TN 67 (02-14)

SI 01130.130 Real Property Whose Sale Would Cause Undue Hardship, Due to Loss of Housing, to a Co-Owner

A. Policy principles

1. Exclusion of the individual’s ownership interest

Effective April 1, 1988, the value of an individual's ownership interest in jointly owned real property is an excluded resource for as long as sale of the property would cause undue hardship, due to loss of housing, to a co-owner.

2. Undue hardship for co-owner

Undue hardship would result if such co-owner:

  • uses the property as his or her principal place of residence;

  • would have to move if the property were sold; and

  • has no other readily available housing.

Example 1 – Undue Hardship:

George and Martha live together in a house they co-own. George, a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, leaves the household with no intent to return. Martha has no other place to live and would face an undue hardship if George sold the house. Although George has ownership interest in a house that he no longer lives in, it would impose an undue hardship on Martha if he sold the house. Therefore, we would not count the value of George’s interest in the house as a resource as long as Martha lives there.

Example 2 – Undue Hardship:

Two brothers, William and Harry, share ownership in a large old house. William, the SSI recipient, marries and moves out to live with his wife in a rental apartment. Harry has insufficient funds to afford even the most meager apartment. Even though a half interest in the large old house exceeds the resource limit for William, he would not be obligated to sell because he would create an undue hardship on his brother. Therefore, William’s share of the house does not count as a resource as long as Harry remains in the house.

B. Development and documentation of initial claims and posteligibility

1. Allegation of loss of housing for co-owner

If someone alleges that the sale of certain real property would force a co-owner living on it to move, obtain:

  • statement signed or recorded on a DROC to that effect; and

  • evidence of joint ownership. To develop an ownership interest using evidence, see SI 01130.100C.2.a. through SI 01130.100C.2.c.

If co-ownership is not proven, skip to SI 01130.130B.3. in this section. Otherwise, obtain the statement in SI 01130.130B.2. in this section.

2. Required statement from resident co-owner

Obtain a statement signed or recorded on a DROC from the co-owner regarding whether he or she:

  • uses the property as his or her principal place of residence;

  • would have to move if the property were sold; and

  • has other living quarters readily available.

To determine whether (on the basis of the statements of the individual and the co-owner) the sale of the property would cause undue hardship to the co-owner, apply the policy principle in SI 01130.130A.

Accept any reasonable allegation from the co-owner that there is no readily available housing (e.g., no other affordable housing available or no other housing with necessary physical modifications for a handicapped individual).

NOTE: In cases involving domestic abuse, we will accept an SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), in lieu of a signed statement, documenting the co-owner’s allegation of undue hardship if the co-owner is uncooperative or unresponsive to the request for a signed statement. If the co-owner continues to be uncooperative or unresponsive to requests for evidence of undue hardship, follow the procedures outlined in SI 01130.130B.3.

3. Undue hardship does not apply

If we cannot exclude the property on the basis of undue hardship:

  • document the file to explain why we cannot exclude the property;

  • issue an appropriate manual notice. For manual notices, see SI 01130.130D in this section; and

  • offer the claimant or recipient the option of receiving conditional benefits, if he or she qualifies for them. (For conditional benefits, see SI 01150.200.)

4. Undue hardship applies

If we can exclude the property on the basis of undue hardship:

  • input HJO$$$$$ to the CG field of the SSR (for case related data, see SM 01005.525 and for case characteristics codes, see SM 01301.820), with the five-dollar signs showing the value of the claimant, recipient or deemor’s ownership interest in the property; and

  • issue an appropriate manual notice (for manual notices, see SI 01130.130D in this section).

  • for MSSICS cases, select “Sale would cause co-owner undue hardship” as the exclusion reason on the Real Property page.

