A constant source of frustration for many disabled people is keeping up with the various reporting requirements for supplemental security income, though that could get a little bit easier under a new rule proposed by the Social Security Administration.
Unlike disability insurance, which is based on payroll taxes earned over the years, SSI is a need-based program with a monthly benefit currently capped at $914. While disability insurance is really only impacted if you go back to work full time, SSI has many more strings attached to it.
If you receive money from any other source, or another benefit, such as housing, it can drastically reduce this monthly payment.
Currently, if an individual receiving SSI pays less the current value on the open market for rent or shelter, which is the case for many individuals receiving SSI who live with family or friends, it reduces how much money they get each month. In many cases, this can mean losing out on hundreds of dollars every single month.
However, due to court rulings in seven states – Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas – SSI benefits are not reduced if an individual is spending more than a third of their income on housing, regardless of whether it is less than the current market value.
The proposed rule would simply expand this more lenient standard to the rest of the country, allowing more of the 7 million people currently on SSI to get more money every month.
The rule is currently open for public comment through October 23.