TN 80 (03-20)

SI 01130.612 Treatment of Inherited Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution


Public Law (P.L.) 103-286, The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994, 20 CFR 416.1121(g), Types of Unearned Income

A. Introduction

The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-286) provides that any payments made to individuals because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution must be disregarded in determining eligibility for and the amount of benefits provided under any needs-based federal program. Thus, these payments are excluded from both income and resources for purposes of Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The statute does not specifically address the treatment of reparation payments inherited upon the death of the victim of persecution.

B. Policy for inherited reparation payments

1. Inherited reparation payments exclusion

Exclude inherited payments from resources if the funds:

  • were inherited from or can be traced back to an individual who received the inherited funds as payments because of his or her status as a victim of Nazi persecution;

  • were or would have been excludable under the Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 for the original recipient;

  • are identifiable as reparation payments; and

  • are unspent

For the definition of inheritance, see SI 00830.550, Inheritances. For Payments to Victims fo Nazi Persecution, see SI 01130.610.

2. To whom the exclusion of inherited reparation payments may apply

The resource exclusion applies to reparation payments inherited by any individual. The individual inheriting the funds does not have to be related to the original recipient, nor does he or she have to inherit the funds directly from the original recipient. The exclusion applies to the funds as long as the SSI claimant provides evidence establishing that the criteria in SI 01130.612B.1. in this section are met.

C. Examples

1. Intestate succession

An individual who received reparation payments died without a will. His parents and spouse predeceased him, and he had no children. Under state laws of intestate succession, his brother inherits the estate that includes $5,000 in identifiable reparation payments. Upon submission of appropriate evidence, the funds inherited by the brother are excluded from resources for SSI purposes.

2. Inheritances by will

The original recipient of reparation payments from the German government died and left $10,000 of his conserved reparation payments to his wife in his will. When his wife died, she left the remaining $6,000 of conserved reparation payments to their daughter, who is an SSI recipient. Upon submission of appropriate evidence, the resource exclusion can apply to the funds inherited by the daughter.

3. Inherited funds are not identifiable

An individual alleges he received an inheritance from his father that included $8,000 of Nazi reparation payments paid to his grandfather and inherited by his father. He establishes that his grandfather received payment because of his status as a victim of Nazi persecution. However, his father had commingled the payments with regular funds in his savings account, of which other money had passed in and out for 20 years. The individual is unable to establish that the funds are identifiable as reparation payments. The $8,000 is income to the individual in the month of receipt, and any funds unspent count as a resource the following month.

D. Procedure for developing the exclusion of inherited funds

1. When to develop

Always determine if applying this exclusion would permit eligibility for regular or conditional benefits when an individual would otherwise be ineligible due to excess resources. If the exclusion would permit eligibility, develop per SI 01130.612D.2. in this section. It is not necessary to develop the resource exclusion under this section if the individual is eligible without the application of this exclusion.

2. Development for the exclusion of inherited reparation payments

Follow these steps if an individual alleges resources that include unspent inherited reparation payments that were originally made to a victim of Nazi persecution.

a. Evidence of inheritance

  • Ask the individual to provide evidence of the inheritance, e.g. a copy of the will or other notice showing the source of the funds.

  • If there is no available evidence, obtain statements from individuals who have knowledge of the payments.

b. Development of payment

Develop the type of inherited reparation payment following SI 01130.610.

Develop the amount and excludability of the resource for the original recipient under the appropriate Program Operations Manual System (POMS) section pertaining to the type of reparation payment. For instructions on the different reparation payment programs, see SI 01130.610. Develop evidence per the appropriate POMS instructions listed in SI 01130.610C.

If the resource would have been excludable as payments to a victim of Nazi persecution, go to SI 01130.612 D.3, in this section. If not, count the inherited funds as a resource the month after receipt.

3. Documenting the exclusion of inherited funds

Obtain the claimant's statement either signed or recorded on a Report of Contact (DROC) as to the date(s) and amount(s) of any inherited funds corresponding to the payments originally made to the victim of Nazi persecution. Exclude the identifiable, unspent payments from countable resources.

4. Example

An SSI claimant inherited a bank account containing $30,000 from her father, whom she alleges was a victim of Nazi persecution. She provides a copy of her father’s will, which states that the bank account contains his pension payments from the German government. She also provides a copy of a letter from the German government indicating the monthly payment amount and that the payments include pension credits received for the period he was subjected to persecution. Exclude the inherited funds from the SSI claimant's countable resources.

E. Reopening prior determinations

Reopen and revise prior determinations affected by these instructions, subject to the rules of administrative finality. For instructions on administrative finality, see SI 04070.000, Administrative Finality.

F. References

SI 00830.500 Dividends and Interest

SI 00830.550 Inheritances

SI 00830.710 Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution

SI 00830.712 Treatment of Inherited Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution

SI 01130.605 Netherlands WUV Payments to Victims of Persecution

SI 01130.610 Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution

SI 01130.611 German Social Insurance Payments Under ZRBG ("Ghetto Pension" Law)

SI 01130.615 Austrian Social Insurance Payments

SI 01130.700 Identifying Excluded Funds That Have Been Commingled With Nonexcluded Funds

SI 04070.010 Title XVI Administrative Finality - General Reopening Policies

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SI 01130.612 - Treatment of Inherited Payments to Victims of Nazi Persecution - 03/19/2020
Batch run: 09/12/2023