When a New Jersey resident is applying for or getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there are the basic requirements of being 65 or older, disabled or blind. However, since SSI benefits are also based on financial need, the person cannot have resources whose value goes beyond certain levels. Since certain resources can change in value frequently, the Social Security Administration has rules in place to account for potential fluctuations in the value of those resources. This is known as the First-of-the-Month Rule for Making Resource Determinations (FOM). Understanding this is important with SSI benefits.
If the value of the resources increases, the determination will be made based on the first moment of the first day of the month when: the value of the resource increases; the person gets an additional resource; or the individual replaces a resource that had been excluded for one that is not excluded. Examples include a property’s equity value increasing; the individual inheriting property; and an item, such as an automobile being sold for non-excluded cash benefit.
If the value of the resources decreases, this too will be based on the first moment of the first day of the month when: the value of the resource declines; a resource is spent; or a countable resource is replaced by a resource that is not countable. Examples include a stock price going down; the withdrawal of money from an account to pay expenses; or when a piece of property is exchanged for an excluded automobile.
Because resources are so key to a person being approved to get SSI benefits, understanding how they are calculated is one of the biggest factors in the process. If there is confusion with SSI and FOM, a legal professional can give advice on how to deal with this or any other issue related to Supplemental Security Income.
Source: SSA.gov, “SI 01110.600 First-of-the-Month (FOM) Rule for Making Resource Determinations,” accessed on May 15, 2018