TN 12 (08-00)

SI 01150.125 Exceptions — Transfers for Purposes Other Than to Obtain SSI

A. Policy — Transfer for purpose other than to obtain SSI

Section 206 of P.L. 106-169 (Foster Care Independence Act of 1999) provides an exception to the period of ineligibility if the individual transferred the resource exclusively for a purpose other than to obtain SSI benefits.

B. Policy — Rebuttable presumption that resource was transferred in order to obtain SSI benefits

If an individual gives away resources or sells resources for less than fair market value (FMV), there is a rebuttable presumption that the resources were transferred for the purpose of establishing or maintaining eligibility for SSI.

  • The presumption is rebutted only if the individual provides convincing evidence that the resources were transferred exclusively for a purpose other than to become or remain eligible for SSI.

  • If the individual had some other purpose for transferring the resource, but an expectation of establishing or maintaining SSI eligibility was also a factor, the period of ineligibility would apply.

C. Policy — Convincing evidence

The individual must provide convincing evidence that the transfer of resources was exclusively for a purpose other than to qualify for SSI benefits. A statement, either signed or recorded on a DROC, by the individual is not, by itself, convincing evidence. Examples of convincing evidence are:

  • Documents showing that the transfer was not within the individual's control (e.g., was ordered by a court); or

  • Documents establishing that, at the time of the transfer, the individual could not have anticipated SSI eligibility (e.g., the individual became disabled following a traumatic accident, but was not disabled at the time the transfer occurred); or

  • Documents which verify the unexpected loss of other resources or income which would have precluded SSI eligibility (e.g., a divorce which results in loss of income or resources provided by a spouse); or

  • Documents establishing that, at the time of the transfer, the transferred resource would have been an excluded resource under SSI rules (e.g., documents that establish the type of resource, the value, the date of transfer, etc.).

D. Examples — Transfer for purpose other than to obtain SSI

The following are examples of situations that, while not conclusive, may indicate that the transfer was made exclusively for some purpose other than to qualify for SSI.

  • After the transfer there is a traumatic onset (e.g., traffic accident) of disability or blindness that leads to SSI eligibility;

  • After the transfer, there is a diagnosis of a previously undetected disabling condition that leads to SSI eligibility;

  • After the transfer, there is an unexpected loss of other income or resources (including deemed) which would have precluded SSI eligibility;

  • In the month of the transfer, the transferred resource would have been excludable for SSI purposes (SI 01130.050);

  • In the month of transfer, total countable resources would have been below the $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 for a couple) even if the individual had retained the transferred resource;

  • The transfer was court-ordered (provided the individual took no action to petition the court to order the transfer);

  • The resources were given to a religious order by a member of that order in accordance with a vow of poverty.

E. Procedure — Documenting the rebuttal

1. Explaining Rebuttal to Individual

If an individual wishes to rebut the presumption of the reason for the transfer, explain that he/she must present convincing evidence that the transfer was exclusively for some other reason. Assist the individual in obtaining evidence when necessary.

2. Individual's Statement

Obtain a statement either signed or recorded on a DROC, regarding the circumstances of the transfer. The statement should cover the individual's:

  • purpose for transferring the resource;

  • attempts, if any, to dispose of the resource at FMV;

  • reason for accepting less than FMV for the resource;

  • means or plans for self-support after the transfer;

  • relationship, if any, to the person(s) to whom the resource was transferred;

  • belief that he/she received FMV, if applicable.

3. Evidence Required

Document the file as follows:

  • Request the individual to submit any pertinent documentary evidence (e.g., legal documents, real estate agreements, relevant correspondence, medical reports, etc.).

  • Obtain statements either signed or recorded on a DROC from the other individuals if material to the decision.

  • Record the evidence on the EVID screen in the Shared Processes Menu (MSOM EVID 001.001 ).

4. Special Determination

Prepare a special determination to document the rebuttal determination as to whether the individual has proven that the transfer was exclusively for some purpose other than to qualify for SSI (GN 01010.360). On MSSICS, document your special determination on the File Documentation Notes section of the Property/Cash Given or Sold (RGIV) page or the DROC screen (MSOM MSSICS 022.010 ). On paper, use an SSA-553 (Special Determination) or an SSA-5002 (Report of Contact).

  • If the individual successfully rebuts the presumption and establishes that the transfer was exclusively for a purpose other than to obtain SSI, the period of ineligibility does not apply. Process the case normally.

  • If the rebuttal is unsuccessful and no other exceptions apply, it will be necessary to compute the period of ineligibility based on the uncompensated value of the transfer.

5. Examples — Rebuttal Determinations

Example 1: Mr. Vernon files for SSI on 11/5/00. During his interview he reports that he transferred ownership of a house to his son on 7/21/00 and did not receive any monetary compensation. Mr. Vernon further alleges that he did not transfer the home in order to become eligible for SSI. The claims representative (CR) begins by getting a statement from Mr. Vernon documenting the reasons for the transfer, the reason for accepting less than the FMV, his relationship to the person getting the house, and his allegation that he did not transfer the house in order to get SSI. The CR obtains a statement from Mr. Vernon's son to corroborate his allegations. In addition, Mr. Vernon submits evidence establishing when ownership of the house was transferred, and that the home was his permanent residence at the time of the transfer. Based on the facts of the case, the CR determines that Mr. Vernon did not transfer the house in order to get SSI because the house would have been an excludable resource in the month he transferred it.

