Identification Number:
SI 01320 TN 21
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Deeming of Income
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part SI – Supplemental Security Income
Chapter 013 – Deeming
Subchapter 20 – Deeming of Income
Transmittal No. 21, 12/27/2018

Audience

FO/TSC: CS, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, DRT, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

12/13/2018

Background

This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

SI 01320.640 Multiple Deeming Situations - Operating Procedures

In SI 01320.640F., updated GN 00206.001 reference title to "Withdrawal of a Title II Benefit Application".

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

In SI 01320.650B.2., third paragraph, updated reference to GN 00206.011 through GN 00206.014 from GN 00206.050.

SI 01320.640 Multiple Deeming Situations - Operating Procedures

A. Introduction

In multiple deeming situations, certain events may occur which could affect the deeming computation. The following subsections explain when it is necessary to recompute eligibility and payment amounts.

B. Policy for multiple deeming cases

1. Disability denial

A disability denial of a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicant in a multiple deeming case will require a new computation, because initial computations are made based on the assumption that applicants meet all of the SSI eligibility requirements.

If an applicant who is the parent or sibling of another claimant or recipient is denied for SSI payments because a disability could not be established, recompute the remaining family members to determine eligibility and payment correctly (this is necessary because initial computations are made based on the assumption that all applicants meet all of the SSI eligibility requirements).

a. Example 1

Mrs. Blue and her son, Steven, age 16, file SSI disability applications. Mr. and Mrs. Blue have two other children. The initial computation is based on an assumption that Mrs. Blue and Steven are eligible (see SI 01320.620). If Mrs. Blue is determined ineligible for SSI because she is not disabled, Steven's SSI payment must be recalculated based on the instructions in SI 01320.500, effective with the first month of eligibility.

b. Example 2

If, in the same situation as in SI 01320.640B.1.a., Mrs. Blue were found eligible and Steven ineligible (not disabled), the payment to Mrs. Blue should be recomputed using the rules in SI 01320.400 effective with the first month of eligibility. (This recomputation would be necessary because Steven would now be an ineligible child and would increase the total allocation for ineligible children.)

2. Appeals

Do not recompute until the appeals period has elapsed unless requested to do so by the claimant or representative payee of the child. If the denied claimant files a timely appeal, continue to compute all records as if he or she was eligible until all appeals have been exhausted and the final appeal period has ended. Once there is an appeal decision, we can only recompute records following the Title XVI administrative finality reopening policies in SI 04070.010.

a. Example of no appeal filed

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson have four children. Aaron, Barry, and Chloe are disabled and Mrs. Johnson files SSI claims for all three children. None of the children, including the ineligible child, Danny, has any income. The claims representative (CR) correctly divides the deemed income equally between all three of the eligible children. Later Chloe is found not disabled for SSI purposes. Mrs. Johnson decides not to pursue an appeal. At that point, the CR recomputes the deeming back to the first month the children are eligible for SSI payment. In the new computation, Chloe is an ineligible child and the resulting deemed income is divided equally between Aaron and Barry.

b. Example of reversed appeal

Using the same situation in SI 01320.640B.2.a in this section, if Mrs. Johnson decides to pursue an appeal for Chloe, the CR leaves the initial deeming computation in place until a decision on the appeal is rendered. If the appeal reverses the initial determination, the other two children will be properly paid and the deeming will not have to be recomputed. If, however, an appeal upholds the original determination, the CR must recompute the deeming as in the example in SI 01320.640B.2.a. in this section.

C. Income denial

A denial based solely on excess income will not always require a new deeming computation. For example, in the situation described in SI 01320.640B.1.a. in this section, if Mrs. Blue were denied on the basis of deemed income, only the income in excess of what is needed to reduce her benefit to zero is deemed to Steven, per SI 01320.620B.6. In this case, a disability determination for Mrs. Blue is not obtained and the original computation to determine Steven's benefit would stand as long as the deemed income remained sufficient to deny Mrs. Blue or until some other change occurs that requires a recomputation (e.g., Mr. Blue’s income decreases or Mrs. Blue’s record terminates).

NOTE:  Applications should not be solicited for the purpose of obtaining a denial based on income. The parent should, however, be provided an explanation of the deeming policies, including the effect of his or her decision regarding whether to file an application, whenever the parent alleges being aged, blind, or disabled.

D. Other denials

If denials other than disability (SI 01320.640B. in this section) are possible (e.g., excess resources, etc.) in multiple deeming cases, those reasons for denial should take priority over denials for income. For example, using the same family situation as Example l in SI 01320.640B. in this section, if Mrs. Blue could be denied on the basis of both excess income and resources, the denial would be based on the excess resources and the parent-to-child deeming procedures in SI 01320.500 would be used to determine Steven's eligibility and payment amount.

E. Procedure for cessation of multiple deeming

Stop using the multiple deeming procedures for eligible individuals or children the month after the month at the earliest of:

  • The expiration of any appeal period; or

  • The request of the denied applicant or appellant; or

  • A denied record has terminated on the system (T31 or T51) or a terminating event occurs.

NOTE: T31 and T51 are termination codes posted to the SSR by the SSI system. T31 indicates that a case is terminated and payment was made on the record. T51 indicates that the case is terminated and no payment was made on the record. In either case, these termination codes indicate that there is no current appeal action pending on the record.

F. References

  • GN 00206.001 - Withdrawal of a Title II Benefit Application

  • SI 00601.050 - Withdrawal of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application

  • SI 02301.230 - Voluntary Termination (N19)

  • SI 04070.010 — Title XVI Administrative Finality — General Reopening Policies

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 Claim Parent Does Not File
Spouse's Earned $2,300 Parents' Unearned $200
Ineligible Chld Allocation - 229 Ineligible Chld Allocation - 229
Remaining Earned $2,071 Countable Unearned $ 0
Couple Unearned $200 Parents's Earned $2,300
General Income Exclusion - 20 Unused Allocation - 29
Remaining Earned $2,271
Countable Unearned $180 Countable Unearned $0
Countable Earned Countable Earned
[$2,071-$65]÷2 $1,003 [$2,271-$20-$65 ]÷2 +1,093
Countable Unearned +180 Total Countable $1,093
Total Countable $1,183 Total Countable $1,093
Couple FBR - 687 Parents' Allowance - 687
Deemed to Child $496 Deemed 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 00206.011 through GN 00206.014 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


SI 01320 TN 21 - Deeming of Income - 12/13/2018