Disability, General, SSI

Social Security to Expand Access to SSI Program by Updating Definition of a Public Assistance Household

May 9, 2024 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 9, 2024

Father and two daughtersThe Social Security Administration recently published a final rule, “Expand the Definition of a Public Assistance Household.” This final rule announces one of several updates to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) regulations that will help people receiving and applying for SSI. SSI provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness, and to adults aged 65 and older. These benefits help pay for basic needs like rent, food, clothing, and medicine. People applying for and receiving SSI must meet eligibility requirements, including income and resource limits.

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will expand the definition of a public assistance household to include households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments and households where not all members receive public assistance. The expanded definition will allow more people to qualify for SSI, increase some SSI recipients’ payment amounts, and reduce reporting burdens for individuals living in public assistance households.

The revised rule also changes the definition of a public assistance household when determining who in a household receives public assistance. The new rule defines a public assistance household as one that has both an SSI applicant or recipient, and at least one other household member who receives one or more of the listed means-tested public income-maintenance (PIM) payments (the any other definition). The previous policy required all household members to receive public assistance. This change benefits SSI recipients living in households where only some members receive public assistance.

“I’m committed to making systemic changes to help people access the critical benefits they need, including SSI,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security.

“By simplifying our policies and including an additional program geared towards low-income families, such as the SNAP, we are removing significant barriers to accessing SSI. These changes promote greater equity in our programs.”

SNAP is the first PIM benefit added to the agency’s public assistance household definition since it was established in 1980. This change helps ensure the agency’s policies better represent the current landscape of means-tested programs in the United States.

These changes are key because, if an applicant or recipient is determined to be living in a public assistance household, the agency assumes they are not receiving assistance from other household members that would otherwise be counted as income. This will allow more people to qualify for SSI and in some cases, receive a higher SSI payment.

This regulation update is one of several that Social Security is publishing to improve the SSI program. The agency recently announced it will exclude the value of food from SSI benefit calculations. (Read Our Blog.) The agency also recently announced it will expand its rental subsidy exception, currently only in place for SSI applicants and recipients residing in seven States, as a nationwide policy. (Read Our Blog.)

Social Security continuously examines programmatic policy and makes regulatory and sub-regulatory changes as appropriate.

For more information on the SSI program, including who is eligible and how to apply, visit Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

To read the final rule “Expand the Definition of a Public Assistance Household,” visit Federal Register: Expand the Definition of a Public Assistance Household.

 

Did you find this Information helpful?

Yes
No
Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Paula V.

    This new rule will help so many people who need the SSI income!! Even with HUD and food stamps (which also doesn’t count against SSI anymore) SSI is not much to live on and certainly not enough for a person to pay rent with unless they are rooming with other people. The Ticket to Work program also makes a huge difference with accessing a career after becoming disabled. Check out choosework.ssa.gov and my company My Employment Options for support.

    Reply
    • Beverly T.

      Increasing nonworker recipients eligible for SSI will make Social Security deplete it’s funds more rapidly and is not fair to those older individuals who worked and have paid into the system.

      Reply
      • Melissa s.

        Tell me how it’s not fair if these people have legitimate debilitating disabilities that remove their ability to work? What are they sappose just be thrown in the streets to starve n die. Bad enough they have a disability but alot of them have to cope with being unable to support themselves too.i assure you alot of them would give it up in a second if they could work again. Besides that it’s not like they get a huge allotment to start with. 943.00 is not enough to really survive on. Watching everyone get tax stimulus and extra social security stimulus going out everywhere to everyone but those on ssi is very upsetting. Getting the very least of everyone yet they don’t get any real help. Just a bunch of robbing Peter to pay Paul and a bunch of shuffling papers and legal mumbo jumbo a measly 45 -50 dollar raise is called helping. There is no real benifit in any of it for people on s.s.i…none , nothing. So stop sounding so greedy. I’m on disability. Happened when I was in my 20s. Government cause my disability. Struggled 7 long years to get it. You think I’d rather have what crumbs we get more than my health? I think not. Already get way more than any one on ssi. Yet you don’t think we should even get that. Wow. The audacity.

        Reply
        • Frankie T.

          AGREE 💯💯!! Some people don’t get it!! I am with you, sister. I would rather be working full-time than getting the little bit of money that I do get. It’s a struggle every day to live off what I get.

          Reply
      • Frankie T.

