Why do I have to say who lives with me and who pays the household bills when I am applying for SSI Disability?

By / March 3, 2016 / SSI Benefits / 1,036 Comments

Learn why, when you are applying for SSI Disability, you must tell Social Security who lives with you and who pays the household’s food & shelter costs.

Why Living Arrangements Matter When Applying for SSI Disability
Your living arrangement is one factor in determining your SSI eligibility and your payment amount when you are applying for SSI Disability. To be eligible for SSI Disability, in addition to meeting the disability qualifications and resource limits, your income, including in-kind income, must be within the income limits and you must be eligible based on your living arrangements. Social Security asks questions about where you live so that they can determine whether you are in a living arrangement that allows SSI payments and so that they can determine whether you are receiving in-kind support and maintenance from other members of the household. Food or shelter that you receive for free or for which you pay less than the fair market value is in-kind support and maintenance. All or part of its value is income used to reduce your SSI payment.

Living Arrangement Defined
For SSI your living arrangement is where you live, who else lives with you, and who pays for the food and shelter costs. You may live in a public or private institution such as a jail, a nursing home, or shelter, or you may live in a private residence by yourself or with others.

Residing in an Institution
If you are an adult, you may be eligible for a small amount of SSI if you live in an institution such as a nursing home where Medicaid pays more than fifty percent of your care. If you are a disabled child, you may be eligible for SSI if Medicaid and/or private insurance pays more than half of your care. The maximum Federal Benefit Amount for an individual residing in such a living arrangement is $30.00 monthly, though some states offer a supplementary payment. This modest amount is intended to cover incidentals that are not provided by the institution. The $30 maximum will be reduced by any countable income you have. For a discussion of countable income, visit our article When I Complete My SSI Application Form, It Asks Me to Declare My Income. Does All My Income Affect My SSI?

Regardless of your SSI disability status, you are not eligible for SSI disability benefits if you are residing in a public institution where Medicaid does not pay more than fifty-percent of your care. Examples of such institutions are jails, prisons, and some nursing homes. One exception is living in a public institution mainly to attend an approved education or job training program. Another exception is living in a publicly operated community residence that serves no more than sixteen people. Also, it’s worth noting that some publicly operated community residences are not considered public institutions.

Temporary Institutionalization
If you enter a medical facility and your physician expects you will be in the institution for ninety days or less and you need your SSI to maintain the living arrangement you had before you entered the institution, your SSI benefits may continue at the regular rate.

In-kind Support and Maintenance Defined
If someone pays for all or part of your rent, mortgage, utilities (excluding telephone), or food by paying the bills directly or buying the food, then you are receiving in-kind support and maintenance, which is a type of unearned income.

The maximum amount of in-kind support and maintenance that will be used to lower your SSI benefit is an amount equal to one-third of the SSI Federal Benefit Amount, plus $20. In 2017, one-third of the maximum is $245.00. This amount changes as the SSI Federal Benefit Amount increases due to cost-of-living adjustments. If you have no other income, the first $20 of support and maintenance will be excluded. See our article How Does the Social Security Administration Decide How Much SSI to Pay Me When I Get an SSI Approval? for information about cost of living adjustments.

If you live with your ineligible spouse and you both receive in-kind support and maintenance and there is income deemed to you, then the maximum amount of support and maintenance that can be charged is one-sixth of the Federal Benefit Amount, plus $10.00

In-kind Support and Maintenance When You Live Alone
Let’s look at an example of in-kind support and maintenance when a person lives alone. Your rent is $600 and your monthly electric bill is $60. You pay for your own food. A relative pays your electric bill directly to the power company and also pays $240.00 of your rent directly to the landlord. Here’s how your SSI payment would be calculated it you had no other income.

Your in-kind support and maintenance is $300.00 monthly paid shelter costs. One third of the Federal Benefit Amount, $245.00, is less than the $300.00 your relative is paying, so your countable support and maintenance would be $245.00 plus $20, or $265.00.

Support and Maintenance Calculation
$240.00     rent paid
+  60.00     electricity paid
$300.00     total in-kind support and maintenance

$735.00          Federal Benefit Amount
 /    3
$245.00     1/3 of Federal Benefit Amount
+  20.00
$265.00     chargeable in-kind support and maintenance (less than the actual support)

$265.00     chargeable in-kind support and maintenance because it is less than the actual support
–   20.00     general income exclusion
$245.00     countable in-kind support and maintenance

Benefit Calculation
$735.00     Federal Benefit Amount
– 245.00     countable support and maintenance
$490.00     SSI payable

Evaluating for In-Kind Support and Maintenance When You Live With Others
If you live only with people whose income may be deemed to you, you will not be charged with in-kind support and maintenance when they pay for your shelter and/or food. For an explanation of deemed income, please see our article Why Do I Have to Give Information about My Family’s Income and Assets When I Apply for SSI Benefits?

If you rent a room in a private residence and you do not share food and shelter costs, you may be considered to be living alone. However, if you live with people whose income and resources are not subject to deeming and you are not in a separate household paying room rent and eating separately or paying a flat rate for room and board, then the Social Security Administration needs verification of the amounts that the whole household pays for rent or mortgage, utilities, and food as well as the amount you contribute to those costs. They use this information to determine whether you are paying your share of food and shelter. If you are not, then you are receiving in-kind support and maintenance.

For example, let’s say that you live with your sister. You share an apartment and eat together. The total household cost for rent, utilities, and food is $1,600 a month. Your share is one-half or $800.00. Because you contribute $600 to these costs, you receive $200 monthly in support and maintenance. If you have no other income, the general income exclusion will be applied and $180.00 will be used to reduce your SSI benefit.

Now let’s change the example a little bit and say that your niece, who has no income, moves in with you and your sister. The expenses go up to $1,800. Now your share is one-third of the total costs or $600. You continue to contribute $600. Because you are paying your share, you are not receiving in-kind income from the other members of the household and your SSI will not be reduced for in-kind support and maintenance.

What about Homelessness?
If you are homeless you have the same rights and privileges when applying for SSI Disability as someone who is not homeless.

If you are eligible for SSI and don’t have a permanent address, you can have your benefits sent to a bank account, paid to a Direct Express® debit card, mailed to a third party, or paid to someone assigned as your representative payee. For an explanation of representative payees, see our article What Is a Social Security Disability Representative Payee? Everything in that article is applicable to SSI payees.

Except for some low-cost “safe haven” facilities, living free in a shelter usually results in support and maintenance and a reduction in payment amount. The rules for living in an institution are the same as for someone who is not homeless. That said, there are some publicly operated community residences that are not considered public institutions for SSI payment purposes.

We hope that this article has been helpful in clarifying the role living arrangements play in eligibility and payment when you are applying for SSI Disability. To understand your specific living arrangement in relationship to SSI, it is advisable to contact the Social Security Administration or to get guidance from a lawyer for Social Security and SSI.

Why do I have to say who lives with me and who pays the household bills when I am applying for SSI Disability?
2 (40%) 2 votes

  • Dear David,

    Your previous posts indicate that your son is sharing expenses in a shared home and is not a renter in your home. As such it is possible that the money your son gives you for shelter expenses is not income to you for tax purposes. Payment for food would presumably be reimbursement of what you spent on food for him, so that may not be taxable either. I suggest that you consult with a good tax accountant regarding whether or not you have to declare income on any of your son’s contributions.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tonydavid,

    1. If your son has enough income between his Supplemental Security Income back pay to pay his share for two months, his federal SSI will be increased to the maximum. From that point, if he has sufficient monthly income from both the federal SSI and the SSI state supplement to cover his share, he can use that money to pay his share on an ongoing basis.

    2. Usually people accomplish the move from the one-third reduction to paying their share and getting the increase is by using back benefits. Another way to do it is for your son to save us his monthly SSI benefits by not paying you anything for a few months. Then when he has enough saved to pay his share for two months, he can start paying his share and report it to SSA. His benefit will increase in the third month he pays his share. If he needs to do this, he should save the money in a bank account so that he can prove that he has the money available to pay his share.

    Your son’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KD00,

    You are correct; what your girlfriend pays does not affect your SSDI benefits. For her to get the increase to an unreduced SSI payment, she needs to pay half of all the shelter costs and half of food expenses if you share food. Her share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. Food expenses include only cash expenditure, not food stamp expenditure.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • KD00

      Thank you for the reply. Yeah, she’ll be paying half the rent, half the electric, and half the renter’s insurance, and we both get food. I didn’t think it would have any bearanance on my SSDI, but wasn’t 100% for sure. I guess she just needs to update them of our household arrangement and then she’ll see $735/month starting two months later. I read it takes two months for such a change. (?). They are back paying her May-Oct, but only in the amount of $490/month for those months. That makes sense because she didn’t pay half during those months nor did we have a “Bona Fide” agreement that she would pay for those months once she started getting SSI. We just agreed that she’d pay half of everything once her SSI started. Thanks again!

      • Dear Kdoo,
        Kay said you are welcome.
        Sincerely,
        Jane

  • Dear Jennifer,
    If you were giving your daughter cash, this will be counted as unearned income. You will have to provide the amount you gave her each month and Social Security will exclude the first $20.00 and use the balance to reduce her check. If you were paying the bills directly to the vendor’s, the maximum Social Security will deduct is $245.00. If you and your daughter had a bona fide loan agreement at the time you began to pay her bills, the income will be considered a loan and not income. This is a reference to bonafide loans https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501120220. You would have to provide any proof you have showing you and your daughter when you entered into a loan agreement with your daughter. If you stop helping her, and she pays her fair share of the shelter expenses (rent, utilities and food) Social Security will increase her check. When your income is within the SSI limits, income in one month counts in determining your daughter’s benefit two months later. This is called prospective accounting. There are two principle exceptions to retrospective accounting. The first is when your daughter first become eligible for benefits. At that time, all her income in the first payment month counts in that month. Then during the next two months any recurring (ongoing) income received in the first payment month counts again in the second and third months’ benefit calculations. After that retrospective accounting begins and the income she received in the second month counts in the fourth. For example, your daughter applied for benefits in March and benefits start in April. April’s income counts in determining your daughter’s benefits for April, May and June; then May’s income determines July’s benefit.
    If her boyfriend has any income and Social Security considers them holding out as husband and wife, that income could be used in determining her monthly benefits. If Social Security does not consider them as husband and wife, his income has no affect on her check. If he is paying more than his fair share of the household expenses that would be considered income to her also.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Miguelna,

