(a) General. This section explains the rules for determining countable income, including in-kind support and maintenance, when eligible individuals become an eligible couple or when an eligible couple becomes eligible individuals. Generally, under retrospective monthly accounting, income in a prior month, including in-kind support and maintenance, affects benefit amounts for a current month. The prior month may be the first or second month prior to the current month (as explained in § 416.420(a)) and the rules in this section apply when a change-of-status becomes effective between the prior month and the current month.
(b) Eligible individuals become an eligible couple. If you and your spouse have been eligible individuals and become an eligible couple, we combine the earned and unearned income each of you had as an eligible individual in the prior month. If either or both of you received in-kind support and maintenance, we include its value as income. This may be one-third of the Federal benefit rate that applied in the prior month for one or both of you who lived in the household of another. It may be the presumed maximum value (one-third of the Federal benefit rate plus $20 as explained in § 416.1140) for one or both of you as appropriate. It may also be a combination of the two if each of you received income in one of these forms. We also include income deemed to either or both of you in the prior month.
(c) Eligible couple becomes one or two eligible individuals. If you are an eligible individual in the current month but were a member of an eligible couple in the prior month, we determine your countable income in the prior month separately from that of your spouse. We determine the value of any in-kind support and maintenance you and your spouse received in the prior month using the rules contained in § 416.1147. For example, if both of you lived in the household of another and the one-third reduction applied, each of you would have income equal to one-sixth of the Federal benefit rate fov a couple. Also, for example, if you received in-kind support and maintenance and the presumed maximum value applied, you would have income equal to one-sixth of the Federal benefit rate for a couple, plus $10. We divide any other income you had as an eligible couple according to who owned the income. If ownership of jointly owned income cannot be determined, we allocate one-half of it to you.
[50 FR 48575, Nov. 26, 1985]