TN 72 (01-12)

SI 00835.360 When to Charge In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) from Third Party Vendor Payments

A. Definitions of a third party, vendor, and third party vendor payments

1. Third party

A third party is any person or entity other than the eligible individual, couple, or the vendor.

2. Vendor

A vendor is a:

  • seller of goods or services (e.g., a merchant, retailer, contractor); or

  • person or entity who takes the place of the vendor in a transaction by paying the vendor for goods or services (e.g., a credit card company, bank, or other creditor).

3. Third party vendor payment (TPVP)

A third party vendor payment (TPVP) is a payment made directly to a vendor by a third party for goods or services the vendor provided to an eligible individual, or couple.

B. Policy for when to charge ISM for a TPVP

In-kind support and maintenance (ISM) from a TPVP is unearned income when an applicant or claimant first has use of the item. For more information on ISM, refer to SI 00835.310B.

1. Exception for TPVP as a gift

ISM resulting from a TPVP is income in the month of the payment, rather than when an applicant or claimant first has use of the ISM, if:

  • the applicant or claimant obtains food or shelter using his own credit; and

  • a third party later makes a vendor payment for the items as a gift.

C. Procedure for developing TPVP in initial claims and Post Entitlement (PE) situations

1. Other applicable procedures

If the applicant or claimant receives a gift from a TPVP for an item of ISM, use the following procedure in addition to the requirements in:

  • SI 00835.704 In-Kind Support and Maintenance Provided Residents of Institutions

  • SI 00835.400 In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) to One Person

  • SI 00835.350 Computation of In-Kind Support and Maintenance from Outside a Household (Including Vendor Payments by a Third Party Outside the Household

2. Obtain claimant’s statements

  1. Claimant’s Statement—Obtain the claimant’s statement, signed or on Report of Contact (DROC), showing:

    • the month which he or she first had use of the food, or shelter item(s);

    • the third party paid the vendor sometime after the claimant’s first use of the item(s);

    • that the vendor extended credit to the claimant; and

    • the TPVP was a gift.

  2. Supporting Statement—Obtain a supporting statement (signed or on DROC) from the party who made the vendor payment, unless the claimant's statement rules out applicability of the exception.

3. Value of the ISM

To determine the amount of ISM to charge, use the total amount of the TPVP in any given month, including any interest, and apply the Presumed Maximum Value (PMV) rule. Any unpaid amount that the claimant is still responsible for is not income. For information on rebuttal procedures and the PMV rule, see SI 00835.320.

D. Examples of TPVP situations

1. Gift TPVP for part of food charged

  1. Situation - Mr. Shagg buys his food at a neighborhood store where he has a line of credit. In August 2011, he purchased $150 worth of groceries and received the bill in September. Mr. Shagg asked his son for help in making the payment, and on September 28, without expectation of repayment, the son paid the grocer $100, leaving a $50 unpaid balance.

  2. Analysis - Although the food was available to Mr. Shagg in August, he was under obligation to pay for it and it was not income. Some of the food became income to him in September when his son made the $100 vendor payment. Since $100 is less than the PMV, we charge Mr. Shagg with $100 ISM in September. He is still responsible for paying the $50 balance, so that amount was not income to him.

2. Gift TPVP for ISM available in past, current, and future months

  1. Situation - Mrs. Kelly, who lives alone, received an $800 tax bill on her home in June 201