SSR 80-12: SECTION 1613(a) (42 U.S.C. 1382b(a)) SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME -- DEFINITION OF RESOURCES -- RESTRICTION ON DISPOSAL OF REAL PROPERTY
20 CFR 416.1201(a)
- The claimant's application for Supplemental Security income benefits was denied because her resources exceed the amount allowed by law. The excess resources consist of the interest the claimant's husband owns in some lots and a home. A court judgment, however, provides that the claimant's husband cannot dispose of the property until his youngest child, who is 13 years old, reaches the age of 18. Held, because the property cannot be liquidated by the claimant's husband at this time, it cannot be considered as a countable resource.
The issue to be determined is whether the claimant's resources are excludable under the Social Security Act. The claimant filed her application for Supplemental Security Income on August 2, 1978. She was denied benefits on August 11, 1978, because her resources exceeded the amount allowed by law. Her request for reconsideration was denied on September 5, 1978. A timely request for hearing was filed on September 6, 1978, and the hearing was held on October 24, 1978. The claimant was represented at the hearing by her attorney.
The testimony shows that the claimant and her husband are the owners of the property where they reside.
The claimant's husband also owns an interest in some lots and in another house. The evidence shows he owns half interest and his seven children from a prior marriage own the other half interest. A judgment entered by a court in the State where the property is located provides that the children of the claimant's husband shall have exclusive possession of the property. It further states that when the youngest child, who is presently 13 years old, reaches the age of 18 the property shall be sold and the proceeds divided. Until that time, the claimant's husband cannot liquidate or sell his interest in the property. It is this property that the Social Security Administration has considered in disqualifying the claimant from eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Section 416.1201(a) of the Regulations defines resources as cash or other liquid assets or any real or personal property that an individual (or spouse, if any) owns and could convert to cash to be used for his support and maintenance. If the individual has the right, authority or power to liquidate the property, or his share of the property, it is considered a resource. If a property right cannot be liquidated, the property will not be considered a resource of the individual (or spouse).
It is obvious from the evidence that the property in question cannot be liquidated by the claimant's husband until the youngest child becomes 18 years old. When the youngest child becomes 18 years old, the property will then become a resource.
Accordingly, the property owned by the claimant's husband is not a countable resource at this time. It will, however, be a factor in the future.