    Disability Advisor provides information about federal disability programs and does not have the knowledge base necessary to answer detailed questions about individual states’ SSI state supplement programs. You should not be considered married or have anyone else’s income and resources deemed to your for federal SSI payments. I suggest that you contact your California social services office to find out about rules for supplements. If you are not confident of the answer you get or it is unfavorable, ask to see the governing regulations.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Diana Carmichael

    I am on disability and get ssi also. Will I lose my ssi, should I get married, even if my name isn’t on his bank account? Thank you for your time. God bless

    • Dear Diana,

      If you marry and live with your spouse, your spouse’s income and assets will be considered in determining your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability even if your name is not on his bank accounts. Accordingly, if your and your husband’s countable resources (assets) exceed $3,000, you will no longer be eligible for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Tonydavid,
    It would depend, if it is considered a training course to prepare for employment. Contact your local Social Security office and explain that he will be attending school and will receiving an internship from the program. Ask if he will be eligible for the student work exclusion. You will have to report his earnings as soon as they start.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Tonydavid,
    It can include grocery and restaurant bills. It is always better if you have receipts, but Social Security will take your monthly estimate without them. I suggest you keep receipts for large items that are purchased for your son.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Tonydavid,
    1. You can use some of his back pay to pay for shelter expenses for the last 11 months, but unless you had an agreement in effect at the time your son filed for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) his check will be reduced for in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) during that period. Food and shelter provided to an individual under the terms of a bona fide loan agreement are not counted as in-kind ISM and this is called a loan of ISM. The loan can be an oral or written agreement enforceable under State law, borrowed from someone in the household or outside the household, or borrowed as a one-time event or over a period of time. This a reference about loans of ISM https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500835482. If you and your son did not have a loan agreement effect at the time of filing , your son can begin paying his share when the checks begin and his check will be increased.
    2. You will use the actual cost for food to determine your son’s fair share.
    3. Social Security will ask you to provide an average of the shelter expenses (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage and rent) and food (if you share food). If your son pays one-fourth (his fair share) of these expenses, he will be eligible for the full benefit rate (FBR).
    4. It may be more difficult to prove your son is renting a room in your household, than to show he is able to share. Your son has to be in his own household within your household to show he is renting a room. Confusing I know, but it really means you don’t consider him to be part of your household and you mentioned he shares a bedroom with his brother. This is a reference for room rental (see section A 4) https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500835120.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Sharon,

    If you and your boyfriend both get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and no one else is living with the two of you, your and his SSI benefits would not be affected. Be prepared though to be questioned about whether or not you tell people you are married because if you hold out to the public that you are married, you will be treated as married and you and your boyfriend’s SSI will be reduced to $551.50 each, which is half of the couple rate. (If one of you has other income, the amount would be less.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    If your son is receiving $735 in SSI, be sure that he continues to pay for his shelter and food, otherwise his benefits will be reduced. If he can do that and have money left over for the health insurance premium, you can use part of his benefits to pay his premium. (If his benefit is already reduced to $490 because he is not paying for all his food and shelter, then obviously my previous warning about benefit reduction would not be applicable.) The insurance company can tell you how much his premium is, that is, how much the premiums would go down if he were not insured on the policy.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joe,
    Kay said you are welcome.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Ippon,

    First, if your daughter became disabled before age twenty-two and is unmarried, she may be able eligible for Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) on your earnings record. If she has worked enough and recently enough before her disability began, she can also apply for SSDI on her own earnings records.

    Lastly, to address your question, your daughter could potentially be eligible for $490 a month in Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is the maximum SSI rate for a person living in someone else’s household and receiving free food and shelter. Once she has SSI income, if she starts to pay either fair market value (FMV) for room or for room and board or starts to pay her share of shelter expenses (and food expenses if you purchase food together), her benefit will increase to $735 two months later. (These amounts apply if she has no other income.)

    Your daughter’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying FMV because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. The site will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Another possibility would be for her to buy her food separately and apply for SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps). Then she would only have to pay her share of shelter or FMV for room.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear James,
    The disability advisor said thank you.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear James,
    It is determined for all of you (5/6). You son’s payment is based on his parent’s income, resources and living arrangement. You and your family have to be paying your fair share also.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear James,

    Your question was not deleted – it was just not posted yet. Before a question is posted, it has to be reviewed and answered by a moderator who specializes in that issue. Please have patience.

    Sincerely,
    Disability Adviser

  • Dear AJ,
    Kay said you are welcome.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Karen,

    The month after you move out, your payment will be based on your new living arrangements. If you stay with someone because you don’t have enough money to rent your own place and you do not pay your share of shelter and food expenses, your benefit likely will be $490 a month. If you pay for your own shelter and food (with cash and/or SNAP benefits), your benefit would be $735. (If you live in a state that pays an SSI state supplement, the amounts would be a bit higher.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Larry,

    You have to file an application, which you can now start online at http://www.ssa.gov. As an aside, the benefits you are receiving are CDB (Childhood Disability Benefits) paid to disabled adult children not SSDI (Social Security Disability), which is a disability benefit paid on one’s own earnings record.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Dennis,
    If your and/or your wife are liable for rent or mortgage, and the only other people in the household are your three children, she should not be in a B living arrangement. Social Security will have to determine everyone’s fair share of the shelter expenses by taking the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. If you contribute enough to cover your share and your wife’s share of these expenses, her check should not be reduced for in-kind (non-cash) income from the children paying more than their share of shelter and/or food expenses. If her check was reduced, due to the living arrangement, you can file a reconsideration (SSA-561). Someone else will look at the case and make a new determination.
    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amounts are based on income received within a month. When income is within the SSI limits, income in one month counts in determining your benefit two months later. This is called prospective accounting because it uses your income in one month to figure out your payment amount two months later. For example, income that is within the limits and is received in March determines your SSI payment amount in May. One exception to retrospective accounting is the when you first become eligible for benefits. At that time, all your income in the first payment month counts in that month. Then during the next two months any recurring (ongoing) income received in the first payment month counts again in the second and third months’ benefit calculations. After that retrospective accounting begins and the income you received in the second month counts in the fourth. This may be what Social Security is referring to when you were told they are averaging your income.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • You are welcome, Sally.

  • Dear Sandi,

    You can right up a rental agreement between you and your mother for her to pay you a flat rate rent for a room in your home. For her to get an increase in her SSI, she would need to pay fair market value (FMV).

    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying FMV because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. The site will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount. I suggest that you print out the research you obtain to support your contention that your mother is paying FMV.

    After she has paid FMV for two months, her benefit will increase in the third month, but she should report as soon as she first pays the FMV because it takes some time for processing the report. An exception would be if, given her current income, your mother may need to apply for food stamps in order to be able to afford to pay FMV. You mother could present the same rental agreement to the food stamp office. If she will need food stamps to help with food costs, it might be better to apply for the food stamps and get that in place if needed to cover her expenses before reporting to Social Security.

    Note that if she does lose her SSI and Medicaid based on SSI eligibility, I suggest that she contact her local Medicaid office to see if she qualifies for Medicaid based on other criteria besides SSI eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Sally,

    If you consider your son part of your household, then to receive the maximum benefit, he must pay his share of shelter expenses and food (assuming you all share food). If now that he is an adult, you plan to treat him as a renter, he would have to pay fair market value (FMV) for room or room and board. If he has or will receive back pay, he can use that money to pay his share or FMV for two months until his benefit is increased.

    Your son’s share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Fair market value (FMV) for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying FMV because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. The site will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear AJ,

    If the credit union account never put the person over the resource limit, the report will have to effect on the claim. Just make a written statement that you did not know you had the account and just became aware of it and how you become aware. If it did put you over the limit at any time in the past and you have not yet been paid, you will not be paid for the months your resources were over the limit. If benefits have already been paid and you had months over the limit, you will be overpaid. When you get the overpayment notice, you could try to request waiver of collection on the basis of not being at fault in causing the overpayment (didn’t know you were over the limit) and not being able to afford to repay, if that is true.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tawanua,

    Living arrangements affect the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. It will also depend if the other person is receiving SSI or Social Security disability (SSDI . If the other person receives SSDI it will not affect the check. If the other person receives SSI each of you will have to pay your share of the shelter expenses and buy your own food or pay your share of the food to receive the maximum SSI of $735 . Your share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and ifrequired by the lender property insurance.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear Charles,

    You can live with your grandparents and their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will not be affected as long as you do not pay more than your share of shelter expenses (and food if you share food). Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tina,
    A flat fee for room and board is a form of rental liability. With flat fee, the individual maintains a separate household from the landlord and pays a flat rate for food and shelter. If he was receiving the full federal benefit rate (FBR) in the previous living arrangement due to paying a flat fee and now is no longer considered paying a flat fee, appeal the decision. Contact the Social Security Administration and request a reconsider (SSA 561 form ) to make the appeal. If denied request a hearing (SSA-501 form). You only have 60 days from the date of the notice to request this appeal.
    This is a reference to living arrangements and flat fees https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500835120.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • Dear David,

    You do not have to change your son’s status to a renter paying fair market value (going rate) for a room, but you can do so if you wish. If you keep him in sharing status as a member of your household, his share is the total shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food) divided by the number of people in the household regardless of age. Currently shelter expenses are only power, heat, water/sewer, garbage and property tax. If you are not your son’s representative payee, you can have him pay more than his share if he is willing, but he does have to pay at least his share to avoid reduction of benefits.
    Sincerely,
    Jane

  • You will have to file a new application for SSI. This will not be done automatically. Contact your local Social Security Office.

  • Dear Mary,

    If you knowingly don’t tell declare the income, you will be committing fraud to obtain a government benefit, which is not a good idea.If your rent and utilities take up most of the help you are getting from your father, it is likely that Medicaid will continue, especially because you are pregnant.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rebecca,

    Two-thirds of the child support counts and then another $20 is taken off the two-thirds amount. Again the lump sum payments count in the month received. You can try to apply for waiver of repayment if you think you are not at fault in causing the overpayment and you can’t afford to repay. You can get the waiver form at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-632.pdf.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rebecca,

    If you have no income and your disabled child’s father is not living in the household, having another child will not change your disabled child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment and you do not need to report it until the next redetermination. If the child support goes up or down, you do need to report that change.

    If the back pay is your child’s SSI benefits, that back pay will not count as a resource for nine months from when it was paid. After nine months if you have any left, it will count toward your child’s $2,000 resource limit. As long as total resources (savings and other assets) at that time are $2,000 or under, it is okay to still have some of the money saved. I suggest keeping receipts for how you spend the back pay if you spend some of it so you can show that your child no longer has it at the next financial redetermination of eligibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Isabel,

    The maximum federal SSI benefit is $735. Some states pay a small SSI state supplement. Your local Social Security office can tell you whether or not your state has a supplement. The maximum is paid if you have not other countable income including no in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of subsidized housing. When you move, if you share with someone, be sure to pay your share of shelter expenses so you can get the maximum benefit. Your share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. If you are eligible for an increase to the maximum when you move, the increase will occur two months after the change.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jackie,

    If your daughter pays fair market value (FMV) for her room as a renter or moves back as part of your household and pays her share of shelter expenses, her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be reduced.

