SSR 79-28


PURPOSE: To state the policy for supplemental security income (SSI) purposes of not counting as income or resources the receipts by Indians from certain lands held in trust for them. This policy carries out Public Law 94-114, effective October 17, 1975.

CITATIONS (AUTHORITY): Public Law 94-114; National Industrial Recovery Act of June 16, 1933 (48 Stat. 200); the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of April 8, 1935 (49 Stat. 115); section 55 of the Act of August 24, 1935 (49 Stat. 780, 781); the Act of July 20, 1956 (70 Stat. 581); the Act of August 2, 1956 (70 Stat. 941); the Act of October 9, 1972 (86 Stat. 795); the Act of October 13, 1972 (86 Stat. 806); the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (41 Stat. 437); the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of August 7, 1947 (61 Stat. 913, 915) and Regulations No. 16, sections 416.1102, 416.1146 and 416.1236.

PERTINENT HISTORY: Public Law 94-114 conveyed certain lands purchased earlier by the United States and administered for the benefit of certain Indian tribes. This law provides that the United States will now hold the land, together with the mineral rights, in trust for those Indian tribes, and will credit the income to the tribes. Also, this law provides that receipts from these lands and certain other lands previously conveyed in trust by other laws will not be considered as income or resources, or otherwise used to deny or reduce the financial assistance to which tribal members or their households would be entitled, under the Social Security Act or any other Federal or federally assisted program.

The lands in question had been purchased and administered by the United States for the benefit of the various Indian tribes under the general authority of the National Industrial Recovery Act, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, and section 55 of the Act of August 24, 1935. Subsequently, portions of these lands and some of the subsurface mineral rights were transferred to designated tribes by a series of public laws. (The tribes and laws involved are identified in part (b) of the Further Information section.) Then Public Law 94-114 conveyed to various tribes the lands and mineral rights not previously transferred by the prior laws. (See parts (a) and (b) of the Further Information section.)

Public Law 94-114 further provides for the transfer of accrued income from the lands conveyed by the earlier laws. Also, Public Law 94-114 requires the Secretary of Interior to identify and to publish in the Federal Register the boundaries and descriptions of the lands conveyed by this Act. Later information has disclosed that the State Directors of the Bureau of Land Management under the Department of Interior will promulgate the regulations, and some have been published (e.g., the regulations (41 FR 26718) on the transfer to the Blackfeet tribe in Montana on June 22, 1976).

POLICY STATEMENT: Effective October 17, 1975, the following receipts of funds distributed to the members of the Indian tribes identified in the Further Information section or to their households will be excluded as income or resources for the purposes of determining eligibility or benefit amount under the SSI program:

(1) Gross receipts derived from property conveyed by Public Law 94-114 and the Acts of July 20, 1956, August 2, 1956, October 9, 1972, and October 13, 1972, which were received by the United States after acquiring the property and before conveyance to the tribes under the above laws, and deposited to the credit of the Indian tribe receiving the land.

(2) Gross receipts derived by the United States subsequent to enactment of Public Law 94-114 from property conveyed by the Acts of July 20, 1956, August 2, 1956, October 9, 1972, October 13, 1972, and Public Law 94-114, including receipts from the leasing of public domain minerals subject to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of August 7, 1947.

DOCUMENTATION: Documentation should be obtained from the records of the tribal authorities who should be able to identify the trust income received from these lands and what per capita distribution was made. When necessary, further information should be secured from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the land description regulations of the Bureau of Land Management. If the funds are retained, they must be segregated and not commingled with other, countable resources (Regulations No. 16, section 416.1236(b)).

FURTHER INFORMATION: (a) The lands along with the subsurface mineral rights conveyed in trust by Public Law 94-114 are:

Tribe Reservation State
1. Bad River Bank of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Bad River Wisconsin
2. Blackfeet Tribe Blackfeet Montana
3. Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Oklahoma
4. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Cheyenne River South Dakota
5. Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Crow Creek South Dakota
6. Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Lower Brule South Dakota
7. Devil's Lake Sioux Tribe Fort Totten North Dakota
8. Fort Belknap Indian Community Fort Belknap Montana
9. Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes Fort Peck Montana
10. Lac Courte Oreilles Bank of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Lac Courte Oreilles Wisconsin
11. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community L'Anse Michigan
12. Minnesota Chippewa Tribe White Earth Minnesota
13. Navajo Tribe Navajo New Mexico
14. Ogalala Sioux Tribe Pine Ridge South Dakota
15. Rosebud Sioux Tribe Rosebud South Dakota
16. Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fort Hall Idaho
17. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Standing Rock North Dakota
South Dakota

(b) The lands along with the subsurface mineral rights conveyed in trust by other statutes are:

The Act of July 20, 1956 (70 Stat. 581). . . Seminole Indians in Florida
The Act of August 2, 1956 (70 Stat. 941) . . Pueblos in Zia and Jemez in New Mexico
The Act of October 13, 1972 (86 Stat. 806) . Burns Paiute Indian Colony in Oregon

The Act of October 9, 1972 (86 Stat. 795) transferred land to the Stockbridge Munsee Indian Community in Wisconsin. The mineral rights were transferred under Public Law 94-114.

(c) Final regulations covering these policies were published in the Federal Register on October 3, 1978, at 43 FR 45554.

CROSS-REFERENCE: Claims Manual section 12385.7.

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