TN 41 (03-91)
SI 00830.550 Inheritances
Social Security Act as amended, Section 1612(a)(2)(D), 1612(a)(2)(E);
20 CFR 416.1121(e), 416.1121(g)
An inheritance is cash, a right, or a noncash item(s) received as the result of someone's death.
2. Inheritance as Income
An inheritance is a death benefit. See SI 00830.545.
NOTE: Until an item or right has a value (i.e., can be used to meet the heir's need for food or shelter), it is neither income nor a resource. The inheritance is income in the first month it has a value and can be used. (See SI 00810.005.)
3. Inheritance Already a Resource
An inheritance is not income to an individual if the inheritance is something which was considered that individual's resource (either as a member of an eligible couple or through deeming of resources) immediately before the death.
NOTE: The proceeds of a life insurance policy were not a resource before the death. (See SI 00830.545D.)
4. Inheritance of a House
You must value the inheritance of a house which is used as shelter under the PMV rule in the month of receipt.
Follow the instructions at SI 00830.545 pertaining to death benefits.
2. Establishing Date of Receipt
To establish when the inheritance is received, check for regional instructions which may explain the effect of individual State laws.
If regional instructions do not specify when an inheritance is “received”, assume the individual derives no income until the earliest of:
the date the individual alleges receiving the inheritance (using a statement either signed or recorded on a DROC from the individual or documents in the individual's possession); or
the date the estate is closed (which may be determined by contacting the court or an attorney involved in the closing of the estate).
3. Amount Received
Verify the amount or value of the inheritance using:
documents in the individual's possession;
a court order closing the estate;
a copy of the will; or
an estimate from a knowledgeable source, if real property is involved.
Based on what the inheritance is, apply the appropriate instructions for valuing what was received. Depending upon what has been received, some instructions will be found in SI 00810.005 (Income) and some in SI 01120.001 (Resources). See SI 00830.550C.
Receipt of certain noncash items, SI 00815.550
Presumed maximum value, SI 00835.300
Current market value, SI 00835.310
Trusts, SI 01120.200
Types of liquid resources, SI 01110.305
Inheritances and unprobated estates, SI 01120.215
Real property, SI 01130.100
Personal property—household goods and personal effects, SI 01130.430
Personal property—automobile, SI 01130.200