Treating Minors as Dependents
Q When certifying households, must we always treat minors as dependents?
A No. Generally, you must treat household members who are minors (under 18 years old) as dependents. But if a household member is an “emancipated minor,” meaning that she’s under 18 years old and enters into a lease under state law and lives in a household as the head, co-head, or spouse, then you must treat her as an adult [HUD Handbook 4350.3, par. 5-6(A)(2),(3)].
Conversely, if an emancipated minor is residing with a household as a member other than the head, spouse, or co-head, the individual would be considered a dependent. In this case, the earned income of the minor is not counted in the annual income calculations. However, benefits or other unearned income of the minor is counted.