TN 8 (03-97)

SI 01320.650 Deeming of Income from an Ineligible Spouse to an Eligible Individual and Eligible Child

A. Background

 

1. The Deeming Rules

SSI regulations require the use of special deeming rules for a household consisting of:

  • an eligible child (or a child who has filed for SSI); and

  • an eligible parent (or a parent who has filed for SSI); and

  • an ineligible parent.

Under these special rules, income is deemed first from the ineligible spouse to the (adult) individual who has filed for SSI. If, after deeming, the individual is income-eligible, no income is deemed to the child. If the individual is income-ineligible (because of deemed income), any “excess” deemed income that was not used to reduce the individual's SSI payment to zero is deemed to the child.

Generally, if there is “excess” deemed income that must be deemed to the eligible child, the child's record will contain manually deemed income amounts (type “V” unearned income).

2. Effect of the Deeming Rules

Prior to November 1, 1992, a computation using the spouse-to-spouse-to-child deeming rules in A.1. above resulted in a child receiving SSI payments equal to or higher than the payments would have been had neither parent filed for SSI. In no case did the deeming rules disadvantage an eligible child — that is, in no case was more income deemed to the child than would be deemed if neither parent filed for SSI.

Currently, and in most cases, a computation using the spouse-to-spouse-to-child deeming rules in A.1. results in the same amount of deemed income to the child that would apply if neither parent files for SSI. However, in certain cases, applying the spouse-to-spouse-to-child rules in A.1. can result in a higher deemed income amount (and a lower, or no, SSI payment) for the child.

A higher deemed income amount to the eligible child can result if:

  • there is an ineligible child allocation greater than zero; and

  • the parent who has not filed for SSI has monthly earned income greater than $65 (and unearned income, if any, that is less than the net ineligible child allocation in the first bullet); and

  • the parent who has filed for SSI has unearned income.

EXAMPLE: The deeming household consists of an eligible child, an ineligible child with no income, an ineligible parent with monthly earnings of $2,300, and a parent filing for SSI (in 1995) with monthly unearned income of $200.

The parent filing for SSI is income-ineligible because of spouse-to-spouse deeming. If the parent nevertheless files a claim, more income will be deemed to the eligible child than would be deemed if no claim were filed:

 

Parent Files SSI ClaimParent Does Not File
Spouse's Earned$2,300Parents' Unearned$200
Ineligible Chld Allocation- 229Ineligible Chld Allocation- 229
Remaining Earned$2,071Countable Unearned$ 0
Couple Unearned$200Parents's Earned$2,300
General Income Exclusion- 20Unused Allocation- 29
  Remaining Earned$2,271
Countable Unearned$180Countable Unearned$0
Countable Earned Countable Earned 
[$2,071-$65]÷2$1,003[$2,271-$20-$65 ]÷2+1,093
Countable Unearned+180Total Countable$1,093
Total Countable$1,183Total Countable$1,093
Couple FBR- 687Parents' Allowance- 687
Deemed to Child$496Deemed to Child$406

B. Procedure

Follow these procedures in cases where applying the spouse-to-spouse-to-child deeming rules in A.1. above would be, or is, disadvantageous to an eligible child.

NOTE: These procedures apply ONLY to cases involving both spouse-to-spouse and parent-to-child deeming. The procedures do NOT apply to cases involving deeming to an eligible child from a parent who is ineligible because of the parent's own excess income — that is, cases involving only parent-to-child deeming (SI 01320.630).

1. Parent Inquires About Filing for SSI

Follow the procedures in SI 00601.030 and SI 00601.035 for documenting and closing out oral inquiries. Follow the procedures in GN 00204.012 if the inquiry is in writing.

Also, explain to the parent that if a claim is filed:

  • the parent will be SSI-ineligible for some or all months because of spousal deeming; and

  • the child will receive a smaller SSI payment (compared with the child's payment if neither parent files a claim).

Allow the parent to decide for him/herself whether to file for SSI. If the parent chooses to file a claim, there is no requirement to document the fact that the above explanation was provided to the parent.

