Exclusion of Combat Pay from Income Eligibility
Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors, Child Care Agencies participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program Sponsors
Attention: Food Service Director, Business Official, Food Program Director
Date: March 2010
Subject: Exclusion of Military Combat Pay from Income Eligibility in the Child Nutrition Programs
|Reference: United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Policy Memo SP 06-2010; CACFP 03-2010; SFSP 04-2010; Public Law 111-80, October 21, 2009|
|Supercedes: Management Bulletin: USDA-CNP-04-2009 “Exclusion of Military Combat Pay from Income Eligibility in the Child Nutrition Programs”|
This Management Bulletin (MB) supersedes MB USDA-CNP-04-2009 (December 2009) Exclusion of Military Combat Pay from Income Eligibility in the Child Nutrition Programs. This MB provides information on a United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) policy change that excludes military combat pay from income eligibility determinations for the following:
- Free and reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs
- Free and reduced-price meals for centers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
- Tier status determinations for family day care homes in the CACFP
- Meals in the Summer Food Service Program
- Free milk in the Special Milk Program
The exclusion of combat pay is authorized by the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law. 111-80; October 21, 2009) and may be accessed at the United States Government Printing Office Web page at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ80/pdf/PLAW-111publ80.pdf.
As set forth in the statute, combat pay is defined as an additional payment beyond the service members’ regular pay made under Chapter 5 ,Title 37 of the United States Code or as otherwise designated by the Secretary to be excluded, that is received by the household member who is deployed to a designated combat zone. Combat pay is therefore excluded if it is received:
- In addition to the service member’s basic pay
- As a result of the service member’s deployment to or service in an area that has been designated as a combat zone
- After the service member is deployed to or service in the designated combat zone
A combat zone is any area that the President of the United States designates by Executive Order as an area in which the United States Armed Forces are engaging or have engaged in combat. As with other types of income commonly received by military personnel (such as the Basic Allowance for Housing or Basic Allowance for Subsistence payments), combat pay received by service members is normally reflected in the entitlements column of the military Leave and Earning Statement (LES). Information regarding deployment to or service in a combat zone may also be available through military orders or public records on deployment of military units.
Only the portion of the deployed service member’s income made available by them or on their behalf will continue to count as household income. Deployed service members are considered members of the household for purposes of determining income eligibility for the Child Nutrition Programs.
This MB clarifies the new USDA policy exception change from Family Size and Income Determinations in the Child Nutrition Programs for Certain Military Families, dated March 12, 2003, located at the USDA Web page at
http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Governance/Policy-Memos/2003/2003-03-12.htm [Note: the preceding Web address is no longer valid.].
Local educational agencies should implement this income exclusion and notify school food authorities of this change immediately. This income exclusion will be added in the next update to the Eligibility Manual for School Meals.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact your local Nutrition Services Division Field Services Child Nutrition Consultant at 916-445-0850 or 800-952-5609. You may also contact one of the following School Nutrition Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, or Summer Food Service Program Specialists at the contact information provided below:
School Nutrition Programs
You may find a list of contact information for your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) specialist in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). You may also contact the SNP Unit Secretary by phone at 916-322-1450.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
You may find a list of contact information for your CACFP specialist in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. You may also contact Laurie Pennings by phone at 916-324-7133 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Summer Food Service Program
You may refer to Form SFSP 01 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS for a list of SFSP specialists. You may also contact Larry Frakes, SFSP Unit Secretary, by phone at 916-322-8323 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.