Social Security Update Expands Benefits Nationwide


Social Security Update Expands Benefits Nationwide

Quick Facts

  • Some Social Security recipients may soon receive more money due to a change in eligibility criteria by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • The SSA is expanding its rental subsidy policy for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claimants, aiming to minimize the impact on SSI eligibility or payment amount.
  • The new rule has been implemented in seven states and will apply to all 50 U.S. states by September 30, 2024.

Some Social Security recipients nationwide may soon get more money in their pockets after a change to eligibility criteria, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced.

The government agency has announced it is expanding its rental subsidy policy for those who claim Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Under the new rule, published last week, rental assistance, such as renting at a discounted rate, will become less likely to affect a person’s SSI eligibility or payment amount.

SSI gives monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness, as well as to adults aged 65 and older who have limited income and resources. In January 2023, 7.4 million individuals received monthly SSI payments averaging $654, according to an SSA report.

The new rule has already been implemented in seven states: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. This is because of local judicial decisions, but the upcoming change will apply to all 50 U.S. states.

For all other claimants nationwide, the change will not be immediate, but will come into force on September 30 this year.

The change will not affect how much the government agency pays per month, which runs to a maximum of $943 in 2024. However, it may increase amounts for current SSI recipients and expand eligibility to others, the government agency said in its April 17 press release. Newsweek has contacted the SSA for additional comment via email outside of normal working hours.

“Our mission is to continue to help people access crucial benefits, including SSI,” said Martin O’Malley, commissioner of Social Security. “Simplifying and expanding our rental subsidy policy nationwide is another common-sense solution that will improve program equality and will reduce agency time spent calculating and administering rental subsidy.”

The rental subsidy change is the second made to SSI benefits in recent months. In February, the SSA announced it would no longer include food in its In-Kind Support and Maintenance calculations. In-Kind Support and Maintenance calculates the amount of informal food assistance an SSI applicant or claimant received from friends, family and community support networks.

The SSA said the calculation changes mean applicants and recipients would be required to report less information to the government agency, and that it would reduce month-to-month variability in payment amounts and payment errors, which have been widely reported by Social Security recipients in recent months.


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