31. Question: Are one-time, lump sum payments (inheritance, lottery winnings, etc.) automatically counted as assets?
Answer: No. Where the family receives some type of payment as "cash" and then retains this "cash" in some verifiable form-deposited in a checking or savings account, invested in stock or mutual fund, or used to purchase bonds or real estate as an investment-then the "cash" becomes clearly identifiable and recognizable as an "asset." This is consistent with the concept of "Net Family Assets" as outlined in 24 CFR 5.603(b).
On the other hand, if the family receives some type of cash payment and does not retain the cash in one of these forms, it is nearly impossible to see how a PHA would determine that an asset actually exists. Simply knowing, or even verifying, that the family received a lump sum cash payment of a certain amount does not automatically classify that amount as an "asset." Families receiving lump sum cash payments may use this cash to pay bills, buy items of personal property, or for other purposes that have nothing to do with holding on to the cash as an asset. Where these payments are not retained in some verifiable form, the PHA would have no basis for projecting that the cash will, in fact, be identifiable as an asset for the 12-month period following admission/reexamination effective date.