TN 109 (09-23)

SI 00835.310 Distinguishing Between In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) and Other Unearned In-Kind Income

A. Introduction to distinguishing between ISM and other unearned in-kind income

In-kind income includes ISM (i.e., food, and shelter) and other noncash items that the claimant uses to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. In-kind income is either earned or unearned.

For a discussion of in-kind income that is remuneration for work, but is not wages, see SI 00835.390. For a discussion of ISM as earned income, see SI 00820.010. Unearned in-kind income is either ISM or other unearned in-kind income.

This section helps to distinguish ISM from other unearned in-kind income. For a definition of income and a general discussion of cash income, earned in-kind income, ISM, and other unearned in-kind income, see SI 00810.020.

B. Policy for ISM

We value ISM (food or shelter given to a person or that a person receives because someone else pays for it) under one of two rules:

There are three categories of ISM:

  1. 1. 

    Inside ISM received from other members of the household where the claimant resides. It may be valued under either the VTR rule or the PMV rule. For more information on computation of ISM for within a household, refer to SI 00835.340.

  2. 2. 

    Outside ISM received from someone outside the household. It is always valued under the PMV rule. For more information on computation of ISM from outside a household, refer to SI 00835.350.

  3. 3. 

    ISM only to the claimant, refer to SI 00835.400; the PMV rule applies.

ISM counts as income in the month that the claimant has use of the food or shelter item.

EXCEPTION: A third-party vendor payment received as a gift is income in the month the payment is made, per SI 00835.360.

When a claimant receives a dwelling (e.g., a house or a mobile home) as a gift and lives in it in the month of receipt, the dwelling is ISM to the recipient in the form of shelter in the month they receive it. For instructions on when to charge ISM to one, see SI 00835.400.

C. Policy for other unearned in-kind income

Other unearned in-kind income is in-kind income that the claimant did not earn and is not ISM. For more information about forms and amounts of income, see SI 00810.020.

Other unearned in-kind income is valued at its current market value. For definitions associated with ISM, refer to SI 00835.020. If the claimant has not fully paid for the item received and the claimant is responsible for the balance, the paid-up value (i.e., the equity value) corresponding to the percentage of ownership interest is unearned in-kind income. This is because the claimant could obtain only that net value upon sale of the item and payment of the debt. However, if the claimant is not responsible for the balance, they receive in-kind income equal to the amount of cash they could obtain upon sale of the item, regardless of any indebtedness on the part of some other person.

When a claimant receives a dwelling as a gift, but does not live in the dwelling in the month of receipt, it is other unearned in-kind income because the claimant did not use it as shelter.

D. See Also

  • For other in-kind income policy, SI 00810.020

  • For noncash items, which would become a partially or totally excluded resource, if retained, SI 00815.550

  • For ISM received as a result of a third party vendor payment made as a gift, SI 00835.360

E. Examples distinguishing between different in-kind support and maintenance and other unearned in-kind income

1. In-kind item which is not income

William's adult child Amber purchased a furnace for William's home when the old furnace stopped working. Amber bought the furnace from the local utility company and paid for it in monthly installments on a utility bill. The utility company confirmed that William cannot return the furnace for cash since Amber made the purchase and it was purchased on credit. Therefore, the gift of the furnace is not income to William.

2. ISM in the form of a mobile home

Victoria is an aged beneficiary living in an apartment. The landlord raises the rent. Victoria's sibling, Alfred, decides to buy Victoria a mobile home to live in so that Victoria can move from the apartment. Alfred puts the mobile home in both their names. Alfred makes a down payment of $4,000 in April 2011, and loan payments of $400 each month thereafter. Victoria moves into the mobile home in April, and lives there alone. The sibling's down payment of $4,000 in April is ISM to Victoria. Alfred's loan payment of $400 beginning in May is a shelter payment and is outside ISM. Since the actual value of each source of ISM exceeds the PMV, we charge the PMV for April 2011 and continuing. For more information on ISM to one person, see SI 00835.400A. For more information on ISM from outside household, see SI 00835.350.

3. ISM from outright gift of a home

The facts are the same as in Example 2 in SI 00835.310E.2., in this section, except that Victoria's sibling buys the mobile home and pays for it in full, and registers the home in Victoria's 's name only. The purchase of the home as a gift is ISM to Victoria in April, charged at the PMV. Beginning in May, there is no chargeable ISM to Victoria, because Victoria owns the home, and there is no mortgage payment.

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SI 00835.310 - Distinguishing Between In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) and Other Unearned In-Kind Income - 09/14/2023
Batch run: 09/14/2023