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RESOURCES

Exclusions From Resources[34]

Sec1613[42 U.S.C. 1382b] (a) In determining the resources of an individual (and his eligible spouse, if any) there shall be excluded—

(1) the home (including the land that appertains thereto);

(2)(A) household goods, personal effects, and an automobile, to the extent that their total value does not exceed such amount as the Commissioner of Social Security determines to be reasonable; and

(B) the value of any burial space or agreement (including any interest accumulated thereon) representing the purchase of a burial space (subject to such limits as to size or value as the Commissioner of Social Security may by regulation prescribe) held for the purpose of providing a place for the burial of the individual, his spouse, or any other member of his immediate family;

(3) other property which is so essential to the means of self-support of such individual (and such spouse) as to warrant its exclusion, as determined in accordance with and subject to limitations prescribed by the Commissioner of Social Security, except that the Commissioner of Social Security shall not establish a limitation on property (including the tools of a tradesperson and the machinery and livestock of a farmer) that is used in a trade or business or by such individual as an employee;

(4) such resources of an individual who is blind or disabled and who has a plan for achieving self-support approved by the Commissioner of Social Security, as may be necessary for the fulfillment of such plan;

(5) in the case of Natives of Alaska, shares of stock held in a Regional or a Village Corporation, during the period of twenty years in which such stock is inalienable, as provided in section 7(h) and section 8(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act[35];

(6) assistance referred to in section 1612(b)(11) for the 9-month period beginning on the date such funds are received (or for such longer period as the Commissioner of Social Security shall by regulations prescribe in cases where good cause is shown by the individual concerned for extending such period); and, for purposes of this paragraph, the term “assistance” includes interest thereon which is excluded from income under section 1612(b)(12);

(7) any amount received from the United States which is attributable to underpayments of benefits due for one or more prior months, under this title or title II, to such individual (or spouse) or to any other person whose income is deemed to be included in such individual’s (or spouse’s) income for purposes of this title; but the application of this paragraph in the case of any such individual (and eligible spouse if any), with respect to any amount so received from the United States, shall be limited to the first 9 months following the month in which such amount is received, and written notice of this limitation shall be given to the recipient concurrently with the payment of such amount;[36]

(8) the value of assistance referred to in section 1612(b)(14), paid with respect to the dwelling unit occupied by such individual (or such individual and spouse);

(9) for the 9-month period beginning after the month in which received, any amount received by such individual (or such spouse) from a fund established by a State to aid victims of crime, to the extent that such individual (or such spouse) demonstrates that such amount was paid as compensation for expenses incurred or losses suffered as a result of a crime;

(10) for the 9-month period beginning after the month in which received, relocation assistance provided by a State or local government to such individual (or such spouse), comparable to assistance provided under title II of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisitions Policies Act of 1970 which is subject to the treatment required by section 216 of such Act[37];

(11) for the 9-month period beginning after the month in which received—

(A) notwithstanding section 203 of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, any refund of Federal income taxes made to such individual (or such spouse) under section 24 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to child tax credit) by reason of subsection (d) thereof; and

(B) any refund of Federal income taxes made to such individual (or such spouse) by reason of section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to earned income tax credit), and any payment made to such individual (or such spouse) by an employer under section 3507 of such Code[38] (relating to advance payment of earned income credit);

(12) any account, including accrued interest or other earnings thereon, established and maintained in accordance with section 1631(a)(2)(F);

(13) any gift to, or for the benefit of, an individual who has not attained 18 years of age and who has a life-threatening condition, from an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code[39]

(A) in the case of an in-kind gift, if the gift is not converted to cash; or

(B) in the case of a cash gift, only to the extent that the total amount excluded from the resources of the individual pursuant to this paragraph in the calendar year in which the gift is made does not exceed $2,000;

(14) for the 9-month period beginning after the month in which received, any amount received by such individual (or spouse) or any other person whose income is deemed to be included in such individual’s (or spouse’s) income for purposes of this title as restitution for benefits under this title, title II, or title VIII that a representative payee of such individual (or spouse) or such other person under section 205(j), 807, or 1631(a)(2) has misused;

(15) for the 9-month period beginning after the month in which received, any grant, scholarship, fellowship, or gift (or portion of a gift) used to pay the cost of tuition and fees at any educational (including technical or vocational education) institution;[40]

(16) for the month of receipt and every month thereafter, any annuity paid by a State to the individual (or such spouse) on the basis of the individual’s being a veteran (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code[41]), and blind, disabled, or aged.

