Guest Bloggers, People Facing Barriers, SSI

Homelessness and Social Security

May 6, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 18, 2021

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are lifelines for people experiencing homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2020 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report notes roughly 580,000 people are currently without a home and the National Alliance to End Homelessness found about 25-30 percent have severe physical and mental disabilities.

People who experience homelessness tend to age faster than people who have access to housing because of the stress of living on the street, poor nutrition, social isolation, and the effects of extreme weather and unsanitary conditions. They also often deal with substance use disorders along with severe health issues—including diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS.

The mental health disorders often also include cognitive problems that make understanding SSA’s terminology and process difficult to navigate. The standard process for applying for SSI and SSDI doesn’t work well for this population. Internet access proves virtually impossible. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the struggle to apply for benefits worse.

Homelessness places limitations on a person’s communication with Social Security. Phone communication (including texts) presents difficulties—as does traditional mail. The limited options for contact and communication often lead to benefit application denial for technical reasons—such as not responding to mail and not keeping appointments. When this happens, individuals continue to re-apply as their health deteriorates and anxiety increases.

Third-party providers and organizations can help people experiencing homelessness navigate the SSI/SSDI process for faster benefit payment decisions. They can assist with taking their benefits applications and provide knowledgeable information and support to this underserved community. Third-party groups include:

  • Legal Services providers.
  • SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) trained staff.
  • Health Care for the Homeless programs.
  • Community trained case managers and social workers.
  • Protection and Advocacy organizations in each state.

People experiencing homelessness can often start with contacting the Department of Social Services in their state to learn about other service providers who can help. Community behavioral health program providers may also assist homeless individuals to apply for benefits and submit medical information needed for decision-making.

Homelessness doesn’t have to be an ongoing condition for so many of our neighbors. Let’s work together to help those in need and ensure that those who are eligible are approved as early as possible in the process.

SSA’s posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-SSA organization or author.

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  1. Christina B.

    I live in sulphur rock Arkansas and I’m on ssa I am homeless and dont no what to were to go or hownto start I’m confused about alot paperwork and meaning of some stuff I have anxiety bad so I haven’t been able ask help and now offices are closed I have nothing

  2. valerie p.

    I live in Las Vegas and am on ssi and ssdi I receive 886 a month there is no housing in Vegas that I can afford and the housing programs that they have here do not help the people who really need it. Southern help of Nevada is a joke they took me off the streets and put me in a motel for 11 month and was told that after the virus was lifted I would be getting my housing. Only to find out that the put me in the care of wellvare which is a mental and behavioral facility. That only cared about tje thousands of dollars that tje government is offering them to help the homeless only there is no housing at the end like everyone was told and we were all locked in our rooms and could go go nowhere at all or have anyone come see us.the health care that they provided us was 1 15 min conversation over the phone with a psychiatrist that has never seen you and a doctor who has never seen you and together they decide what meds that you need to start taking. While I was there 5 people died and were all dead for more than 48 hrs in their rooms before anyone realized it. And they came to our rooms with our food for every meal which was a complete joke cuz the food was gross AMD it was all verbs fir every meal hell jail food was better than what they fed us. The didn’t have housing for us like we were told and they wouldn’t allow us to go find it for ourselves because they could

  3. Wilbur

    I was born with polio from childhood and work for 20 years I’m 61 now and get 794. a month SSI I’m homeless, for 12 years, where can I get affordable housing, or any programs that can help me.

  4. Kirstie S.

    Well im homeless and I stay friends to family to the streets I need some help please

    • Larry

      I am on disability and about to be homeless I went to jail a few months back and got out on a drug court program for 18 months I have to do it they have ten dollar ua fees and 3 dollar councerler visit fees which adds up to 60 a month then all the visits a week then they have 20 dollar weekly court fee and then you have to have a phone for thenm to contact you so there’s a easy 60 bux I stayed in a motel for almost a month at 52 dollars a night and 250 a week , I found a house to rent at 4 hundred a month I can’t get the deposit up for the house or the electric to be turned on idk how much water is or gas ..I’ve called every organization that they have here and they all say there out of funds I read online where they said they help the homelessness but every local program says they are out of money or on hold

    • Esoeeanza M.

