Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available for disabled Oklahoma residents who are over the age of 65 years old and disabled. However, SSI is a needs-based program. In order to qualify for SSI, you must have limited income and resources available.
Unfortunately, this threshold is determined by how many people you live with, and the support and care received by others. Understanding how your living arrangements could affect your SSI benefits is key to collecting the maximum benefits you are entitled to.
How Do Living Arrangements Affect SSI Benefits?
Since the amount of SSI is based on income and not living expenses, it is possible for a person claiming SSI benefits to live with another person. In order to receive maximum benefits, however, the recipient must pay for their own food and shelter. Otherwise, benefits may be reduced.
Your SSI benefits may be reduced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) depending on where you live:
- Owning or renting your own home. The SSA may reduce your benefits if you live in your own home, but someone else pays for all or part of your food, rent, mortgage, or utilities.
- In someone else’s home. The SSA may reduce your benefits if you live in someone else’s home and pay less than your fair share of food and housing.
- Group care, institution, hospital, or nursing home. The SSA may reduce your benefits if Medicaid pays over one-half of the cost of your care.
What Is In-Kind Support and Maintenance?
In-kind support and maintenance refer to any type of food or shelter that someone else provides. When your SSI benefits are determined, any in-kind support and maintenance received will be deducted from that benefit amount. Receiving some type of in-kind support and maintenance can reduce your monthly expenses by as much as $277. Support from a spouse or children living with you is not counted as in-kind support and maintenance.
Consider This Example
Brendon lives alone and his only income is what he receives through SSI. His son pays his cable, cell phone and power bills. The SSA does not consider cell phone and cable as food or shelter so it would not be counted against Brendon’s SSI benefits. Only the power bill would be viewed as in-kind support and maintenance. If Brendon’s power bill was $100, the SSA would reduce this by $20 for general exclusion. The remaining $80 would be deducted from his monthly SSI benefit amount. Since the SSI Federal Benefit Rate is $771, Brendon would receive $691 in benefits each month.
Contact a Tulsa Social Security Attorney Today
If you are worried that your living arrangements might affect your SSI benefits, or if you simply have questions about SSDI or SSI claims, we can help. There are ways to adjust your living arrangements and maintenance you receive in order to maximize your SSI benefits. As such, it is important to speak to an attorney immediately.
An attorney at Troutman & Troutman, P.C. is ready to help with your claim. Please fill out our confidential contact form or call us at (918) 265-1404 to learn more. Our Tulsa Social Security Disability law firm is ready to help you obtain the disability benefits you deserve.