TN 35 (10-96)

SI 00501.155 Couple Computation Rules for Applications Filed On or After August 22, 1996

A. Introduction

Section 204 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law (P.L.) 104-193 provides that an SSI application is effective on the later of the first day of the month following the date the application is filed or the first day of the month following the date the individual becomes eligible for such benefits with respect to such application. It also modifies the definition of “eligible spouse” to comply with that rule.

B. Policy - Couple Computation Rules

1. Couple Computation Criteria

The couple computation criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a., SI 00501.154A.1.b., , SI 00501.154A.1.c. and SI 02005.030 continue to apply.

2. Application Filed on or After August 22, 1996

For applications filed on or after August 22, 1996, the following rules apply to couple computations:

a. Month of Application

Couple computation rules apply only if the criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a., SI 00501.154A.1.b., and SI 00501.154A.1.c. are met as of the first day of the month following the date the application is filed.

b. Month of Request for Reinstatement of Benefits

Couple computation rules apply only if the criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a., SI 00501.154A.1.b., and SI 00501.154A.1.c. are met as of the date a request for reinstatement is filed.

c. Separate Applications or Requests in a Month

  • If, in a month, the members of a couple file separate applications, couple computation rules apply only if the criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a., SI 00501.154A.1.b., and SI 00501.154A.1.c. are met as of the first day of the month following the month the separate applications are filed.

  • If, in a month, the members file separate requests for reinstatement of benefits, couple computation rules apply only if the criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a., SI 00501.154A.1.b., and SI 00501.154A.1.c. are met as of the latest request date.

  • If, in a month, one member files an application and the other a request for reinstatement, couple computation rules apply only if the criteria in SI 00501.154A.1.a, SI 00501.154A.1.b., and SI 00501.154A.1.c. are met as of the first day of the month following the date the application is filed.

NOTE: The proration of benefits policy in SI 02005.007A. will no longer apply to initial applications filed on or after 08/22/96. For reinstatement of benefits, the proration rules in SI 02005.007E. continue to apply.

C. Procedure - Payment Amount Options

Follow the instructions in SI 00501.154C.

D. Examples

EXAMPLE 1: Month of Application

Mrs. Askins is receiving SSI benefits. Mr. Askins files for SSI on 08/28/ 96; he will attain age 65 on 09/03/96. Couple computation rules do not apply for September because Mr. Askins was not eligible for benefits on September 1, the first day of the month following the date the application was filed. Mr. and Mrs. Askins are an eligible couple beginning 10/01/96, the first day of the month following the date Mr. Askins meets all factors of eligibility. (For the months of August and September, Mrs. Askins is an eligible individual with an ineligible spouse and deeming would apply.)

EXAMPLE 2: Month of Application

Mr. Bishop has been receiving SSI since 07/92. His spouse, who had not been receiving SSI, files for SSI on 08/29/96 because she attained age 65 on 08 /27/96. Couple computation rules apply beginning 09/01/96, because the requirements in SI 00501.154A.1. are met on first day of the month following the date Mrs. Bishop's application was filed.

In the same example, Mr. and Mrs. Bishop draw SSI as a couple from 09/96 - 12 /96, but become resources ineligible effective 01/97. On 03/10/97 they file a request for reinstatement of benefits because their resources dropped below the limit on 2/28/97. They will be eligible as a couple with couple computation rules applying for March since they meet couple criteria on the date their request for reinstatement is filed and they meet the resources criteria as of the first moment of the month.

EXAMPLE 3: Couple Filing in Same Month

Mrs. Reynolds is over age 65 and files for SSI on 8/24/96. She informs the CR that Mr. Reynolds is ill, but will come in on 8/29/96 to file for SSI. He applies on 8/30/96, and will attain age 65 on 9/2/96. Couple computation rules do not apply for September because Mr. Reynolds was not eligible on September 1. Mrs. Reynolds, however, will be paid as of 9/1/ 96, (the first day of the month following the date she filed) as an individual with an ineligible spouse. They will be paid as a couple on 10/01/96.

EXAMPLE 4: Separate Application and Request for Reinstatement in A Month

Mrs. Altman has been receiving SSI since 1/95. Her benefits were suspended from 1/96-8/96 because of excess income. Her husband retired in 7/96 and filed for SSI on 8/25/96 (he became age 65 in May). On 8/30/96, Mrs. Altman requested reinstatement of her benefits, since her income dropped beginning in August. Mr. Altman is eligible for benefits 09/01/96, the first day of the month following the date his application is filed. Since Mrs. Altman no longer has excess income and requested reinstatement on 8/30/96, she is eligible for August as an individual with an ineligible spouse, as Mr. Altman is not eligible for payment until September. Beginning September 1, they can be paid as an eligible couple.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500501155
SI 00501.155 - Couple Computation Rules for Applications Filed On or After August 22, 1996 - 07/31/2012
Batch run: 07/31/2012
Rev:07/31/2012