        Sometimes life isn’t fair to those who are disabled from birth to middle age. Especially when you have kidney failure are going blind and can’t even get around a home anymore. Not everyone chose to sit around and collect benefits, many struggle day today just to stay alive. Plenty of us have worked as well. I’ve worked my whole life, but have been disabled for 10 years now and I receive both SSI and SSDI. Only because, the jobs I had before I finished college didn’t pay much or I worked under the table many years. I do understand what you’re saying, but don’t be so negative to people that you think haven’t worked a day in their life or put any hard work into their lives. The benefits that the government gives our programs for all of us to use when we need to, who have put into Social Security, and we should be thankful if any of us have ever worked a day in our life. Be grateful for what you already have instead of being bitter, assuming and judgmental when you haven’t walked a day in someones shoes! Choose happiness over negativity, I’m basically saying to be happy for what you have and you’re not in some other peoples situations where it could be a lot worse. We are ALL very blessed as Americans to have such programs and services to help. This will also help our veterans, which is so important as well. NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE DISABLED!

        Reply
  2. Adam. R.

    In 2015, Norfolk VA. Biased judge denied Over whelming Medical evidence because of Criminal conviction, Ignoring work History and eligibility Credits. With heavily prejudice Statement of keep Reading You’ll See him for what He is-Con-Man. Federal Courts, and local Lawyer’s,No justice.Sentenced to life of Poverty- SSI

    Reply
  3. Tim s.

    I’m writing this email because I have very serious concerns about my recent denial for disability, concerning a misinformation case stating back to 12/31/2006. The decision was based on the lack of medical records and the severity of my symptoms going back to my last insured date. The reason there is no medical records is because of the delay in getting this case reopened, and y’all realizing a mistake had been made. Medical facilities are only required to keep records 10 years, had this case been handled properly without misinformation this would not been an issuea Because the records were there to prove it or I could have been sent to a medical professional of y’all’s choosing to prove my disabilities and the severity. There was mention of a long period of time without medical care which is a false statement considering there is medical records from seven doctors that are missing from that time frame, Dr Early, Dr Rop ,Dr zortea, Dr McElhaney ,Dr Wood, Dr Fleming and Dr Dickerson. So I ask you how am I supposed to get a fair hearing? I didn’t go to all these doctors just for the fun of it. I’m also asking why am I being punished for y’all’s mistakes? Do y’all think I’m just making up these symptoms? Trust me I’d much rather be working, I can make a whole lot more than what little bit I’m going to get for my disability. I expect someone to call me about this and explain to me how this can happen. Y’all use the rule of law to deny people but what’s the rule of law say about giving people misinformation? This case should have been approved with special consideration that y’all dropped the ball and made the mistake. I recently called the appeals council and they said it can take up to 18 months have I not suffered enough have y’all not punished me enough for y’all this mistakes “this is a formal request” for an email list of the top executives including commissioner O’Malley’s email so I can contact them personally and make them aware of this situation I’m tired of being a victim of the SSA

    Reply
    • Suzanne T.

      I am Suzanne Tayon. I get SSA, that’s it. The people who have the way and yes more food, rent, electric and rent. I don’t have any money (SSA). I pay my bills and when I pay up to them, it doesn’t happen. I believe all in accounts. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Suzanne t.

        I’m on the HUD house. It’s been a year and nothing. I finally know that I’m 64 sick, and the people helping me should let them get help. I finally show I’m 15 when on, the list.

        Reply
    • Sonya

      Warch out for the judge too cause the judge who did mine said mental n physical could be fixed my spine is deterating n he said mental could be fixed

      Reply
    • Mary s.

      Go Get you a Lawyer And Get your Check Stared That’s what i did and i have been on SSI ever since 2003 Trust me It took me 3 months before i was approve but first i was turned down by Bailtmore MD

      Reply
    • Sue

      We’re sorry to hear about your situation, Tim. You can mail correspondence to Commissioner Martin J. O’Malley at the mailing address shown here. We hope this helps.  

      Reply
    • Stanley G.

      I am writing this email because I do need financial help. I am 71 years old and I only take him about $1350 a month in Social Security benefits. I am not working. I have a $1780 mortgage every 30 days and I have the other household bills that need to be paid. Help me, I need more income. My email is, WISE 1953@hotmail.com. My name is Stanley Gregory Wise Wise. My phone number is 404-483-5025. If no answer, please leave a message. Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you. PS

      Reply
    • Melissa S.

      Do you have a lawyer? If not you need to get one asap. There are those who work those cases and if you get nothing they get nothing. And 10 years no no no. That don’t sound right? Not with technology as advanced as it is. I was not aware that medical records were allowed to be disposed of. If you ever went to a hospital doctor , ER , facility doctor, any that happened to be housed in a hospital facility like alot are. Then they absolutely have to have your records. I’ve been in and er rooms and seeing hospital physicians for most of my life and both of the main ones have my records from when I was 10 and when I was born. I’m 51 now. Regular doctors I can’t say but either way even if you went to a reg doc and to and er or hospital doctor they have to have records. I know when I go to the hospital in anyway they have all my info Eben if I had not even been to see them but seen my reg doctor. Computers communicate. I would really look into that. This technology has been here far more than 10 years. Someone is bull gagging you. They lying some where in that bull **** tank..sorry but they are..