      To: LaMesa Social Security Administion Department,Disability, Supervisor Of’s Manager,

      Please assist me, for of’s at to be, of’s at assyti have a emergency as for my son to gave apply, his Dad us at ti been a fs us being at a different level,as we are continuel attacked, by them, as, they are ifs with my brides nausea, that are ifs at ti be ifs at never friends fir life as, they all had lies, as ifs who they where v dude vetraik and fs at a legal document as they sign, as forberence atwill, as example, bride maids, had been shot of’s at to be of’s at young’s, a porn hire with murder, Bridget Harvey, E. and A., twine twain, twitter sister invilc s, I think verify with your reqird, as they where named, as my assaults, of’s at victems,as her Dad had been shot me and a brutal attack, after your, Special Filements Case Name, He is at the same at the same, as known him from, Los Angeles California, as ge was already a amung criminal,as, I was injured from, him, almost died, esecerky injured, eccepted from, Social Security Administion Department, Disability Unit, Benefits to be at to recuev, ripped That ff from,vthen, as well hey had ifs at a mother’s ifs and a secrecy demrug lord, addicted with, as fir his wife, said, as she had been ifs at my against and said she was to nybto don’t that as she had ne histage for a long time as pure true involves, later had admits, at age, 16 years old, of’s at been murder, befir, as sister Said Ect., as I had been a small and testified, against him. He was to serve life in prison, as for murder involves, my son has been of’s at denied, as for, Full insurance, bierrence, berrence, barrowed bierred barred,White Head, owl rock, Stre., both,b. D. di., as, Di. .,09 Let’s, C-plus Al-Just Let’s emergency, under., Said Ect., as, his employnent, di.,6 1/2, sus, sis, cuc ci ce, si. di. rients, ri., weats, as, Ali Aligone, aligate, Precieples of’s Demakises enne iff’s perm perm’d,pert, Enbiled,buited bic’s, docs, Str. Di. .09,F.,f., Said Ect. Please verify, as I have been at idle threat by then, as from, gav ng called, El Cajon Fire Departments, as for thus visiouse attack from me, as they where sign in with the, Clinton’s, Bill and Hill, e-nope, not no, oppt., no,usa yes, I calked to find out what I heard was correct and yes, Bridget Harvey, E. and A., As, to upcome marriage ofs at my old, einney, as degross looks of’s at to be of’s at here he has upper mounth mother cosmetic , none. As, for to have crimial nap acts taken as fir pure tortue of’s gun shots and phys. rad., ille., as, a ntrape and denies, and ifs at no Federal Homeland Security aswell, as me recieving my special filement cases as all entends, for, Social Security Administion Department, Disability Unit Claims approves, special benefits, Let’s Di. .09, and Workers Compensation Filement cases, thebsvti currents, as s veral in-between, as mist ifs at several at young’s had been from then, as both b.,of’s had been approved dto recieve, as I have been fighting for my legal rights as for my legal entitlements, allowed by legal laws, as, she has already destroyed, my , Ent Endurmas Emmercien Endieviele Ende Cardieviel,Cardi, P’.,.mid dot, become,vestation vests vest, weats, Franks, Enverest ennve., Di. .09, Said Ect., again can ntinues, as for of’s beside my Dions Dunlope Enhertence enhered, Weat franks, as for of’s at she had destroyed that as both had cause a black night ace iwk edervest, as fir of’s at me to been as of’s at physical medical ailiegn as, to be of’s being capacity as, I gave had already had Cimplaint not , as, with of’s at Alts’ for her to been of’s at ne attacked, with 2. Linda Schmidts E., And Christina, Ruttmans, E., and Maria Stout, A., as past current , as for oast was asleep ofs at to have all 3-Three bride maids, cruminal at with affaire with my husband no., both b., becanes, brother ifs brothers, as, they all shit ne, at all ifs them all, at,Klamath Falls Ir., B.S.FN. Railroads, as I gave not been compensated, back as of’s this attack Evenmooreso n n my as for of’s at happens of’s at time duratuon, as, 1 1/2, years, as for yource had been up there to sign add approres, as for my children to been nckud, as for, we had not received it, Insurance Bierrence, bierrence ,bierred barred, approved my mother , to be included acts, currents, with as for, May 3 2005- 2006, from a suboueba as from to be of’s at baned, as fired white index cards, Bate, U. S. Marshal’s Grand Di. 63,Under., Said Ect., as, they where