SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home2610. Whose resources are counted?

When we determine countable resources for the Extra Help, we need to determine if the individual filing for the Extra Help lives with his or her spouse.

1. Individual is not Married

If the individual is not married when the Extra Help application is filed or the month that eligibility is redetermined, we count only the resources owned by the individual. We do not count the resources of relatives or non-relatives (roommates) who live with the individual.

2. Married Couple Living Together

If the individual is married and living with his or her spouse when the Extra Help application is filed or the month that eligibility is redetermined, we count the resources of both the individual and his or her spouse. This is true whether one or both members of the married couple apply or are eligible for the Extra Help.

3. Individual Marries

If an individual's eligibility for the Extra Help has been determined as a single individual, we start counting the spouse's resources in the month after we receive a report the individual married and is living with his or her spouse.

4. Individual is Married but not Living with Spouse

If the individual is married but separated from his or her spouse at the time the individual applies for Extra Help or in the month we redetermine eligibility, we count only the individual's resources.

5. Marriage Ends

If eligibility for the Extra Help is based on the resources of both the individual and the spouse, we stop counting the spouse's resources the month after we receive a report the marriage ended due to death, divorce, or annulment.

6. Married but Separated

If the individual is married but separated from his or her spouse in the month that the Extra Help application is filed or the month that we redetermine eligibility, we count only the individual's resources.

If the individual's Extra Help is based on the resources of both spouses, we will stop counting the spouse's resources in the month after we receive a report that the individual and spouse stopped living together.

7. Married Couple Resumes Living Together

If an individual's eligibility for the Extra Help has been determined as a single individual, we start counting the spouse's resources in the month after we receive a report the individual is living with his or her spouse again.

8. Temporary Absence

If the individual's eligibility for the Extra Help is based on the resources of both the individual and his or her living-with spouse, we will continue counting the resources of both the individual and his or her living-with spouse if one member of the married couple is temporarily away from home and it was due to one of the following:

  • Service in the U.S. Armed Forces;

  • An absence of 6 months or less and neither the individual nor his or her living-with spouse was outside of the United States during this time, and the absence was due to business, employment, or confinement in a hospital, nursing home, other medical institution, or a penal institution.

  • An absence based on other circumstances, and it is alleged by the spouses that they expect to live together in the near future.

Last Revised: Apr. 26, 2010