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What are resource exclusions?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

2612. What are resource exclusions?

We do not count all of an individual's resources when we determine eligibility for the extra help.

For purposes of determining countable resources for the extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs, we apply the exclusions applicable to the SSI program unless a specific exception is noted. SSI resource exclusions applicable to extra help determinations include the following:

  • The individual's home. For purposes of this exclusion, a home is any property in which the individual (and spouse, if any) have an ownership interest and which serves as the principal place of residence. This property includes the shelter in which an individual resides, the land on which the shelter is located, and outbuildings;

  • Property of a trade or business which is essential to the means of self-support;

  • Nonbusiness property which is essential to the means of self-support is excluded up to $6,000 of its equity value. Some property is required to generate income to receive this exclusion;

  • Stock in regional or village corporations held by natives of Alaska during the twenty-year period in which the stock is inalienable pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act;

  • Life insurance owned by an individual (and spouse, if any) to the extent excluded in (see §2159);

  • Restricted allotted Indian lands;

  • Payments or benefits provided under a Federal statute other than Title XVIII of the Act where exclusion is required by such statute when such payments or benefits are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Disaster relief assistance when such assistance is retained in the month after the month received (see §2162);

  • Up to $1,500 ($3,000 for a married couple living together) is excluded if the funds are expected to be used for burial expenses;

  • Burial spaces;

  • Title XVI or Title II retroactive payments for 9 months when such payments are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Housing assistance when such payments are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Refunds of Federal income taxes and advances made by an employer relating to an earned income tax credit when such payments are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Payments received as compensation for losses suffered as a result of a crime when such payments are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Relocation assistance from a State or local government when such payments are retained in the month after the month received;

  • Dedicated financial institution accounts;

  • A gift to, or for the benefit of, an individual who has not attained 18 years of age and who has a life-threatening condition, from an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code; and

  • Funds received and conserved to pay for medical and/or social services.

    Note: Unless identified as exceptions, other SSI exclusions not listed above are also considered exclusions for purposes of determining eligibility for the extra help.

Last Revised: Feb. 1, 2008

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