    Her share is the total shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brock,

    Having no mortgage just reduces the shelter expenses so her share would be less. She can pay you for her share and you can pay the utilities and property taxes. However, it would be good for her to pay by check or money order payable to you to have proof of her contribution, and keep the utility bills.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brock,

    Your daughter does need to report a change of address because she is going to be away from her usual home for a full month. For her to receive unreduced SSI, she will need to pay her share of shelter and food while she is staying with you.

    Your daughter’s share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you will share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. If she does experience a reduction because she is unable to pay her share, the reduction will occur two months later. For example, if she arrives in mid-June and doesn’t pay her share for July and August, her SSI will be reduced in September and October, when she might be returning home. If that is the case, it would be a good idea for her save some of her SSI so she is sure she has enough to pay her share when she returns to her usual residence.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Craul2838,

    Your mother can request release of a larger amount of money. She can submit a copy of the paperwork from the landlord that shows the past due rent, an estimate from the dentist for the dentures and an estimate of the cost of a decent bed and basic clothing. If your mother is mentally capable, she can choose to pay at least half of the past due rent because that is her share of the rent.

    If you had an agreement that she would pay the other half of the rent when she got her SSI because you have been caring for her and, thus, couldn’t work, both of you can put that in writing. Add it all up and put that amount on the request. Whether or not money would be released for a car depends on the circumstances of how direly it is needed and, of course, the car would have to be in her name.

    And a thought for the future, you might check with your local state or county social services office to find out whether your state participates in the In-Home Health Services (IHHS) program. If so, you might qualify for a small wage for caring for your disabled mother.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, A.J.

  • Dear Colleen,

    The only way your income and assets will not count in determining your daughter’s eligibility for SSI is for her to not to live with you. If she goes to live with her father, then her father’s income would be counted. If she lives with another relative, neither parent’s income would count.

    You might be able to change how your name is on your father’s bank account so that you have power of attorney rather than your name being on a joint account. If all you have is power of attorney, you are only authorized to act to take care of your father’s money for him; you wouldn’t own it. You might discuss with Social Security whether if you made that change it would make a difference. You might also look into the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Information about CHIP can be found at http://www.ssa.gov.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angela,

    I suggest that you discuss the matter with Social Security to see whether they will approve furniture to store his clothing and provide a place for a bed lamp.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, A. J.

  • Dear Carrie,

    Your mother’s Social Security will not be affected by her stepdaughter living with her. Her SSI will not be affected if she pays her share of shelter expenses (and food if they share food). Her share is the total shelter expenses(and food expenses if they share food)divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Your mother does need to report if her stepdaughter moves in with her and she will be asked for proof of shelter expenses and a verification statement from the stepdaughter regarding how much each is sharing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear AJ,

    In order to avoid having the removal of your husband’s name from the account being treated as having given away money with the result of your being ineligible for SSI for a while, you must successfully rebut the assumption that the money in the account belonged to your husband as well as your daughter. If your husband is successful in rebutting ownership, which is also your basis for appealing the overpayment, then your husband would have nothing to transfer and removing his name would not be giving away money.

    To rebut, you and your husband need to submit a rebuttal statement addressing the following:

    1. who owns the funds;
    2. why there is a joint account;
    3. who made deposits to and withdrawals from the account; and
    4. how the your husband spent any withdrawals he made or a statement that he never made withdrawals.

    The statement should be made on a form SSA-795 that has a pre-printed fraud warning at the bottom.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Joan,

    I suggest that you file a forma appeal on form SSA-561 disagreeing with the fact of the overpayment based on the following:

    1. Federal income tax refunds are excluded from resources for twelve months after receipt. (State refunds are not.) The POMS reference for this is SI 01130.676, Provision A, which you can view at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130676.
    2. If your and your husband’s names on not on your other child’s account, it is not a countable resource. If your names are on the account as trustees but it is clear the money belongs to the other child, it should not count.

    I would not list the membership fee deposits because you can in fact withdraw the money and use it if you so choose to even if it would cause the other accounts to be closed. As such it is a resource.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, AJ.

  • Dear AJ,

    You do need to report everyone in your household regardless of the financial arrangement or who they are.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear AJ,

    Apologies, I did miss answering that question. Payment for jury duty is income for SSI and must be reported, but is it not earned income (work income) and earned income work exclusions do not apply. I have been unable to find a reference for working at a polling place, but it is likely to be the same. You do need to report the income. Depending on the amount received, it may be excluded (not counted) as irregular and infrequent income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear AJ,

    The Social Security representative should be able to itemize the resources that were counted and give the information to the attorney who is helping you with the appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear AJ,

    First, you must report everyone living in the same dwelling regardless of age or relationship. Other adults including adult children can live with you without affecting your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments as long as they do not pay more than their share of rent and shelter utilities. If you have minor children and your spouse has income, part of the spouse’s income is allotted for the support of the minor children before any is deemed for your support.

    Your child’s account with your husband’s name on it counts toward the resource limit. The reason is that because his name is on the account, he can legally (if not ethically) withdraw the funds and use them even if he doesn’t. That account may have caused the overpayment. Because five accounts were listed, I suggest that you and your husband ask the bank to identify all the accounts with your names on them, so you can identify the fifth account.

    I imagine that your attorney is helping you appeal the fact of the overpayment. You can also apply for waiver of collection of the overpayment based on the overpayment not being your fault and not being able to afford repayment. Without fault would be based on not realizing that there were other accounts in your or your husband’s names. Before taking action on requesting a waiver, I recommend discuss it with your attorney.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Michele,

    If your boyfriend receives SSDI, which is Social Security Disability and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), with whom he lives has no bearing on his payment amount. On the other hand, if he receives SSI, he needs to pay his share of shelter (and food if you share food) expenses to avoid having a reduction in benefits. His share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ann,

    As long as your daughter does not pay more than her share of shelter utilities (and food if you share food), her working will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Guess Who,

    Your question is a tax question. To get a correct answer, I suggest that you talk with a certified tax accountant or the IRS for clarification of the law.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Maritza,

    Yes, two people receiving SSI can live together. Split the rent and shelter utilities (and food if you share food) equally and neither or you will have a reduction in benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Pam.

  • Dear Pam,

    You can report this to the Social Security Administration and they investigate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Silver,

    If you are over age eighteen your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be affected by your mother’s change in income. However, if you are unmarried and became disabled prior to age twenty-two, you may be able to receive Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) on your mother’s earnings record. CDB are payable to disabled adult children who became disabled before age twenty-two. If you are eligible for CDB, your SSI will be reduced or terminated depending on how much the CDB is. (You will not end up with a lower income.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Karin,

    Given that you do not have income, your second son working does not affect your disabled son’s benefits even if you second son is a minor. As long as you non-disabled son does not pay more than his one-fourth share of rent and shelter utilities, he can contribute to household expenses and not affect the SSI benefit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    If the individual is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, only a few kinds of income affect payment amount: workers compensation, certain types of public pensions, and short-term state disability insurance. Otherwise, a disabled person can receive SSDI based on the Social Security taxes he or she paid while working.

    If the person is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), direct payment of television and phone service would not affect payment of benefits because neither a phone or TV provide shelter or food. It is fairly likely that the payment of the rent or mortgage on the condo is countable income for SSI; however, even if the direct payment for shelter is countable income, the person could be eligible for a reduced amount of SSI. In other words, the person may have reported everything and still be eligible for a small SSI payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tin,

    I am unclear about the amount of income your mother has given the way you listed it; however, I can provide some general information. Your mother’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) will not change when she moves. If her SSDI is $415, her SSI could increase to $330 for total income of $755. The increase will occur two months after the move if she pays all her own shelter and food expenses.

    If currently your mother’s monthly income is not high enough to pay her own rent and shelter utilities and food (with or without food stamps) and she does not have savings she can use to cover the costs for two months, one way to get the SSI increase is to stop giving you any money for her shelter and food in your household until she has enough saved for two months of electricity and rent at $500 rent. (If you pay $50 on the electricity, SSI will be reduced by $50). If she decides to save up to move, she should do so in a bank account to prove that savings are available for two months expenses in the new apartment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bruce,

    The $1,170 work earnings “limit” applies to the disabled person’s work activity and is related to whether or not the person has the ability to perform substantial gainful activity, that is, whether or not the person is disabled.

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are calculated based on family income. I am not sure what the $745 you mention refers to. If your wife has no income and you do not have minor children in the household and you have $1,600 gross wages a month, I calculate your wife’s SSI monthly benefit would be about $345. (The first $85 of your earnings and have of the excess are excluded as a work incentive, plus $368 is allocated for your support, which leaves $389.50 income deemed (considered available) for the support of your wife. The maximum SSI of $735 is then reduced by $389.50 and then rounded down to the next lower dollar, which is $345.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tammy,

    I understand that your son is buying his food separately. If so and if his payment of $300 plus whatever he pays for the Internet is fair market value (FMV) for a room rental with Internet service, his benefit should not be reduced for in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from you.

    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in yourgeographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in his area and/or by choosing a state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. HUD will not list rooms, but it will list studio (efficiency) one-room apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Gerry Zandarski

    How does having ssdi and having a roomate effect my benifits I have a baby on the way with my gf but am afraid if we move in together if ill lose my benifits she has a son as well

    • Dear Gerry,

      If you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) and not SSI (Supplemental Security Income), who you live with will not affect your benefits. Also, when your child is born, he or she may be eligible for Social Security dependent benefits payable on your earnings record. You can call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and request the amount of your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB). If it is more than your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is benefit before reduction for taxes or Medicare premiums, your child will be eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Denise,

    You and your mother can buy a house together if you can afford it with your combined incomes. Your mother’s and your son’s shares of shelter expenses will be one-third each because there are three of you in the household. If you have no income, they would be supporting you paying your share. As long as they each pay their share and no one outside the home pays any of the costs, your mother’s benefit will not decrease and after two months your son’s benefit will increase to $735. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. (If you share food including being on the same food-stamp grant, they must each also pay one-third of the food cost.)

    Note that if someone else pays the down payment on the property to help you get into it, that would be income to all of you in the month it was paid; but if it was paid directly to the seller, your mother’s reduction would be just to $490 for one month and your son’s would remain $490 that month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Rand,

    Your parents do not have to live with anyone as long as they can pay for their own shelter and food expenses including shelter utilities with their income. (They may qualify for SNAP benefits [food stamps] if they do not already receive that assistance. Also, family can pay for such things as a phone, TV cable, or clothing without affecting their benefits as long as those things are paid for directly with no money given to your parents.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Brenda,

    If no one is paying for the rent or utilities directly to the landlord or utility companies, your mother’s SSI should not have been decreased when her grand-daughter moved in. She should appeal the reduction right away.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    I suggest separate checks for clarity and it is reasonable for him to pay for his share of phone and cable.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cruella,

    Please see my reply at the other location you posted your question.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Alicia.

  • Dear Alicia,

    Social Security assumes that the living arrangements (who is in the home and who pays the shelter and food costs) will remain the same until your report the next change; so, no, you do not have to report the figures every month. Just make sure he is paying his share.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Zafar,

    You and your son might qualify for government-subsidized housing. If you wish to investigate that possibility, contact your closest housing authority or social services office to find out how to apply.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cyrena,

    If you receive SSDI (Social Security Disability) and not SSI (Supplemental Security income) benefits, having a roommate will not affect your SSDI payments and you can set up the finances any way you want. If you are receiving SSI and there are just the two of you in the apartment, then the roommate can pay up to half the rent and utilities and not affect your SSI payment. (Whether you receive SSDI or SSI, of your lease says you are the only resident, then you have the obligation to let the landlord/lady know that you are taking a roommate.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jamie,

    Your wife receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not affect your sister’s SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ben,

    Please see my response to your earlier posting of this question.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Janet,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amounts are determined on a month-by-month basis. For the months that your mother gave your $750, you will have countable income of $730, which in 2016 would allow a $3 a month payment. During the months that you were homeless, depending on the circumstances, you will likely be eligible for either $490 or $735. When you get into your own place, if you pay for your expenses yourself, your federal SSI payment will be $735.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear DarthBinge,

    Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit amount is based on your work history, so it will not change when your expenses go up.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    Yes, that is correct.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Malcolm,

    It depends. If the people living in the apartment are roommates sharing expenses, he may be collecting enough to cover their share of shelter utilities that are not included in the rent. The shelter utilities are power, heat, water/sewer and garbage. It is also possible that part of what he is collecting is for their share of cable. If any of those things are true, it could be that money he is collecting will not affect his Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he is actually receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), whatever the business arrangement is, it would not affect his SSDI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    I assume from the information you have provided that your son is an adult. My response is based on that assumption. If your son is sharing expenses and his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit is based on his paying his share, yes, you would need to report the change in living arrangements and re-figure his share based on three people in the household and have your son pay his share. (If you were sharing food, the total expenses for the household would go down and the utilities might drop a little as well, but the percentage of his share would increase.)

    On the other hand, if your son is a renter in your house and Social Security is paying him based on his paying fair market value (FMV) for room or room and board, his rent does not have to change because he is not part of the household and is not sharing.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Diane,

    First, it is important that you do not falsify information given for your daughter’s claim.

    If your shelter and food expenses did not go up with your move and if your daughter was paying her share of expenses before the move, she should still be getting an unreduced $735.

    Her share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    You could reasonably go back and change the figures after you have kept records of the actual expenses in your new home. Doing this for several months would give you an average although you are in the middle of the expensive winter heating months. Keep all your grocery receipts to document food expense. (To make that easy, have the cashier ring up one total for food and another total for anything else, such as cleaning supplies or paper products that you purchase.) When you think you have a good year-round estimate, your daughter can request a redetermination of her living arrangements.

    The way to overcome the problem of her not having enough monthly income to pay her share now that the SSI has been reduced would be to have her save up her benefits by not contributing to expenses at all for a few months. She should save enough to be able to pay her share for at least two months–three would be better to allow for processing time once she reports that she is paying her share. The saving should be in a bank account so that she can present proof of having the money available.

    All that said, if her share if more than $735, she will never be able to pay her share. If her share is for example $800 and she contributed her whole check, her SSI would be reduced by $45 ($65 in-kind support and maintenance reduced to $45 by the $20 general exclusion.)

    If it is not possible for her to pay her share, another option would be for her to become a renter or a renter and boarder in your home. Such a switch would be more plausible if shebecame a renter bought her own food , which if she is a renter could result in her qualifying for SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps). To received unreduced SSI, she would have to be paying fair market value (FMV) for her shelter.

    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount. Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Frances,

    Because you do not support your girlfriend, you do not need to list her.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Scott,

    Please see my response of yesterday to your first posting of this question.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Scott,

    An SSI recipient can rent space in a private home and be considered a separate household. It is a little harder when switching from part of the household to not part of the household in the same residence. However, if she is responsible for her own food, that helps to support a rental relationship.

    For her SSI to go up as a renter, she has to pay fair market value (FMV) for rent. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount.

    Note that if you collect rent from her as a renter that might be income you have to declare on your income tax, so I suggest that you check with a tax accountant on that point.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mark,

    If your son pays you fair market value (FMV) for living on your boat or for renting a room in your house, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will not be reduced. If you are providing food also, then the amount he pays for room and board would have to be FMV for both.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.
    FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount. Depending on the kind of boat, FMV for renting a boat as a residence might be hard to come by; however, if it is a small boat may room rental rate would apply or if it is larger a camper or mobile home rate might be applicable.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Theresa,

    You do not have to report the income of the person you live with.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Theresa

      Thank you Kay!

  • Jill

    If my daughter pays me rent from her disability payment, do I need to report that as rental income on my taxes?

    • Dear Jill,

      I suggest that you check with a tax accountant or the IRS for a reliable answer to your tax question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    Yes, if your daughter is paying her share in March, the increase in SSI will start in May.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Shannan Griffin

    I applied for as I and disability a while ago. I have many medical issues. My husband is my caregiver and he had to leave his job to help me and to take care of our daughter too. We had to move in with his mom. We were told that if he goes back to work we would loose my case or not get as much due to needing him as much as I do. But we also need to get out of this house due to safety concerns for us. What are options. My hearing Is scheduled for July. Thank you.

    • Dear Shannan,

      Your husband working will not affect whether or not you are approved medically. If you also have a claim for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your husband’s work earnings may or may not affect the amount of SSI you are eligible for; it depends on how much he earns. The first $85 are not counted nor half of the excess above $85 a month. Additionally, an allotment of $369 is excluded for his own support and and another $369 the support of your daughter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Zenny,

    Please see my response to your first post. With your daughter paying her share of shelter expenses and buying her own food or paying her share of food also and with $1,000 gross earnings, she would be financially eligible for $278 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI). (The first $85 of her earnings and half of the excess is excluded. The balance, $457, is subtracted from the maximum $735 to arrive at the $278 payable.)

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Jamie,

    Your wife becoming eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not affect your sister’s SSI.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Nan,

    Someone living with you and not paying any of the shelter expenses or any of your food will not affect your Supplemental Security Income. As long as you are not married, their income isn’t considered in determining your eligibility. You do need to report the change in living arrangements when the person moves in.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mary,

    Your boyfriend’s income does not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment because you are not married. If when he gets income he pays more than his share of the shelter and food expenses, his excess contribution would cause your benefit to be decreased. His share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    Yes, it would not hurt to include the statement now; however, when your daughter turns eighteen and he actually stops paying those bills, you need to report the change and have him sign a statement at that time saying that he actually stopped.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Pam,

    Whether or not your husband lives with you and your daughter, if your daughter pays her share of the shelter expenses, her SSI will increase to $735. Her share is the total shelter expenses and food expenses if you share food divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    I can’t say whether the children’s SSI will increase because I do not know the cause(s) of the reduced benefits. I suggest that you clarify with Social Security whether your children are being charged with in-kind (non-cash) income from the living arrangement and if so how much. That amount is the amount you could expect the SSI to increase if you move out and if your other income doesn’t make them ineligible. You might also try to find less expensive housing by finding a roommate to share costs when you move.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angela,

    You only have to show proof of your income. You do not have to prove where you spend your income.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Cary,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not require a work history or paying of Social Security taxes. Your son can apply and your income and the number of children in the household and their income will be considered, but your boyfriend’s income and assets will not.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Angela,

    Yes, the primary purpose of SSI benefits is to pay for housing, utilities, and food.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mandy,

    Now that your son is eighteen years old, he is an adult and is not part of your nuclear family for purposes of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. This means that if he does not pay his share of shelter expenses (and food if you share food), he is getting in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance from you, which is a form of income.

    Now that he has SSI, you can use his income to try to pay his share and report it to Social Security so he can get a raise. His share is the shelter (and food if you share food) expenses divided by the number of people in the household (four). Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. If the family gets food stamps, his share of the food stamps is part of his contribution. After he has paid his share for two months, his benefits will be increased.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • mandy koons

      Thanks Kay! I did what you said and showed proof of expenses. My son has actually started applying for a job and he is also going to IMA for an apt. To see if her qualifies for benefits now as an adult. Should he keep his IMA apt even though he has a start date for employment just in case his disability causes him not to be able to keep the job? He is adhd but he also has a ” specific learning disability” and he learns different than others and needs more help to catch on to stuff.
      I also have another question, concerning myself. I am also on disability because of multiple medical issues one being lupus and I get $750 a month roughly to live off of. I have 3 kids I only had 1 when I was first found disabled. Is social security to raise the monies I get to help me support my other kids? Before my son was disabled I got money from assistance office to help support my son but that stopped once he received SSI.

      • Dear Mandy,

        It seems prudent for your son to keep his housing if he continues to be eligible for it with his new work earnings.

        I suggest that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out the amount of your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB). If it is more than your benefit before withholding for Medicare or taxes (your Primary Insurance Amount), your minor children will be eligible for Social Security dependent benefits. If it is not or if the dependent benefits are low, I suggest that you apply for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) to see whether you can get some support for your other children.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Dear Cyndi,

    You can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) now. If you do not have resources (assets) over $2,000 and you pay your share of shelter expenses, you will be eligible for SSI benefits to supplement your Social Security childhood disability benefits (CDB, not SSDI).

    Your share is the shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household (six). In your situation, shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and property tax (annual rate divided by twelve months).

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shaina,

    Please see my response of earlier today to your first posting.

    If you are now able to work, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits while you look for a job. If so, be sure to report the income to SSA and also let them know that you are then paying all your own rent and shelter utilities. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Shaina,

    If there are two of you in the household, any in-kind (non-cash) payments of your rent in the amount of $520 or more will cause a reduction to $490. For every dollar less than $520 will result in an SSI increase of $1 two months after you start the decrease in support occurs . (Note that if the landlord reduces the rent to an amount lower than fair market value (FMV), he will be subsidizing your rent and that will be income to you, the same as your parents’ paying it directly.)

    If you start paying enough on the rent to reduce the in-kind below $520 (half counted as your income and half as your son’s), you can report the change and get an increase. Then when you get the increase, you can increase the amount of rent you pay yourself and report another change that will result in an SSI increase. Theoretically, you can keep doing that until you are or your son is paying all your shelter costs and SSI goes up to $735, but this won’t be possible unless you live in a state that pays an SSI state supplement or you get another job. The reason is that your rent is more than the maximum federal SSI benefit.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear CamQuinn,

    First, you receive Social Security Disability so who lives in your home or pays expenses in your home does not affect your benefit or your child’s Social Security dependent benefit. Your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit will not be affected by your daughter living in the household because she is only paying for her own food. That said, you do need to report that she is in the household and buying her own food. (As an aside, if you all want to share food, you could investigate what the impact on your food stamps would be if you shared food. Would your food stamps go up or down? What would happen if she received IHSS income (see below) versus being paid by you now.)

    With regard to getting compensation for your daughter’s services, check with your state or county social services office to find out whether your state participates in the In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program, which pays a small salary to individuals caring for a severely disabled relative.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vicki,

    You do not have any recourse through the Social Security Administration. You could tell your boyfriend and his mother that you will report the non-payment to Social Security, which would cause him to have an overpayment that would be withheld from future checks if he does not give you money for the months he didn’t pay for his shelter. I am not recommending that course of action, just mentioning it as a possibility.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KK,

    Yes, you can use the child support and continuing SSI benefits to pay your son’s share of household expenses.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Melissa,

    In order to receive unreduced Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, your friend either has to pay you fair market value for the room she rents or for room and board (if you are sharing food) or she has to pay half of the shelter (and food costs if you are sharing food) costs. Her share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Ashley,

    Your friend’s share of shelter expenses and, if you share food, food is one-third with three people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. If the friend is paying half, he is paying more than his share and his benefits should not have been reduced. Your husband can file a request for reconsideration on the basis that in-kind support is not being received.

    Note that as payee, your husband cannot collect more than one third for shelter (and food if shared) from his friend’s check. He can use the friend’s benefits to pay the friend’s share of cable and shared household supplies. Otherwise the money should go for the friend’s personal needs, which could include paying for gas for transportation to doctor appointments, etc.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Becca,

    Assuming that are all mentally competent, the neighbor can charge their renters any amount that they agree on for room and board.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Tiffany,

    Because you are not married, your boyfriend’s income and assets do not affect your or your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Nonetheless, you do need to report that he moved in and how much he will be contributing to household expenses.
    As long as he does not pay for more than his share of shelter expenses and, if you share food, his share of food, his living with you will not affect your or your son’s benefits.

    His share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household or one fourth. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Amber.

  • Amber

    My son receives Ssi and lives with my boyfriend and I. I have my son and daughter but he is not their father and we are not married. I didn’t work for a year to take care of my son’s needs and just started working in November. My boyfriend has worked the entire time and continues to work. Are they allowed to include his income?

    • Dear Amber,

      Your boyfriend’s income should not be considered in determining your son’s SSI payment amount because you are not married and, therefore, he is not your son’s stepfather. He is. however, supporting your son. This means that your son’s SSI should be reduced by the amount of his share of shelter and food expenses up to a maximum of $245 ($244.67 in 2016).

      Your son’s share is the total shelter and, if you all purchase food together food expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear Tiffany,

    Please post your specific questions and we will try to answer.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear J.G.,

    Please see my response to your first post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear K.,

    If your father is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and not SSD aka SSDI (Social Security Disability), your paying rent to your father could affect his SSI. If depends on the circumstances and how they relate to SSI law. If you were in the same household sharing expenses and you didn’t pay more than your share, what you paid would not affect his benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Glenn,

    The $100 that you paid for your daughter’s mortgage would be income to her because you would not be living in the condo receiving shelter from the $100 you spent; only she would benefit. If she has no other income than Supplemental Security Income (SSI), her SSI would go down by $80.

    If the home owners association fees do not include utilities, you could pay the fees directly and your payment would not affect your daughter’s SSI because the fees are not shelter or food. You could also pay for her phone, household and personal supplies, and other non-shelter, non-food expenses directly, thus freeing up some of her money for the rest of the mortgage. Do note, however, that property insurance is also a shelter expense if required by the lender.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Chris,

    If I understand correctly, your son is not receiving SSI now because of the bank account and you plan to gradually use it for him to pay for his food and housing costs so that he is not giving it away (moving it out of his control) to become eligible for SSI. My response is based on that understanding.

    If you were receiving benefits for your son as a representative payee, you could charge him his share of shelter expenses as a member of your household or treat him as a roomer (and boarder if you provide food) and charge him fair market value for room and board.

    Your son’s share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

    Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount. Keep records of every payment that he makes to you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Linda,

    No federal law exists that requires you to provide a home for your son.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Mo,

    Your brother’s living arrangements will not affect his Social Security Disability (SSDI) entitlement. If you wait to buy the house until the SSI monthly benefits stop due to ongoing SSDI, you will not have to report any living arrangement changes.

    If you use any of your brother’s benefits to buy the house, you should put his name on the property as an owner with you; otherwise you will be misusing his funds by converting them into property that only you own. Whether you purchase the property all with your own money or with some of his, you can use his funds to cover his share of monthly expenses. Keep records and receipts of how you spend his money because you will be asked to report annually.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KK,

    Let me clarify. For him to receive unreduced Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he has to pay he share. His share can be any amount as long as he pays it. If he cannot pay his share, the amount of income that is charged is the difference between his share and what he pays. If that difference is more than $264.33, only $264.33 will be charged. If the difference is less, he can submit documentation of the expenses and his payment and have a reduction less than $264.33.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Shay.

  • Dear Shay,

    The simplest solution is to prove that your boyfriend does not live with you. Ask him to provide proof of where he lives. If he is homeless, he can make a statement to that effect and possibly get a statement from an administrator of any shelters he’s stayed at.

    Both of you can make written statements that he does not live with you or make any contribution to your or your son’s expenses. Lastly include that you are not married, so his income and assets are not material to your son’s claim even if he were living with you.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear KK,

    You are correct, your son paying for his personal expenses is not the same as paying for his shelter and food. If he does not pay his share of shelter expenses and food, he will be charged with $264.33 in-kind income of which $20 is excludable. That means that his benefits will be reduced to $488.67 unless you can rebut the amount and show that his share of shelter and food is less than $264.33. His share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Katie

    Dear Kay,

    We are parents/legal guardians of our 18 year old Autistic son. (Not sure if us being his legal guardians even though our son is an adult changes anything with SSI or not. We had to send in a copy of our guardianship papers from the court.) He was approved for SSI and we were given a statement of household expenses and contributions form to fill out to determine our son’s share to pay us for rent. We have a very low monthly mortgage payment ($475 including property tax etc.) and a large family (7). I understand our son’s fair share is 1/7th of our mortgage, food, electric, gas, water, garbage, sewage. Does he only contribute the 1/7th to household expenses or can he contribute more? If so, how much more? Thanks in advance for your help. Katie

    • Dear Katie,

      I’ll start with a tiny detail. If “etc.” doesn’t include property taxes, list the property taxes as part of the shelter expenses.

      As representative payee, you are charged with using your son’s money only for him. This means that he should not be contributing more than his share to the shelter and food expenses. However, he can also pay his share of toilet paper, dish soap, laundry soap and all household supplies. If the family has cable TV or Internet that he uses or the family takes a vacation, he can pay his share of those things as well. And, of course, you can use the money for his clothing, hygiene items, entertainment, job training if that is possible for him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Katie

        Thank you for your help.

  • SOPHIE LILY WEINSTEIN

    Dear Kay,
    I fled from the Inland Empire which is a large geographic region outside of LA due to LACK of medical care to NJ. In NJ I am getting $500. They magic up $224 in support that I don’t have. I am an independent party. How can I get my back into the job force at a financial institution on $500 a month. I have bills like everyone else and you can’t exactly roll up to an interview/meeting or networking event in clothes from the thrift store. I DO WANT TO BE ON DISABILITY BUT THEY MAKE DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OF DISABILITY.

    SOPHIE LILY WEINSTEIN

    It’s a pleasure to connect. My name is Sophie Lily Weinstein. I am 32 years old. In advance I apologize for the e-mail turning into a book, but please stay with me.

    I recently fled the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire which is large geographic area neighboring LA in Southern California to Bayonne, NJ to get medical care to literally save my life which was not possible in California as well as logistical considerations because I cannot drive due to seizures. I have to fight Social Security in an Appeal for Reconsideration to get the max payment of $733. I am determined to get off disability. I am absolutely disgusted by the imposed capital controls and the depth of depravity.

    HUD’s methodology to determine FMV is convoluted. Free market principals is what our economy is based on, supposedly….. . Supply and demand in the marketplace is most basic and fundamental macroeconomic principals, yet HUD and Social Security conveniently ignores these principals. For example, a business arrangement is two or more independent parties coming together to determine an outcome which is in their best interests. The Social Security Administration’s idea of a “business arrangement” is the absolute furthest thing from an actual business arrangement. Government has no place in such negotiations nor the right to pervert them, which is exactly what the Social Security Administration does to fulfill their own agenda, rather than being a services to people.

    HUD’s methodology negates FMV of actual supply and demand in the marketplace, “because it is much easier to update two bed room estimates and to use pre-established cost relationships…” In section IV, “HUD no longer has sufficient resources to conduct local survey of rents.” HUD’s methodology is designed to create a self-serving outcome, which is to ensure that Social Security can deduct as much money as possible from payments.

    This morning I pulled together 26 comps for Nov 20 in just Hudson county. I stopped at 26 because there are hundreds. The 26 comps is an incomplete data set, but I will complete the data set using on actual macroeconomic principals based in reality during the month of November, rather than convoluted calculations. The average rent for a room in Hudson County is $400-$475 with utilities & Wi-Fi included. Out of the 26 comps pulled thus far, four rooms where $450 a month in Hoboken and Jersey City which offered maid service, maintenance, Netflix, WiFi and parking. A room in Hoboken for $455 a month included utilities, Wi-Fi, large closet, private bathroom and a private office/den.

    I am absolutely qualified to do such an analysis. I have my BA from Penn State, JD from Columbia where I focused on monetary and tax policy domestically & internationally, I am certified by Wharton in financial & quantitative modeling, and while I had to defer due to health reasons I am technically a MBA candidate at Harvard. I am on disability because I am sick, not retarded.

    I will be requesting a “Formal Conference” for my appeal. I can request help/support/experts etc to prove my case, and I will be doing just that. Individuals asked to testify are required to do so. My analysis of fair market value for individual rooms for rent needs to be excepted at the formal conference for my appeal. It is critical that my pro-forma be rightfully supported as it will be right.

    I have reached out to Congressman Payne. I will be meeting with him and Michael Gray, who is the Director of Constituent Services. The Congressman’s office is opening up an inquiry into my case. I will continue to reach out and advocate for myself at the highest levels. I am a formidable opponent.

    Every person in the world is entitled to a fundamental set of human rights that allow him or her to live in dignity and self respect. Our societies most vulnerable people, are painted with an extremely broad brush, labeled as well fair queens, free loading off entitled programs; regarded as less than human, voluntarily peripheral, marginalized, stereotyped and cast typed as societal drains who are NOT entailed to even the basic of human rights:
    1. Equality
    2. Education
    3. Freedom from Exploitation
    4. The right to free expression
    5. The freedom of choice

    The endless diatribe of talking head macerating as experts, perpetuating the myth that poverty in this country is primarily cyclical within certain groups due to individual recklessness, thoughtlessness and irresponsible choices, and if up pull up your boot traps, you too can attain the “American Dream” In reality, poverty is a perpetuate systematic trap designed to keep people exactly where they are, trapped. Human suffering is extremely profitable, but the third world conditions individuals are forced to live in is unconscionable. This can be no better seen in the myriad of Social Security laws and regulations whose sole purpose is to exploit the weak, prevent freedom of choice and social & economic equality.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sophie,

      Your room-for-rent research should be adequate to prove fair market value (FMV). It is always better than statistics. However, in some areas of the country, few rooms are rented and proof of FMV from ads is hard to come by. in that situation, the best that can be done is to rely on the most recent HUD statistics even if they are outdated.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Vicki Blue

    For a while I was homeless. Then SSI finally approved my benefits. My case worker delights in telling me that this is welfare and not actual disability. Once my payments began I was able to rent a room. The woman I rented from had several problems. Her husband had just passed and she found out she was going to lose the home they shared. I told her I would move out. This upset her as it was a loss of income. I explained to her that I needed a stable living arrangement. We did not part on best of terms. When I gave Social Security my address my landlady had to supply a letter to them stating that I did rent a room there, my move in date, how much my rent was and that I supplied my own food. I have since found another room to rent. This time my case worker wants a letter from my landlord stating age, DOB, social number, my move in date, relationship to me, whether the home is owned or has a mortgage, if a mortgage how much it is, How much each utility is for a month, whether employed or on Social Security, etc. I don’t know any of this. I kept asking why my old landlord had been handled differently than the new one. Finally, she said it was because my new landlord is a male. I kept telling her I barely know this man. I am not in a relationship with him. Then she asked me if I had been in a relationship with my past female landlord. She said that upon looking at things that I now needed to get the same information from my last landlord. I explained to her that my past landlord is not going to do me any favors and that is if I can even locate her since she lost the house. She started to end our phone call and I asked her how much time I had to try to get these 2 letters. She said 2 weeks and then my benefits would be terminated should she not receive the letters. She said she was marking my case with some sort of alert flag. The man I am renting the room from is very upset and about ready to ask me to move out over this. I really need any advice you could give me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vicki,

      I suggest that you politely ask to speak to a supervisor. If asked for the reason, say that you are being asked for information that is not required by law. With regard to both residences, you were renting a room, not sharing expenses; therefore, no mortgage or utility information is needed. If you and he were sharing expenses, then evidence of the rent or mortgage and shelter utilities would be in order but not when you are renting a room.

      What is needed is a statement from your current landlord that is the same as was initially requested from your prior landlady: dates moved in (and out in the case of the former landlady), that you are renting a room and buying your own food, and how much you pay per month. Also, even if you were in a “relationship” with your current landlord, unless you are married to your current landlord, his vital statistics, Social Security number, date of birth, etc. do not have to be submitted.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Paula

        Kay, actually, the utilities and mortgage is important information for SSA. Even with renting a room, they take all the expenses into account, split them by how many people are in the house, to figure up if you are paying your fair share of the expenses. IF NOT, then it is considered In Kind help and can decrease the amount you receive from SSA for the SSI. Here is a link to their page, if you scroll down to the area talking about living arrangements and look at example C. It uses brothers, but does talk about the expenses and being split up. https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-living-ussi.htm

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Paula,

          You are correct if everyone in the residence is part of the same household. There are, however, other circumstances in which people rent a room and a renter-landlord relationship exists. When this occurs the SSI recipient who is renting the room is not part of the landlord’s household. In that circumstance, the landlord’s expenses are irrelevant and proof of the landlord’s expenses is not needed. Instead, the SSI recipient has to prove that he or she is paying fair market value (FMV) for the housing. If FMV is not being paid, in-kind support and maintenance is charged.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Kim J

    Hi Kay,
    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer my question. My situation is a tad bit complicated I am married and a have 2 children under the age of 18 still in the home and I have a 19 year old who is on disability still in the home and still in high school until May 2017
    . My husband works full-time and I am currently waiting on my disability interview in December. We own our own home we also have a home equity line of credit that we are using right now to build a shop on our property for my husband’s personal use (I would think this line of credit is a liability and not an asser since it is a loan?)
    We are also considering building a small guest house on our property for my mother to live in as she is elderly and I want her close by.
    My question is this, what would be the best way to go about this that would not disqualify me for SSI? I do not qualify for SSDI ad i did not work enough in the past years so I have to go to the SSI route. If we build a small guest home on our property will that be counted as a resource and will the shop also count as a resource? Both of these buildings will be tied into our home with the same water and electricity. They are not separate and are not able to be separated from her home as they share the same electricity and water lines and septic lines. Because of this comma would they still be considered part of the home we live in? Thank you so much for your time this is very confusing to me
    Kim

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      You are right; the line of credit is a liability, not an asset. All the buildings on the same parcel of property or adjacent parcels are part of your “home” and excluded. If you collect rent from your mother-in-law, that will be income to either you, to your husband, or to both of you depending on who is on the deed to your property.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Portlyn

    Hello,

    My brother is on disability due to a severe stroke. He was living with my mother who recently passed away. We moved him into an apartment but has had seizures since he has been on his own. The hospital, on two occasions, has recommended he not live on his own. My fiance and I have been looking at houses and are thinking about looking at a house a bit larger and moving him in allowing him to pay rent in the same amount he’s paying now. This would allow us to take better care of him. I am just starting to research all of this and I honestly don’t know where to start. Is there assistance with this kind of thing? Can I claim income in order for my loan to go through etc.? I appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Portlyn,

      As long as your brother pays fair market value (FMV) for his room, which he presumably would if he pays the same as when he was living alone, and either buys his own food or pays you FMV for room and board, his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be reduced. (If your brother receives Social Security Disability–SSD aka SSDI–living with you will not affect his benefits under circumstances.) I would think you could list the rental income you receive from your brother as your income on a loan application.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Portlyn Roberts

        Thank you Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Portlyn.

    • Shawn

      My son turns 18 soon and he has two CDs that mature on that day…how will that effect my SSI?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Shawn,

        You should have already declared the certificates of deposit (CDs) when you applied for your son. If you did and he was within the resource limit and they have not gained a great deal in value, his resources will probably still fall below the $2,000 limit. When the CDs mature, he will have to decide how he wants to invest the money, whether to spend some of it, etc. The only thing that is prohibited by the SSI program is giving it away. Whatever he decides, I suggest that he keep records of the cashing of the CDs (or rolling them over) and of where the money went, so he can document his resources for his claim.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Tabath

    Hi I have a question I was approved for ssi but have my interview coming up . I’m trying to figure out how this works money wise . My husband left me and my mother is moving in were going to slit the cost in half . But all I get right now is 360 in child support do they use that and ate they going to give me the least amount couse I can’t pay half tI’ll I get ssi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tabatha,

      Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be calculated considering your husband’s income for months that you are medically eligible for SSI and you were together. When you and your mother live together, your SSI will be reduced because you have no income to pay your share.The child support is your child’s income and if you use some or all of the child support to pay on shelter (and food if applicable) expenses, it will be your child paying, not you. Note that shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      For SSI purposes, your share is not one-half, it is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household including children. For example, if the expenses are $1,500 and there are three in the household, your share would be $500.

      When you start to get SSI, you can use some of your back pay as well as your reduced monthly benefit to pay your share ongoing. When you report that you are paying your share, your benefits will be increased to the maximum benefit two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Barb

    I was approved for SSDI and will start receiving benefits at the end of January. I own my home with a mortgage, and am considering getting a roommate who is on SSI or SSDI. What would I have to establish as far as rent/utilities/food cost sharing in order for both of us to keep our benefits in place? Must we both notify SS of our living arrangements if he moves in?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Barb,

      Your Social Security Disbality (SSDI) benefits will not be affected by taking in a roommate. If the roommate receives SSDI, similarly the roommates SSDI will not be affected. Your roommate only needs to report the change in her mailing address, no information about living arrangements.

      If your roommate is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for her to avoid a reduction in benefits he or she must either pay his or her share of shelter expenses (and food if you share food) or be a renter and pay fair market value (FMV) for shelter and food (or just shelter and buy food independently). In the case of sharing, you have to make a statement that the roommate is paying her half (or other share–see below) and provide proof of shelter expenses.

      The roommate’s share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area and/or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably cost about half of that amount. Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Candi

        trying to post a question how do I do this

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Candi,

          Post your question the same way you asked how to post a question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Barb

        Thank you, Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Barb.

  • May Hebert

    My mother lives with me in California. She is 92 years old. We have a 2 bedroom apartment. Her name is on our lease. Our rent is $1,825.85. I had a phone interview with SSI on July 6, 2016. He asked me was my Mom on our lease agreement. I told him that her name was on the lease at time we first moved in here which was 11 years ago. We are on month to month agreement, now. He told me back in July that our rent was too high (which I felt was a little inappropriate remark), and then he asked me to send in our lease agreement. So I sent the agreement to him. He asked for another phone interview on September 7, 2016. At that time, he told me that my mother was not paying her share of the rent because her Social Security is $683 and her SSI is $281.40 for a total of $964.40. About a month ago, we got a letter in the mail saying that he is reducing Mom’s SSI payment to $211.40. The reason is because she gets food or shelter from someone. He value the food or shelter at $72.23 for October and ongoing.

