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A new change to SSI rules may benefit certain older adults

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Ssi Supplemental Security Income |

The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees both retirement benefits for working professionals and disability benefit programs. Different types of benefits are available for people with disabling medical conditions. Those with health challenges that prevent them from working and who have had jobs previously might qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Certain other people, including older adults past retirement age, may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSI provides monthly benefits that can help augment someone’s savings and retirement income to ensure a more comfortable standard of living. The SSA maintains very strict rules about who qualifies for SSI. For example, a rule that previously only applied to applicants in seven states, not including Alabama, has recently expanded to include older adults in every state.

What has changed?

The SSA looks at someone’s resources and income when determining if they qualify for SSI benefits. For older adults, certain other forms of aid may have previously prevented them from securing SSI payments. Subsidized housing benefits can contribute towards someone’s rent payments. Such benefits are sometimes the only way for older adults to maintain an independent residence. Previously, people had to report those housing benefits along with other forms of income. A housing subsidy could effectively prevent someone from qualifying for SSI benefits.

Only those in a handful of states had the benefit of applying without their housing subsidy counting against them. The new rule adopted by the SSA allows older adults in any state to potentially qualify for SSI benefits even if they receive a housing subsidy. That change in policy could lead to many older adults with limited income qualifying for benefits they previously could not secure.

Additionally, those who receive SSI already might qualify for a more generous amount of benefits because the subsidy no longer affects their eligibility. Those who have applied but received a denial and those receiving minimal benefits instead of the full amount available may need to reapply for SSI benefits to optimize the support that they receive.

Understanding changes in benefits rules can help people who are vulnerable secure SSI benefits or increase the benefits they receive. Seeking personalized legal guidance is a good way to learn more.



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