TN 4 (12-94)
SI 01320.800 Deeming of Income from Essential Persons
Sec. 211 of Public Law 93-66 As Amended;
Regulations 20 CFR 416.1168 and 416.1169
A. Policy — General
When a qualified individual (SI 01310.160) has an essential person (SI 01310.135), the income of the essential person is included in determining the qualified individual's eligibility and payments. Unlike other types of deeming (i.e., spouse-to-spouse and parent-to-child) the law does not give the Secretary discretion to determine when it would be inequitable to deem the income of an essential person. Therefore, all of the essential person's income (except as described in B.1. below) is deemed to the qualified individual.
If an essential person is also the ineligible spouse of the qualified individual, or if an eligible child's parent is the essential person, apply these essential person deeming rules and not the spouse-to-spouse or parent-to-child deeming rules. See SI 01320.800 C.3. for the rules that apply when an ineligible spouse or parent ceases to be an essential person.
NOTE: See SI 00501.100 for general policy on essential persons and qualified individuals.
B. Policy — Determining Eligibility
All of the essential person's income (except any income excluded by other Federal statutes as described in SI 01320.105) is deemed to be the eligible individual's unearned income.
Exclusions to which the eligible individual is entitled (see SI 00830.099) are applied to the individual's own earned income and to the individual's unearned income which includes income deemed from the essential person (from B.1. above).
The remaining amounts of countable income are combined and the total compared with the FBR for a qualified individual to determine whether the individual is eligible for SSI. The FBR for a qualified individual is equal to the FBR for an eligible individual (or an eligible couple) plus an increment for each essential person. (Amounts of the essential person increments are listed in SI 02001.020).
If the income of the essential person used in an eligibility determination causes the otherwise eligible qualified individual(s) to become ineligible, this deeming provision no longer applies and the qualified individual cannot have the essential person increment added in figuring his FBR. To determine eligibility beginning with the month the essential person increment no longer applies (i.e., the month deemed income from the EP resulted in ineligibility), the eligible individual's own countable income is deducted from the FBR without the essential person increment.
C. Policy — Determining Payment
To determine the SSI payment amount when there is an essential person, the procedure in B. above is followed, using income received in the budget month. The budget month is 2 months prior to the computation month except when determining the payment amount for the initial 2 months of eligibility or the first 2 months after a period of ineligibility. See SI 02005.025 when an exception to the standard retrospective computation rules apply.
To determine the payment amount for months when the eligible individual no longer has an essential person, only the eligible individual's own countable income from the prior budget month is used. No deemed income from the essential person in that prior budget month is included to compute the payment amount. (See C.3. below when the essential person is an ineligible spouse or parent.)
NOTE: This is a change which became effective on December 1, 1985. From April 1982 through November 1985, a prior budget month's income included deemed income from an essential person even if the eligible individual no longer had an essential person in the computation month.
When the eligible individual no longer has an essential person and the former essential person is the ineligible spouse or ineligible parent, the spouse-to-spouse deeming rules (SI 01320.400) or parent-to-child deeming rules (SI 01320.500) are applied beginning with the month that the essential person's income is no longer deemed. To determine the payment for this month, the eligible individual's own countable income in the budget month is used, but no deemed income is included from the essential person in that prior budget month.
D. Policy — Essential Person Deeming
1. New Claimant or Reinstated Recipient
The essential person increment and deemed income can apply to a new claimant or reinstated recipient who was a converted recipient for January 1974 as a qualified individual with an essential person, if the essential person increment and deemed income applied for the qualified individual's last previous month of eligibility. If the qualified individual was ever ineligible because of the essential person's income or if the qualified individual ever elected to drop the essential person, a new claim or reinstatement as a qualified individual is not possible.
When the essential person increment and income apply for the effective month of filing or reinstatement, use them for both the eligibility and the payment determinations. Continue to use them for both determinations so long as the qualified individual remains eligible and all of the conditions for the essential person increment are met.
2. Essential Person Status Ends
The rules in this subsection apply to a change in the essential person's status because he or she dies, stops living with the qualified individual(s), or becomes an SSI recipient. See B.4. above if the essential person status ends because the essential person's income causes ineligibility. See SI 00501.110 if the qualified individual elects to terminate essential person status.
3. Death or Departure from Household
An essential person's death or departure from the household or the qualified individual's departure from the household terminates use of the essential person increment effective with the month following the month the change occurs. (See SI 00501.110 for the rules that apply when an essential person or qualified individual is temporarily absent from the household.) Deeming of the essential person's income also terminates effective with the month following the month of the change. For payment determinations follow C.2. above.
4. Essential Person Becomes SSI Recipient
When an essential person becomes an SSI recipient, the essential person increment and deeming of the essential person's income no longer apply to the eligibility determination of the former qualified individual beginning with the month the former essential person becomes eligible for SSI. To determine the former qualified individual's payment, follow C.2. above. If the former essential person is an ineligible spouse who becomes eligible (i.e., an eligible couple is formed) see SI 00501.100.
1. Essential Person With Earned Income
Mrs. Jones is an aged individual who has received SSI since January 1974. She has no income, and lives in her own home with her niece, Helen, who is her essential person. Helen works part-time, and was paid $450 in January 1988, and $360 in February and March. To determine Mrs. Jones' eligibility for January, first deem Helen's income ($450) to be Mrs. Jones' unearned income. Then subtract the $20 general income exclusion, leaving $430. Since the countable income is less than the 1988 FBR plus the essential person increment ($354 + $177 = $531), Mrs. Jones remains eligible. To determine her payment amount, use Mrs. Jones' countable income (including deemed income from her essential person) in November. Mrs. Jones' payment amount for March is $101 ($430 countable income in January subtracted from the FBR plus essential person increment for March).
2. Essential Person Dies
Mr. Murray is a disabled SSI recipient whose wife is his essential person. Mr. Murray has no income of his own. On May 15, 1988, Mrs. Murray dies. She had been receiving an annuity of $355 per month. The DO determines that the essential person increment no longer applies to Mr. Murray beginning with June 1988. Since Mr. Murray's own income (without deeming) is zero for all budget months, he receives an SSI payment of $354 ($354 FBR minus zero countable income) beginning with June, which is the first month for which the essential person increment no longer applies.