Submitted by Equivalent_Alps_8321 t3_11c702q in Pennsylvania

Trying to help my cousin figure this stuff out. It's somewhat confusing. My cousin is living with a friend (old man) since late 2021. Hasn't been paying rent due to man being nice and also helping him with stuff (he's done a lot for him). No job, has been dealing with a lot of health issues (hospitalized a bunch of times but is much better now). Has SNAP and Medicaid. SNAP is maxed out I believe like $281 a month. Food money obviously helps a lot. Medication is $1 a month rather than $45 a month. Originally he didn't use the SNAP for like 9 months or something because his Uncle's gave him a ton of frozen and canned food. Surprised they never canceled it.

Old man is very sick now (physically and mentally-dementia) and he can't live there anymore. Old man is getting really crazy. Has to find a new place asap. Like as soon as humanly possible. Room is filling with sewage daily when water is run too long. He's going to get sick. Main line is broken or something. Old man doesn't care (refuses to get a plumber) and cousin can't fix it. And he's getting really crazy and accusatory (accusing him of crazy stuff he didn't do) and threatening him. He could end up sleeping in his car.

Cousin has a friend who lives in a nice, small, but cheap apartment not too far away. Only $700 utilities included. They have one unit left. They're going to let him in it soon seems like because of his personal connection. He also found a stopgap job for some income. Guy is going to let him tag along and help cut grass with him starting in March and pay him cash. Sounds like he'll make around $1200 a month doing that. Not a lot of hours, 20 something a week. Not much but better than nothing.

Should he call his caseworker to report this now? Or mail something instead to them? Does anyone know how this will affect his monthly SNAP payment? Medicaid? Thanks.



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Shad0wSmurf t1_ja207zh wrote

Call and explain housing situation . They will have a good idea of what to do next. Leave out the future job because unless it pans out, it's irrelevant.


Equivalent_Alps_8321 OP t1_ja20mec wrote

He's going to be okay on housing I believe. 99% sure the apartment complex is going to let him move in soon because of his inside connection there. The stopgap job he's definitely going to do. Just waiting for the weather to improve so the work can start.


Shad0wSmurf t1_ja21822 wrote

Plus, it's something like 15 days you have to tell PA about any change in- Housing, income, or location. If he's moving to another place, it could be a different county, and he would need to apply for it all in that county. Just something to think about


Equivalent_Alps_8321 OP t1_ja21k2r wrote

Same county. 15 mins away.


PinsAndBeetles t1_ja34abb wrote

He can call and report once he moves. The rent amount will be added as a SNAP deduction, and with that income his Medicaid will be fine. He can apply for LIHeap for heating (even if heat is included he can qualify if the rent isn’t subsidized). He obviously won’t have a 1099 or anything so he can provide an income statement from the person employing him stating he is paid $1200 monthly. I work for DHS and we 100% don’t care if he is paid cash or reports it to the IRS, that’s separate from our office, we just need to know the income to calculate the benefits.


PinsAndBeetles t1_ja35wcn wrote

You do not have to reapply county to county, you can ask for and inter-county transfer. The only benefit that would require a new application is LIHeap if you had already received at your prior address but want to utilize crisis funds at the new address.


Shad0wSmurf t1_ja3i4xx wrote

Good to know, was informed before Medicaid is County by County and needs to be reapplied to. Maybe they were incorrect in their information.


Shad0wSmurf t1_ja20ymt wrote

I got you, I'm just saying because the way snap and Medicaid is "supposed" to work, is by household income, and if he isn't paying rent now, but will be, his income will be significant different. If you follow


PsychicSarahSays t1_ja2vkhi wrote

Please call APS to get the old man safe.


Equivalent_Alps_8321 OP t1_ja2xebm wrote

His family and Doctor already are aware.


PsychicSarahSays t1_ja3ahhl wrote

Even though others may be aware of the situation, that does not mean it has been reported. Neither the family nor the physician have the resources APS has to ensure the man’s immediate safety.

If they have already made a report, then a second one must be called in immediately to include the current state of the sewer line and the man’s dementia interfering with his ability to make safe decisions.


STLLC2019 t1_ja2mkmp wrote

If the job is paying 1200/month cash, your cousin will need to talk to a good CPA on how to fill his taxes as an independent contractor. And since it is seasonal work, he/she/they will also need to be on the lookout for a stopgap job they are able to do for the part of the year not covered by seasonal lawn work.

I don't have any recommendations because I do not know what your cousin's limitations are, or what accommodations are needed. I'm presuming that the frequent hospitalization is most likely pointing to chronic health issues.


ronreadingpa t1_ja314kz wrote

$1200 per month is $14,400 for the year. That's virtually nothing these days. Better to keep it on the downlow. Also, makes obtaining benefits much easier.

CPA, etc is overkill for what amounts to doing some small odd jobs verses running an actual business. Don't get me wrong, you're technically correct, but not readily practical for the guy's situation.


WookieeSteakIsChewie t1_ja37902 wrote

>1200 per month is $14,400 for the year. That's virtually nothing these days. Better to keep it on the downlow

That's called fraud.


ronreadingpa t1_ja54v57 wrote

Read up on what big corps do on the daily. It's not that 2 wrongs make a right, but rather people need to do what it takes to survive.


