Disability, General, Retirement

Lend a Helping Hand and You Can Make a Difference

July 21, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

homelessLife can change in the blink of an eye. One moment you live in a warm, safe place; the next moment you can find yourself without a roof over your head.

Who do you turn to? Where can you go?

This is a reality for millions of Americans every day. Fortunately, we can help — but we need your help. If you know of someone in your community who is homeless, you can let them know they’re not in it alone. Social Security provides services to the homeless.

People who are homeless can apply for benefits and, if found eligible, can have their benefits deposited directly into a personal banking account, a Direct Express debit bankcard, or another electronic account. They can also have their benefits sent to a third party or, if necessary, a representative payee can receive their funds.

Social Security also works with other agencies to help the homeless. At our website, you can learn more about the Health Care for the Homeless program that provides grants to a network of local public and non-profit private organizations. Social Security participates in the Federal Inter-agency Reentry Council, as well as the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program. PATH helps people with serious mental health issues or people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Homelessness is a complicated and emotional. It is tough to think of a relative or a friend living in this kind of reality. It happens more often than we like it to think but as a community and nation, we can help. Educating our community is the first step. Visit our website to learn about the safety net that Social Security provides.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Serentha P.

    I am 55 years old collecting SSI been married for 36yr im a domestic abuse Rape survivor been to college started working at the age of 14. I became disable in 2001 really 1998 I worked so I can send my children to college. My husband left all the bills behind he living a care free life. Stole 15,000 dollars from me from s settlement that money was for bills. He was out of worked for knee surgery and was not paying any bills He is collecting disability now of almost 2000.00
    Compare to my 872 I’m limited to certain things I can do. I Have a power stat pay as you go light bill. When he left In July 2015 light bill was almost 1000.00 my name was not on the account if I would put 50.00 they would take 25.00 and put towards old bill until they found out I use to work for the! Now it’s 2/3 lights still shut off facing foreclosure. Can’t find a lawyer in North Carolina legal aid DONOT do Divorce or separation .I can’t afford one all these people with so call funding are abusing it or there are no such thing as help just letting you see no help for other countries and certain nationality yes. I use to hear a lot of people talking about no help for us So true and if you do ask for help they referring you to mental health they say we don’t give out money.I can tell you a
    Lot I get every news letter from social security on down to stock nothing my email is overflowing with junk I put in this so call system and no funding for me. Remember been looking for help since July 2015 nothing very sad and upsetting

  2. Curtres L.

    Hi, I was classified, disabled several years ago, and recently separated , I was recieving SSI, but when I filed for spousal support , my SSI was cut off, does this mean that I am no longer disabled, please explain….

    • John O.

      You must meet both the medical and non medical requirements to get SSI. If your income from any source is too high then you are cut off. The fact that you are disabled has nothing to do with it. SSI is a needs based program like any other welfare program.

      • Gary D.

        Is it possible to receive a loan towards your SSI benefits? I ask because I am at the administrative law judge review and my home is in foreclosure!

        • Ray F.

          Hi Gary. Social Security does not make loans to beneficiaries.

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for contacting us Curtres. Remember that benefits paid under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, are subject to other income and resources. While you may still have a disabling condition, we must also determine if you meet the non-medical eligibility requirements. Generally, the more countable income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be. If your countable income is over the allowable limit, you cannot receive SSI benefits. If you have additional questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and talk with one of our representatives.

  3. Mikifinn

    We need to have a great candidate in the oval office. One that is able to have congress working with them. It is too bad that the GOP has shown they are partisan before American. It shows in how much they argue about Democrat’s especially the President. Racists attitudes because Barack Obama is African American. This has been happening by those Republicans since 2008. Starting with Mitch McConnell (turtle man) who stated they would never do anything President Obama proposed. And goes on with his appointment of a new Supreme court Justice. I as a voting American hate what they are doing to this Country by partisan attitudes.

    • John O.

      Both sides are just as partisan. Thank God there have been some restraints on the Executive Office. It could have been better. In our form of government it’s called “checks and balances”. Race is used as an indictment of anyone who does not believe we are on the correct course in order to shut up the opposition.