In determining the resources of an individual (or eligible spouse) an insurance policy shall be taken into account only to the extent of its cash surrender value; except that if the total face value of all life insurance policies on any person is $1,500 or less, no part of the value of any such policy shall be taken into account; and[42]

(17)[43] any amount received by such individual (or such spouse) which is excluded from income under section 1612(b)(26) (relating to compensation for participation in a clinical trial involving research and testing of treatments for a rare disease or condition).

Disposition of Resources

(b)(1) The Commissioner of Social Security shall prescribe the period or periods of time within which, and the manner in which, various kinds of property must be disposed of in order not to be included in determining an individual’s eligibility for benefits. Any portion of the individual’s benefits paid for any such period shall be conditioned upon such disposal; and any benefits so paid shall (at the time of the disposal) be considered overpayments to the extent they would not have been paid had the disposal occurred at the beginning of the period for which such benefits were paid.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1), the Commissioner of Social Security shall not require the disposition of any real property for so long as it cannot be sold because (A) it is jointly owned (and its sale would cause undue hardship, due to loss of housing, for the other owner or owners), (B) its sale is barred by a legal impediment, or (C) as determined under regulations issued by the Commissioner of Social Security, the owner’s reasonable efforts to sell it have been unsuccessful.

Disposal of Resources for Less Than Fair Market Value

(c)(1)(A)(i) If an individual or the spouse of an individual disposes of resources for less than fair market value on or after the look-back date described in clause (ii)(I), the individual is ineligible for benefits under this title for months during the period beginning on the date described in clause (iii) and equal to the number of months calculated as provided in clause (iv).

(ii)(I) The look-back date described in this subclause is a date that is 36 months before the date described in subclause (II).

(II) The date described in this subclause is the date on which the individual applies for benefits under this title or, if later, the date on which the individual (or the spouse of the individual) disposes of resources for less than fair market value.

(iii) The date described in this clause is the first day of the first month in or after which resources were disposed of for less than fair market value and which does not occur in any other period of ineligibility under this paragraph.

(iv) The number of months calculated under this clause shall be equal to—

(I) the total, cumulative uncompensated value of all resources so disposed of by the individual (or the spouse of the individual) on or after the look-back date described in clause (ii)(I); divided by

(II) the amount of the maximum monthly benefit payable under section 1611(b), plus the amount (if any) of the maximum State supplementary payment corresponding to the State’s payment level applicable to the individual’s living arrangement and eligibility category that would otherwise be payable to the individual by the Commissioner pursuant to an agreement under section 1616(a) of this Act or section 212(b) of Public Law 93-66[44], for the month in which occurs the date described in clause (ii)(II),

rounded, in the case of any fraction, to the nearest whole number, but shall not in any case exceed 36 months.

(B)(i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), this subsection shall not apply to a transfer of a resource to a trust if the portion of the trust attributable to the resource is considered a resource available to the individual pursuant to subsection (e)(3) (or would be so considered but for the application of subsection (e)(4)).

(ii) In the case of a trust established by an individual or an individual’s spouse (within the meaning of subsection (e)), if from such portion of the trust, if any, that is considered a resource available to the individual pursuant to subsection (e)(3) (or would be so considered but for the application of subsection (e)(4)) or the residue of the portion on the termination of the trust—

(I) there is made a payment other than to or for the benefit of the individual; or

(II) no payment could under any circumstance be made to the individual,

then, for purposes of this subsection, the payment described in clause (I) or the foreclosure of payment described in clause (II) shall be considered a transfer of resources by the individual or the individual’s spouse as of the date of the payment or foreclosure, as the case may be.