going to been at another arrest of’s at that with a There at full convictions,as to be of’s at life none, as for my, file case ,Queen and Q.P.,Queen, packpacks covercoat vestation vests vest, weats Franks,Di. .O9 , both b., as stollen, from then, in of’s at, date, 03/09/98 – 1992, as of’s other of’s at to have at a dismanuel of’s Horizone Weat,Weatons, si. di., Di. .09, Said Ect., again’s ns continue, Franks, Bell,as, from, became as, Aligone Stre Di. .09, Under. Said Ect., As pure retalilstion and negligence involves as, they had shit ne mire then one that ne, as I made police report all eccepted one, as they had idle threats of’s Little n Na ns attacks on ne and that hat I have been at complaint with of’s at, local police department, her in Santa Paula, and El Cajon City Managers, and State Of’s Californa Governor, Gavin Newsom, E., as regarding ne in emergency assistence, and having to be the biggest tax payors, and have a large, as at mist large, as to pay for, Nate, Med-Cal , as for California Med-Cald being used,from a doctor office and his staph and th n, as criminalist ifs criminal ,as amungs and ferther, as for doctor as to been my acuse acrouse, Fri. red Ii, as Again’s using Need- Cal program, running into Gold Cist Health Plan, as, I have made cimplaint, as, they are not arrest and sentence as convicted by legal law, and I pay taxes not that Federal Government Department, branches, veruence, as exoencces, as from more then 42 years, and I gave been at a visiouse attachs, by, Juan C. Alverez,- Aliejo, both b., As, he has a person persona, multiple mult,brother of’s brothers, and Bridget Harvey, E., as, I had of’s at a visiouse assaults by then, at age 131/2, as they had to be arrest then firbtgat as I had been seriously se injured as where I had been approved, for SSI and SSA ,and as paids from, me to, be at ,at, Nate, Social Services Department, Ullague Urbuebs,aooriv d, as U.S. Narshal’s Grand diefi.09, us at another level at special filements as, became as Social Security Administion Department, Disability Unit benifits, approved, legal documents as to been attached to me and the case, there the judge iyfs at ti have been at illegal acts of’s n me as, I have write your livmcation, as for to be at, C.V. Chula Vista Police Department and Investigatiion made by all, TTTh’,9’s,s9, and All’s,. Underline. as, I called yourse, and,
      AII was denied, along as to have acuused by them,as me and my sin are at Intrap and denies with tortuse acts St n us, by , 911, Terrest Act aftermathe hipper glence di. .09, Under.,Said Ect, as I’m hor and of’s in drugs, as had a lit money’s as from Johns, and drug sales, in my son’s Jacket,as, they had said, I had aprroved, Attorney Department law firm had rip off our documents, as yorce has a copy, ore , orro Intrape as theft, known thens after of’s at my, they had d of’s us, 18 minutes, ago, as I write a complaint to be at, Ventura Social Security Administion Department and then send higher up, as they did as I had ifs at another eccepted, as they are not paying me, b cause of’s Arnold Schwarzenegger and his daughter, or, step daughter, as fir ifs at orior attacks, as more time need as for to gwv another aoorives made for adds money’s and thens of’s at aporived of’s that, as I have mailed them that as I’m at severely injured, and pure poor, it had taken a little more time, as I had to been at complaint with Gold Cost Health Plan as for agrievess,agrues, as, aggrieved, complaints, as I was denied, as for that the people that had criminal acts of’s murder are of’s at to gav victory and glory as taken it as a win, as for at sheard, at Said ne to of’s my doctor appointment, as they work there, at,Santa Paula Center Fir Family Health Community Center,I had write San Diego F.B.I.- Federal Bueruer Of’s Investigation, as for all my file cases to b of’s at a visiouse attacks in before, in, Santana Barbera Administion Adm,table court,as I had been denied, and I had seen of’s at the legal courts table biards at to have my accused attackers as of’s a visiouse assault, as attempted murder I volvrmes, as I need help, with that filement case, last letter I recieved from yource was signed, as for them to been arrested, and ne paid, asking with wins, complaints, as for he had a lie alliwence that was not of’s at special filements,as, from being attached, as from, 911 Terrest Act before and aftermathe, hipper glence di..09,
      Again’s, already at ask for help, ne being denied, below, reads,

