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Question
Hi, Darlene,

My income, a pension, is $ 500.  My rent is $ 1,000. I live alone, in NYC, and my son pays the rest of my rent, $ 500 per check directly to my landlord. Will ssa count these $ 500 when I apply for ssi as my income or not, since my son pays it directly to my landlord. For ebt and Medicaid it does not count as income.

And how much will the ssi be in NYC, federal and state? I am also on ebt and Medicaid.

Thanks for your reply, tia, K

Answer
SSI is not my area of expertise.  The maximum federal SSI benefit is $733.  I do not know the amount of the NY state supplement.  This information does appear on letters from Social Security that explain your monthly benefit.  It appears that a payment to a vendor can be considered as in-kind support maintenance (ISM).  The following is from Social Security policy:

TN 72 (01-12)
SI 00835.360 When to Charge In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) from Third Party Vendor Payments

A. Definitions of a third party, vendor, and third party vendor payments

1. Third party

A third party is any person or entity other than the eligible individual, couple, or the vendor.
2. Vendor

A vendor is a:
seller of goods or services (e.g., a merchant, retailer, contractor); or
person or entity who takes the place of the vendor in a transaction by paying the vendor for goods or services (e.g., a credit card company, bank, or other creditor).
3. Third party vendor payment (TPVP)

A third party vendor payment (TPVP) is a payment made directly to a vendor by a third party for goods or services the vendor provided to an eligible individual, or couple.
B. Policy for when to charge ISM for a TPVP

In-kind support and maintenance (ISM) from a TPVP is unearned income when an applicant or claimant first has use of the item. For more information on ISM, refer to SI 00835.310B.
1. Exception for TPVP as a gift

ISM resulting from a TPVP is income in the month of the payment, rather than when an applicant or claimant first has use of the ISM, if:
the applicant or claimant obtains food or shelter using his own credit; and
a third party later makes a vendor payment for the items as a gift.
C. Procedure for developing TPVP in initial claims and Post Entitlement (PE) situations

1. Other applicable procedures

If the applicant or claimant receives a gift from a TPVP for an item of ISM, use the following procedure in addition to the requirements in:
SI 00835.704 In-Kind Support and Maintenance Provided Residents of Institutions
SI 00835.400 In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) to One Person
SI 00835.350 Computation of In-Kind Support and Maintenance from Outside a Household (Including Vendor Payments by a Third Party Outside the Household
2. Obtain claimant’s statements

Claimant’s Statement—Obtain the claimant’s statement, signed or on Report of Contact (DROC), showing:
the month which he or she first had use of the food, or shelter item(s);
the third party paid the vendor sometime after the claimant’s first use of the item(s);
that the vendor extended credit to the claimant; and
the TPVP was a gift.
Supporting Statement—Obtain a supporting statement (signed or on DROC) from the party who made the vendor payment, unless the claimant's statement rules out applicability of the exception.
3. Value of the ISM

To determine the amount of ISM to charge, use the total amount of the TPVP in any given month, including any interest, and apply the Presumed Maximum Value (PMV) rule. Any unpaid amount that the claimant is still responsible for is not income. For information on rebuttal procedures and the PMV rule, see SI 00835.320.
D. Examples of TPVP situations

1. Gift TPVP for part of food charged

Situation - Mr. Shagg buys his food at a neighborhood store where he has a line of credit. In August 2011, he purchased $150 worth of groceries and received the bill in September. Mr. Shagg asked his son for help in making the payment, and on September 28, without expectation of repayment, the son paid the grocer $100, leaving a $50 unpaid balance.
Analysis - Although the food was available to Mr. Shagg in August, he was under obligation to pay for it and it was not income. Some of the food became income to him in September when his son made the $100 vendor payment. Since $100 is less than the PMV, we charge Mr. Shagg with $100 ISM in September. He is still responsible for paying the $50 balance, so that amount was not income to him.
2. Gift TPVP for ISM available in past, current, and future months

Situation - Mrs. Kelly, who lives alone, received an $800 tax bill on her home in June 2011. The bill covered the tax period from January through December of the same year. Her son paid her tax bill in full on June 30 (five months retrospectively, one month current, and six months prospectively).
Analysis - Mrs. Kelly received ISM valued at $400, subject to the PMV, in June because her son paid the tax bill in that month, which covered the period January through June. She also received monthly ISM valued at $66.66 from July through December, the period that a shelter item was prepaid. For information on conversion of real property taxes, see SI 00835.471B.1.
3. TPVP by co-owner not a gift

Situation - Mrs. Warren lives alone in a house, which she jointly owns with her sister. In February 2011, Mrs. Warren received notice that her mortgage was six months in arrears (August 2010 through January 2011) and that the mortgage company would start foreclosure on March 1, 2011. On February 28, the sister paid the entire amount past due, at $200 per month, plus payment for February and March 1990 (a total of $1,600).
Analysis - Because the sister is a co-owner, the TPVP was not a gift. Therefore, Mrs. Warren received ISM valued at $200 per month, subject to the PMV, from August 2010 through March 2011 (six months retrospectively, one month current, and one month prospectively).

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Darlene Oldendick

Expertise

Social Security retirement planning and all questions about Social Security eligibility and entitlement.

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Worked for the Social Security Administration for 33 years

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http://www.socialsecurityadviceonline.com

Education/Credentials
33 years employment with the Social Security Administration

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Many outstanding performance awards while employed at the Social Security Administration

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