(C) An individual shall not be ineligible for benefits under this title by reason of the application of this paragraph to a disposal of resources by the individual or the spouse of the individual, to the extent that—

(i) the resources are a home and title to the home was transferred to—

(I) the spouse of the transferor;

(II) a child of the transferor who has not attained 21 years of age, or is blind or disabled;

(III) a sibling of the transferor who has an equity interest in such home and who was residing in the transferor’s home for a period of at least 1 year immediately before the date the transferor becomes an institutionalized individual; or

(IV) a son or daughter of the transferor (other than a child described in subclause (II)) who was residing in the transferor’s home for a period of at least 2 years immediately before the date the transferor becomes an institutionalized individual, and who provided care to the transferor which permitted the transferor to reside at home rather than in such an institution or facility;

(ii) the resources—

(I) were transferred to the transferor’s spouse or to another for the sole benefit of the transferor’s spouse;

(II) were transferred from the transferor’s spouse to another for the sole benefit of the transferor’s spouse;

(III) were transferred to, or to a trust (including a trust described in section 1917(d)(4)) established solely for the benefit of, the transferor’s child who is blind or disabled; or

(IV) were transferred to a trust (including a trust described in section 1917(d)(4)) established solely for the benefit of an individual who has not attained 65 years of age and who is disabled;

(iii) a satisfactory showing is made to the Commissioner of Social Security (in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Commissioner) that—

(I) the individual who disposed of the resources intended to dispose of the resources either at fair market value, or for other valuable consideration;

(II) the resources were transferred exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for benefits under this title; or

(III) all resources transferred for less than fair market value have been returned to the transferor; or

(iv) the Commissioner determines, under procedures established by the Commissioner, that the denial of eligibility would work an undue hardship as determined on the basis of criteria established by the Commissioner.

(D) For purposes of this subsection, in the case of a resource held by an individual in common with another person or persons in a joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or similar arrangement, the resource (or the affected portion of such resource) shall be considered to be disposed of by the individual when any action is taken, either by the individual or by any other person, that reduces or eliminates the individual’s ownership or control of such resource.

(E) In the case of a transfer by the spouse of an individual that results in a period of ineligibility for the individual under this subsection, the Commissioner shall apportion the period (or any portion of the period) among the individual and the individual’s spouse if the spouse becomes eligible for benefits under this title.

(F) For purposes of this paragraph—

(i) the term “benefits under this title” includes payments of the type described in section 1616(a) of this Act and of the type described in section 212(b) of Public Law 93-66[45];

(ii) the term “institutionalized individual” has the meaning given such term in section 1917(e)(3); and

(iii) the term “trust” has the meaning given such term in subsection (e)(6)(A) of this section.

(2)(A) At the time an individual (and the individual’s eligible spouse, if any) applies for benefits under this title, and at the time the eligibility of an individual (and such spouse, if any) for such benefits is redetermined, the Commissioner of Social Security shall—

(i) inform such individual of the provisions of paragraph (1) section 1917(c) providing for a period of ineligibility for benefits under this title and title XIX, respectively, for individuals who make certain dispositions of resources for less than fair market value, and inform such individual that information obtained pursuant to clause (ii) will be made available to the State agency administering a State plan under title XIX (as provided in subparagraph (B)); and

(ii) obtain from such individual information which may be used in determining whether or not a period of ineligibility for such benefits would be required by reason of paragraph (1) or section 1917(c).

(B) The Commissioner of Social Security shall make the information obtained under subparagraph (1)(A)(ii) available, on request, to any State agency administering a State plan approved under title XIX.

Funds Set Aside for Burial Expenses

(d)(1) In determining the resources of an individual, there shall be excluded an amount, not in excess of $1,500 each with respect to such individual and his spouse (if any), that is separately identifiable and has been set aside to meet the burial and related expenses of such individual or spouse.

(2) The amount of $1,500, referred to in paragraph (1), with respect to an individual shall be reduced by an amount equal to (A) the total face value of all insurance policies on his life which are owned by him or his spouse and the cash surrender value of which has been excluded in determining the resources of such individual or of such individual and his spouse, and (B) the total of any amounts in an irrevocable trust (or other irrevocable arrangement) available to meet the burial and related expenses of such individual or his spouse.

(3) If the Commissioner of Social Security finds that any part of the amount excluded under paragraph (1) was used for purposes other than those for which it was set aside in cases where the inclusion of any portion of the amount would cause the resources of such individual, or of such individual and spouse, to exceed the limits specified in paragraph (1) or (2) (whichever may be applicable) of section 1611(a), the Commissioner shall reduce any future benefits payable to the eligible individual (or to such individual and his spouse) by an amount equal to such part.

