Of course, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses extensive income-related criteria to determine benefits. An applicant’s living arrangement is another factor used to determine how much Supplemental Security Income (SSI) he or she may receive.

Thus, SSI benefits may vary depending on where an individual resides. Whether it’s in an owned or rented location such as a house, apartment, or mobile home; in someone else’s household; in a group care or board and care facility; or in an institution such as a hospital or a nursing home, the benefit amount may be affected. How?

SSI benefits may be reduced because of living arrangements when an individual:

  • lives in another person’s house, apartment, or mobile home, and pays less than his or her fair share of food or housing costs;
  • lives in his or her own house, apartment, or mobile home, and someone else pays for all or part of food, rent, mortgage, or utilities such as electricity and heating fuel;
  • is in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and Medicaid pays for over one-half of the cost of care; or
  • is a minor child in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and private insurance and/or Medicaid together pay over one-half of the cost of care; or
  • is in a public or private medical treatment facility and Medicaid is paying for more than half the cost of care. If in the facility for the entire month, the SSI benefit is limited to $30 (plus any supplementary Kentucky State payment). The SSA may lower the $30 benefit by any other income received by the SSI recipient.

The SSA calculates benefits for homeless claimants in the same manner that it calculates benefits for claimants who lives in their own house, apartment, or mobile home. Claimants may receive up to the maximum SSI benefit payable in Kentucky while living in a public shelter for up to 6 months out of any 9 month period. Claimants don’t need an address to get SSI benefits since the SSA will make alternative payment arrangements.

In-kind support and maintenance together are considered food or shelter that another party provides. This type of in-kind support and maintenance is counted as income when the amount of SSI benefits is calculated. The SSA does NOT count in-kind support and maintenance if an individual:

  • lives alone and pays for his or her own food and shelter;
  • lives only with a spouse and minor children and no individual or another party outside of the household pays for food and shelter; or
  • lives with others and pays his or her share of food and shelter expenses.

Future blogs will cover some examples of living arrangements and how they affect the amount of recipients’ disability benefits.

Applicants should not wait to apply for benefits as the process may move less than expeditiously. Once an applicant believes that he or she may be eligible for benefits, contact with an experienced disability attorney is more than useful. The earliest that SSI benefits are paid is the month after the filing date of a claimant’s application, or the month after all the eligibility requirements are first met, whichever is later. Thus, time is of the essence when it comes to completing and filing an application. Contact Sullivan Law Office today. We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you. Call 888-587-0228 or visit us online.How A Living Arrangement Affects SSI