In-Kind Support and Maintenance is also referred to as ISM. The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines in-kind support and maintenance as “food or shelter that someone else provides for you (trust beneficiary).” The SSA counts in-kind support and maintenance as income when they are determining the amount of supplemental security income (SSI) benefits payment.
Why? Well, according to the SSA, benefits/payment received from SSI should be sufficient enough and specifically intended to be used towards food and shelter needs. Therefore, if another person pays for food and shelter for a trust beneficiary who is receiving SSI benefits, the SSA will assume that the trust beneficiary who receives SSI does not need the full amount of SSI benefit/payment.
We know that in the real world, the amount of money provided by the SSA for SSI benefits is not by all means adequate enough. However, CPT as Trustee, must adhere to the rules and regulations given by the SSA.
Below are examples of Items related to ISM that are not allowed to be paid by the trustee:
- Food (groceries)
- Mortgage Payments (this includes property insurance)
If the trustee, such as CPT, pays for any items that the SSA determines to be related to food and shelter, there will be a reduction in the recipient’s SSI benefits payment.