TN 34 (01-93)
SI 01110.117 Unknown Assets
An individual may be unaware of his or her ownership of an asset. If this is the case, the asset is not a resource during the period in which the individual was unaware of his/her ownership.
The value of the previously unknown asset, including any monies (such as interest) that have accumulated on it through the month of discovery by the individual, is evaluated under regular income-counting rules for that item, not the resource rules, in the month of discovery.
For months after the month of discovery, the previously unknown asset is a resource subject to the usual resource-counting rules.
B. Procedure — documentation
When an individual alleges having been unaware of his/her ownership of an asset, obtain a statement either signed or recorded on a DROC from the individual. Also obtain any available supporting documentation, including (but not limited to) signed statements from other individuals who are familiar with the individual's situation.
Document the file with your determination regarding the alleged “unknown” resource. (An SSA-5002, Report of Contact, may be used for this purpose.)
As a result of contacting a tax assessor's office, the FO learns that the recipient has an ownership interest in previously unreported property (undeveloped land). The property is co-owned with another individual who has always paid the property taxes. Contacts with the recipient and the other individual confirm the recipient's allegations that he was unaware the original owner of the property had died and, therefore, the recipient never knew that he had inherited an ownership interest.
The value of the recipient's ownership interest is counted as income in the month he learned of the ownership interest and as a resource in the following month.
While in the hospital, the recipient received a check for $25 as a “get-well” gift from her neighbors. She was unaware of the gift. At the time, her affairs were being managed by her daughter, who put the check in a desk drawer and failed to tell the recipient anything about it.
In the month the recipient learns of the existence of the check, the check is counted as her income. In the following month, the $25 is counted as her resource.