Social Security Benefits and the Homeless

A story from last year about a homeless New York man highlights some the difficulties the homeless face, the determination many of them have and the importance of Social Security benefits in their lives. The New Yorker – named Male Aquino – refused to stay in homeless shelters, preferring to avoid the drug users and mentally ill he says frequent many New York City shelters. He spent freezing nights covered with only a cardboard box while trying for eight years to get disability benefits. Aquino had been the victim of a hit and run accident in Puerto Rico. He has trouble walking and is in constant pain.

Fortunately for Aquino, a local news station did a report on him and brought light to his situation. He received offers of assistance from various organizations and even a New York City firefighter who let Aquino stay at his apartment when temperatures one weekend dropped into the teens. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) started sending Aquino benefits, including a check for $2300 and monthly payments of $761. Aquino’s goals are modest for now – find a job he can do with his disabilities and find a place with a lock on the door.

The homeless have the same opportunities for Social Security disability benefits as other applicants. The SSA offers several options for people to receive their benefits if they do not have a regular address or bank account, including depositing the benefits directly onto a debit card. Those dealing with homelessness, however, should be aware that their living situation may impact their ability to receive benefits.

Let us know how important Social Security benefits, including Social Security disability and Supplemental Security income have been in your lives. Have benefits provided security? Are they your primary means to support your family?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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