SCENARIO: A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary who is starting up a pet sitting business. He plans to have a business bank account. How does he request this bank account be excluded under Property Essential to Self Support (PESS)?
Answer: PESS can exclude property (such as a bank account) if it is used in a business and if it’s in current use. There isn’t a specific form to request PESS. Instead, the beneficiary should contact Social Security when they open the business bank account to report this new resource. Social Security will need to consider if a valid business exists, and if the property is in current use. They will need to obtain the beneficiary’s statement (either written or verbal) about the following information:
- A description of the trade or business;
- A description of the assets of the trade or business;
- The number of years it has been operating;
- The identity of any co-owners;
- The estimated gross and net earnings of the trade or business for the current tax year
SI 01130.501 Essential Property Excluded Regardless of Value or Rate of Return