Resource ownership and availability

Revised Date: 
March 4, 2015

Purpose: To explain how to determine what is a resource, who owns it, and whether it is available.

WAC 182-512-0200 SSI-related medical -- Definition of resources.

Effective December 1, 2011

  1. A resource is any cash, other personal property, or real property that an applicant, recipient or other financially responsible person:
    1. Owns;
    2. Has the right, authority, or power to convert to cash (if not already cash); and
    3. Has the legal right to use for his/her support and maintenance.
  2. The value of a resource may change. However, the property (personal or real) still remains a resource.
  3. Some assets are not resources. Any asset that does not meet the criteria in subsection (1) above is not a resource.
  4. When an SSI related client owns a bank account or time deposit jointly with others who are also SSI related clients, we consider the funds as being available to the SSI related individuals in equal shares, unless sufficient evidence to the contrary is provided.
  5. When an SSI related client owns a bank account or time deposit jointly with others who are not SSI related, we consider all funds in the joint account as available to the client unless sufficient evidence to the contrary is provided.
  6. When an SSI related client jointly owns either real or personal property other than bank accounts or time deposits, the department considers that the client owns and has available only his or her fractional interest in the property unless sufficient evidence to the contrary is provided.
  7. A resource is countable toward the resource limit only if it is available and is not excluded.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

WAC 182-512-0250 SSI-related medical -- Ownership and availability of resources.

Effective April 16, 2015.

  1. The agency considers personal and real property to be available to a Washington apple health (WAH) applicant or recipient if the applicant or recipient:
    1. Owns the property;
    2. Has the authority to convert the property into cash;
    3. Can expect to convert the property to cash within twenty working days; and
    4. May legally use the property for his or her support.
  2. The agency counts the resources of financially responsible persons (as defined in WAC 182-506-0010) who live in the home even if those persons do not receive WAH coverage.
  3. For long-term care (LTC) services, cash and other resources transferred by a WAH applicant or recipient or his or her spouse to another to pay for the WAH applicant or recipient's LTC services are considered resources available to the applicant or recipient unless otherwise excluded in this chapter, chapter 182-513 WAC, or chapter 182-516 WAC.
  4. A resource is considered available on the first day of the month following the month of receipt unless a rule about a specific type of resource provides for a different time period.
  5. A resource that ordinarily cannot be converted to cash within twenty working days is considered unavailable as long as a reasonable effort is being made to convert the resource to cash.
  6. A person may provide evidence showing that a resource is unavailable.  A resource is not counted if the person shows sufficient evidence that the resource is unavailable.
  7. We do not count the resources of victims of family violence, as defined in WAC 388-452-0010, when:
    1. The resource is owned jointly with members of the former household;
    2. Availability of the resource depends on an agreement of the joint owner; or
    3. Making the resource available would place the person at risk of harm.
  8. The value of a resource is its fair market value minus encumbrances.
  9. Refer to WAC 182-512-0260 to consider additional resources when an alien has a sponsor.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

WAC 182-512-0260 SSI-related medical -- How to count a sponsor's resources.

Effective April 14, 2014.

  1. The agency counts part of a sponsor's resources as available to an applicant or recipient of Washington apple health (WAH) SSI-related health care coverage if:
    1. The person is a sponsored immigrant as defined in WAC 182-512-0785; and
    2. The person is not exempt from deeming under WAC 182-512-0790.
  2. The agency determines the amount of the sponsor's resources to count by:
    1. Totaling the countable resources of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse (if the spouse signed the affidavit of support);
    2. Subtracting fifteen hundred dollars; and
    3. Counting the remaining amount as a resource that is available to the person.
  3. When a sponsor has sponsored other people as well, the agency divides the result by the total number of people sponsored.
  4. A sponsor's resources are counted when determining eligibility for WAH coverage until the person becomes exempt from deeming under WAC 182-512-0790.

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.

Clarifying Information

  1. The following assets are not considered resources:
    1. Home Energy Assistance/Support and Maintenance assistance;
    2. Certain cash to purchase medical or social services;
    3. Retroactive In-Home Supportive Services payments to ineligible spouses and parents;
    4. Certain death benefits for last illness and burial expenses, until the second calendar month after receipt when the benefits are for the expenses not yet paid; and
    5. Gifts of domestic travel tickets.
  2. A resource remains a resource regardless of value.

