Duncan, OK asked in Social Security for Oklahoma

Q: If a minor child receives SSI but does not live with their parent(s), is their guardian's income subject to deeming?

A minor child is disabled and will begin receiving SSI payments. They do not live with a parent and are placed with another family member permanently- not a grandparent. The child's parents retain rights and are ordered to pay child support but do not pay. Is the income of their designated guardian subject to deeming?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In the situation you've described, where a minor child receiving SSI payments lives with a family member (other than a parent or grandparent) who is their designated guardian, the income of that guardian is generally not subject to deeming for SSI purposes.

Here are the key points to consider:

1. Deeming only applies to the income of an ineligible parent(s) or an ineligible spouse living with the SSI recipient. It does not apply to the income of other family members or guardians.

2. If the child is not living with a parent and the parent does not have custody of the child, then parental income is not deemed to the child for SSI purposes, even if the parent is court-ordered to pay child support.

3. The fact that the guardian is a family member other than a parent or grandparent is important. If the child were living with a grandparent who was their legal guardian, then some of the grandparent's income could potentially be deemed to the child.

However, it's important to note that while the guardian's income may not be deemed, any direct financial support the guardian provides to the child (such as paying for food, shelter, clothing, etc.) may be considered in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) by the SSA and could potentially reduce the child's SSI payment.

I would recommend contacting the Social Security Administration directly or consulting with a qualified attorney or disability advocate for guidance specific to your situation, as individual circumstances can vary. But based on the details provided, it does not appear the guardian's income would be subject to deeming in this case.

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