§ 416.1231. Burial spaces and certain funds set aside for burial expenses.

(a) Burial spaces—(1) General. In determining the resources of an individual, the value of burial spaces for the individual, the individual's spouse or any member of the individual's immediate family will be excluded from resources.

(2) Burial spaces defined. For purposes of this section “burial spaces” include burial plots, gravesites, crypts, mausoleums, urns, niches and other customary and traditional repositories for the deceased's bodily remains provided such spaces are owned by the individual or are held for his or her use. Additionally, the term includes necessary and reasonable improvements or additions to or upon such burial spaces including, but not limited to, vaults, headstones, markers, plaques, or burial containers and arrangements for opening and closing the gravesite for burial of the deceased.

(3) An agreement representing the purchase of a burial space. The value of an agreement representing the purchase of a burial space, including any accumulated interest, will be excluded from resources. We do not consider a burial space “held for” an individual under an agreement unless the individual currently owns and is currently entitled to the use of the space under that agreement. For example, we will not consider a burial space “held for” an individual under an installment sales agreement or other similar device under which the individual does not currently own nor currently have the right to use the space, nor is the seller currently obligated to provide the space, until the purchase amount is paid in full.

(4) Immediate family defined. For purposes of this section immediate family means an individual's minor and adult children, including adopted children and step-children; an individual's brothers, sisters, parents, adoptive parents, and the spouses of those individuals. Neither dependency nor living-in-the-same-household will be a factor in determining whether a person is an immediate family member.

(b) Funds set aside for burial expenses—(1) Exclusion. In determining the resources of an individual (and spouse, if any) there shall be excluded an amount not in excess of $1,500 each of funds specifically set aside for the burial expenses of the individual or the individual's spouse. This exclusion applies only if the funds set aside for burial expenses are kept separate from all other resources not intended for burial of the individual (or spouse) and are clearly designated as set aside for the individual's (or spouse's) burial expenses. If excluded burial funds are mixed with resources not intended for burial, the exclusion will not apply to any portion of the funds. This exclusion is in addition to the burial space exclusion.

(2) Exception for parental deeming situations. If an individual is an eligible child, the burial funds (up to $1,500) that are set aside for the burial arrangements of the eligible child's ineligible parent or parent's spouse will not be counted in determining the resources of such eligible child.

(3) Burial funds defined. For purposes of this section “burial funds” are revocable burial contracts, burial trusts, other burial arrangements (including amounts paid on installment sales contracts for burial spaces), cash, accounts, or other financial instruments with a definite cash value clearly designated for the individual's (or spouse's, if any) burial expenses and kept separate from nonburial-related assets. Property other than listed in this definition will not be considered “burial funds.”

(4) Recipients currently receiving SSI benefits. Recipients currently eligible as of July 11, 1990, who have had burial funds excluded which do not meet all of the requirements of paragraphs (b) (1) and (3) of this section must convert or separate such funds to meet these requirements unless there is an impediment to such conversion or separation; i.e., a circumstance beyond an individual's control which makes conversion/separation impossible or impracticable. For so long as such an impediment or circumstance exists, the burial funds will be excluded if the individual remains otherwise continuously eligible for the exclusion.

(5) Reductions. Each person's (as described in §§ 416.1231(b)(1) and 416.1231(b)(2)) $1,500 exclusion must be reduced by:

(i) The face value of insurance policies on the life of an individual owned by the individual or spouse (if any) if the cash surrender value of those policies has been excluded from resources as provided in § 416.1230; and

(ii) Amounts in an irrevocable trust (or other irrevocable arrangement) available to meet the burial expenses.

(6) Irrevocable trust or other irrevocable arrangement. Funds in an irrevocable trust or other irrevocable arrangement which are available for burial are funds which are held in an irrevocable burial contract, an irrevocable burial trust, or an amount in an irrevocable trust which is specifically identified as available for burial expenses.

(7) Increase in value of burial funds. Interest earned on excluded burial funds and appreciation in the value of excluded burial arrangements which occur beginning November 1, 1982, or the date of first SSI eligibility, whichever is later, are excluded from resources if left to accumulate and become part of the separate burial fund.

(8) Burial funds used for some other purpose. (i) Excluded burial funds must be used solely for that purpose.

(ii) If any excluded funds are used for a purpose other than the burial arrangements of the individual or the individual's spouse for whom the funds were set aside, future SSI benefits of the individual (or the individual and eligible spouse) will be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of excluded burial funds used for another purpose. This penalty for use of excluded burial funds for a purpose other than the burial arrangements of the individual (or spouse) will apply only if, as of the first moment of the month of use, the individual would have had resources in excess of the limit specified in § 416.1205 without application of the exclusion.

(9) Extension of burial fund exclusion during suspension. The exclusion of burial funds and accumulated interest and appreciation will continue to apply throughout a period of suspension as described in § 416.1320, so long as the individual's eligibility has not been terminated as described in §§ 416.1331 through 416.1335.

[48 FR 57127, Dec. 28, 1983, as amended at 55 FR 28377, July 11, 1990; 57 FR 1384, Jan. 14, 1992]