WookieeSteakIsChewie t1_ja5n1oh wrote

Oh I'm so tired of this shitty argument on Reddit. I don't give a shit what big corps do, or you do. Doing bad things is doing bad things.


STLLC2019 t1_ja45zev wrote

Is misclassifying an employee as an Independent Contractor. And the IRS has been on the warpath against employee misclassification for the last few years.

Whoever reports the employer will get rewarded by the IRS. Everyone will get fucked since the IRS ALWAYS gets their money...unless, of course, you are one of the wealthy elites.


ronreadingpa t1_ja576qo wrote

The IRS can barely keep up with their basic workload. Cash income is easy to spot by an experienced auditor looking at one's financials, but not for automated matching, which is mostly what the IRS relies on. Ie. reported income (W2, 1099, etc) verses what the tax filer stated.

Your final statement pretty much sums up the sentiment I'm getting at "... you are one of the wealthy elites". The typical working person (ie. earning less than $100K or so per year depending on locale) has to do what it takes to survive. The government knows this and has priced that in. Around 1/2 of all taxpayers pay little to zero federal tax; some getting money back (EITC, etc). The government will do fine whether the OP's cousin reports or not. They'll, figuratively speaking, just print up some more anyways. Inflation is the ultimate taxation that most no one can escape, but I digress.


STLLC2019 t1_ja5kioa wrote

My primary point was the financial gains that can be made by reporting employee misclassification, which happens more than many people think. You are correct in that the IRS misses most cases.

But allowing employee misclassification is also a form of wage theft. It is literally your employer stealing money from you. Which is why it should not be tolerated.

It is truly a failure on society's part that people can be so easily victimized just because of someone else's greed. There are reason why every major religious faith lists greed as a major sin or crime.


ronreadingpa t1_ja6wgxn wrote

Agree totally with your main point. Going after employers would greatly help. However, many workers can't afford to rock the boat. It's a difficult problem as California's recent push to seeking to reclassify many gig workers as employees illustrates.


PrittedPunes t1_ja5u5pg wrote

> If the job is paying 1200/month cash, your cousin will need to talk to a good CPA on how to fill his taxes as an independent contractor.

lol, or just pretend not to be working like half the people on snap in PA.


dclxvi616 t1_ja4rb1u wrote

>SNAP is maxed out I believe like $281 a month.

Just wanted to point out that literally everyone's SNAP benefits have been maxed out since COVID started. This February (right now) is the last month for these extra payments. According to this article every SNAP household will lose a minimum of $95 a month in SNAP benefits. Personally, my benefits are dropping to the minimum, either $16 or $20 a month. I'll be fine, but it's certainly a big adjustment I'd rather be prepared for than not.


bad185 t1_ja5507o wrote

He should definitely report the changes. You have until the 10th of the month following the change to report and be in compliance. Under the table/cash income still counts as income for welfare programs. The MA limit is $1616/month for one, so he will remain eligible. His SNAP could change, but the addition of rent is a biggie. And his income is still pretty low, so I'm guessing he'll only see a small decrease after the other deductions (earned income, shelter, and standard deduction they give). He will definitely lose the $95 COVID benefits, because those end this month. Source: was a welfare caseworker lol. Hope this is helpful!


excusemydust t1_ja5pwb2 wrote

He should absolutely report when he moves so that he continues to receive his paperwork timely. They’ll want to know about any changes to expenses, and when he indicates the rent amount, they’ll want to know how he’s paying or how he’s going to pay. He can explain then that he’ll be doing under-the-table work seasonally and they should advise of what they’ll need from him to verify it.

But, strictly speaking, he doesn’t have to report the income for SNAP until his next renewal or SAR—the only thing required to be reported for SNAP in PA is income exceeding 130% of the FPIGs, which would be $1,473 for your cousin, and based on what you said he won’t earn that much.

For Medicaid, it’s any increase in income of $125/mo or more, to be reported by the 10th day following the month in which the income begins. Which doesn’t actually matter right now because everyone’s Medicaid in Pennsylvania will go to their next renewal after the COVID-19 PHE ends.

Edited to add: As someone else noted, your cousin can report changes via COMPASS if he knows his case record number. Or he can call the statewide customer service center at 1-877-395-8930.


FemaleAndComputer t1_ja362h6 wrote

I believe you can report changes through the PA Compass website or app. It's super easy and you just upload a copy/picture of your paycheck, W2, etc there (and maybe your lease if reporting rent change?). I've done it in the past and it was fairly painless. I think afterwards they just sent me something saying "you're still eligible for medicaid" or whatever (with no changes/interruption to my insurance). If he's done the annual renewal online before, it's basically the same thing. If this option isn't accessible to him, or he has more questions, call the county assistance office.

For a single person, you have to make under about 18k/year to be eligible for PA Medicaid. (If making over 18k, you may still be eligible through MAWD or other special programs.)

I'm not very familiar with SNAP, hopefully others can offer help there.


MomsSpecialFriend t1_ja3e5fy wrote

You could report all of that and it’s still not going to disqualify you, that’s well below federal poverty. Don’t actually report until the things have happened, I.e. he has received one payday or a lease is signed.


Grumpicake t1_ja3aoz9 wrote

Major food banks will often have SNAP help lines that can help navigate through any kind of situation like this. What part of PA does your cousin live in currently OP?