SSR 75-32: Sections 1602 and 1611(a)(1) (42 U.S.C. 1381a and 1382(a)(1))—Supplemental Security Income—Eligibility—Excess Income—Deeming
20 CFR 416.1101(a), 416.1102(a), 416.1165 and 416.1185(a)
The claimant and her ineligible spouse live together in their own household. Both are confined to wheelchairs. Although the spouse is gainfully employed as a school teacher, the claimant is unable to work. Her income is from Disability Insurance Benefits from Social Security, and from the local welfare department. Held, after allowance exclusions, the earnings of the ineligible spouse are deemed to be income to the claimant which renders her ineligible for Supplemental Security Income payments due to excess income.
The evidence shows that the claimant is 46 years of age. She is married and resides with her husband and minor daughter. She has a ninth grade education and formerly worked as a photographer retoucher. She and her husband both appeared at the hearing in wheelchairs.
She testified, among other things, that she and her husband were married on December 4, 1944. They have one daughter who is a student.
In July of 1962 she and her husband were involved in an automobile accident, which resulted in serious injuries, both to her and her husband. The injuries were so severe that her husband suffered the loss of use of both of his legs. The claimant suffered injuries to her spinal column that resulted in the loss of use of the entire lower part of her body, including both her extremities. Both are confined to wheelchairs. The husband obtained employment as a schoolteacher. His gross income from his teaching position is $1,347 per month. After the usual deductions, his net take-home income is $856 per month. The claimant in the meantime is receiving medical and therapeutic treatment in local medical facilities and hospitals. She is completely disabled, cannot care for herself, and requires 24 hours a day care. Her income consists of $167 per month disability payments from Social Security. This includes benefits for her daughter. She also receives $80 per month from the local welfare department, plus her Supplemental Security Income payments of $122.40.
She further testified that, because of her physical condition it is necessary to have the assistance of a full-time attendant to take care of her needs at the cost of $85 per week. Furthermore the necessary expenses for maintaining her family, including the expenses for medical care, and the salary of the attendant, exceed their total income. They had to borrow against their life insurance policies to help pay the added expenses.
Here the claimant and her husband are married and living in the same household. He is an ineligible spouse because of his earnings as a school-teacher. Under the provisions of Regulation 16, Section 416.1185(a), the claimant's husband's earnings from his teaching position are considered earned income, which, after the allowable exclusions, will be deemed to the claimant.
The amount of the income so deemed to the claimant is countable income for purposes of determining her eligibility under the Act. Thus, his monthly income of $1,374 per month is taken into consideration. This is earned income-he is allowed to exclude $65 per month for expenses in connection with his employment. This leaves a balance of $1,309. The sum of $73 per month is excluded for a spouse's allotment, leaving a balance of $1,236. Also, $65 per month is excluded for their child leaving a balance of $1,171, which is deemed countable income to the claimant. This amount is far in excess of the allowance income specified in the Act, without even considering the claimant's unearned income (Social Security). Although as the claimant's physical condition requires extraordinary expenses, there is no provision in the Act which would permit these expenses to be considered for exclusion from countable income. Accordingly, I must conclude that, under the provisions of the Act, the claimant has excess countable income which makes her ineligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
It is the decision of this Hearing Examiner that, based upon the claimant's Statement for Determining Continuing Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Payments the claimant is not entitled to further Supplemental Security Income benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended.