Many people have heard of Supplemental Security Income, also known as SSI. In fact, over 8 million people receive SSI benefits every year. However, the actual process of qualifying for SSI benefits may be a mystery. For example, did you know there’s a connection between SSI and your living arrangements? Where you live and who lives with you may affect your eligibility for SSI benefits.
Qualifying for SSI
SSI is a benefit provided by the federal government and managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Eligibility for benefits is limited to persons who:
- are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled AND
- receive a limited income, and
- have limited resources, and
- are a U.S. citizen or nation or a certain category of aliens, and
- reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands,
- apply for other cash benefits,
- is not confined to an institution (such as a hospital or prison) at the government’s expense; and more.
This list is limited, and the SSA may impose other requirements on applicants.
Why Your Living Arrangements Matter
As your application for SSI benefits is processed, one other factor may be considered: your living arrangements. The amount of benefit you receive – and whether you receive benefits at all – varies based on where you live.
Benefits may be reduced for people who:
- Live in another person’s dwelling but pay less than a fair share of food and housing expenses.
- Live in your own dwelling, but someone else pays for all or part of expenses like food, rent, mortgage, and utilities.
- Reside in a hospital or nursing home for an entire month and Medicaid pays more than half of the cost of care.
- Reside in a public or private medical treatment facility and Medicaid pays more than half the cost of care. Benefits may be lowered for every month you are living in the facility.
- Are minor children living in a hospital or nursing home with private insurance and/or Medicaid paying over half the cost of care
People who are homeless may receive the same benefit as someone who lives in his or her own dwelling. Living in a shelter usually does not lead to termination of benefits.
Learn More About SSI and Your Living Arrangements
Understanding and applying for SSI may be difficult, but help is available.
You may be worried that you cannot afford a disability attorney. However, federal law limits attorney’s fees for Social Security Disability claims. Federal law also requires that your attorney take your case under a contingency agreement, which means your attorney cannot charge you unless you receive SSI benefits.
At The Law Offices of Martin Taller, your case receives the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. For your free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We are located in Anaheim, but we assist clients throughout Southern California.