2. Parent's Application is Pending or was Denied Due to Excess Income

If the child's eligibility or payment amount could be affected within the 2-year administrative finality period, provide the parent with the explana-tion described in B.1. above — modified, as appropriate, based on whether the parent's claim is still pending or has already been denied (i.e., never paid). Discuss with the parent the option of voluntarily withdrawing the application.

Allow the parent to decide for him/herself whether to withdraw. If the parent chooses not to withdraw, there is no requirement to document the fact that the above explanation was provided to the parent.

If the parent does choose to withdraw the application, provide the claimant with the explanation described in SI 00601.050 B.1. and follow the standard procedures in GN 00206.050 for documenting the withdrawal request. See SI 00601.050 and GN 00206.001 ff. for complete instructions regarding withdrawal of an application.

NOTE: Be alert to situations where a parent may become eligible for SSI payments within 12 months of the denial — for example, cases where the parent's or his/her spouse's income may decrease in the near future. In these situations, withdrawal of the application may not be appropriate.

3. Parent's Claim Was Not Denied — Parent Currently in N01 (Excess Income) Payment Status

If during a redetermination or other posteligibility contact, you determine that a child is receiving a smaller SSI payment (or no payment at all) because the spouse-to-spouse-to-child deeming rules in A.1. above were applied in the case, discuss with the parent the effect his/her SSI status has on the child's eligibility or payment amount. Mention to the parent his or her option of voluntarily terminating his or her participation in the program. There is no requirement to document this discussion if the parent chooses not to terminate participation in the program.

If the parent does choose to terminate participation, explain the effect of termination as it applies to the parent (SI 02301.230 D.) and follow standard procedures for documenting a voluntary termination. Refer to SI 02301.230 for complete instructions regarding voluntary terminations.

NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that voluntary termination in the SSI program may adversely affect eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, etc. The parent should carefully consider these factors before deciding whether to terminate participation in the SSI program. Be alert to situations where a parent may become eligible for SSI payments again — for example, cases where the parent's or his/her spouse's income may decrease in the near future. In these situations, voluntary termination may not be appropriate. Each affected case should be carefully evaluated and a thorough explanation should be provided to parents so that they understand the effect of terminating (or not terminating) participation in the program.

If the parent decides to terminate participation in the program and, as a result, manual deeming is no longer required for the eligible child, terminate any manual deeming (V1) unearned income entry on the child's record so that the system can perform an automated deeming computation.

4. Parent in Terminated (T31) Status

If the parent's eligibility has terminated after 12 months of nonpay, cease computing deemed income to the child using the spouse-to-spouse-to-child rules in A.1. and pay the child using the normal “two parents-to-child” deeming rules (SI 01320.500).

If appropriate, terminate any manual deeming (V1) unearned income entry on the child's record so the system can perform an automated deeming computation.

Where to do so would be advantageous to the child, reopen the deeming determination under the 2-year administrative finality rules. If the 2-year period falls entirely within the parent's period of payment status T31 and voluntary termination for a period prior to the first month of T31 need not be explored (B.3. above), no recontact with the parent is necessary.

If the parent's voluntary termination for a period prior to the first month of T31 would be advantageous to the child, recontact the parent to discuss the option.

C. References

  • Administrative finality, SI 04070.001

  • Withdrawal of application policy, SI 00601.050.

  • Voluntary termination policy, SI 02301.230

  • Systems input — withdrawal of applications (N12), SM 01005.440, SM 01305.001 O.11.

  • Systems input — voluntary termination (N19), SM 01305.001 O.14.

  • Systems input — type “V” unearned income (manually computed deemed income), SM 01305.330 A.

  • Systems input — type “I” unearned income (net ineligible child deeming allocation), SM 01305.330 B.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501320650
SI 01320.650 - Deeming of Income from an Ineligible Spouse to an Eligible Individual and Eligible Child - 10/28/2014
Batch run: 07/31/2017
Rev: