Disability, SSI

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments 

March 27, 2024 • By

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Last Updated: March 27, 2024

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Today, the Social Security Administration published a final rule, “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Calculations.” The final rule announces the first of several updates to the agency’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) regulations that will help people receiving and applying for SSI.

“A vital part of our mission is helping people access crucial benefits, including SSI,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security. “Simplifying our policies is a common-sense solution that reduces the burden on the public and agency staff and helps promote equity by removing barriers to accessing payments.”

SSI provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness, and to adults aged 65 and older, who have limited income and resources. SSI 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 our old rules, ISM includes food, shelter, or both a person receives – the agency counts ISM as unearned income, which may affect a person’s eligibility or reduce their payment amount.

Under the final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

The agency continuously examines programmatic policy and makes regulatory and sub-regulatory changes as appropriate. Look for more SSI announcements in the coming weeks.

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

To read the final rule “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations,” visit Federal Register: Omitting Food From In-Kind Support and Maintenance Calculations.

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  1. Heidy

    How is possible my dad has his benefits reduce by almost $300 when nothing in he’s life have changed. Since he is disabled everything still the same in his life. I don’t understand.

    • Stacy S.

      We’re sorry to hear about your experience, Heidy. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your local Social Security office. You can ask to speak with a supervisor during your next call or visit. Or you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We hope this is resolved soon.

    • Robert

      I received 840 a month and now I have Medicaid which pays for Medicare so I think it’s wrong taking out the 170 I have supplemental insurance with part A&B and my Medicaid pays for my medicare and they want to deduct 300 and something dollars out I do not think it is right definitely will be appealing it it’s hard enough as it is Cola and the cost of living and inflation so anyway names Robert Owens Tolleson

  2. Arthur s.

    Will SSI be getting less money now since they’re taking off for food

  3. Beth B.

    This is a very hard hitting rule! I do not receive food from anyone else and I along with my son rely on the food assistance…it is just him and I. I am on disability and receive the food assistance because I am dual complete. Now I won’t have help feeding myself or my son!! This absolutely brings me to tears because it is hard enough as it is right now. Is there another option to receive food assistance? Please dear lord help!!!!!!!!

    • Americansarehurting

      Not sure if you understood this article fully or not. What it’s basically saying is. They won’t count help with food towards your eligibility requirement. So basically if you’re getting help with food from family or friends. They won’t ask about it. Won’t change your current benefits. They did not write this article clear enough for everyone.

  4. John C.

    I would like to know if illegal immigrants are receiving money from the social security account. Also who will be eligible this coming September 30th. If they have not paid into this, they should not have any rights to it.

    • Kelli S.

      Children and adults with lifelong disabilities receive SSI. They’re not now and likely have never been able to “pay into” the system. That doesn’t change their needs to survive. Look deeper into what you are really concerned with and adjust your mindset.

      Shift your focus away from whether a child or adult is an immigrant. Remove your personal biases on where they’re from. Instead consider humanity and that survival is something all deserve no matter what.

      • Usedommonsense

        That money doesn’t come from thin air. Americans are paying taxes for it. So I have to disagree that someone who’s not here long enough to pay those taxes for it. Should receive it. Not a biased opinion. It’s what most all Americans say. You’re welcome to accept them into your home and spend your own money for them.

      • Patriot

        Kelli S,

        Think about what you are saying. The federal government exports money from its citizens under threat of violence. (If you don’t pay, they send people with guns to your house, usually for a pre-dawn raid) Please explain how extorting money from the citizens under threat of violence is something that we deserve. This country revolted against England for pennies in taxes, and now we say “Thank you” when they take more than we get after payroll taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, taxes on services, and special “tax stamps” on items that the government deems dangerous unless you pay them a tax.

      • Monica W.


  5. Kim R.

    I Would Like To Know How Come My Dad That’s 90 Years Old Is Only Receiving $357.00 Dollars A Month For SSI, He Has Multiple Health Problems, Physically & Mentally, How Can I Get His SSI Reevaluate To See If He Qualifies For A Higher Rate Of SSI Benefits ?

    • Sue

      We’re sorry to hear about your father’s situation, Kim. For security reasons, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) makes payments to people with disabilities, or people who are 65 and older, who have limited income and resources. The monthly federal SSI payment in 2024 is $943, though some states offer an extra payment called a state supplement. Because SSI is a needs-based program, your father’s SSI payment may be lower based on his income and living situation. For more information, check out How much you could get from SSI.

      To speak with a representative, you and your father can contact his local Social Security office or call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If your father needs help managing his benefits, you may want to apply to become his representative payee. We hope this helps.

      • Sharon

        I’m on disability , SSDI. NOT SSI.which people whom have hardly worked keep getting More and More assistance..I worked 32 years before I became Disabled..I’m tired of being turned down for any kind of help..( Not everyone has family or a husband.. All I hear is your SSDI IS YOUR INCOME..YOU need different income charts..So more people get help..Why should my refrigerator be empty ! Why should I have to go bankrupt after having good credit my whole life ? Because no program would help me with my electric bill, rental assistance or food ? But those that don’t work have full refrigerators .

        • Stacy S.

          Hi, Sharon. Thanks for reading our blog. Depending on your monthly income, you may be eligible for food stamps. You should contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) office. Or you can call the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s SNAP information line at 1-800-221-5689. We hope this helps.

    • Hannah

      Hello I receive SSDI due to lifelong surgeries but in between surgeries I worked and now that I am not able to It seems like I can’t get help other then $791 a month I thought I should getting SSI along with SS but they turn me down they also turn me down on Widow benefits said I told them I didn’t want it not once but twice I may not want it but I need it I’m struggling bad just to pay rent I have I to just suffer on other things I need I sure didn’t tell them I didn’t sure didn’t tell them I didn’t want it How can I get it

      • Stacy S.

        We’re sorry to hear about your experience, Hannah. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We encourage you to continue to work with your local Social Security Office. Or you can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We hope this is resolved soon.


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