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  • Writer's pictureArwen Rasmussen

Is My Living Arrangement Important If I Am Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?



When individuals with disabilities live with family members it can affect the amount they would receive for their monthly SSI payment. Monthly SSI payments are meant to pay for food and shelter so contributions from others for living expenses may reduce the SSI amount.


Your SSI benefits may be reduced if:


• You live in another person’s home and pay less than your fair share of your food and housing costs

• You live on your own but someone else pays for all or part of your food, rent/mortgage or utilities

• You are in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and Medicaid pays for over one-half of the cost of your care


Example A: You are single and live in an apartment


Suppose you live alone and your only income is SSI. Your brother pays your rent of $800. The brother’s payment is considered in-kind support and maintenance. Your SSI benefit can be reduced by one third.


$794.00 (Federal Benefit Rate - FBR)

- $264.66 (one third of FBR)

$529.34 would be your monthly SSI

benefit amount


Example B: You are single and live in a home that you own


Suppose you live alone and your only income is SSI. Your son pays the monthly electric bill of $100, phone bill of $50 and cable TV bill of $75. The payment of phone bill or cable TV is not counted as in-kind support and maintenance so this amount does not affect your SSI benefits. However, the $100 electric bill is counted.


$794.00 (Federal Benefit Rate - FBR)

- $80 ($100 In-kind support and

maintenance - $20 general exclusion)

$714 would be your monthly SSI benefit

amount


Example C: You are single and live in another person’s household and share expenses


Suppose you live with your brother and 2 uncles in a home that your brother is buying and your only income is SSI. There are 4 people in the household. The mortgage payment is $700. The average monthly bills are $200 for electricity, $100 for water/sewer and $600 for food. Total monthly expenses are $1600. Divide the expenses by four and your share is $400/month. If you pay your full share of the household expenses there would be no reduction of your benefit and you would receive $794/month.

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