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Will my living arrangements affect my SSI benefits?

If a North Carolina resident meets the financial requirements for the need-based program of Supplemental Security Income under the Social Security disability program, there are certain factors that must be known with the benefits. One is living arrangements. If a person lives in his or own residence and pays for food and shelter, it is possible to get the maximum amount available in SSI benefits. This is true whether the person owns or rents. If the person lives in someone else's home but pays for food and shelter, it is also possible to get maximum SSI. For someone who lives in someone else's home but does not pay for food and shelter or pays partially for food and shelter, the SSI might be reduced by as much as one-third.

In general, living expenses will not have an influence on SSI. It is a program that focuses on income and not expenses. If there is another person who is assisting the recipient with living expenses, the SSI can be reduced. If the help comes from a spouse who is living with the recipient, it will not be reduced. It will also not be reduced if it is a minor child who is living with a parent or parents. The amount of food and shelter that is calculated is limited. It is one-third of the maximum federal amount for SSI, plus $20.

Items that cannot be used for food and shelter are not counted as income. If a person receives modest jewelry or a kitchen item, that will not lead to reduced SSI. If a person is in an institution like a hospital, nursing care facility, or prison, he or she cannot receive SSI or can only get a maximum of $30 per month. There are exceptions if the stay is temporary. A person who is homeless can receive maximum SSI. They might also be eligible for subsidized housing. Someone who lives in a public shelter can get SSI for six out of nine months in which the person lives there.

People who meet the financial requirements to receive SSI Supplemental Security Income must be cognizant of the living arrangement requirements to retain their benefits and how it might affect the amount they receive. If there is a problem with SSI benefits and living arrangements, discussing the matter with a legal professional can be of great benefit.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Living Arrangements -- 2017 Edition," accessed on July 24, 2017

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