      Reply
  4. Retired S.

    Please clarify what this new policy means. What income limits does this rule set for persons older than 65? What percentage of the poverty level? Is there a chart for household size and income? How are retirement Social Security benefits considered in calculating the income? More specific information would help before putting this out on social media. Does this mean that any age 65+ person getting retirement Social Security and no other income and below the SNAP eligibility ceiling can apply and get SSI? What are the asset limits? Does this also mean that any time people do part time, temporary work, they can lose the SSI benefit and then have to reapply when the job ends? Also, is this administered by the Social Security administration directly or by the state’s department of social services, since SNAP is administered by states and not directly by the federal government.

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Retired Senior. Thanks for reading our blog and for your questions. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program that makes payments to people 65 or older, and people with disabilities, who have limited resources and little or no income. The SSI resource limit is $2,000 for an individual, $3,000 for a couple. Some resources are excluded, including your home and vehicle. Income includes wages, Social Security benefits, unemployment, and pensions. We don’t count all income.

      The maximum SSI federal payment in 2024 is $943 a month for an individual, $1,415 for a couple. Some states supplement the federal SSI payment.

      If you live alone, you have resources worth less than $2,000, and your only income is your monthly Social Security benefit, you may be eligible for both SSI and Social Security – commonly referred to as “concurrent” benefits. To be eligible for both, your 2024 monthly Social Security benefit should be less than $963. That’s the SSI monthly Federal payment rate for an individual plus $20. Generally, the more income you have, the less your SSI payment will be.

      The SSI program also considers wages to determine eligibility and payment amount. SSI is generally for people who don’t earn more than $1,971 from work each month.

      Even if you’re eligible for benefits through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), you generally cannot receive SSI if your income is over the limits. The income limits increase for couples and when parents apply for children. To find out if you may be able to get SSI in addition to your Social Security benefit, visit our Who Can Get SSI webpage. In general, if you are eligible for some SSI along with your Social Security benefit, your maximum combined benefit would be $963 a month. That excludes any state supplement.

      If you receive SSI, you must report to us any changes in income, resources, or living arrangements that may affect your eligibility and your payment amount. When your other income goes up, your SSI payments usually go down. Reporting your wages for SSI is important to make sure your payments are accurate and to prevent overpayments and underpayments. We usually base the SSI payment amount on your income from two months before. When your income is greater than the SSI limits, your payments will stop for those months. SSI will start again for any month your income is less than the limits. You’ll find more details in our publication, What You Need to Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income.

      If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment to apply for SSI, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. JOHN L.

    Social Security already says it will run out of funding in 2034, so you find ways to cheat folks who have paid into the system by giving money to those that have never paid into the system. Incredible! Why don’t you send all 8 billion people checks, too! Then you could hire more bureaucrats who will always vote for bigger Government! It is only charity when you give away YOUR money, it is thievery when you give away own money.

    Reply
    • James L.

      Very well said, John L! Very well said. It is all about socializing us and destroying us.

      Reply
    • Paul S.

      Agreed…. What bullcrap!

      Reply
    • Lynn R.

      Agree 100%

      Reply
    • C

      My sister paid into the system for years and has been denied disability and SSI. Just because someone is low income doesn’t mean they’ve never paid into the system. Some folks don’t qualify for SSDI for whatever reason and need SSI. Just because someone doesn’t have Social Security Disability doesn’t mean they’re some drain on the economy just because they aren’t currently working. My sister has a brain injury and can’t even cook without supervision. She used to be a diesel mechanic and was going to college, singing opera in eleven languages, and working to become a music therapist. While working three jobs. Now she cannot even work one job and was denied disability because she kept a blog about her brain injury and the judge figured if she could write a blog she could work. She’d love to. So if she is allowed to get SSI based on these new rules she’s a thief? Tell me you’re stuck up and privileged without telling me you’re stuck up and privileged.

      Reply
    • J.E.

      OMG! We need desperately to vote these clowns out of office. They are bankrupting all of our services per the Cloward-Piven strategy. They are taking down our oasis from tyranny in the world. I just cannot believe how strident and smug they continue to be. Vote for freedom and liberty from the oppressive state on November fifth!

      Reply
      • Jason K.

        Yes Vote and Vote Blue both locally and nationally.
        Our Democratic Republic is on the line..
        It’s either a Free Democrat Republic or Theocratic Fascist Regime..

        Reply
    • Dave g.

      Well said. I retired five years ago after paying into the system for 40 yrs. I hope I live long enough to collect the amount of social security money that I and my company paid into the system.

      Reply
    • Deb D.

      Totally agree with you John. This is utterly ridiculous!