(4) The Commissioner of Social Security may provide by regulations that whenever an amount set aside to meet burial and related expenses is excluded under paragraph (1) in determining the resources of an individual, any interest earned or accrued on such amount (and left to accumulate), and any appreciation in the value of prepaid burial arrangements for which such amount was set aside, shall also be excluded (to such extent and subject to such conditions or limitations as such regulations may prescribe) in determining the resources (and the income) of such individual.

Trusts

(e)(1) In determining the resources of an individual, paragraph (3) shall apply to a trust (other than a trust described in paragraph (5)) established by the individual.

(2)(A) For purposes of this subsection, an individual shall be considered to have established a trust if any assets of the individual (or of the individual’s spouse) are transferred to the trust other than by will.

(B) In the case of an irrevocable trust to which are transferred the assets of an individual (or of the individual’s spouse) and the assets of any other person, this subsection shall apply to the portion of the trust attributable to the assets of the individual (or of the individual’s spouse).

(C) This subsection shall apply to a trust without regard to—

(i) the purposes for which the trust is established;

(ii) whether the trustees have or exercise any discretion under the trust;

(iii) any restrictions on when or whether distributions may be made from the trust; or

(iv) any restrictions on the use of distributions from the trust.

(3)(A) In the case of a revocable trust established by an individual, the corpus of the trust shall be considered a resource available to the individual.

(B) In the case of an irrevocable trust established by an individual, if there are any circumstances under which payment from the trust could be made to or for the benefit of the individual (or of the individual’s spouse), the portion of the corpus from which payment to or for the benefit of the individual (or of the individual’s spouse) could be made shall be considered a resource available to the individual.

(4) The Commissioner of Social Security may waive the application of this subsection with respect to an individual if the Commissioner determines that such application would work an undue hardship (as determined on the basis of criteria established by the Commissioner) on the individual.

(5) This subsection shall not apply to a trust described in subparagraph (A) or (C) of section 1917(d)(4).

(6) For purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term “trust” includes any legal instrument or device that is similar to a trust;

(B) the term “corpus” means, with respect to a trust, all property and other interests held by the trust, including accumulated earnings and any other addition to the trust after its establishment (except that such term does not include any such earnings or addition in the month in which the earnings or addition is credited or otherwise transferred to the trust); and

(C) the term “asset” includes any income or resource of the individual (or of the individual’s spouse), including—

(i) any income excluded by section 1612(b);

(ii) any resource otherwise excluded by this section; and

(iii) any other payment or property to which the individual (or of the individual’s spouse) is entitled but does not receive or have access to because of action by—

(I) the individual or spouse;

(II) a person or entity (including a court) with legal authority to act in place of, or on behalf of, the individual or spouse; or

(III) a person or entity (including a court) acting at the direction of, or on the request of, the individual or spouse.


[34]  See Vol. II, Appendix K, Income and Resource Exclusions, for a list of provisions from Federal laws regarding exclusions from income and resources.

[35]  See Vol. II, P.L. 92-203, §§7(h) and 8(c).

[36]  See Vol. II, P.L. 101-508, §5041(1), with respect to notification of certain individuals eligible to receive retroactive benefits.

[37]  See Vol. II, P.L. 91-646, §216.

[38]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §§32 and 3507.

[39]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §501.

[40]  P.L. 111-255, §3(a)(1), struck out “ and”.

[41]  See Vol. II, 38 U.S.C. 101(2).

[42]  P.L. 111-255, §3(b)(2), struck out the period and inserted “; and”.

[43]  P.L. 111-255, §3(b)(3), added this new paragraph (17); §3(d), provided that the effective date shall be “on the date that is the earlier of—

(1) the effective date of final regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Social Security to carry out this section [3] and such amendments; or

(2) 180 days after the date of enactment” — (October 5, 2010) — April 5, 2011.

P.L. 111-255, §3(e), provides: “SUNSET PROVISION.—This Act and the amendments made by this Act are repealed on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.”*.

*P.L. 111–255 was enacted on October 5, 2010.

[44]  See Vol. II, P.L. 93-66, §212(b).

[45]  See Vol. II, P.L. 93-66, §212(b).