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PDtax
PDtax, CPA firm owner
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 4154
Experience:  35 years tax and professional advice in all matters money
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My son and s family (wife and kids) receive State of Florida

Customer Question

My son and his family (wife and kids) receive State of Florida food stamps & medicaid. He wants to lease a car to help him look for a job. I (his mom) will be making his lease payments. Will leasing a car (or two cars) affect his benefits in Florida? Do leased cars count as an asset in the eyes of the state for food stamps/medicaid purposes?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Will leasing a car (or two cars) affect his benefits in Florida?

Response 1: No.

Do leased cars count as an asset in the eyes of the state for food stamps/medicaid purposes?

Response 2: Yes. For more information, click on the links below:

http://www.cbpp.org/research/states-vehicle-asset-policies-in-the-food-stamp-program

http://www.snap-step1.usda.gov/fns/tool/tutorial/vehicle_states_chart/states_chart.html

Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for writing. I need more clarification because the two answers appear to contradict each other. Also, in the references you provided (which I found and read before going on this website), there is no mention of leased cars.To clarify, I will just give an example and look for your answer: If my son leases 2 new hondas (monthly payment of around $250 each), will that affect benefits?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The hondas go for around $22-25K each, but it is a lease.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for writing. I need more clarification because the two answers appear to contradict each other. Also, in the references you provided (which I found and read before going on this website), there is no mention of leased cars.

Response: If you review the links that I provided to you closely, the information state "all other vehicles" with regard to the State of Florida. So, a reasonable inference can be drawn to mean all cars including leased vehicles.

Expert:  PDtax replied 6 months ago.

Hi from Just Answer. I'mCustomer I can assist, since the first expert opted out.

The rule cites only equity in a car in Florida to be an issue for SNAP. Other than that, the first expert was correct in his response.

Since it is equity that drives the issue, as long as no significant $$ is paid down on the leased vehicle (creating the argument that there is equity), the lease should be fine.

I am concerned, however, with his ability to lease the vehicle in his name with no job or income other than assistance. A lease by you for his use could be considered in-kind income, and defeat the purpose of your leasing him a car. This could soil his eligibility from an income basis, not from an asset basis. And this would certainly have to disclosed to his Florida case manager.

Since the purpose is to look for work, your case manager may allow the vehicle lease. Full disclosure is likely the best bet here, and don't be surprised if your son has to report in regularly about his job hunting to allow the car lease.

I hope that helps. Please rate when your question is answered. I'mCustomer

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