TN 25 (06-11)

SI 02001.015 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Essential Person Increment

A. Principles for applying the essential person increment

1. Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) increased

The Social Security Administration (SSA) increases the FBR of a qualified individual if he or she lives with an essential person (EP).

2. Qualified individual or EP in an institution

If the confinement is:

  1. temporary, refer to instructions on loss of essential person status in SI 00501.110. Add the full EP increment(s) to the qualified individual’s FBR (or payment limit) for the period of temporary absence; or

  2. not temporary, do not include the EP increment(s) to compute benefits.

3. Couple with EP members living together

The couple gains an EP increment for each EP. Use the income of the EP(s) to compute the benefit due the couple. Only one member of the couple has to be a qualified individual for the couple to gain an EP increment.

The computation steps are:

  1. add the EP increment(s) to the couple FBR;

  2. include the income of the EP in the couple's countable income (CI);

  3. subtract the CI from the sum of the FBR and increment(s); and

  4. divide the couple's benefit between the members.

4. Couple with EP members living apart effective October 1, 1990

A member of an eligible couple becomes eligible (without a spouse) with the month following the month of their separation. Prior to 10/01/90, an eligible couple remained eligible for 6 months following the month of their separation. The members of the couple became eligible individuals effective with the seventh month. For instructions about couple status changes, see SI 02005.030.

For the eligibility test, use the individual FBR and resource limit for the first month of his or her status. For the payment computation, the Budget Month (BM) is still 2 months prior to the month for which we exclude the payment. Use only the eligible individual’s income from that month.

If an EP is essential to both members of the couple, the member with whom the EP(s) resides receives the increment(s) and we compute only that member's payment using the income of the EP.

5. Couple with EP members living apart prior to October 1, 1990

To receive an EP increment (and receive deemed income from an EP), a member must:

  • be a qualified individual, and

  • reside with his or her EP.

EXCEPTION: When only one member of a couple is a qualified individual and that member is subject to the Federal payment limit associated with Federal living arrangement “D.,” For information on couples members living apart, see SI 02001.015B.3. in this section.

If an EP is essential to both members of the couple, the member with whom the EP(s) resides receives the increment(s). Only compute that member's payment using the income of the EP.

The computation steps are:

  • compute the benefit due each member as if there were no EP increment or EP income, and

  • add an EP increment (one for each EP) to the payment amount of the member of the couple who is the qualified individual and resides with an EP(s);

(If the qualified couple member is in the household of another, see SI 02001.015B.3. in this section);

  • If the general exclusion ($20 per month) was not fully used in the first step of this computation, subtract the remainder from the income deemed from the EP(s); and

  • subtract the income deemed from the EP(s) from the increased payment amount of the member(s) due the increment(s).

NOTE: If the deemed income is reduced in the prior step, use that reduced amount.

B. Policy for a qualified individual living in the household of another

1. Qualified individual living in the household of another

For months prior to April 1982, if the qualified individual is subject to a one-third reduction because he or she lives in the household of another and receives in-kind support and maintenance:

  • add the full increment for each EP to unreduced FBR. (For Title XVI rate increases and rate charts, see SI 02001.020);

  • reduce the entire amount by one-third, and

  • reduce the result by the CI to yield the benefit due. For information on retrospective monthly accounting computation, see SI 02005.001. For instruction on one-third reduction provisions, refer to SI 00835.200.

For April 1982 and later months, add the full increment(s) to the unreduced FBR and treat the value of the one-third reduction (one-third of the total) as income. For information on the value of the one-third reduction (VTR) and the presumed maximum value (PMV), see SI 02005.001E.4.

2. Members of a couple living apart qualified individual in household of another effective October 1, 1990

Effective with the month after separation, each member of the couple becomes an eligible individual without a spouse. Treat the one-third reduction of the increment as in-kind income.

3. Members of a couple living apart qualified individual in household of another prior to October 1, 1990

If the qualified member of the couple is throughout the month in the household of another and receiving in-kind support and maintenance:

  • For periods prior to April 1982, reduce the increment by one-third, and then add it to the member's payment amount; or

  • For April 1982 and later months, treat the one-third reduction of the increment as in-kind income. For information on the value of the one-third reduction (VTR) and the presumed maximum value (PMV), see SI 02005.001E.4.

C. Policy for when either member of the couple becomes subject to federal payment limit

When an EP lives with an eligible couple and one member enters a facility, where we apply the Federal payment limit and the member expects the separation to be temporary,

  • add the EP(s) increment(s) to the benefit rate for the other member, and

  • include the income of the EP in that member's countable income (CI). During the period of temporary absence from the household even though the member of the couple in the facility is the sole qualified individual, use the computation in SI 02001.015B3. in this section. The sole qualified individual will permanently lose the EP(s) increment(s) if we determine the absence is not temporary.

D. References

SI 00501.100, Essential Persons in the SSI Program - Overview

SI 00501.110, Loss of Essential Person Status – SSI

SI 02005.020, Living in a Title XIX Institution

SI 02005.050, Member(s) Of An Eligible Couple Temporarily Absent From Home In A Title XIX Facility

SI 00520.011, Determination of Applicability of $30 Payment Limit

SI 01320.800, Deeming of Income from Essential Persons

SI 02001.020, Title XVI Rate Increases and Rate Charts

SI 00501.100, Essential Persons in the SSI Program-Overview

SI 01415.010, Administration of State Supplementary Programs

SI 01415.031, Federally Administered Optional Supplementary Payment Programs – January 1999 Payment Levels

SI 01415.043, Federally Administered Optional Supplementary Payment Programs for 01-11 Payment Levels

SI 02005.082, Establishing the Correct Minimum Income Level


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SI 02001.015 - Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Essential Person Increment - 06/14/2011
Batch run: 06/14/2011
Rev:06/14/2011