I believe SSI rules should be followed to protect your benefits and there is so much computer matching that it is impossible to hide assets. They do need to be modernized however.
Not to get of the subject, but we are talking about an elderly person's primary residence. Corporatations and the investor class feed lavishly off the public trough much more than someone trying to give a little money to their children when they die. Most taxes go to support Corporations, something few people are aware of. And to fuel our imperialist wars. This is policy, not a deivation from it as in a "financial scandal" or a "Bernie Madoff." It's not the apple, it's the entire capitalist barrel. A very small and ever dwindling fraction of taxes goes to safety net programs and public transportation. It's not profitable they say.
I don't think people really understand exactly how they are being exploited by the Capitalist System. Like a horse with the blinders on, the only injustice they see is taxes and even then they blame the poor. Capitalism is at the root of all of the political, social and eonomic problems. SSI rules are strict because we are in the middle of a transfer of wealth to the top 1% of the population that can only happen in a Capitalist system.
If someone claims exemptions on their yearly tax return write offs would that be in the same mind set as SSI recipient trying not to lose their benefit by obtaining a Supplemental Needs Trust? This option was a result of decades of struggle by the poor and their families. It wasn't handed to us on a silver platter. THe mother in the OP's question may live another 30 years. My grandfather lived to be 110. She may need that benefit after funds are gone.
I don't think any of us have a "cake" to eat living at 75% of the poverty level.