The following example illustrates the policies that apply to determining ISM for transient
and homeless individuals.
Situation: Mr. Jones comes into an SSA field office on 1/15/04 for a redetermination. He reports
that he started living in his automobile on 9/15/03 because he could not afford a
permanent place to live. While living in his automobile, he received some of his food
from a food bank and bought the rest himself. From 11/16/03 through 11/27/03 he stayed
with his brother who did not charge for food and shelter. He left his brother’s home
on 11/28/03 and resumed living in his automobile. With the onset of winter weather,
a local church opened up a temporary shelter. Mr. Jones began staying at the church’s
shelter on 12/29/03. The church shelter provides meals and sleeping quarters at no
cost to those who stay.
Analysis: Based on the case facts provided during the interview, the claims representative
(CR) determined that Mr. Jones is a homeless individual and that his LA/ISM should
be determined under the rules for transients/homeless as of 10/1/03. The CR determined
that living in an automobile did not result in countable ISM. The HEA/SMA precedent
file indicates that the food bank is certified as a provider of support and maintenance
assistance (SMA), so the food from the food bank is not countable as ISM.
However, no exclusion applies to the food and shelter provided by Mr. Jones’ brother.
So the CR must develop the value of the food and shelter Mr. Jones received from 11/16/03
through 11/27/03. Because Mr. Jones is a transient, the first of the month rule does
not apply to the ISM determination. Any ISM received in a month is countable. When
the CR notified Mr. Jones about the PMV rule and rebuttal rights, Mr. Jones provided
evidence that the actual value of the food and shelter for 11/03 was $130. Since the
actual value is less than the PMV, the actual value of $130 is counted as ISM for
The precedent file also indicates that the church is a certified provider of SMA,
so no ISM is counted for the food and shelter provided to Mr. Jones by the church
shelter. In summary, Mr. Jones is in FLA/A from 10/03 through 1/04. He is charged
with $130 of ISM in 11/03. No countable ISM was received in 10/03 or 12/03. Through
1/15/04, the date of the interview, no ISM had been received in 1/04.