  4. Cindy T.

    Wow this is a great program that people need to know. If a person wanted to leave there spouse because there causing mental abuse. Is there help for that

    • John O.

      Yes, but not at the SS Office.

      • Karen B.

        John, just stop – you are trolling.

    • Ray F.

      Please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
      (TTY) 1-800-787-3224.

  5. Vonnie

    I need info on the help with homelessness

    • John O.

      Then go to a Church or the County Assistance Office.

    • Ray F.

      • Donahue G.

        I even applied for gud back up in some county a like Polk in Florida go to move out of county to find a home heck if I had that kinda resoreses I wouldn’t be homeless. Been waiting 9 month for them to help me too. Its Not SSIs fault but 47years they loved TAKING my taxes

  6. Lee

    This information is of great value to each of us. We can all help our fellow citizens in time of need.

  7. Brenda C.

    my name is Brenda I’m about to be put out of my home ive own for over ten years I lost my job and found another one but it just pays 750 an hour that doesn’t even pay my bills so sometimes I go without food to pay bills and I don’t go to the doctor because I don’t have 20 copay I signed up for my social security early because I need this money to stay in my home

    • John O.

      You still have to meet the age requirements.

    • anonymous c.

      You might try calling “United Way” by dialing “211”, which if operational in your area, can provide you information about food stamps (SNAP), food banks, energy assistance, etc. Also, the fact that you now have lower income may mean that you would qualify for free medical assistance through Medicaid. Both SNAP and Medicaid are offered through your local Social Services (AKA Welfare) office.

      The SSA website also provides similar referral information for your area here: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp Just put in your zip code and then at the very bottom of the page that comes up, click where it says “Other agencies” that can assist you with your welfare, housing, meal assistance and other support services. You might also try the zip codes of other large cities in your county, as some Social Security offices do a better job of listing the area’s potential resources than others. In addition you might ask around for what services are available through local churches and check with your energy utility and telephone companies for any assistance programs they might know of.

      Depending on the amount of you Social Security benefit, you might also check with Social Security at age 65 to see if you qualify for a needs-based program called SSI. You might also want to read the SSA publication “What Every Woman Should Know: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10127.pdf

    • SaylorMade42

      For assistance with your mortgage or other types of housing related issues, go to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s website at http://www.hud.gov.

      Hope this can be of some help… Have a blessed day!

  8. Jana

    This is good information! Thank you.

    • John O.

      It’s good if you accept the false narrative. This article is nothing more than a misleading piece of propaganda.

  9. Jimmy.Mercado

    This is trully a positive message that I have not heard or seen it publicize. If the Social Security Administration has this program. I would like to be informed on what are the criteria of eligibility.

  10. Diana

    Wow , this is nice to know . And thank you for educating us.

    • John O.

      There is nothing to know. Social Security at the Field Office level can refer homeless people to the county welfare office or to private agencies but can not do anything to relieve financial distress unless the individual qualifies. We would not process a homeless person’s claim in a different manner from someone who has a roof over their head.

      • Andrew W.

        I don’t believe a word of this or what social security states. Its plain BS, ask a homeless person from the police state of Florida NONE OF THIS TRUE,

      • Ray F.

        We want to remind everybody that our official agency responses will always include the Social Security Administration (SSA) seal, and that we have an official social media team dedicated to posting messages and responses to customer inquiries or comments that specifically address SSA issues. Please remember that members of this team are the only individuals authorized to provide comments on behalf of SSA. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

        • Donahue G.

          Not commenting on behale of SSI we are commenting on. The BLOGS IS MISLEADING. SSI STOP acting like I are the wonderful safety net fact is if in 1970 when I first stated collecting from my washes 47 years later. I would have done all I could not to pay because of the hell I get fighting for help. And I’m a homeless Get that’s disabled and waiting

      • Donahue G.

        Ant that the true been homeless. Disabled, 13year veteran and still waiting on second claim this time with lawyer almost a year. Just more homeless after paying in for Over45 years

Comments are closed.