      Is this for reals, or, are theire false pretence involves,for me to be alloweded, as for a esay fast applies, as I have been already ripped off from SSI and SSAI,DSI . I have not been paid, as, I had been eccepted by, PGI, Fast Turn Around!! As, Spencer Spenc Horizone Sun’s Sunkist enne effe, perm pert, permed, Pievie,as Di. .09, Under., Said Ect. Theriene, Di. .09, Under Said Ect. I’m still, fighting for my, SSI/SSIA, all entends adds Special filement F.,f. under.,Said Ect. Date: April 9, 2003. My son needs to be ifs at emergency assistance as he had ofs been ripped offs of’s at, from, Salvation Army and a cruket, as he was to move into a nice small apartment in Fillmore, as that had not happen, as for waits of’s he, and ir, they where arresting the cruket oameioke as fraud and Embezzlements, as of’s that of happened, they rirgit to call me, back. help by calling them for to find our Special filement that was created for us, although, sperate accounts, as though, my insuranc had transfered to him. Please respond, back.Fix to adjust. Sav.Save. From: Esoeranza M. Stout
      Tell: 1-895-209-7367

    • Vonda

      Hi Kirstie, thanks for using our blog. Please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for the many programs and services available to you in your state. For information on public housing assistance visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website. We hope this helps!

  5. Sharon L.

    I have been living in my car since 2016 all I want is a home. I draw 992 a month, I went to humanity to see if they would build me a house, because I didn’t draw 1700 hundred dollars a month they could not build me a home. My home is my car.

  6. Leesa l.

    What needs to be addressed is vast.
    1. The fraud in the soc sec system. As well as medicare and medicaid. The money retrieved and saved by handling the Social Security and Medical fraud would mire than pay for all of the disability and SSI benefits.
    2. SSI is only awarded to those who ate bonafide too ill or too disabled to work. It has never been a part of any welfare system of benefits. Therefore cannot be awarded because you are not able to secure housing or shelter etc.
    3. The government only gifts grants to aid in the State you reside in program. The accusations of fraud or improper distribution of funding, example: admin overhead is wasteful and far too much compared to the programs being funded should be brought to the attention of the state attorneys general office respectively.
    Again the federal government cannot investigate something it does not have any awareness of.
    4. There are social programs run by religious groups Salvation Army and UMOM United Methodist Outreach Ministries that service families and the elderly both offer transitional housing programs to get you on your feet.
    Again neither are considered welfare programs and are a part of the mission of the non profit groups they represent.
    5. The advocacy programs you search for should not be tied to groups who are affiliated with Payees systems because all they want is to become someone you pay to handle your money.
    6. Most ssi programs can be started in prison both at a state and federal level, you can also prepare for and take a GED test and other government housing step housing or half way housing programs. And no doubt you have to hustle.
    7. Catholic charities St Vincent De Paul have housing shelter services dental and have Soup kitchens in most cities across the USA. Along with the Centralized Shelter System in your state you reside in they have great counseling available get you your ID cards and Birth Cert. For you Clothing etc.
    8. Also many Non denominational Churches are great for gas vouchers.Clothing Vouchers from St Vincent De Paul.
    9. Call 211. 211 is the Information number for all domestic violence shelters homeless shelters Veterans Connections. Food banks .
    10. Get up early camp overnite if need be close.
    The early bird gets the worm.
    There is a ton of competition out there sadly.
    The United States is the richest and strongest economy in the world.
    The shame is you have to admit there is a problem in our country along with homelessness and border children in cages unless we petition the people get organized and join together it will not be solved. Make signs and petition outside the state senates and governors offices.
    Start go fund me accounts on a library computer. Good Will also has computers available and you can internet on your free obama phone also.
    I hope this all helps.

