Cessation of SSI after death?
April 26, 2015 6:03 PM   Subscribe

My brother is on SSI and lives with my mom in a mobile home that my mom owns. She's afraid of what will happen to him after she dies.

My mom is concened that I if she leaves the mobile home to my brother, in her will, that SSI will stop his monthly payments as the Feds will consider this an asset, etc.

I can not take on the mobile home from how my finances are situated.

Suggestions, tips, pointers?

Thank you.
posted by zenpop to Law & Government (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Contact a social worker in your brother's area, or whoever they are in regular contact with regarding their SSI. This is a common question, and they can explain exactly what will happen, and will know (better than anyone here) the specifics of your brother's situation.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:14 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

You need to consult an attorney (and possibly a financial expert) who specializes in SSI law. This is a very technical question, and you need legal advice. You may have options, but absolutely no one here is going to be able to tell you competently what they are without a lot more information about your specific situation and without giving you legal or financial advice that you really should only be getting from a professional who works for you.
posted by decathecting at 6:15 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes, I understand that -- I thought perhaps someone here might have had a similar experience and he or she could share how it was handled.
posted by zenpop at 6:20 PM on April 26, 2015

One possible option is for your mom to leave the mobile home (or any other assets) to a trust set up for your brother, rather than to your brother directly.

Is he on SSI because of a disability? Afaik, Special Needs Trusts exist for just this sort of situation.
posted by rue72 at 6:39 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

From SI 01130.100 The Home Exclusion:
An individual's principal place of residence is the dwelling the individual considers his or her established or principal home and to which, if absent, he or she intends to return. It can be real or personal property, fixed or mobile, and located on land or water.
An individual's home, regardless of value, is an excluded resource.
SSI in almost all cases will not consider the mobile home a resource if your brother is living in it. It's also unlikely that the SSA will count inheritance of the mobile home as income.
posted by WasabiFlux at 6:43 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mother was a claims rep for the Social Security Administration handling SSI disability claims amongst other things. Her bread and butter besides the obvious taking of claims was answering people's questions about the process and all of the factors that go into a person's case. While she was working this was limited to in person and phone questions but now you can get advice from the SSA's website. By no means should you not contact a specialized attorney/accountant if you don't hear the answer you were expecting but you should at least try and contact SSA first. From what I saw, most of the people there really wanted to help people.
posted by mmascolino at 8:15 PM on April 26, 2015

Information about how to find an attorney is available at the MeFi Wiki Get a lawyer page, including free and low-cost lawyers that may be available for the estate planning, long-term care and SSI issues. Your local legal aid organization is a good place to start to find out more about options for legal assistance.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:22 PM on April 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you Meta Hive--very helpful responses. I'm passing these along to her now. I really appreciate it.

posted by zenpop at 9:34 PM on April 26, 2015

For the record, in the quote above from WasabiFlux, where the statute says personal property that is specifically referring to either a mobile home or a boat/vessel. A fixed home would be real property. Not that you asked but if we were talking about an RV for example it would be neither, as that is a vehicle licensed (and taxed) by the DMV, and therefore it is not taxed by the Assessor (who sets the definition here of real or personal property).
posted by vignettist at 10:51 PM on April 26, 2015

The SSA does a very good job of providing information on its programs and benefits. Just a few clicks led me to the SSI Spotlight on Resources, where it says:


The following things generally do not count toward the resource limit, no matter how much they are worth:

the house you live in;
one vehicle, if it is used for transportation for you or a member of your household...

He should use information like this to educate himself before (not instead of) consultation with a lawyer familiar with these issues.
posted by yclipse at 4:03 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

My mother-in-law has setup a Special Needs Trust for my disabled brother-in-law, which provides a great resource as an emergency fund, as well as for special expenses such as a new TV. They are in Pennsylvania, so they went with a PA-based firm that administers Special Needs Trusts for disabled individuals for a modest annual fee.

As far as housing: then the family worked with an attorney to put his 1 bedroom condo under the ownership of a family-run LLC, with two family members serving as equal partners. This way maintenance/improvement costs are managed through the LLC, as my brother-in-law would not be able to request or manage any kind of repairs. My husband's expenses each year for his brother's apartment are the annual tax preparation fee (about $300), which is reasonable. My brother-in-law can work approx 20 hours a week. The combination of his modest salary plus his SSI allows him to make a modest rent payment to the LLC that covers condo fee, property taxes, insurance, utilities and emergency repairs, as well as medical and living expenses. He does not have any extra funds at any time, but he's financially stable and the Trust and the housing mean he is safe in case his parents pass away.
posted by apennington at 8:40 AM on April 27, 2015

« Older Should I tell interviewers that I was on a...   |   Cats may have eaten some garlic--what's the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.