SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI) LIVING ARRANGEMENTS


WHY IS MY LIVING ARRANGEMENT IMPORTANT?


Your living arrangement is another factor used to determine how much Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you can get.

This means your SSI benefits may vary depending on where you live:

    small blue and black arrowin your own place such as a house, apartment, or mobile home; or

    small blue and black arrowin someone else's household; or

    small blue and black arrowin a group care or board and care facility; or

    small blue and black arrowin an institution such as a hospital or a nursing home.

NOTE For more information on living arrangements, see the SSI Spotlight on Living Arrangements and the Spotlight on the One-Third Reduction Provision.

We may reduce your SSI benefits because of your living arrangements when you:

    small blue and black arrowlive in another person's house, apartment, or mobile home, and you pay less than your fair share of your food or housing costs;

    small blue and black arrow>live in your own house, apartment, or mobile home, and someone else pays for all or part of your food, rent, mortgage, or other things like electricity and heating fuel;

    small blue and black arroware in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and Medicaid pays for over one-half of the cost of your care; or

    small blue and black arroware a minor child in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and private insurance and/or Medicaid together pay over one-half your cost of care; or

    small blue and black arroware in a public or private medical treatment facility and Medicaid is paying for more than half the cost of your care.  If you are in the facility for the whole month, your SSI benefit is limited to $30 (plus any supplementary State payment).  We may lower the benefit if you have other income.

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NOTE
If you will be in a medical institution for 90 days or less, you may be able to receive your regular SSI benefit. See the SSI Spotlight on Continued Benefits for Persons Who are Temporarily Institutionalized.

WHAT IF YOU ARE HOMELESS?


We figure your benefit amount the same as we do for a person who lives in his own house, apartment, or mobile home.

CAN YOU RECEIVE SSI BENEFITS WHILE LIVING IN A PUBLIC SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS?


Yes. You can receive up to the maximum SSI benefit payable in your State while living in a public shelter for up to 6 months out of any 9 month period.

WHERE WILL YOU GET YOUR SSI BENEFITS IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN ADDRESS?


You don't need an address to get SSI benefits. We will make arrangements to pay you.

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NOTE
For more information, see the SSI Spotlight on Homelessness.

WHAT IS IN-KIND SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE?

In-kind support and maintenance is food or shelter that somebody else provides for you. We count in-kind support and maintenance as income when we figure the amount of your SSI benefits. For example, if someone helps pay for your rent, mortgage, food, or utilities, we reduce the amount of your SSI benefits. Receiving in-kind support and maintenance can reduce your monthly SSI benefits as much as $260.33, depending on the value of the help you receive.

We do not count in-kind support and maintenance if you:

    small blue and black arrowlive alone and pay for your own food and shelter;

    small blue and black arrowlive only with your spouse and minor children and nobody outside the household pays for your food and shelter; or

    small blue and black arrowlive with other people and pay your share of the food and shelter expenses.

HOW DOES MY LIVING ARRANGEMENT AFFECT MY SSI BENEFIT AMOUNT?

Your living arrangement is where you live, if you live alone or with someone else, or if you live in an institution, such as a nursing home. Your living arrangement also depends on who pays for your food and shelter. Whether you live alone or with someone else, we need to know who pays for your food, shelter, and utilities. Here are some examples of common living arrangement situations.

EXAMPLE A: If you live alone in an apartment

Suppose you live alone and your only income is SSI. Your brother pays your rent of $800. We count this payment as in-kind support and maintenance. Although the rent is $800, we limit how much of the $800 we count by using a presumed maximum value rule. The presumed maximum value is equal to 1/3 of the Federal benefit rate plus $20. Here are the steps we use to figure the SSI benefit amount.

1. The SSI Federal Benefit Rate is $721.00

2. One-third of the SSI Federal Benefit Rate of $721 is $240.33.

3.    $240.33 (1/3 of the Federal Benefit Rate)
       +$20.00 (from the presumed maximum value rule)
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     =$260.33 (the presumed maximum value of in-kind support and maintenance)

4.    $260.33 (the presumed maximum value of in-kind support and maintenance)
          -20.00 (general exclusion)
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    = $240.33 (the amount of the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance)

5.    $721.00 (Federal Benefit Rate)
      -$240.33 (reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance)
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    = $480.67 (your SSI benefit amount)

EXAMPLE B: If you live alone in a home that you own

Suppose you live alone in a home that you own and your only income is SSI. Your son pays your electric bill of $100, your phone bill of $50 per month, and your cable television bill of $75 per month. We do not count the payment of the phone bill or the cable television bill as in-kind support and maintenance so these payments do not affect your SSI benefits. However, we count payment of the $100 electric bill as in-kind support and maintenance. Because SSI is your only income, we apply the $20 general exclusion to the $100 electric bill payment. This leaves $80 as countable in-kind support and maintenance. We determine your SSI benefit amount as follows:

$721.00 (the SSI Federal Benefit Rate)

   $100.00 (in-kind support and maintenance)
    -$20.00 (general exclusion)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  = $80.00 (the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance)

   $721.00 (SSI Federal Benefit Rate)
    -$80.00 (the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
= $641.00  (your SSI benefit amount)


EXAMPLE C: If you live in another person’s household and share expenses.

Suppose you live with your brother, and 2 uncles in a home that your brother is buying and your only income is SSI. There are 4 people in the household. The mortgage payment is $700. The average monthly bills are $200 for electricity, $100 for water and sewer, and $600 for food. The total monthly expenses are $1600. Because there are 4 people in the household, your share of the expenses is $400 per month.

If you pay your full share of $400 for the household expenses there would be no reduction of your benefit and you would get the full $721 in your SSI check.

If you pay less than $400, then you would be receiving in-kind support and maintenance. We would apply the one-third reduction rule and the $721 would be reduced by $240.33 so your SSI benefit would be $480.67.

EXAMPLE D: SSI recipient lives in a house rent-free

Suppose you live in a house owned by your sister who allows you to live there rent-free. You receive $300 per month in Social Security benefits. You pay all the utilities and buy all the food. We determine that the house would rent for $900 per month if your sister rented it on the open market. The rent free house is counted as in-kind support and maintenance. Although the value of the rent free house is $900 per month, we count $260.33 as in-kind support and maintenance. We would determine your SSI benefit as follows:

$721.00 (SSI Federal benefit rate)

         $300.00 (Social Security benefits)
         - $20.00 (general exclusion)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      = $280.00 (countable Social Security benefits)

 

         $721.00 (SSI Federal benefit rate)
       - $280.00 (countable Social Security benefits)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      = $441.00 (sub-total)

 

         $441.00 (sub-total)
       - $260.33 (the reduction due to in-kind support and maintenance)
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      = $180.67 (your SSI benefit amount)

 

 
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