    Example: John has 100 shares of XYZ common stock for which he paid $5,000 last year. The stock is currently valued at $0.001 per share. While it currently has almost no value, the shares of stock remains a resource. The value should be checked at each review, because the value of the resource may change.
     

  3. A piece of property in which a person has an ownership interest is not a resource if that person cannot legally transfer their ownership interest to another person. For an asset to be a resource, WAC 182-512-0200(1) must apply.
  4. A person can supply evidence showing that a time deposit or bank account they own jointly with others is not available or does not belong to the person. This evidence may be supplied at the time of application or after the agency has made a decision with which the person disagrees. If evidence is presented, the agency will consider it in making its determination. Each case is considered on its own merits.
  5. Legal Barriers: A resource is unavailable if there is a legal barrier to its sale. Examples of legal barriers include:
    1. Property that is tied up in a divorce proceeding.
    2. Jointly owned property that the client cannot sell because the other owners do not agree to sell it.
    3. Property for which the client cannot get clear title.
  6. If an individual must petition the court to release part or all of a resource, including funds in blocked accounts or trusts, it is unavailable. Review the status at each recertification/eligibility review.
  7. Community Property and Separate Property
    1. Community property is an available resource. If the individual can prove that a resource is not community property or that the community property is not available to the individual, the agency will not consider the property as a countable resource.
    2. Community property is all property held in the name of either the husband or wife or both, other than separate property. We consider community property as a resource potentially available to the assistance unit.
    3. Separate property is all property acquired in one of the following ways that has not been commingled with community property during the marriage:
      1. The property was acquired by either spouse before marriage;
      2. The property was acquired as a gift or inheritance by either spouse; or
      3. The property was acquired and paid for entirely out of income from separate property.
    4. Commingling of income from separate property and community income in the purchase, maintenance, or improvement of property may destroy the status of separate property. If you are unable to determine what income paid for what, then the separate property designation is destroyed.
  8. For all programs, if the client has available nonexempt real property, exclude the property while the client makes a good faith effort to sell it. The client must accept any reasonable offer on the property for this exemption. Good faith efforts include:
    1. Listing the property with a real estate company;
    2. Actively showing the property;
    3. Placing signs on the property and ads in the newspaper; and
    4. Asking a price that is at or under fair market value (FMV).

      Example: A man applies for SSI-related medical. He owns a home locally and a vacation home on the Oregon coast that he is trying to sell. The vacation home can be considered an unavailable resource as long as the man continues making a reasonable effort to sell the property. The man produces evidence of a reasonable effort to convert the resource to cash (selling it), by producing an agreement to sell with a real estate agent, verification that the home is reasonably priced (the sales agreement with the realty shows the asking sales price and comparable homes/sales prices or tax assessment shows the value) and advertising showing the home for sale.

      Example: A woman receives SSI-related medical. She owns free and clear, a 5 acre plot that she has put up for sale at $20,000. She turned down an $18,000 offer as it was not the full asking price. The property is now considered available as she is no longer making a reasonable effort to sell. (A reasonable offer to buy is 2/3rd of the estimated current market value unless the client can provide evidence showing another amount constitutes a reasonable offer. In this case, a reasonable offer is $13,320 or more.)
       

  9. For Medicare cost-saving programs, do not count jointly owned nonexempt real property if the sale would cause the other owner(s) to lose their housing. Verify that the other owners are using the property as their home. Count the property as an available resource when the loss of housing is not an issue.
  10. Exclude any nonliquid assets if a creditor placed a lien on the property to secure a business loan and does not allow the client to sell the property. Examples of nonliquid assets include land, crops, buildings, farm equipment, and machinery.
  11. If a resource is currently unavailable, but you are reasonably certain that it will become available, set a tickle to review its status.
  12. See Trusts, How annuities affect eligibility and How life estates affect eligibility for rules about these assets.
  13. When an individual owns a resource with someone outside of the medical assistance unit, such as a joint bank account, count the entire amount unless the individual can prove that the entire amount is not available to them. To determine the amount that is unavailable, use:
    1. The individual's statement about ownership of the funds, the reason the account was established, who made deposits, withdrawals, etc., and how the withdrawals were spent.
    2. A corroborating statement from other account holder(s).
  14. A trust fund is considered unavailable when:
    1. A household member cannot revoke the trust or change the beneficiary;
    2. The trustee administering the funds is not under the direction of a household member or is appointed by the court with court-imposed limitations on the use of the funds;
    3. The funds are used solely to make investments on behalf of the trust or pay for medical or educational expenses for a specific household member;
    4. The investments made on behalf of the trust do not directly involve or assist any business or corporation under the control, direction, or influence of a household member; and
    5. The individual must petition the court to release part or all of a resource, including funds in blocked accounts or trusts. Review the status at each recertification/eligibility review.
  15. Real Property
    1. Public rights of way, such as roads that run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, will not affect the exemption of the property.
    2. Definition of a “good faith effort to sell” real property:
      1. Listing the property with a real estate company;
      2. Actively showing the property;
      3. Placing signs on the property and ads in the newspaper; and
      4. Asking a price that is at or under fair market value (FMV).
  16. We do not count livestock as a resource if they are essential for self-employment. We also exclude them if they are raised as pets or used for food.
  17. Loan agreements are not considered a resource. Cash received from a loan (other than educational assistance -- see WAC 182-512-0760) is not considered income in the month of receipt, but any cash retained after the month of receipt is considered a resource.
  1. Worker Responsibilities

  2. To calculate the value of a resource, subtract the amount the client stills owes on it from the fair market value (how much the individual could reasonably sell the resource for). The amount that remains is the value of the resource at the current time.
  3. If a client continues making a reasonable effort to convert a resource to cash, the resource is not counted. The worker should verify that the individual continues to make efforts to convert/sell the resource periodically, and at again at time of recertification.
  4. For resources subject to a legal barrier, if the legal barrier can be overcome, require the client to take reasonable steps to do so unless client does not have the necessary funds to retain an attorney, the cost of legal action would be more than the individual would gain, or the legal action is not likely to succeed.
    1. Exempt the property permanently if the individual cannot overcome the barrier.
    2. Treat the property as unavailable and exclude it for the period of time the individual attempts to make a resource available. Review the status at each recertification/eligibility review.
    3. If the individual overcomes the barrier, count the property to determine the individual's eligibility unless the individual makes a bona fide effort to dispose of the property as described in (7) below.
  5. When the value of a child’s irrevocable educational trust fund is over $4000, determine the reason it is over the limit:
    1. Disregard the amount over the limit that is due to interest, as long as it remains in the trust.
    2. If the trust exceeds the limit for reasons other than interest, establish a period of ineligibility.

Example: A child deposits the following amounts into an irrevocable educational trust:

  • June $800
  • July $1,600
  • August $1,600

    As of 8/31/02, there is $4,000 in the irrevocable educational trust. The trust earns $16 in interest in the month of September, bringing the balance of the trust to $4,016. The funds in this trust are treated as follows:

  • Original $4,000: Unavailable resource.
  • $16 interest earned from the original $4,000: Unavailable as long as it remains held in trust.

    Example

    1. The child in the example above deposits an additional $1,600 of her earnings into her irrevocable educational trust, bringing the balance to $5,616. The funds in the account are treated as follows:
      • Original $4,000: Unavailable resource.
      • $16 interest earned from the original $4,000: Unavailable as long as it remains held in trust
      • Additional $1,600 deposit: Unavailable resource, unallowable transfer of property. Impose a period of ineligibility based on this dollar amount.
    2. If the individual or child receives disbursements from the trust:
      1. Exclude any disbursements that are spent for educational expenses such as tuition, books, school supplies, and clothes for school.
      2. If the disbursements are not used for educational expenses:
        1. Treat the disbursements as a resource if the child or the child’s guardian owned or controlled the money before it was placed in the trust. If the amount of these disbursements causes the individual’s resource to exceed the allowable limit, establish a period of ineligibility.
        2. Treat the disbursements as unearned income if the child or the child’s guardian did not own or control the money before it was placed in the trust.

    Example: The trustee of a child’s irrevocable educational trust disburses $200 from the trust to the child to pay tuition for summer school. The money in the trust is from the child’s earnings. The $200 disbursement is excluded as both income and a resource.
    Example: The trustee of a child’s irrevocable educational trust disburses $200 from the trust to the child to buy a dog. The money in the trust was received as part of an insurance settlement and was deposited directly into the account from the insurance company, pursuant to a court order. The $200 is considered unearned income.