Example 2: Ms. Berry has resided in a nursing home since 8/14/97. She owns a home which has continued to be excluded because she expressed intent to return to the home. On 7/27/00 she deeds the home to her son. After discussing the transfer with Ms. Berry and her son, the CR learns that Ms. Berry had decided on 7/5/00 that she would never return to her home. The CR determines that this transfer does not meet any of the “transfer of a home” exceptions in SI 01150.122. In considering whether the transfer was for a purpose other than to preserve SSI eligibility, the CR develops the issue of “intent to return” per SI 01130.100. The CR determines that Ms. Berry no longer intended to return home as of 7/5/00. Therefore, the home was not an excluded resource at the time Ms. Berry transferred ownership. This factor must be considered when the CR determines whether Ms. Berry transferred her home exclusively for a purpose other than to preserve SSI eligibility.

6. Medicaid Notification

Notify the State Medicaid agency about the transfer unless the SSI claim is denied (SI 01150.012).

F. Procedure — Abbreviated development for transfers under the $2,000/$3,000 limit

Do not do full rebuttal development if:

  • the individual transfers a resource with a current market value (CMV) of less than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple); and

  • the individual's countable resources (including the transferred resource) in the month of transfer are below the $2,000 limit ($3,000 for a couple).

1. Transfer of Resource Under the $2,000/$3,000 Limit

Follow this procedure:

  • Verify that the resource was transferred, to whom, the value of the resource, and the date of transfer using the individual's statement either signed or recorded on a DROC and appropriate documents (e.g., bank statements, a sales agreement, or any other document that verifies change of ownership).

  • Verify that the individual's/couple's total countable resources were under the $2,000/$3,000 limit as of the date of the transfer.

  • Record the evidence used to verify these issues on the EVID screen in the Shared Processes Menu (MSOM EVID 001.001 ).

  • Document the file with the adjudicator's determination on the MSSICS RGIV File Documentation Notes section of the Property/Cash Given or Sold (RGIV) page or the DROC screen MSOM MSSICS 022.010 ), or on the SSA-5002 (Report of Contact).

2. Examples—Transferred Resource Under the $2,000/$3,000 Limit

Example 1: On 8/5/00 Ms. White, an eligible individual, gave her adult daughter $1,000 to buy a car. Ms. White alleges that her countable resources on 8/5/00 (including the value of the gift) were under the $2,000 limit. Ms. White provides evidence that verifies that the value of her resources on 8/5/00 were under the $2,000 limit. Therefore, the exception applies and the CR determines that the transfer of $1,000 by Ms. White to her daughter does not result in a period of ineligibility.

Example 2: On 7/5/00, Mr. Wilson gave his son a nonexcluded car worth $1,600. On 8/10/00, Mr. Wilson applies for SSI. In 8/00, Mr. Wilson's countable resources are $1,900. However, in 7/00 Mr. Wilson's countable resources were $3,500. Since, Mr. Wilson's countable resources were over the $2,000 limit in the month of transfer, the CR determines that this exception does not apply.

G. Procedure — Abbreviated development for transfers less than the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR)

Do not do full rebuttal development if the individual transfers a resource with a CMV that is less than the FBR (or the FBR plus the federally administered State supplement applicable to the individual's living arrangement). Because of the way the period of ineligibility is computed, a transferred resource with this value would result in no months of ineligibility for SSI. Use the following procedure:

  • Verify that the resource was transferred, to whom, the value of the resource, and the date of transfer using the individual's statement either signed or recorded on a DROC and available documents (e.g., bank statements, a sales agreement, or any other document that verifies change of ownership).

  • Record the evidence used to verify the transfer on the EVID screen in the Shared Processes Menu (MSOM EVID 001.001 ).

  • Document the file with the adjudicator's determination on the MSSICS RGIV File Documentation Notes section of the Property/Cash Given or Sold (RGIV) page or the DROC screen (MSOM MSSICS 022.010 ), or on the SSA-5002 (Report of Contact).

  • Process the case normally because a period of ineligibility does not apply.

EXCEPTION: This abbreviated development does not apply to situations where the individual transferred small amounts of resources on several occasions. Remember that all resource transfers starting from the look-back date must be considered. Thus, several small transfers scattered over a period of months would not qualify for this abbreviated development if the total value of the transfers exceeds the FBR (or the FBR plus the applicable State supplement). (See SI 01150.110D.)

H. References

Special determinations, GN 01010.360

Intent to return home, SI 01130.100

Medicaid notification, SI 01150.012

Multiple transfers, SI 01150.110

MSSICS DPST screen, MSOM MSSICS 022.008

MSSICS DROC screen, MSOM MSSICS 022.010

EVID screen, MSOM EVID 001.001


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501150125
SI 01150.125 - Exceptions -- Transfers for Purposes Other Than to Obtain SSI - 12/24/2013
Batch run: 12/24/2013
Rev:12/24/2013