SSR 81-24: SECTION 1612(a)(2)(A) (42 U.S.C. 1382a(a)(2)(A)), SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME -- UNEARNED INCOME -- IN-KIND SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE -- CLAIMANT RESIDES IN A PUBLIC ASSISTANCE HOUSEHOLD
20 CFR 416.1131(a), 416.1132(c)(5), 416.1141(b), and 416.1142
- The beneficiary claimed that the Social Security Administration (SSA) incorrectly reduced her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits by one-third, under section 1612(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act (the Act), on the grounds that she was living in her son's household and receiving in-kind support and maintenance from him. The record shows that the claimant and her son, also an SSI recipient, were the only members of their household. Held, under 20 CFR 416.1142, the claimant could not be considered to be receiving in-kind support and maintenance from her son because their household meet the definition of a "public assistance household" to which the in-kind support and maintenance provision does not apply. Further held, the claimant's SSI benefits were not subject to reduction.
The issue to be determined is whether the amount of the SSI benefits due the claimant, an SSI beneficiary, should be reduced by one-third.
SSA reduced the claimant's SSI benefits by one-third, under section 1612(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act, on the basis that the claimant was living in the household of her son and receiving both food and shelter (in-kind support and maintenance) from him. The claimant then appealed this reduction of her benefits.
The claimant's son testified that his mother moved into his household; that she is completely unable to take care of herself and receives no other outside financial support; that he himself receives SSI benefits; and that he and his mother are the only member of their household.
Section 1611(b) of the Act provides that an individual's SSI benefits shall be reduced by the amount of his or her countable income and section 1612(a)(2)(A) of the Act includes support and maintenance furnished in cash or kind within its definition of income.
Section 1612(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Act § 416.1131(a) of Regulations No. 16 provide that instead of determining the actual dollar value of in-kind support and maintenance, SSA reduces the Federal benefit rate by one-third if an individual lives in another person's household and receives both food and shelter from that person.
Section 416.1132(c)(5) of Regulations No. 16 provides that: "You are not living in another person's household (you live in your own household) if-(5) All members of the household receive public income-maintenance payments (§ 416.1142)."
Section 416.1141(b) of Regulations No. 16 provides in part that: "The presumed value rule applies whenever we must count in-kind support and maintenance as unearned income and the one-third reduction rule does not apply. This means that the presumed value rule applies if you are living-(b) in your household . . . For exceptions, see § 416.1142 if you are living in a public assistance household. . . ."
Section 416.1142(a) of Regulations No. 16 provides, in part, that a household in which every member receives some kind of public income -- maintenance payments is a "public assistance household." Examples of such payments include those "made under . . . (2) Title XVI of the Social Security Act (SSI, including federally administered State supplements and State administered mandatory supplements). . . ."
Section 416.1142(b) of Regulations No. 16 provides that -- "if you live in a public assistance household, we consider that you are not receiving in-kind support and maintenance from members of the household. . . ."
The evidence of record shows that the claimant and her son meet the definition of living in a public assistance household because they both receive SSI benefits and are the only members of their household. Therefore, the claimant does not receive in-kind support and maintenance from her son. Hence, her SSI benefits are not subject to reduction.