    We were actually thinking about moving to a little nicer place, and this time I was not going to put my mother’s name on the lease. She was planning on renting a room for me. The rent would be about $2,200 per month. I don’t want my mother to lose her benefits completely but yet, we want to live in a little bit nicer location. Is having her just rent a room for me the best way to go? I do not collect any forms of Social Security or SSI. I have a full time job.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear May,

      Your mother will not lose her Social Security regardless of the living arrangement. The representative in saying your rent was too high was saying that your mother does not have enough income to pay her share of rent and shelter utilities, which are power, electricity, water/sewer, and garbage. If you increase your mother’s share of the rent to $1,100, plus her share of the utilities, her SSI is likely to be terminated, based on sharing.

      Given that you would be moving residences, you could perhaps reasonably change the arrangement so that she pays you rent. In order not to have a reduction in SSI, she would need to purchase her food separately and pay fair market value (FMV) for rent. FMV for a room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • May Hebert

        Hi Kay,

        Thank you, the Efficiency Rate for Los Angeles County is $947. Her total income will be now be $894.40 ($683 + $211.40). A two-bedroom apartment Efficiency Rate is $1,490.

        Almost all apartment buildings in Los Angeles County includes the Trash/Garage/Water in the rent amount. So my mother would have to pay her Rent, Food, and Electricity.

        I might could get away with her paying me $750 and the rest will be for her food and electricity. My mother is not a big eater, and our electricity bill is never that much. The only time that it is a little high is in the winter months of January and February, other than that it is pretty even. I would make out receipts for her to keep a record.

        To be honest, my mother has been on SSI for the past 38 years, and I had never had a SSI Representative interview me like this before. I was afraid that he was going to cut her off completely.

        Since she is 92 years old, I am also her Representative Payee. Thank you again for all your valuable information.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, May. You might also want to look at room rental adds to see if the two amounts correlate. because a studio (sometimes called efficiency) apartment with one room and a bath is a private dwelling as opposed to, in a rental situation, a room rental in someone else’s home. Because it is not a private dwelling the FMV room rental could be half the studio apartment, not half of a two bedroom apartment. Also, if you charge a flat rate for room, you could make it include all utilities. it is when sharing, not renting, that the exact share is figured.

          As far as documentation goes, I suggest that each month you write yourself a check off her bank account for her half of the rent and her half of the electricity, so that you have proof of the transfer of funds. (As an aside, the Social Security representative appears to be administering SSI law correctly.)

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Candi

        My question is this ..The payee had a phone interview. The paper came back as to what was reported. The paper is confusing..it states mortgage : 1,243.00..(all of the property insurance, property tax ..and heating looked like they were all included in this..electricity 195.00 , gas 120.00 garbage removal 18.33 ..water 125.00 and sewer 0 ..Says son payed an average of 440.00 in cash toward the household expenses. ..He wishes to show that the food or shelter he gets is worth less than 264.33 (why would they state this?) payee never said this!…also states he is not receiving any food or shelter from the people that he lives with for which he has an agreement to pay repay. says he buys food separately form the other household members..he does not eat all his meals out. IS he paying his fair share according to them?..He has been receving his check since June. and they wanted a phone interview..never asked for anything..we figured it is because the phone interview was close to the intial one in the beginning..please help understand what they are writing here what does this mean?

        • Candi

          for food they have N/A…

          • Candi

            Only one food question was asked..to the payee are you paying it together or separate..and he told them he pays for it separate at the store to keep track of it..so they place..Food N/A…

            • Candi

              with everything stated..is he paying his fair share?

              • Kay Derochie

                Dear Candi,

                Please see my reply to your first post.

                Sincerely,
                Kay

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Candi,

              See my reply to your first post.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Candi,

          This reply is to all three of your posts.

          The review is apparently being done because the payee or the recipient told Social Security that he started to contribute to household expenses, which is an action usually taken to try to get an increase in benefits, hence, the statement that he wants to prove he is not receiving $264.33 in free food and shelter.

          Correct in writing anything that is incorrect on the document you received, which is intended as a confirmation of the information given in the phone call. Give the correct amount of the mortgage–including property tax and property insurance, but no utilities. Correct the utilities if needed to show the heating separately if it is gas or oil and not electric heat. Keep a photocopy of the document before returning it.

          The references to food all come down to your son buying his food separately and, therefore, it is not applicable (n/a) because it is not part of the expenses that are being shared.

          I am unable to tell you whether or not the recipient is paying his share because I do not know how many people are in the household. His share is the total shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. If he is paying his share, his benefit will be increased to the maximum benefit of $733. If he is not paying his share but the difference between his share and his contribution is less than $264.67, he will receive a partial increase. For example, if his share is $640 and he can pay rent or contribute $440, his subsidy would be $200. Of the $200, $180 would be countable income and his SSI would go up to $553. Once he got the increase, he could increase his contribution again and get another partial increase, and so on until he is paying his share and the unreduced benefit is paid.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Candi

            thank you for answering sorry I did not place what was needed this is a household of 4. ..there was a bona-fide loan done on the “intial” (this last June)..and it is a concurrent benefit. approval came for the SSI part first and than the DAC part came. Than they needed a phone interview (redetermination)..

            • Candi

              it looks like he is over his fair share by a little. thank you for explaining the reason as to why his food is N/A. property tax and property insurance, was all included in the mortgage ..an the rest the payee answered and they stated it as such. After one of these do we get more information?..all it says on here is what what said in the phone interview and the laws and regulations..and that this will be in his file.

              • Candi

                am I posting the correct area..or how do I post on top?

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear Candi,

                  I have received all your posts as far as I know and have answered them. You can post in the Comment window below the last comment and reply under any article; however, you need to go back to the same article to find the answer.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

              • Kay Derochie

                Dear Candi,

                If you have nothing to correct on the form, a determination will be made based on the phone call as to whether or not his benefit can be increased. At that point a letter should be sent out.

                Sincerely,
                Kay

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Candi,

              With four in the household, the share will be one-fourth. If Social Security accepts the loan as bonafide, there may be no reduction in benefits for the past period that the loan covers; however, except to have to provide proof that the loan was repaid or is being repaid in installments.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • candi

            Thank you for your reply. Here is a another question. Son applied for DAC in April..it was in the Medical at DDS when he applied for SSI. SSI thought it would run together (mistake was made and they terminated the DAC. the SSI went though the quality review and than was approved..on the SSI approval it stated he did not qualify for DAC. We called the 1-800 number and they said discard that part they are working it now. The DAC part went into quality review..than came back out approved..The full amount of SSI 733.00 was being paid for the month of July-OCT..in Nov. they had to take out the unearned income part of the VA dependent part (we do understand this rule when the veteran is living with the dependent) So Nov. the payment dropped. and like I said earlier they had the redetermination interview. Question is..during the months of July -OCT when he had a concurrent benefit should he have had the full 753.00?..they metioned that would be his full amount..but by the time the DAC was approved they were sending out the reduction for NOV..but for the months o July-Oct..should he have had the extra 20.00?..I understand with the reduction they take the 20.00..so I’m thinking they would not even look at the 753.00 amount as it never was calculated in the reduction only the 733.00..would this be a question for the SSI part or the DAC part ?..sorry so long..All of this was done.. two quality reviews..two approvals..reduction in VA from the month of Nov -on- and the redetermination phone interview in 7 months from the “intial application” so this moved pretty quickly..

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Candi,

              The months that your son got only Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the maximum payable would be $733. Once he had income from another source, all but $20 of that income results in a reduction in SSI. Because $20 is not counted, all benefits combined total of $753. Therefore, he could not be eligible for $753 until the other non-SSI benefits started.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • candi

                Wow..i will have to read that over and over ..but THANK YOU!.so much for your time and assistance!

                • Kay Derochie

                  You are welcome, Candi.

  • Gopal Srinath

    Re; Charging disabled adult child SSI applicant for food and shelter.
    Applicant currently has no income or resource, lives with parents.
    Applicant is waiting for a hearing. Can parents charge the applicant
    starting now prior to the hearing with the money to be paid from back pay
    and will that help avoid reduction of benefits starting now (for food and shelter)? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gopal,

      If the SSI applicant is mentally capable of signing and entering into a contract and the amount of the rent for room and board is fair market value (FMV), the back pay might not be reduced. The one catch is that a real rental relationship is hard to prove with a parent-child relationship because of the question of whether the parent would evict the child if he or she didn’t get approved for SSI or got approved and didn’t repay the debt.

      The written, dated agreement should include:

      1. the amount of rent and that it is for room and board;
      2. the date the rent liability starts; and
      3. the fact that the applicant is incurring a debt that will be repaid when SSI back pay is received.

      Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Janice

        So how do you prove a rental relationship between a parent and child? My mother is the payee, but I’m paying 300 for a room and 150 for food. We aren’t sharing because I’m just playing a flat fee. Would I qualify for an increase? Would it be better to share or pay a flat fee for rent?

        Thanks

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Janice,

          Yes, you can establish a rental arrangement with a written statement or even a written lease. Usually it is better to pay whichever is less, flat fair market value (FMV) for room and food or your share.

          You can try to get an increase in your SSI based on what you are paying now. If $300 is FMV for a similar room in your area, you might get an increase to $709, but not to the maximum because you are paying less for food than a food stamp grant for one person, which is $194. This means that you are probably receiving $44 food subsidy from your mother, of which $24 would be counted as income. As soon as you got the partial increase, you could start to pay market value for the food and report that to get an increase to the maximum. (Note that any subsidy in housing and/or food of less than $264.33 will result in an increase.)

          FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Janice

            The website posted has $584 listed for an efficiency apartment in my area. Half of that amount would be 292.

            Thanks a lot Kay. I really do appreciate your assistance as well as the assistance you provide to others. 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Janice. The ratio for a room vs. an apartment is just an estimate that I am suggesting. Although it is nothing official; it provides some frame of reference. You might also look for room-for-rent ads in your area.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Question

    When you claim that you are living with a family member and are paying your fair share, do you have to bring the most recent mortgage statement?

    • Question

      Also, let’s say that you live in a house with someone, but neither party has paid the mortgage since the date of the application because of unemployment issues. So essentially, you’re a squatter in the house and will be evicted soon. Does the SSA look at this like ISM because the “bank is providing” free rent?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Question:

        This response is to both of your posts. I would not expect the unpaid mortgage to count as income from the bank because a debt is being incurred by the mortgage holder. However, the fact that the mortgage holder is incurring a debt may not be relevant to the calculation of your share, that is, your share may still include your share of the unpaid monthly mortgage. Just in case it is needed, take proof of the monthly mortgage amount, property taxes and property insurance if they are not included in the mortgage and proof of the shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, garbage).

