SSR 79-21: TITLE XVI: USE OF STATE PLANS FOR "GRANDFATHERING" OF RESOURCES
PURPOSE: To clarify policy on the use of State plan resource provisions in determining eligibility for recipients converted to the supplemental security income program (SSI) from the State assistance programs.
CITATIONS (AUTHORITY): Sections 1611(g) and 1614(f) of the Social Security Act as amended; Regulations No. 16, sections 416.1202, 416.1260, 416.1261, 416.1264 and 416.1266.
PERTINENT HISTORY: Section 1611(g) of the Social Security Act provides a special advantage for persons who were December 1973 recipients of benefits under the State programs of assistance to the aged, blind, and disabled which were succeeded by the SSI program. The advantage is that the Federal SSI eligibility requirements with respect to resources will be considered as satisfied for individuals converted from the State programs to the Federal program if their resources do ". . . not exceed the maximum amount of resources specified in the State plan, as in effect for October 1972 . . . ." (There are other requirements that must be met; however, they are not germane to this discussion.) Current regulations repeat the statutory language without elaborating on the extent to which the State provisions are to be applied.
Operating components have requested that policy be clarified regarding whether any Federal rules affecting resource eligibility (e.g., deeming, definition of resources) apply to determinations of resource eligibility made under section 1611(g). Operating components have also requested that policy be clarified regarding the treatment of resource eligibility under this provision for couples where only one member was converted as an eligible individual or eligible spouse.
Accordingly, the statutory language has been reevaluated in the light of the legislative history. The resulting legal interpretation regarding the intent of the Congress is that if an individual or an individual with an ineligible spouse or an individual with an eligible spouse was resource eligible under the State plan rules, the question of whether such person(s) is (are) resource eligible for SSI must be determined following either all the respective State plan rules or all Federal rules, whichever is to the converted claimant's advantage. As part of this interpretation, it is also noted that when the State resource rules are used to establish eligibility, they will serve in place of all the Federal resource rules including those on the deeming of resources set forth in section 1614(f). Further, the "grandfathering" of resource eligibility may only be extended to recipients who were converted to the SSI program from the State assistance programs.
POLICY DIRECTIVE STATEMENT: Determinations of SSI resource eligibility for any individual, individual with an ineligible spouse, or individual with an eligible spouse, who was converted from the State assistance programs to the SSI program (and who meets the other pertinent requirements) will be made under either the Federal resource eligibility rules or the resource provisions of the State plan as it was in effect for October 1972, whichever is to the claimant(s)' advantage. At no time will a combination of Federal and State resource provisions be used. The application of one set of rules precludes the use of any part of the other (e.g., the Federal deeming of resource rule cannot be used in lieu of the State deeming rule when the State resource provisions are being used).
For purposes of applying the State plan resource provision, any person(s) who at the time of conversion from the State assistance programs to SSI was an eligible individual, eligible individual with eligible spouse, or eligible individual with ineligible spouse, will continue to be treated as such except that:
- 1. an eligible individual or eligible spouse whose marriage terminates will be treated as an eligible individual;
- 2. an ineligible spouse whose marriage to a converted eligible individual terminates is not entitled to the use of the State plan resource provisions should that spouse establish or attempt to establish SSI eligibility;
- 3. if a converted eligible individual or eligible spouse marries another converted eligible individual or eligible spouse, they will be treated as an eligible individual with an eligible spouse;
- 4. if a converted eligible individual or eligible spouse marries any person who is not entitled to the use of the State plan resource provisions, they as a couple will be subject to the State plan resource provisions for an individual.
FURTHER INFORMATION: There is another "grandfathering" provision in title XVI, i.e., section 1611(h), which applies to the income of converted blind recipients. Separate policy applies to that provision.
CROSS-REFERENCES: Claims Manual § 12500.