TN 14 (02-10)

SI 01150.200 Conditional Benefits


Act as amended in 1987, section 1613(b);
20 CFR 416.1240-1245

A. Background for conditional benefits

1. Excess nonliquid resources

People with excess nonliquid resources cannot receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits even if they meet all other eligibility requirements. As a result, they may have little or nothing to live on while they try to dispose of the excess resources.

2. The conditional benefits provisions

The Commissioner of Social Security has statutory authority to prescribe the period(s) within which, and the manner in which, to dispose of various kinds of property. Regulations describe the conditions under which we can make SSI payments while an individual attempts to dispose of property. Such payments are overpayments to be repaid from the proceeds of the sale. Conditional benefits provisions may apply to:

  • applicants (new claims),

  • recipients (postentitlement cases), and

  • deemors (in both new and postentitlement situations).

However, when the excess resources are in the form of real property which cannot be sold for certain specified reasons (undue hardship or unsuccessful reasonable efforts to sell), the owner can receive regular (not conditional) benefits.

B. Policy on receiving conditional benefits

1. Conditional benefits rule

An individual (or couple) who meets all nonresource eligibility requirements, but fails to meet the resources requirement due solely to excess nonliquid resources, can receive SSI benefits for a limited period of time.

Such payments based on a “conditional” exclusion of the excess nonliquid resources, are available if the individual or couple (or deemor) meets both of the following conditions:

  1. a. 

    Countable liquid resources do not exceed the statutory limits. The resources not included in the disposition cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple; and

    NOTE: For purposes of conditional benefit payments there is no limit on the value of the total countable nonliquid resources.

  2. b. 

    The individual or couple agrees in writing to:

    • sell excess nonliquid resources at their current market value (CMV) within a specified period as seen in SI 01150.201A.1.; and

    • use the proceeds of sale to refund overpayments of conditional benefits. For more details on overpayments see SI 01150.202.

2. Undue hardship for joint resident owner

We treat excess real property as an excluded resource not requiring disposition under a conditional benefits agreement for so long as:

  • the property is jointly owned; and

  • its sale would cause undue hardship due to loss of housing to the other owner(s).

If undue hardship no longer applies because the joint owner moves, dies, etc., the individual may be eligible for a conditional benefits period.

For additional information related to undue hardship, see SI 01130.130.

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SI 01150.200 - Conditional Benefits - 02/27/2012
Batch run: 03/06/2012