TN 29 (07-90)

SI 00810.030 When Income Is Counted

Citations:

20 CFR 416.1111 and 416.1123

A. Policy Principle

Generally, we count income at the earliest of the following points:

  • when it is received; or,

  • when it is credited to an individual's account; or

  • when it is set aside for his or her use.

We determine income monthly and count it the month it is received.

B. Operating Policy

1. EXCEPTIONS

Occasionally, a regular periodic payment (e.g., wages, title II,or VA benefits) is received in a month other than the month of normal receipt.

As long as there is no intent to interrupt the regular payment schedule, consider the funds to be income in the normal month of receipt.

The most common situations where this policy applies appear in 2. and 3. below.

A different exception is discussed in 4. below.

2. ADVANCE DATED CHECKS

When a payor advance dates a check because the regular payment date falls on a weekend or holiday, there is no intent to change the normal delivery date or to disrupt the existing relationship between check receipt and SSI benefits.

Whenever such an advance dated check is received, consider it income to the recipient in the month of normal receipt.

3. ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFER (EFT)

When an individual's money goes to a bank by direct deposit, the funds may be posted to the account before or after the month they are payable.

Whenever this occurs, treat the electronically transferred funds as income in the month of normal receipt.

4. THIRD PARTY VENDOR PAYMENTS

When a third party payment results in an individual's receipt of in-kind support and maintenance (ISM), you must determine the month the individual receives the ISM. See SI 00835.360 for the instructions for making that decision.

C. Development and Documentation

When income is counted in a month other than the month that evidence in the file shows the income was actually received,document the file with the reason (e.g., a report of contact (RC)).

Example: A company sends out its retirement pension checks so that they arrive on the first day of each month. However, because January 1, l990 is a holiday, the checks are delivered on December 30, 1989. The SSI claimant brings in his pension check as evidence of his income, and explains that he also received a pension check on December 1.

The interviewer determines that the amount of the December 30 check is income in the normal month of receipt (January 1990) and explains, on an RC, that the check is counted as income for January rather than December because the normal delivery date is a holiday.

D. Related Policy

1. COUNTING ADVANCE DATED CHECKS AND EFT'S AS RESOURCES

Such funds are first subject to evaluation as resources in the month following the month of normal receipt.

See SI 01130.600 for SSI and RSDI retroactive payments as resources.

2. COUNTING RETROACTIVE TITLE II BENEFITS

See SI 02006.001ff. when a recipient receives retroactive title II benefits for a period for which he/she received SSI.

3. COUNTING NET EARNINGS FROM SELF-EMPLOYMENT

Counting net earnings from self-employment (NESE) varies from the general income-counting rule. NESE is allocated evenly into all months of an individual's taxable year. See SI 00820.200ff.

4. REPLACEMENT OF INCOME ALREADY RECEIVED

See SI 00815.450 if income is lost, stolen, or destroyed, and a replacement is received.

5. RECIPIENT RETURNS A CHECK HE/SHE IS NOT DUE

See SI 00815.460 when the recipient is aware that he/she is not due a payment and returns the money.

6. REISSUED TITLE II FUNDS IN CHANGE OF PAYEE SITUATIONS

See SI 01120.022C. when conserved title II benefits are reissued as a result of a change in payees.