20 CFR § 416.222 - Who is an essential person.
(a) General rule. A person is an essential person if -
(1) That person has continuously lived in the home of the same qualified individual since December 1973;
(2) That person was not eligible for State assistance for December 1973;
(3) That person was never eligible for SSI benefits in his or her own right or as an eligible spouse; and
(4) There are State records which show that under a State plan in effect for June 1973, the State took that person's needs into account in determining the qualified individual's need for State assistance for December 1973.
(b) Absence of an essential person from the home of a qualified individual. An essential person may be temporarily absent from the house of a qualified individual and still be an essential person. For example, the essential person could be hospitalized. We consider an absence to temporary if -
(1) The essential person intends to return;
(2) The facts support this intention;
(3) It is likely that he or she will return; and
(4) The absence is not longer than 90 days.
(c) Absence of a qualified individual from his or her home. You may be temporarily absent from your home and still have an essential person. For example, you could be hospitalized. We consider an absence to be temporary if -
(1) You intend to return;
(2) The facts support your intention;
(3) It is likely that you will return; and
(4) Your absence does not exceed six months.
(d) Essential person becomes eligible for SSI benefits. If an essential person becomes eligible for SSI benefits, he or she will no longer be an essential person beginning with the month that he or she becomes eligible for the SSI benefits.