TN 12 (08-00)
SI 01150.110 Period of Ineligibility for Transfers on or After 12/14/99
Section 206 of P.L. 106-169 (Foster Care Independence Act of 1999) provides for a period of ineligibility for SSI, up to 36 months, for an individual who transfers resources for less than FMV on or after 12/14/99. This section explains the policies applicable to the period of ineligibility. Use this section if the individual has transferred resources for less than FMV on or after 12/14/99 and does not meet one of the exceptions in SI 01150.121-SI 01150.125.
B. Policy—effective date of the law
The provision applies to resources transferred on or after 12/14/99. This provision does not apply to resources transferred prior to 12/14/99 regardless of the individual's filing date.
C. Policy—the look-back date
1. Initial Claims
The look-back date for initial claims is 36 months before the date of filing. A transfer for less than fair market value at any time after the look-back date may result in a period of ineligibility. If an individual has an initial claim pending and transfers a resource after the date of filing, the look-back date is still 36 months before the date of filing because the individual may have also transferred a resource prior to the filing date.
NOTE: Although we ask whether any resources have been transferred in the 36 months prior to filing for SSI, the period of ineligibility applies only to transfers occurring on or after 12/14/99.
In posteligibility, the look-back date is the date the individual transferred a resource. When redetermining SSI eligibility, it is always necessary to ask whether any resources were transferred since the previous review. Absent evidence to the contrary, we assume that any transfers before the period of review have already been developed. However, if an undeveloped transfer is uncovered that occurred before the period of review, it must be developed because it may affect months in the period of review. Although development of such a transfer is not limited by the period of review, applying the period of ineligibility is limited under the rules of administrative finality unless there is a determination of fraud or similar fault. See SI 04070.020 and SI 04070.020.
Example: On 9/15/02, the CR conducts a redetermination for Mr. Gray which covers the period since his last redetermination on 3/3/01. In response to the transfer of resources question, Mr. Gray reports that he inherited and gave away a piece of real property in 2/00. Although the transferred occurred prior to the period of review, it would be necessary for the CR to develop the transfer since it occurred on or after 12/14/99 and it had not been previously reported. Assuming that the transfer did not meet one of the exceptions in SI 01150.121- SI 01150.125, Mr. Gray is subject to a period of ineligibility of 15 months starting in 3/00 (the month after the transfer). The 15-month period of ineligibility would run from 3/00-5/01.
Assuming that fraud or similar fault is not applicable, the CR then uses the rules of administrative finality to determine which months Mr. Gray will be ineligible for SSI. Starting from 9/15/02 the CR counts back 24 months and determines that Mr. Gray is ineligible for SSI from 10/00-5/01 (the month that the 15-month period of ineligibility ended). If the CR had determined that either fraud or similar fault applied to Mr. Gray's case, the period of ineligibility for SSI would not have been limited by administrative finality.
D. Policy—duration of a period of ineligibility
This subsection describes when a period of ineligibility begins and ends. See SI 01150.111 for instructions for computing the number of months in the period of ineligibility.
1. Period of Ineligibility Begin Date
The period of ineligibility begins on the first day of the month after the month the resource was transferred for less than fair market value. The rule applies for initial claims and in posteligibility situations.
Exception: If an individual transfers resources several times, the total uncompensated value of all the transfers in the applicable period is used to determine the length of the period of ineligibility and the period would begin on the first day of the month after the first transfer.
Example 1: Transfer Before Filing Month On 6/6/00 Mr. Jones files for SSI. He alleges that he transferred a resource on 12/21/99. The claims representative (CR) determines that the individual transferred the resource for less than fair market value and that Mr. Jones is subject to a period of ineligibility of 4 months. The CR determines that the period of ineligibility would be from 1/00 (the month after the transfer) through 4/00. Since Mr. Jones did not file for SSI until 6/6/00, the period of ineligibility has no effect on his SSI eligibility.
Example 2: Transfer in Filing Month Mr. Johnson gives away $2,500 cash to his brother on 5/15/00 and files for SSI on 5/20/00. The first month of the period of ineligibility is 6/00 (the month after the transfer).
Example 3: Transfer After Filing Month Mr. Smith files for SSI on 4/28/00. He learns that he is over the resource limit because he has $6,500 in savings. Mr. Smith gives away $5,000 on 5/3/00 and reports this to the field office. The CR determines that Mr. Smith is ineligible due to excess resources for 4/00 and 5/00 and that the period of ineligibility due to the transfer begins in 6/00 (the month after the transfer).
Example 4: Posteligibility Transfer Mr. James has been on SSI for several years. On 6/3/00 he inherits a piece of real property worth $10,000. He transfers ownership of the property to a relative on 6/21/00 and receives no compensation. The inheritance counts as income in 6/00 and the period of ineligibility due to the transfer begins in 7/00. (See SI 01150.110E. and SI 01150.001B.5. for policy on transfers occurring in the month of receipt.)
Example 5: Multiple Transfers Ms. Thomas files for SSI on 10/22/00. The CR learns that she gave away $2,500 cash on 3/15/00 and that she gave away an $1,500 cash on 5/3/00. The period of ineligibility would be based on uncompensated value of $4,000 ($2,500 + $1,500) and would begin in 4/00 (the month after the first transfer).
2. Length of Period of Ineligibility
A period of ineligibility can be from 1 month up to a maximum of 36 months depending on the amount of the uncompensated value. A period of ineligibility cannot exceed 36 months regardless of the uncompensated value of the transfer. Months in the period of ineligibility can coincide with months of ineligibility for other reasons. See SI 01150.111 for instructions for computing the number of months in the period of ineligibility.
Example: Mr. Franklin has been receiving SSI for several years. While conducting a redetermination in 8/00, the CR finds that Mr. Franklin transferred a resource for less than fair market value on 12/20/99 and is subject to a 6-month period of ineligibility that begins as of 1/00. The CR also finds that Mr. Franklin was ineligible due to excess income in 3/00 and 4/00. Mr. Franklin's period of ineligibility runs from 1/00-6/00. The ineligibility in 3/00 and 4/00 due to excess income does not affect the length of the period of ineligibility due to the resource transfer.
E. Policy—types of transfers affected
This provision applies to transfers made:
by an individual;
by the individual's eligible or ineligible spouse (SI 00501.150);
by persons who are co-owners of the resource being transferred;
on behalf of the individual by a person acting for and legally authorized to execute a contract (e.g., a legal representative, a legal guardian, a parent for a minor child, etc.);
by an individual transferring assets which he constructively received (e.g., he/she refused an inheritance).
by an individual transferring assets in the month of receipt (e.g. the transfer of income that would have been considered a resource in the following month, if retained).
This provision does not apply to transfers made by a deemor unless the deemor is a co-owner of the resource or is the ineligible spouse. For example, the provision does not apply to a resource transfer made by a parent who is a deemor (unless the eligible child and parent are co-owners of the resource).
F. Policy—transfer by a co-owner
1. General Rule
This provision applies to transfers by co-owners only when the transfer by the co-owner reduces or eliminates the individual's ownership interest in the resource.
2. Real Property
Generally, transfer of real property by a co-owner will not affect the individual's ownership of the property. The individual would retain his/her ownership interest when a co-owner sells his/her interest in the property.
3. Jointly-Owned Bank Accounts
In joint bank account situations, it is necessary to develop the ownership of the funds using the instructions in SI 01140.205 before determining whether there has been a transfer of resources. If an eligible individual is a joint-owner of a bank account with an ineligible individual, we assume that the eligible individual owns all of the funds in the account. If the eligible individual owns all of the funds, withdrawal of funds by the co-owner would be a transfer of resources for less than FMV. If the eligible individual owns the funds and withdraws them, it will be necessary to determine whether the individual spent the funds and received FMV (SI 01150.007). In addition, if the eligible individual takes his/her name off the account, this could also be a transfer of resources unless all the funds belonged to the co-owner.
Marital relationship, SI 00501.150
Joint bank accounts, SI 01140.205
Computing the period of ineligibility, SI 01150.111
Exceptions to the period of ineligibility, SI 01150.120
Fraud, SI 04070.020
Similar fault, SI 04070.020