TN 91 (05-24)

SI 00820.545 Work Expenses - Interaction with Other Policies

A. Introduction

This section discusses the interaction of other policies with work expenses.

B. Policy - Items deductible under other provision

1. Self-employment

If the cost of an item has been deducted in figuring net earnings from self-employment (NESE) as described in SI 00820.200, it cannot be deducted as a work expense.

2. Community residence

  1. a. 

    When an individual resides in a community residence, any fees required by the facility may include work-related attendant care services as well as room and board. Often, a third party may be paying these fees in addition to the individual.

    When an individual lives in a community residence, the advantages of attributing the individual's payments to the attendant care services (to reduce countable earnings) are compared with the advantages of attributing the individual's payments to room and board (to reduce the amount of in-kind support and maintenance (ISM)).

    The provision which is most advantageous to the individual is applied; i.e., the payment is attributed towards IRWE or food and shelter.

    (See SI 00835.350 through SI 00835.360 to determine how to compute and when to count any ISM derived from the third party payment. Also, see SI 00835.710 when an institution is involved. For additional information when determining whether payments for attendant care services may constitute IRWE, see DI 10520.010F.4.)

  2. b. 


    FACTS: Cecil Crane, who resides in a community residence, files for SSI in November 1991, as a disabled individual (Cecil is ineligible for title II benefits). You learn that the residence fees of $600 a month reflect $150 for attendant care services and $450 for room and board.

    Cecil. Crane's sibling pays $200 a month to the residence, with none of the money prescribed for any particular items. Cecil pays $400 a month from their monthly earnings of $600.

    CONSIDERATIONS: You consider following the SGA determination which computed the IRWE to be $150 since all of the attendant care services reflect care associated with Cecil working.

    You recognize that if $150 of Cecil's payment is considered an IRWE for SSI payment purposes, only $250 remains to be attributed towards the room and board. Under this apportionment of Cecil's $400 monthly payment, $200 of the room and board would be paid by Cecil's sibling and Cecil would be receiving ISM valued at $200 subject to the presumed maximum value ($155.66).

    You compute Cecil's countable income to be $328.16 a month ($192.50 earned and $135.66 unearned).

    In addition, you consider attributing Cecil's $400 payment towards the room and board, and calculate the ISM to be $50 ($450-$400). Under this apportionment, you calculate Cecil'scountable income to be $297.50 a month ($267.50 earned and $30 unearned).

    DECISION: You attribute Cecil's payment towards the room and board rather than towards the attendant care since it yields a higher SSI payment.


  1. a. 

    A PASS permits an individual to set aside income and resources for a limited period of time in order to reach a work goal. (For a more comprehensive discussion on PASS, see SI 00870.001.)

  2. b. 

    Income used to pay for a particular work-related item may not be excluded from countable income under the PASS and the BWE or IRWE provisions simultaneously.

  3. c. 

    An expense excludable under a PASS for countable income purposes  may be deductible as an IRWE for purposes of an SGA determination since these are separate determinations.

  4. d. 

    Unlike BWE or IRWE, a PASS may be used to reduce countable unearned income and resources.

  5. e. 

    When both PASS and BWE or IRWE apply, the exclusion most advantageous to the individual is used. Generally, a PASS is most advantageous.

4. State blind income disregards

In determining SSI payment/eligibility, certain blind recipients who received assistance under a State plan for December 1973 can deduct either the Federal income exclusions or the State plan income disregards in effect in October 1972. Even though an individual may have BWE, it may be more advantageous to use the State plan income disregards. The provision which is most advantageous to the individual is used. (See SI 01210.100 for the applicability of the State blind income disregards.)

C. Policy — Deeming

In determining how much of an ineligible spouse's or parent's income is subject to deeming, earnings which are used to meet work expenses are not counted, if the ineligible spouse or parent is blind or disabled.

See SI 01320.170 and SI 01320.190 to determine whether the spouse or parent is blind or disabled. Work expenses should be documented and verified according to SI 00820.550.

D. Policy — Threshold for 1619(b) eligibility

When eligibility under section 1619(b) is being determined for an individual, BWE and IRWE are used in the individualized threshold calculation described in SI 02302.050. (See SI 00820.540C for pre-12/1/90 requirements.)

E. Policy — Retrospective monthly accounting (RMA)

BWE or IRWE which apply to the budget month are used to compute the payment for the computation month even if the individual no longer qualifies for use of BWE or IRWE in the computation month.

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SI 00820.545 - Work Expenses - Interaction with Other Policies - 05/29/2024
Batch run: 05/29/2024