C. Operating procedure for manual notices

1. General requirements for issuing a manual notice

When issuing a manual notice related to undue hardship, due to loss of housing, for a co-owner of real property:

  • suppress the systems-generated notice (for notice suppression information, see SM 01301.675);

  • send a manual notice per NL 00801.010E (for the appropriate standard paragraphs, see NL 00804.100); and

  • include other appropriate language as directed by SI 01130.130D.2. and SI 01130.130D.3. in this section.

NOTE: If the claimant or recipient is blind or visually impaired, see the special blind or visually impaired notice options instructions in NL 01001.010.

2. Undue hardship not found

Using an SSA-L8030-U2, Notice of Disapproved Claim (for information on SSA-L8030-U2, see NL 00802.025), or an SSA-L8155-U2, SSI Notice Of Planned Action (for information on SSA-L8155-U2, see NL 00803.030), as appropriate, include the language in:

3. Undue hardship found

Using an SSA-L8025-C1, Notice of Award (for information on SSI-L8025-C1, see NL 00802.020), or an SSA-L8166-U2, SSI Important Information (for information on SSI-L8066-U2, see NL 00803.055), as appropriate, include the language in the exhibit in SI 01130.130E.2. in this section.

NOTE: Do not suppress the systems-generated notice (SSA-L8025-C1) if undue hardship is the only issue. Once the system generates it, prepare an SSA-L8166-U2 for release.

D. Exhibits of complete notice language and special insert paragraphs

1. Co-owned Real Property, No Undue Hardship

You cannot      (1)      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because you are over the resource limit.

Information About Your Resources

We are including      (2)      as your resource. You told us earlier that the person who owns this property with you and who lives on it would be forced to move if the property were sold. We now find, however, that        (3)       .

Since we must include      (4)      as your resource, your resources are over the limit. Because of this,      (5)        . For you       (6)        , your resources cannot be worth more than       (7)       in          (8)        . We call this amount the limit on your resources.

Resources are things that      (9)        own. Resources include cash, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, certain types of life insurance, buildings and land you do not live on, and some other things. We do not include as resources the home you live in and one car you use for necessary activities, and some other things.

Fill-ins:

  1. receive/ continue to receive (in postentitlement)

  2. description of property and its value, such as, the house at 46 Oak Avenue valued at $5,000

  3. specify which requirements of the law are not met, for example even though you own the property with another person and he would be forced to move, there is other housing available for him.

  4. description of property and its value, and a description and value of any other countable resources that cause resources to exceed the limit

  5. your SSI payments will stop in month and year/ you cannot receive SSI payments

  6. to receive SSI payments/ to continue to receive SSI payments

  7. $,$$$ (resource limit)

  8. year (of resource limit)

  9. you/ you and your husband/ you and your wife/ you and the names of any deemors on the record

2. Co-Owned Real Property - Undue Hardship Found

   (1)       we are not including    (2)     as your resource now because you and another person own it together. You told us that the other person lives on the property and would be forced to move if it were sold. You also told us that other housing is not available for the other owner.

If the other owner moves, dies, is no longer part owner, or agrees to sell the property, let us know right away. We will have to consider whether any of the property is your resource at that time.

For you       (3)       , your resources cannot be worth more than      (4)       in       (5)       . We call this amount the limit on your resources.

Resources are things that       (6)       own. Resources include cash, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, certain types of life insurance, buildings and land you do not live on, and some other things. We do not include as resources the home you live in and one car you use for necessary activities, and some other things.

Fill-ins:

  1. We are writing to tell you that (use only on stand-alone notice, not used on award notice)

  2. description of property, such as, the house at 46 Oak Avenue

  3. to receive Supplemental Security Income payments/ to continue to receive Supplemental Security Income payments

  4. $,$$$ (resource limit)

  5. year (of resource limit)

  6. you/ you and your husband/ you and your wife/ you and the names of any deemors on the record


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130130
SI 01130.130 - Real Property Whose Sale Would Cause Undue Hardship, Due to Loss of Housing, to a Co-Owner - 02/18/2014
Batch run: 02/18/2014
Rev:02/18/2014