countable unearned income.
Any portion of the payments received for prior months are countable as a resource. For more information on treating payments received for prior months as a resource, see lump sum payments.
For additional information on participants receiving out of state benefits, see Duplicate Participation.
Cash Assistance Payments
Cash Assistance (CA) or Tribal TANF benefits from Arizona are countable to the NA budgetary unit.
For NA, CA benefits received for a prior month are not countable. See lump sum payments for information on benefits received for a prior month.
When the assistance payments are not received from Arizona, see Assistance Payments from Another State.
CA Recoupment Income
CA fraud recoupment is the result of an identified participant being prosecuted in a court of law for any of the following:
Fraudulently receiving CA payments
Having committed an intentional program violation (IPV)
FAA budgets the original CA payment amount.
CA Sanction Income
CA payments are sanctioned when a participant of the CA budgetary unit fails to comply with one or more of the following:
The Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) form.
The OnBase Unity form.
NOTE Completion of a Unity form is done with the assistance of FAA staff. To complete and sign a Unity form, contact FAA by one of the following ways:
Telephone. (See Customer Care Center for contact information and hours.)
In person at any FAA office (See the DES Office Locator webpage found at and click ‘Find a DES Office’ to locate the nearest FAA office.)
The Personal Responsibility Agreement notice.
The CA sanction amount is countable towards the NA budgetary unit.
The sanction income follows the noncompliant participant when that participant leaves the budgetary unit.
When the noncompliant participant enters an NA budgetary unit, the participant's sanction income is counted for each month through the end of the NA approval period.
Child Care Food Program Payments
Payments from the Child Care Food Program (CCFP) are not countable when payments are made to a participant for their own children.
When payments are made to a participant for children other than their own, CCFP payments are countable for NA only as self-employment(g) income.
Childcare Payments
Childcare payments made to a participant as a result of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act are not countable when the payment is a reimbursement. The payment is not countable, even when the payment exceeds actual childcare expenses. (Public Law 100 485)
Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP)
The Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP) works to improve the health of low-income persons who are at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with a monthly package of nutritious food at no cost. CSFP foods are purchased by the state from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) division.
The Commodity Senior Food Program is also known as the “Commodity Supplemental Food Program” and “Food Plus”. Assistance received through the CSFP is not countable. For more information about CSFP, see
Complementary Assistance
Complementary assistance received from other agencies and organizations is not countable when the assistance provided is for basic living expenses that are not included in the standard of need(g).
Disaster Relief Payments
Payments received under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, as amended by the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Amendments of 1988, are not countable unearned income.
Payments may be made for items and purposes such as, and not limited to, any of the following:
Home repair
Structure restoration
Comparable disaster assistance payments provided by states, local governments, tribal governments, and disaster assistance organizations are also not countable.
Disaster relief payments can be received from, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Red Cross
The Individual and Family Grant Program (IFGP)
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
Emergency Assistance Payments
Emergency Assistance (EA) payments are unearned income and may be countable or not countable. EA payments are provided by states, local government, tribal governments and disaster assistance organizations.
When the EA payment is payable directly to the budgetary unit, the payment is countable.
NOTE Retroactive payments intended for prior months are not countable.
When the EA payment is a vendor payment, the payment is not countable. (For more information see, Vendor Payments)
EA payments provided by tribal governments are not countable.
Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a federal program that helps supplement the diets of people with low income by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost. USDA provides 100% American-grown USDA Foods and administrative funds to states to operate TEFAP.
The amount of food each state receives out of the total amount of food provided is based on the number of unemployed persons and the number of people with incomes below the poverty level in the state. States provide the food to local agencies that they have selected, usually food banks, which in turn distribute the food to local organizations, such as soup kitchens and food pantries that directly serve the public.
States also provide the food to other types of local organizations, such as community action agencies, which distribute the foods directly to low-income households. These local organizations distribute USDA Foods to eligible recipients for household consumption or use them to prepare and serve meals in a congregate setting. Under TEFAP, states also receive administrative funds to support the storage and distribution of USDA Foods.
Assistance received through TEFAP is not countable.
Emergency Food Program
Food issued by the Emergency Food Program through the State Department of Education Jobs bill is not countable.
Energy Assistance Payments
Energy assistance payments or reimbursements issued under any federal, state, or local law when equal to or less than the actual utility expense amount, are not countable as income. This includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Negative Rent Utility Payments
Public Housing Utility Allowances
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs (LIHEAP)
Service to Help Arizonans with Relief on Energy (SHARE)
In-kind(g) energy assistance payments
These payments are required to be clearly identified as being issued for energy assistance.
Federal Relocation Assistance Payments
Payments made to a participant to relocate because their property was acquired by a federal or federally assisted program.
These payments are not countable unearned income.
Grant Diversion Payments
Grant Diversion (GD) is one nonrecurring payment of three months of CA. GD payments are not countable unearned income.
For more information on the GD option, see Grant Diversion under FAA Programs.
Kinship Foster Caregiver Stipend
The Kinship Foster Caregiver Stipend (formerly known as Grandparent Kinship Support Service Payments) provides a monthly payment of $75 for clothing and other personal items to grandparents raising their own grandchildren.
For NA, the monthly payment is countable unearned income.
For CA, monthly payments for clothing and other personal items are not countable.
Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP)
Monthly NAP benefits issued by any of the following areas are not countable:
Puerto Rico (no longer issues a monthly cash benefit)
American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (issues food coupons)
Reception and Placement (R&P) Grants
Reception and Placement (R&P) Grant payments are to assist newly arrived refugees with their initial resettlement expenses in the United States.
The payments are provided through a Department of State or Department of Justice R&P program. Payments are limited to a maximum of $1,225.00 per refugee to assist the refugee during their first 30 to 90 calendar days in the United States.
The payments received are considered not countable unearned income regardless of the program that is giving refugees the assistance.
Refugees may receive assistance from a voluntary agency(g) or under any of the following programs:
Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Programs
Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) Sponsorship Program
Welcome Corp Sponsorship Program (WC)
Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) Payments
Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) is temporary assistance available under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) and funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This payment is for newly arrived single or married refugees with no dependents.
RCA budgetary units are Basic Categorically Eligible (BCE) for NA. (See BCE for information on Categorical Eligibility)
RCA payments are countable for NA and not countable for CA.
RCA eligibility is determined by a Voluntary Agency (VOLAG). The VOLAG is also responsible for issuing the payments. For information on the voluntary agencies, see RRP Referrals.
Refugees are potentially eligible to receive 12 months of RCA benefits. The 12 months starts from the date of the refugee's entry into the U.S. The arrival month is included in the 12-month count. The payment time period ends the first day of the 13th month after entry into the U.S.
For asylees, the 12-month maximum eligibility period begins from the month the asylee status is granted, not the month of U.S. entry.
NOTE Refugee participants receiving the Matching Grant payments are not eligible to receive CA or RCA benefits. (For more information, see Matching Grant Payments)
TANF Differential Payments
A TANF Differential Payment is temporary assistance available under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) and funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This payment is for refugee budgetary units receiving CA from FAA. The payment is unearned income issued by a Voluntary Agency (VOLAG) or Resettle Agency (RA).
The TANF Differential Payments are countable for NA and not countable for CA.
When the refugee budgetary unit has dependents, a VOLAG or RA contacts the FAA Refugee Unit via email or fax for verification of the household’s CA eligibility. The FAA Refugee offices determine NA, CA, and MA eligibility for refugee budgetary units with dependents. For information on the voluntary agencies, see RRP Referrals.
When the budgetary unit is not registered with a VOLAG or RA, RRP assigns the budgetary unit to a VOLAG or RA for TANF Differential Payments after the TANF or TPEP benefits have been approved.
When the budgetary unit is approved for CA, they are potentially eligible to receive the TANF Differential Payment from a VOLAG. Refugees are potentially eligible to receive up to 12 months of benefits.
Potential eligibility starts from the date of the refugee household’s entry into the United States. The arrival month is included in the twelve-month count. The payment time period ends the first day of the 13th month after entry in the United States.
NOTE For asylees, the twelve-month maximum eligibility period begins from the month the asylee status is granted, not the month of U.S. entry.
TPEP Sanction Income
Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) benefits are withheld when a participant in the TPEP budgetary unit is noncompliant with TPEP PRA requirements.
When a TPEP benefit is withheld due to a noncompliant participant, the gross amount of the TPEP benefit before the benefit withholding is countable to the NA budgetary unit.
FAA continues to count the income until the noncompliant participant leaves the budgetary unit or until the NA renewal period ends, whichever occurs first.
Tuberculosis Control
Tuberculosis Control (TC) is an assistance payment that provides support for persons who are certified unemployable by the State TC Officer as a result of communicable Tuberculosis. TC payments are countable.
Veterans Administration Educational Income
The Montgomery GI bill Chapter 30 and other income paid to the participant by the Veteran's Administration for educational purposes are not countable unearned income.
Weatherization Assistance
A nonrecurring payment made for an emergency repair or replacement of a heating or cooling device is considered not countable unearned income.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Benefits
Special supplemental food program benefits received by participants in the WIC program are not countable. (Public Law 92-433)
Countable income is used to determine an income budget. (See Income Budgeting to see how FAA determines the income budget.) FAA needs to know about income that is both countable and not countable to determine whether a budgetary unit’s income is exceeding their expenses. (See Income Eligibility for more information about how FAA uses countable and not countable income.)
The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
For NA, all of the following income is required to be verified before eligibility is determined:
Reported on a new application, during the interview of a new application, or changes reported before the eligibility determination of a new application.
Changes after an eligibility determination of a new application (e.g., a renewal application, mid approval contact, etc.) and any of the following apply:
The source of the income has changed.
The income is questionable(g) or unclear(g).
The reported income amount has changed by $51 or more.
The previous verification in the case file is more than 59 calendar days old.
For CA, all income is required to be verified before determining eligibility.
Examples of verification that can be used for assistance income types include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Assistance payments records
AZTECS Interface Inquiry Menu (ININ) for verification of SSA or SSI income
Benefit award letters from SSA, Statement of Earnings VA, and other agencies
Bank records
Court records or court orders
DCSS documents or print outs
Current check reflecting gross income (Do not copy federal government checks)
Federal or state tax forms
Household System Check (HOSC) information
Insurance policies
Mortgages and Sales Contracts
Statement from the agency or payer providing the income
State Data Exchange (SDX) microfiche
Unemployment Insurance records
Absent Parent
Legal Authorities
AAC R6-12-501
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (PL116-260)
American Rescue Plan of 2021 (PL117-2)
Emergency Food Program (Public Law 988)
last revised 03/18/2024