TN 32 (05-94)

SI 01130.400 Burial Spaces

A. Policy — the exclusion

1. General

A burial space or agreement which represents the purchase of a burial space held for the burial of the individual, his or her spouse, or any other member of his or her immediate family is an excluded resource, regardless of value.

2. No Effect on Burial Funds Exclusion

The burial space exclusion is in addition to, and has no effect on, the burial funds exclusion (SI 01130.410).

3. Multiple Burial Spaces

Of items that serve the same purpose, we will exclude only one per person. For example, we will exclude a cemetery lot and a casket for the same person, but not a casket and an urn.

4. Spaces Held by Deemors

Spaces held by deemors for the burial of an eligible individual, his/her spouse and/or any member of the eligible individual's immediate family (including the deemor) are excludable.

Spaces held by an alien sponsor or essential person for his/her own burial are excludable only if the sponsor/essential person is a member of the eligible individual's immediate family.

B. Definitions

1. Burial Space

A burial space is a(n):

  • burial plot;

  • gravesite;

  • crypt;

  • mausoleum;

  • casket;

  • urn;

  • niche; or

  • other repository customarily and traditionally used for the deceased's bodily remains.

The term also includes necessary and reasonable improvements or additions to such spaces, including but not limited to:

  • vaults;

  • headstones, markers, or plaques;

  • burial containers (e.g., for caskets); and

  • arrangements for the opening and closing of the gravesite.

For example, a contract for care and maintenance of the gravesite, sometimes referred to as endowment or perpetual care, can be excluded as a burial space.

2. Agreement Which Represents the Purchase of a Burial Space

An agreement which represents the purchase of a burial space is a contract with a burial provider for a burial space held for the eligible individual or a member of his/her immediate family.

3. Individual's Immediate Family

“Individual” means the SSI recipient or claimant.

The individual's immediate family includes his or her:

  • parents, including adoptive parents;

  • minor or adult children, including adoptive and stepchildren;

  • siblings (brothers and sisters), including adoptive and stepsiblings.

“Immediate family” also includes the spouse of the above relatives. If the relative's relationship to the recipient is by marriage only, the marriage must be in effect in order for the burial space exclusion to continue to apply. For example, a burial space held for a sister-in-law is no longer excludable if she and the recipient's brother divorce.

4. Held For

A burial space is “held for” an individual when someone currently has:

  • title to and/or possesses a burial space intended for the individual's use (e.g., has title to a burial plot or owns a burial urn stored in the basement for his or her own use); or

  • a contract with a funeral service company for specified burial spaces for the individual's burial (i.e., an agreement which represents the individual's current right to the use of the items at the amount shown).

Until the purchase price is paid in full, a burial space is not “held for” an individual under an installment sales contract or similar device if:

  • the individual does not currently own the space;

  • the individual does not currently have the right to use the space; and

  • the seller is not currently obligated to provide the space.

Until all payments are made on the contract, the amounts paid may be considered burial funds. See SI 01130.410.

C. Procedure — development and documentation

The following procedures do not apply to installment burial contracts or insurance funded burial contracts. For installment contracts, see SI 01130.420. For insurance funded contracts, see SI 01130.425.

1. General

  1. If an individual alleges owning only one burial space, or an individual and spouse allege owning no more than two spaces, assume that the spaces are excluded.

  2. If an individual or individual and spouse allege owning more than one or two spaces, respectively, obtain a statement signed or recorded on a DROC showing:

    • the name of the person for whose burial each space is intended; and

    • the relationship of each such person to the individual.

    Exclude only those spaces that are alleged to be for the burial of the individual, the spouse, or a member of the immed