TN 6 (04-99)

SI 01310.001 The Role of Deeming

Citations:

Social Security Act, Sections 1614(f) and 1621; Section 211 of Public Law 93-66, as amended; Section 8010 of Public Law 101-239;

20 CFR 416.1160 and 416.1202 - 416.1204a

A. Introduction

The following sections explain the treatment of income and resources belonging to individuals other than the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimant or recipient participating in the SSI program. The Social Security Act requires that the income and resources of individuals other than eligible individuals and eligible spouses be included, when determining an individual's eligibility for SSI and the amount of his or her payment.

The deeming provisions recognize some measure of family responsibility as they apply from spouse-to-spouse or parent-to-child. We deem (i.e., consider another person’s) income instead of determining the amount of support and maintenance furnished in cash or in kind by a deemor. We deem instead of applying the value of the one-third reduction (VTR), when the individual resides in the household of another (i.e., the deemor's household) and receives support and maintenance in kind. However, when the source of In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) is other than the deemor, there are instances when both deeming of income and the VTR can apply (see SI 00835.210).

Since the SSI program began in January 1974, there have been several changes in the deeming provisions. While the intent of deeming has always been to consider the income and resources of a spouse, parent, or essential person (and later, the sponsor of an alien) available to meet the recipient's needs, the method of determining the amount of deemed income has changed.

B. Definition

The term deeming identifies the process of considering another person's income and resources to be available for meeting an SSI claimant's (or recipient's) basic needs of food and shelter.

C. Policy

1. Availability

Attribute deemed income and resources to the eligible individual whether or not they are actually available to him/her.

2. Commissioner's Authority

The Commissioner has discretionary authority under sections 1614(f)(1) and (2)(A) of the Social Security Act to determine the circumstances under which it would be inequitable to deem income and resources from an ineligible spouse or an ineligible parent. This authority is exercised solely through published regulations.

EXAMPLE: The Social Security Act does not permit us to exclude court-ordered support payments made by an individual when determining an eligible individual's own countable income. However, the deeming regulations state that we subtract such support payments from an ineligible spouse's or ineligible parent's income which is subject to deeming (see SI 01320.145).

3. Deeming Waivers

Unless specifically precluded by law or regulations, we always deem the income and resources of certain ineligible individuals to be the income and resources of the SSI claimant subject to deeming.

There are two categories of deeming waivers. Section 8010 of P.L. 101-239 provides for the waiver of parental deeming rules to certain disabled children, and is explained in SI 01310.201 - SI 01310.210. “Special deeming” waiver cases are those that were approved by the Intradepartmental Review Board (IRB) to provide Medicaid coverage to SSI claimants meeting certain conditions. The IRB’s term for approving “special deeming” waivers expired on 12/31/84. See SI 01320.980 - SI 01320.984.

4. Allocations

We consider that a portion of an ineligible parent's or spouse's income is used to provide for the ineligible parent's/spouse's own living expenses and those of any ineligible child(ren) living in the household. Based on this consideration, we apply allocations for:

  • ineligible parents,

  • ineligible children in the household,

  • sponsors of SSI eligible aliens, and

  • dependents of sponsors of SSI eligible aliens.

Application of these allocations reduces the amount of income available for deeming.

Do not provide allocation for an essential person in as much as the qualified individual's SSI payment includes an increment for the essential person.