Telephone Expense
(01/01/21 - 12/31/21)
Telephone expenses billed separate from or itemized with rent or mortgage are allowable for NA only. (See Utility Expenses)
When the telephone expense amount is itemized with the rent or mortgage payment, deduct the telephone expense amount from the shelter expense. Budget the expenses separately on EXNS.
Allow a telephone expense when the participant is responsible for the charges (even when it is billed to another person). When the participant is allowed a cell phone expense, document the name of the cell phone service carrier.
When the budgetary unit participates in the Lifeline Assistance Program, determine whether a telephone expense obligation remains. Allow a telephone expense when one or both of the following apply:
The discount program does not pay the expense in full
Extra airtime is purchased after exhausting free minutes
NOTE A participant may use a cell phone obtained through a government-subsidized free cell phone program and not incur an allowable expense. Documentation of the free, subsidized cell phone usage is required when the participant is not responsible for paying for cell phone-related services.
Some acceptable forms of verification are as follows:
The telephone bill or proof of payment for minutes attached to a specific device
A receipt from the cell phone service carrier
A screenshot from the cell phone (when the customer only makes payments through the device)
An email from the cellular phone service provider verifying the expense
Allow a telephone expense when the budgetary unit has an obligation to pay any portion of the cell phone expense.
Key the telephone expense on EXPC or EXNS using the TL Expense Code.