in-kind support and maintenance (ISM)

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In-kind support and maintenance (ISM) is an unearned income which is attributable to an SSI recipient in the form of shelter or food. It may be provided by a family member within the same household or by anyone outside of the household. This term is quite often used for the purposes of SSI programs, as an SSI recipient's monthly allowance is reduced dollar for dollar by the total value of the ISM received in a month, up to a certain amount, or can also cause the total benefit payment to be reduced. 

[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]