When an individual applies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the SSI will only approve the application if the applicant is deemed to be disabled and meets certain income and asset restrictions. However, not all assets and income are counted the same way.
According to the SSA’s Program Operations Manual System (also known as POMS), the presumed maximum value is a cap of the amount of in-kind support that a person receives. This means that when an individual is receiving some forms of in-kind support and/or maintenance, not all of that maintenance is counted towards the SSI income and asset limits.
The Presumed Maximum Value rule only applies when an individual or couple receives some form of in-kind support and/or maintenance but doesn’t receive food and shelter from the household that the individual or couple lives in. In such a case, the value of the one-third reduction rule isn’t applies and instead the couple’s ISM is valued under the presumed maximum value.
According to the SSA, the PMV (or presumed maximum value) for an individual is equal to one-third of that individual’s SSI federal benefit rate plus $20 (which is the general income exclusion).
It is important to note that the PMV is the “maximum” amount of ISM that may be charged. In some cases, the PMV is not charged if an SSI claimant can prove that the current market value of the food or shelter that is received (minus any payment the claimant makes for these things) is less than the PMV or that the actual amount that someone else pays for these things is less than the PMV.