An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

SSI changes some of the rules – for the better

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Social Security Disability

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is notoriously restrictive when it comes to its eligibility criteria. Not only do applicants have to meet a narrow definition of what it means to be “disabled” to qualify, they also have to have extremely limited resources and income.

Unfortunately, the rules surrounding income and resources generally apply to an SSI applicant’s entire household, in one way or another. That has made it very difficult for some disabled people to qualify for the benefits they need – or caused the benefits they do receive to be drastically reduced. 

Finally, however, some of the old rules are being changed for the better.

SSA is taking a new approach to some old issues

After Sept. 30, 2024, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will change some rules that may permit people who have been shut out of the program to finally receive benefits and lower income-based penalties and reductions for those who are already on the rolls. 

Under the new rules:

  • A “public assistance household” will be any household involving at least one SSI applicant or beneficiary and one other member who receives any form of public assistance, such as Section 8 housing, food stamps or Medicaid. This will relieve the burden of many reporting requirements and help more people qualify for SSI.
  • The rules surrounding “rental subsidies,” will be loosened. That means that if an SSI applicant or beneficiary pays a reduced rent or gets rental help outside of public assistance (such as through family), it is less likely to bite into their benefit check. 
  • SSA will no longer penalize beneficiaries for food assistance that they obtain from private parties (as opposed to public assistance, such as SNAP). Currently, the value of that food is treated as “income” to the beneficiary, and can cause their benefits to be reduced.

This is good news for many – although more needs to be done to revamp the system. If you’re struggling to qualify for SSI benefits, it may be time to take another look at the options. Legal guidance is wise.