SSR 78-17: EXCLUSION OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS FROM INCOME AND RESOURCES FOR SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME PURPOSES
PURPOSE: To restate policy for excluding housing assistance from income and resources under title XVI pursuant to the Housing Authorization Act of 1976.
CITATIONS: Sections 1611(a), 1612(b) and 1613 of the Social Security Act, and Section 2(h) of Public Law 94-375, Regulations No. 16, §§ 416.1146(k), 416.1210(j), 416.1236(a)(12).
PERTINENT HISTORY: In determining countable income under title XVI of the Social Security Act, all income, either in cash or in kind, is counted except that excluded by Section 1612(b) of the Act, or by statutes specifically excluding the counting of income for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes. Similarly, all resources are counted except those excluded by Section 1613 of the Act, or by other statutes specifically excluding the counting of resources for SSI purposes. Generally, income received and not consumed prior to the quarter following the quarter of its receipt becomes a countable resource in the subsequent quarter, and continues as such for each succeeding quarter thereafter it is held. Thus, with the exceptions noted in the following paragraph, assistance paid with respect to a dwelling unit under the various housing programs, whether provided directly or indirectly, has been countable income to those beneficiaries who are SSI applicants or recipients. Any such income that might have been retained became a resource as indicated above.
Rent subsidies in low-rent housing programs under the provisions of Section 23 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 as amended, and experimental programs thereunder, have been excluded from countable income. The authority for this exclusion was in Section 2 of the above cited Housing Act (since repealed) which prohibited the use of subsidies to reduce welfare payments, and in the procedures for waiver of title XVI requirements as authorized by Section 11 of Public Law 93-233 with respect to projects to which the provisions of Section 1115 of the Social Security Act apply. Regulations have, in the past, provided for the exclusion from income of assistance provided under Section 23 of the United States Housing Act. However, housing allowances and housing supplements under Federal housing programs were counted as unearned income.
Under Section 2(h) of the Housing Authorization Act of 1976, effective October 1, 1976, any assistance paid with respect to a dwelling unit under the United States Housing Act of 1937, the National Housing Act, Section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, or title V of the Housing Act of 1949, may not be considered ". . . as income or a resource for the purpose of determining the eligibility of, or amount of the benefits payable to, any person living in such unit for assistance under title XVI of the Social Security Act."
POLICY DIRECTIVE STATEMENT: Effective October 1, 1976, determining countable income or resources under title XVI of the Social Security Act, housing assistance paid with respect to any dwelling unit under the provisions of the United States Housing Act of 1937 as amended, the National Housing Act, section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, or title V of the Housing Act of 1949, is excluded for any occupant of such unit. The exclusions are applicable regardless of an individual's relationship to other occupants of the dwelling unit and regardless of the form or manner in which such assistance is received on behalf of the unit or received by the individual occupants.
DOCUMENTATION: To retain its exclusion from resources any part of such assistance which is or becomes a resource must be identifiable as having resulted from the assistance provided by one of the specific acts enumerated in Section 2(h) of Public Law 94-375.
FURTHER INFORMATION: 1. United States Housing Act of 1937 authorizes grants, loans, and annual contributions for the purpose of providing low income housing assistance.
2. National Housing Act provides for comprehensive mortgage insurance, assistance payments to or on behalf of various mortgagees.
3. Section 101 of Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 authorizes annual payments to private nonprofit housing owners on behalf of tenants who have income below the maximum set by the United States Housing Act of 1937 and who are:
- displaced by governmental action,
- age 62 or older,
- physically handicapped,
- occupant or former occupant of a dwelling located in a declared disaster area which was extensively damaged by the disaster,
- family where head of family is on active duty with armed services.
4. Title V of the Housing Act of 1949 authorizes financial assistance in rural areas to farmers, owners, developers, and elderly persons for the purchase of rural property and construction of adequate facilities, insurance on various loans, establishment of housing for trainees in rural areas, and financial assistance for low rent housing for farm workers.
5. Housing Assistance based on need funded entirely by States or political subdivisions, in cash or in kind are excluded under sections 1621(b), effective October 1, 1976.
CROSS-REFERENCES: Claims Manual chapters 12200, 12300, 12400, 12500, and 12600, and their inclusive sections.