    • Felicia G.

      I need teeth n medicare n fidelis say I have poor ins they do not pay for denture it’s sad I’m 73 n need help everywhere u see free denture what gives

  7. Concerned S.

    A Driver’s License would solve a lot of this issue. Why not start there . . . get them a Driver’s/Non-Driver’s License. Put the time spent arguing everyone having an ID to vote into getting everyone an ID and that would solve this, too! Homeless people cannot prove who they are and therefore cannot get their benefits . . . when they enter a shelter to get help, they are often victims of crime even within those programs . . . stop making participation in a program criteria for getting an ID . . . have one goal – get all homeless people an ID!

    • Lillian. W.

      My name is Lillian. W right Mitchell I receive SSI I was currently living with a provider that receive rent you have to pay your rent treated very ugly no help now I’m out here living in a motel cannot afford it so I’m basically homeless again I am 60 years old and I’m all alone. No parents at once in the same prison and have a granddaughter I would like to do better and I would like some type of assistance what kind of help can I get would like some kind of systems what kind of help do I get what kind of help can I get this world has become very ugly people do not respect one another and definitely do not help one another there’s no Unity I must have people in the world today I think that we have a pretty good present yet but you know how that goes everyone wants to criticize someone who wants to help the nation I thank you and if you can help me in any kind of way please email me or call me at 210 537 2024 thank you

    • Lisa J.

      That’s not the only issue with out system. I worked paid my taxes over 30 yrs. Got sick couldn’t work was told I was to young in my 40’s to file. Then 2 yrs ago I was diagnosed with multiple illnesses doctors couldn’t understand why I wasn’t already getting benefits. So we filed and I was denied twice told I can’t file now until 62 in 4 yrs. But yet parents get paid to take care of there kid with behavioral issues. System is fucked up

      • Donald H.

        Not sure what state your in. But most of the time you get turn down the first time. I had to get a lawyer to fight mine.

        • Valerie p.

          I filed mine by myself and got it the very first time and I was younger than 40 now I help others in the homeless community file for their ssi or ssdi

          • Sandra

            🙌 Bless you

    • George B.

      I have been homeless for the last few years. I just want some where to live permanently.

      All I have is a state ID

    • Darryl W.

      That is right all they need to start with is ID most important for sure

  8. Laura C.

    I think that people on social security and social security disability SSI should get more money everything is going up the cost of living is high and the paychecks is too low but I think God for the blessings think about us as well as y’all thinking about the ones that pay taxes we worked all our life and we need help to to God be the glory

  9. Laura A.

    I was married to my husband for 30 years lost everything to my stepson because there was no will that’s what West Virginia done to me now I am homeless because I don’t get enough money to rent a home and I am totally disabled have rods in my back since I was 17 and have not been able to work what can I do to get help I stay in my car that’s what I have to call home please help me get a place to live

    • Laura A.

      Me and his father paid for our home and the judge in West Virginia let him take my home and I live off widows social security which is only $688 a month how can you pay rent on that

      • Cindy

        Have you considered sr. Housing thru maybe hud ?! Its based solely on your income, your rent wouldnt be much. Try that option.

        • valerie p.

          Yes and the waiting period is in most states at least 3-5 yrs out we could die or get killed out here being homeless because most states dont care about the homeless

      • Brenda W.

        I need a place to stay i am homeless

    • George B.

      I lived in one home for my entire life and now it’s gone. I was hurt in an car accident years ago and never totally received proper compensation or
      Treatment and haven’t been able to work much since.

    • Vonda

      Hi Laura, thanks for using our blog. Please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for the many programs and services available to you in your state. For information on public housing assistance visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website. We hope this helps!

  10. Grant B.

    Ok so I’ve read this article and know what the title is but….. What the hell did this article actually say or improve? I’ve never heard a bigger pile of political nothing in my life .

    • Joe b.

      Haaaaaaaaaaaaa i will destroy America

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