How Do Transfers of Resources Affect Eligibility for SSI Benefits?

How do transfers of resources affect eligibility for SSI benefits?

If a person applying for Supplemental Security (SSI) benefits gives away property or sells property for less than fair market value, there is a presumption that the transfer was made for the purpose of making the person eligible for SSI benefits.

If the transfer of property was not for SSI eligibility purposes, the claimant would need to provide evidence to Social Security to show why the property was transferred.

Look-back period:

On all transfers, there is a 3-year look-back period.  This is 3 years before the date the application for SSI is filed.  If a person is already receiving SSI, the 3-year look-back period starts with the date the resources were transferred.

How long a person is ineligible for SSI depends on the value of the resource transferred.

How is the penalty period determined?

To determine how long the penalty period is, you divide the total value of the transferred resources by the monthly SSI benefit amount.

The monthly SSI amount in 2019 is $771 per month for an individual.

The resulting amount, rounded to the nearest whole number, is the number of months of ineligibility.

The period of ineligibility begins on the first day of the month following the month the transfer(s) were made.

The period of ineligibility can last up to a maximum of 36 months. It cannot exceed 36 months.


For more information, see Program Operations Manual System (POMS) SI 01150.110.


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