§ 416.1212. Exclusion of the home.

(a) Defined. A home is any property in which an individual (and spouse, if any) has an ownership interest and which serves as the individual's principal place of residence. This property includes the shelter in which an individual resides, the land on which the shelter is located and related outbuildings.

(b) Home not counted. We do not count a home regardless of its value. However, see §§ 416.1220 through 416.1224 when there is an income-producing property located on the home property that does not qualify under the home exclusion.

(c) If an individual changes principal place of residence. If an individual (and spouse, if any) moves out of his or her home without the intent to return, the home becomes a countable resource because it is no longer the individual's principal place of residence. If an individual leaves his or her home to live in an institution, we still consider the home to be the individual's principal place of residence, irrespective of the individual's intent to return, as long as a spouse or dependent relative of the eligible individual continues to live there. The individual's equity in the former home becomes a countable resource effective with the first day of the month following the month it is no longer his or her principal place of residence.

(d) If an individual leaves the principal place of residence due to domestic abuse. If an individual moves out of his or her home without the intent to return, but is fleeing the home as a victim of domestic abuse, we will not count the home as a resource in determining the individual's eligibility to receive, or continue to receive, SSI payments. In that situation, we will consider the home to be the individual's principal place of residence until such time as the individual establishes a new principal place of residence or otherwise takes action rendering the home no longer excludable.

(e) Proceeds from the sale of an excluded home. (1) The proceeds from the sale of a home which is excluded from the individual's resources will also be excluded from resources to the extent they are intended to be used and are, in fact, used to purchase another home, which is similarly excluded, within 3 months of the date of receipt of the proceeds.

(2) The value of a promissory note or similar installment sales contract constitutes a “proceed” which can be excluded from resources if—

(i) The note results from the sale of an individual's home as described in § 416.1212(a);

(ii) Within 3 months of receipt (execution) of the note, the individual purchases a replacement home as described in § 416.1212(a) (see paragraph (f) of this section for an exception); and

(iii) All note-generated proceeds are reinvested in the replacement home within 3 months of receipt (see paragraph (g) of this section for an exception).

(3) In addition to excluding the value of the note itself, other proceeds from the sale of the former home are excluded resources if they are used within 3 months of receipt to make payment on the replacement home. Such proceeds, which consist of the downpayment and that portion of any installment amount constituting payment against the principal, represent a conversion of a resource.

(f) Failure to purchase another excluded home timely. If the individual does not purchase a replacement home within the 3-month period specified in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, the value of a promissory note or similar installment sales contract received from the sale of an excluded home is a countable resource effective with the first moment of the month following the month the note is executed. If the individual purchases a replacement home after the expiration of the 3-month period, the note becomes an excluded resource the month following the month of purchase of the replacement home provided that all other proceeds are fully and timely reinvested as explained in paragraph (g) of this section.

(g) Failure to reinvest proceeds timely. (1) If the proceeds (e.g., installment amounts constituting payment against the principal) from the sale of an excluded home under a promissory note or similar installment sales contract are not reinvested fully and timely (within 3 months of receipt) in a replacement home, as of the first moment of the month following receipt of the payment, the individual's countable resources will include:

(i) The value of the note; and

(ii) That portion of the proceeds, retained by the individual, which was not timely reinvested

(2) The note remains a countable resource until the first moment of the month following the receipt of proceeds that are fully and timely reinvested in the replacement home. Failure to reinvest proceeds for a period of time does not permanently preclude exclusion of the promissory note or installment sales contract. However, previously received proceeds that were not timely reinvested remain countable resources to the extent they are retained.

Example 1.  On July 10, an SSI recipient received his quarterly payment of $200 from the buyer of his former home under an installment sales contract. As of October 31, the recipient has used only $150 of the July payment in connection with the purchase of a new home. The exclusion of the unused $50 (and of the installment contract itself) is revoked back to July 10. As a result, the $50 and the value of the contract as of August 1, are included in a revised determination of resources for August and subsequent months.

Example 2.  On April 10, an SSI recipient received a payment of $250 from the buyer of his former home under an installment sales contract. On May 3, he reinvested $200 of the payment in the purchase of a new home. On May 10, the recipient received another $250 payment, and reinvested the full amount on June 3. As of July 31, since the recipient has used only $200 of the April payment in connection with the purchase of the new home, the exclusion of the unused $50 (and of the installment contract itself) is revoked back to April 10. As a result, the $50 and the value of the contract as of May 1 are includable resources. Since the recipient fully and timely reinvested the May payment, the installment contract and the payment are again excludable resources as of June 1. However, the $50 left over from the previous payment remains a countable resource.

(h) Interest payments. If interest is received as part of an installment payment resulting from the sale of an excluded home under a promissory note or similar installment sales contract, the interest payments do not represent conversion of a resource. The interest is income under the provisions of §§ 416.1102, 416.1120, and 416.1121(c).

[50 FR 42686, Oct. 22, 1985, as amended at 51 FR 7437, Mar. 4, 1986; 59 FR 43285, Aug. 23, 1994; 75 FR 1273, Jan. 11, 2010]