Rescinded 1977

SSR 77-21: Sections 1611(b)(1) and 1612(a)(2) (42 U.S.C. 1382(b)(1) and 1382(a)(2))—Supplemental Security Income—Unearned Income—Maintenance and Support

20 CFR 416.1125

SSR 77-21

Where the claimant for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is living in the home of his brother-in-law but purchases and prepares his own food, held, since the claimant is not receiving both support and maintenance from his brother-in-law, his SSI benefits should not be reduced by one-third in accordance with section 416.1125(b) of Regulations No. 16 of the Social Security Administration.

The general issue is the nature of the claimant's living arrangements.

The specific issue is the effect the claimant's living arrangements have upon the amount of supplemental security income payments to the claimant if he resides in the household of another.

The claimant has been residing with his brother-in-law since 1964. He has been paying various amounts on a weekly and sometimes monthly basis for his room. There have been different arrangements between the two men concerning the cost of food each consumes. The claimant now purchases food for his own consumption and his brother-in-law buys his own food. The claimant prepares separate meals for his brother-in-law and himself.

Section 416.1125(a)(b), and (c) of Regulations No. 16 provides the following concerning unearned income and the receipt of support and maintenance.

(a) General. Unearned income includes support and maintenance furnished in cash or in kind. Support and maintenance in kind may generally be defined as room and board, and would also include other incidentals, such as clothing, necessary to an individual's normal sustenance. Unless otherwise specified herein, the value of in-kind support and maintenance refers to its current market value.

(b) One-third reduction for living in another person's household.

(1) In the case of an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) who lives in another person's household and receives support and maintenance in kind from such person, the payment standard for such eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) will be reduced by one-third in lieu of including the value of such support and maintenance as unearned income to the eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse). The one-third reduction in the payment standard will apply only for months wholly spent in the household of another person. Thus, the reduction is made beginning with the first full calendar month in which an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) is making any payment for support and maintenance (room and board) to the person in whose household he is living.

(2) When the one-third reduction applies, any additional support or maintenance or both support and maintenance, reviewed in kind from a source other than the person in whose household the eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) lives is not counted as income.

(3) For purposes of this section, "another person's" household refers to the household of a private individual. It does not include a commercial establishment (e.g., rooming or boarding house) or an institution.

(c) Household situations not included under paragraph (b) of this section. The reduction in the payment standard for living in the household of another and described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section will not apply in the following situations and support and maintenance provided in kind will be valued as provided herein and in paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section:

(1) In the case of an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) who lives in another person's household and receives only support or maintenance (i.e., only room or only board) from the householder.

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(d) Valuation of support and maintenance for individuals in household situations. When an eligible individual (or eligible spouse) lives in a household (i.e., is not in an institution) and the reduction in the payment standard described in paragraph (b) of this section is inapplicable and the provisions of ยงยง416.1185 and 416.1190 do not apply, any support or maintenance, or both support and maintenance, received in kind is unearned income. In such cases, the maximum value of such support and maintenance is presumed to be that amount which will reduce the applicable payment standard by one-third; i.e., the value is presumed to be one-third of the payment standard, plus the exclusion applicable to unearned income. This presumption will be applied in determining the benefits payable unless it is rebutted by the individual's establishing that the current market value of such support and maintenance, less any payment he makes therefore, is lower than the presumed value. This rule will apply in the following circumstances:

(1) When an eligible individual (or eligible individual and eligible spouse) lives in the household of another and reviews only support or maintenance from the householder. These provisions do not apply, however, when the provisions of paragraph (c)(2) of this section apply.

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The above cited regulations provide in pertinent part that the claimant's payment standard will be reduced if he is receiving both support and maintenance (room and board). In the event he receives only support or only maintenance, no reduction is applicable except that the value of support or maintenance will be charged as unearned income to the claimant.

Based on the statement of the claimant and his brother-in-law contained in the record and the evidence that the claimant purchases and prepares his own food, it is concluded that the claimant is not receiving support and maintenance and his standard payment amount should not be reduced by one-third.


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