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How do living arrangements affect SSI benefits?

Oklahomans might know that Supplemental Security Income is for those who are 65 or older, blind or disabled and fall below a certain income threshold. There are other areas of nuance that they should also be aware of. Included is the living arrangements of the recipient of SSI benefits. Knowing how the living arrangements can affect SSI is essential after being approved.

The living arrangements can influence how much the claimant receives in SSI benefits. For a person who lives alone paying for his or her own food and shelter, it is possible to receive a maximum of SSI regardless of whether the residence is owned or rented. It is also possible to receive the maximum when living in another person's household provided the recipient pays for his or her own food and shelter. If part or none of the food and shelter are paid by the recipient, the benefits can be lowered by as much as one-third. In general, the amount in SSI is determined based on income and not living expenses.

In some instances, the SSI recipient might have assistance in paying living expenses. This might reduce the SSI benefits, but it will not be reduced if it is from a spouse who is residing with the recipient. Similarly, if it is a minor child, the benefits will not be reduced if the parent or parents are providing the food and shelter. The amount of food and shelter that can be counted is limited to one-third of the federal SSI amount paid per month plus $20. Items that are received and not used for shelter or food cannot be counted as income. Homeless people can receive SSI. People living in a public shelter can get SSI for six out over any nine months they reside there.

Understanding the rules and requirements for SSI benefits through the Social Security disability program is one of the most important aspects of getting and retaining them. For any problems or questions with SSI Supplemental Security Income, a legal professional can provide assistance.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Living Arrangements -- 2017 Edition," accessed on April 10, 2017

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