      Reply
  6. Karen P.

    most SNAP benefit folks are way overweight which should be considered, There should be no water, chips and snacks allowed. Weight restrictions should be applied (if you are a woman 5’6″ you only get benefits if you weigh120 or less).
    Meat, bread, vegetables,fruit, milk and Cheese only.

    Reply
    • MajJohn

      Your definition woukd exclude many anorexic females and is not a healthy guide.

      Reply
    • James L.

      I most certainly agree with you, Karen P!

      Reply
    • Christina L.

      Overweight, or obesity is a disability.

      Reply
    • Pennee

      This is by far the most ridiculous comment of pure ignorance I have ever heard. I currently am 46 years old with a 10 year old daughter in which we both just got out of a serious domestic relationship I have crippling arthritis along with numerous other health issues iam overweight and get snap I have no family no help from no one no child support and food in general is considered a privilege to us as we don’t get to eat but about two weeks of every month on our snap benefits and that’s buys the cheapest things that will last the longest haha to being able to Afford healthy foods when we can barely survive on romaine noodles and peanut butter and bread all month. Until you have lived my life or walked in my shoes don’t judge me cause on judgment day God ain’t gonna ask you about my sins he is gonna ask you about yours .

      Reply
    • Concerned a.

      Most SNAP RECIPIENTS ARE THE WORKING POOR! And you don’t get to tell people what they can or cannot buy! Water? You have got to be kidding me! When people in some areas of this country plumbing systems are old and that’s not their fault!!! Eating snacks is not a privilege limited to “WELL TO DO (Rich)”.

      Reply
    • Susim

      You’re certainly well-named, Karen.

      That’s a very privileged and judgmental attitude you have there, with I’m sure ZERO experience of having been working poor.

      Reply
    • Carolyn J.

      Regardless of how overweight they may be, whi are you to tell somebody that shit, Thank God you don’t have to depend on foodstamp, for having that type of attitude God will strip you of everything you have, just to make an example out of you.

      Reply
    • Nicole

      Lmao get out of here
      R u serious lol

      Reply
  7. Blaz B.

    I’m a care taker I retired at at 62 receiving lowest amount I feel I’m being punished for working all those years 51 years and having to retire early again worked for 51 years every year started paying taxes at 16 years old and now going on 63 my wife has AML we need financial help and she is getting Disability at Lowest payment amount also received Snap for one month and now they are canceling our SNAP we need help because the cost of everything is sky rocketing I know I sound like I’m crying but I am – is there anyone that can help us .

    Reply
    • R.D. K.

      ou do not pay tax until your 18!

      Reply
      • C

        I started working at 16 in the 90s and I paid taxes on my income. What are you talking about? They took it right out of my paycheck the same way they did after I was 18.

        Reply
      • Mai N.

        I sympathize with your situation. SS they talked big, like they really wants to help.But they don’t. When COVID hit. Nobody wants to work so I had take on extra shifts, I made $23,000. That years. I only allowed to $19,000. Ish but they penalized me $15,000.
        I’m sorry that happened to you. I wish you nothing but BEST

        Reply
    • David F.

      BLAZ. I do not know in what state you guys live, but I believe what I am about to suggest is available in all states.

      There are other government and none government assistance programs out there for people in your situation or similar. A big organization that could help is:

      http://www.211.org/about-us/your-local-211

      If you enter that web address into your web browser, it will take you to a page where you can enter your zip code to find out what agency can help you with your situation.

      You can also dial 211 On your cellphone and you will get an operator on the line to whom you can tell your situation and they will provide you with the nearest place to receive the help you need for free.

      This is a place where you can receive help with many things such as Health services, Food, help paying for utilities like the electric bill and water bill or telephone, it can also help pay for rent. It all depends on your needs an situation but they can help. Give them a try please.

      It is a national service and It is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I have use it here in the state of Florida and it was of great help. I hope this helps you and pray God will bless you and guide you all….

      Reply
    • Carolyn J.

      They only go back 10 years of your work history, it is what it is. I Thank God For that

      Reply
  8. Cheryl D.

    Here is a scenario I know that will now be protected. Guy knocks up chick, she has twin boys. Mom jumps in low income $75 month housing. Doesn’t work, stays home, guy moves in and they don’t get married. Lives basically rent free rest of their life. Oh and the housing gets new carpet, painting, appliances and they have a maintenance person who takes care of any problems at their beckon call. Scam 101.

    Reply
    • James L.

      Yep, you nailed it, Cheryl D!

      Reply
    • Scammy D.

      You sure know a lot about scamming, Cher.

      Reply
    • Violet

      Wow, birth control must be a bad word in that household of the chick who pumped out twins.
      What’s happened to people! If you can’t take care of yourself, why on earth would a sexually active person not use some protection? Sometimes pregnancies only compound poverty.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment. For your safety, please do not post Personally Identifiable Information (such as your Social Security Number, address, phone number, email address, bank account number, or birthdate) on our blog.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *