Section 1614(f) of the Social Security Act provides that for purposes of determining
eligibility for and the amount of SSI benefits for an eligible individual living with
his/her ineligible spouse or for a child under age 18 living with his/her parent(s),
the individual's/child's income (and resources) shall be deemed to include any income
and resources of the spouse/ parent, whether or not available to the individual, except to the extent determined by the Commissioner to be inequitable under the circumstances.
The statute provides no such authority to the Commissioner for discretion in determining
the income and resources of the sponsor of an alien or an essential person deemed
to an alien or a qualified individual.
The following types of income are excluded by Regulation when determining countable
income of an ineligible spouse or ineligible parent (and spouse of a parent) subject
to deeming. These types of income are also excluded from the income of an ineligible
child in a household and from the income of an eligible alien sponsored by an ineligible
spouse or parent for purposes of reducing the ineligible child and eligible alien
allocations. Unless otherwise specified below, the following items are not excluded from the income of an essential person or the sponsor of an alien, and are
subject to deeming:
Income excluded by Federal laws other than the Social Security Act (SI 00830.055); such income is also excluded from the income of an essential person; such income
may be excluded when determining countable income of the sponsor of an alien, but
see SI 01320.105 for exceptions in sponsor-to-alien deeming;
Any public income maintenance payments (SI 01320.141), and any income which was counted or excluded in figuring the amount of that payment;
Any of the income of an ineligible spouse, parent, or ineligible child that is used
by a public income-maintenance program (SI 01320.141) to determine the amount of that program's benefit to someone else;
Any portion of a grant, scholarship, or fellowship used to pay tuition or fees (SI 01320.115);
Money received for providing foster care to an ineligible child (SI 01320.120);
The value of food stamps and the value of Department of Agriculture donated foods
(SI 01320.125); these are also excluded from the income of an essential person or the sponsor of
Tax refunds on real property or food purchased by the family (SI 01320.135);
Income used to fulfill an approved plan for achieving self-support (SI 01320.140);
Any income that is used to comply with the terms of courtordered support or support
payments enforced under title IV-D of the Social Security Act (SI 01320.145);
Periodic payments made by a State under a program established before July 1, 1973
and based solely on duration of residence and attainment of age 65 (SI 01320.155);
Disaster assistance (SI 01320.160); some types of disaster assistance may also be excluded from the income of an essential
person or the sponsor of an alien.
Income paid under a Federal, State, or local government program (e.g., payments under
title XX of the Social Security Act) to provide chore, attendant, or homemaker services
to the eligible individual (SI 01320.175);
Certain home energy assistance and support and maintenance assistance (SI 01320.180); such assistance is also excluded from the income of an essential person or the
sponsor of an alien;
Any child's earned income up to a monthly and yearly maximum determined by cost-of-living
indicators (SI 00820.510), provided that the child is a student (SI 01320.185), is excluded from the income of an ineligible child or an eligible alien (who is
a student child) sponsored by an ineligible spouse or ineligible parent, for purposes
of reducing the ineligible child or eligible alien allocation.
These exclusions from income subject to deeming are explained in more detail in the
following subsections. For impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) incurred by a deemor,
see SI 01320.190.
NOTE: As a result of these exclusions of some types of income from deeming, there may be
situations where it would be advantageous to a couple if the spouse who has nondeemable
income does not file. For example, if one spouse receives a Veterans Administration
(VA) pension of $450 which is based on need, that pension is not deemable and the
other spouse, who has no income, would receive the full Federal benefit rate (FBR)
($545 as of January 2002). On the other hand, if the spouse who has the pension also
files, that $450 pension would cause a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the couple FBR
($817 as of January 2002).
When such a situation occurs, the interviewer should discuss each possibility and
explain its effect (see SI 00501.154C.). However, the decision to file or withdraw an application is the claimant's responsibility.
See GN 00204.010 and GN 00204.012 for handling a potential claimant's decision not to file. See SI 00601.050 for withdrawal considerations when SSI is involved. See SI 00601.035 and SI 00601.040 for closing out leads and protecting filing situations.