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Question

          Thank you for your reply!

          Even if the mortgage holder is not paying the mortgage, could they still charge rent?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Question,

            The issue is a different from what your question asks. The issue is not the right of the householder to charge rent; it is your need to pay for your housing to get the maximum SSI benefit. So if there are four people in the household and you pay one-fourth of the mortgage, taxes, and property insurance you are paying for your housing. This protects you from being charged with free housing. It is not relevant what the householder does with the money you pay.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • BRIANA G

    Hello,my son recieces SSI and i live with my boyfriend. His (boyfriend) name is the only name on the lease, but I actually pay the whole rent every month from my sons ssi check of 733. My boyfriend works a fulltime job and make ok money, but his personal bills leave no money for rent so i pay for the whole rent food ect. Will us living together and his name being on the lease affect my sons ssi amount? Since we basically take care of ourselves even tho our names arent on the lease?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Briana,

      As long as your son pays at least one-third of the shelter costs and, if you all share food, one-third of the food costs, he is not getting support from your boyfriend so living with him will not affect his benefits. His share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • MySon

        Hello Kay,

        My son has a mental illness and I helped him apply for SSI on May of 2016. He received a letter from ss and he has to go to an interview. They want him to bring all of his income(which he doesn’t have any income) living arrangements. Both of our children are adults 20 and 25. We all share the mortgage, utilities and garbage. It comes to a total of 976 a month. My son doesn’t pay his share cause he doesn’t have any income. We have an agreement in writing on what he supposed to be paying. How will it affect his SSI if he’s approved?

        • MySon

          Oh, and he received snap, so he eats separate from us.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear MySon,

          Typically, your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments would be reduced for past months because he is not paying rent. You can try submitting the written agreement that he is supposed to be paying. Depending on how it is written, his free housing may be treated as a loan in which case he would not have a reduction or it may not be a bona-fide loan according to Social Security rules. If it is not, the reduction will apply. Two months after he starts paying fair market value for his room, his benefit will increase.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • MySon

            Ok, Thank you very much Kay.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome.

              • MySon

                Hello Kay, My son had his interview at the ssa on Wednesday. They asked him questions some of which I had to answer for him. About his living arrangement, income and recourses. They said that he will receive a reward letter in he mail in five to 7 days. Do that mean he was approved? They also said I will receive the package in the mail about the Representative Payee.

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear “MySon,”

                  Yes, based on the information you are providing, I’d say that your son has been approved for benefits and that you are being selected to serve as his representative payee.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

  • Bm

    Hello was wondering as im on ssi if I can live in a 3 bedroom trailer with a friend , rent a bedroom out and pay one flat rate and buy own food if it will hurt my ssi if doing do. As this would be a private residence correct and not sure if ssi will deduct me . as I always lived in a room in a house like a rooming house that I always rented
    .and would I have to show proof if do what ? please help .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear BM,

      You can rent a room for a flat rate in a trailer without causing your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) go down as long as you pay fair market value (FMV) for the room. FMV is likely to be the same as you have been paying in the rooming house, assuming that you were paying only for room and not room and board. As proof, take a statement from your friend that you are renting a room, paying a flat rate of a certain amount, and that you buy your own food. Also, pay your rent with a check or money order so you can provide proof of payment. Keep the cancelled checks and money order stubs indefinitely.

      If you were paying for both room and board previously, you can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Bm

        What if I say I’m living in trailer for room and board and pay one price ..his rent Is 800. month plus bills ..and if i pay just half of the rent would that be enough so my ssi don’t get reduced. And do I still need proof of receipt for rent to show ssi every month .

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear BM,

          Please see my previous response posted a few minutes before your posted this repeat of your question.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Bm

            Will they ask for any information on my friend like a lease or bills he pays or just my information .since I will pay just for renting a room with everything included but my own food which I will buy..and this is concided a private place right

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear BM,

              If you pay a flat rent, your friend will not have to provide anything other than a statement that you pay a certain amount of rent and buy your own food and when that started.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Bm

                Ok thank you .
                Also have another question would u say 450. Is fmv for room and buy own food when my friends rent is 800. And with the bills he pays added with the rent totals about 970. As rooms in the area run around that amount 450. To -495…

                • Kay Derochie

                  Dear BM,

                  Based on your research, I would agree that $450 would be fair market value for room in a mobile home.

                  Sincerely,
                  Kay

        • Confused

          I get 815. In ssi and a friend will charge me 450 rent For a room in his place (trailer). Everything included but my food.
          If I move in will my ssi go down, is it fmv and will they want proof from the person renting me the room
          Like their lease or bills. Or is it just me that will have to show proof of payment for rent. I’m confused and this is new to me with this kind of living arrangement .
          Also is it consider a public houseing.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Confused,

            Renting a room from a private part is not public housing. Public housing is housing owned and run by a government entity. I can’t say for sure that $450 is fair market value for a room but it might be. I have answered your other question when you first asked it. Try scrolling through the questions until you find the answer, which has information about the documentation you will need.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • MySon

      Thanks Kay! You are the Awesome!

      • Kay Derochie

        You are welcome.

    • MySon

      Hello Kay,

      I wrote you on last week. Thank you for answering my questions, but I have another question. My son had an appointment with ssa. They asked him questions about income etc: and she told us an award will be mailed in 5-7 days. Its been 10 days total but It’s been 7 business days on today. Does it take longer and can I call the ssa to check on his application?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear MySon,

        If you are your son’s payee, you can inquire; if not, he has to make the inquiry. The time frame the representative gave you was an estimate so I would allow another week before follow up.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Geovany

    Hey i have a question when i whent to my ssi in 2015 i said that i was paying $400 of rent but things change with the person am living with and now am paying $600 and evrything included if i go to the ssi can i get more of ssi because all i got now is $133 and i pay my cellphone $71 so i only have $62

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Geovany,

      Your benefits will not be increased because you are paying more rent. If you are not already getting food stamps, I suggest you apply. Also, you might research for a less expensive phone plan.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ronda

    If I receive the maximum amount of disability plus food stamps, and my boyfriend (I call him my husband, but we are not legally married) lives with me, has a full time job, and pays at least half the rent and the car payment, will that count against me and my benefits amount? What can happen if I don’t report it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ronda,

      You need to report who lives with you. Failure to do so could open you to investigation and prosecution for fraud. If you live in a state that recognizes common-law marriages and you and your boyfriend presen yourselves to the public as being married, you are married under state law. You can view a list of common law marriage states at http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/common-law-marriage.aspx. If you are married under common law, his income and assets will be considered in determining your payment amount.

      If you do not live in a common-law-marriage state or your boyfriend doesn’t also tell people you are married, his income and assets do not have a bearing on the amount of SSI you receive. He can pay up to half of the rent and shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and half the food if you share food and not cause a reduction in your benefits. If he pays the car payment directly, it will not affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ShelbyDanielle

    My mother passed away and we have to have my brother live closer to us. Apartment rent is more than his SSI allows. Is there anyway to help him without his SSI being lowered?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shelby,

      If you pay your brother’s rent or part of it, his SSI will be reduced beginning two months after you first help him. The maximum reduction, if you pay the rent directly to the landlord, is $244.34.You could try to get your brother into government-subsidized housing, where rent is typically one-third of income, although there is often a waiting list. He might try to rent a room instead of an apartment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • SC Best

    Our 4 year old is Autistic, so we’ve applied for SSDI. We went and did the financial portion of our application yesterday and the lady indicated that we likely have too many resources.

    We have an extra vehicle, because my husband delivers pizza for a living. Without it, no income.

    Also, my son’s siblings have modest savings and stocks.

    And lastly she put my IRA (about $4000) on the application as well, but I read as I was reading up on this that my IRA should not even be included.

    She recommended we start liquidating some of this, but I really don’t want to touch these things unless necessary.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear SC,

      Your son may be financially eligible.
      1. You should be able to have the car used for pizza delivery excluded as necessary for self-support (income-producing property).
      2. The children’s assets do not affect your son’s benefits as long as your or their father’s names are not on the investments.
      3. If you have access to the 401k, even with a tax penalty, it is a countable resource; however, you and your husband can have $3,000 in countable resources. The excess counts towards your disabled son’s $2,000 limit; so if the vehicles, stocks and bonds are excluded, your son might be within the resource limit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nancy Wong

    Hi,

    I am a representative payee for my 26- year old, disabled daughter who lives in my house. I am retired and take care of her. My tax return doesn’t include her as dependent. She receives SSDI $600 (under my earning record) and SSI $120. I understand SSI-defined housing expenses include power, heat, water, sewer, garbage, rent or mortgage, property tax, and lender property insurance. Since I paid off mortgage, her housing share in half is very little. She pays shares half food. She doesn’t need to file tax return. I have some questions:

    1. after her housing and food expenses, can I use her rest of money to help family to pay part of condo HOA, car insurance, cable, and phone? Actually she uses these items
    2. Is SSI-defined housing expense rule also for SSDI? SSDI Payee report has three sections (housing, food, and others).
    3. If she pays housing and food more than half, what happens?
    4. Can she pay shared housing but buy her own food? If so, are we one household or two household?

    Thank you.

    Nancy

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nancy,

      I’ll answer your questions in order.
      1. It is reasonable that she could pay her share of the items referenced because she benefits from the services and because the HOA is required condition of the housing.
      2. Paying a share of housing is not relevant to Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Social Security dependent benefits. The amount of paid is based on your earnings history.
      3. As representative payee, you are not allowed to use your daughter’s money for yourself or anyone else. Accordingly, you can not use her funds to pay more than her share of the housing costs.
      4. Yes, you can use your daughter’s funds to pay her share of shelter and purchase her food separately, for example, if she has a special diet or likes different food. You would still be considered living in the same household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hector

    Hi! I recently got married so my question is this; my wife is currently receiving ssi benefits for her son who is autistic (5 years old). Due to her increase in pay at work his benefit amount has dropped. Since we just got married, will my moving in affect it the benefits even more? I should add that I’m not working at the moment due to being a full time student.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hector,

      If you do not have any income, your being in the household could actually increase the disabled child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments because your wife is supporting you. Note that some student financial aid is not countable income for SSI, but regardless of the effect of your being in the household, your wife is required to report the change in household composition.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • I filed for my daughters ssi benefits she us almost 3. Her father claims her on his taxes since he provides for her and not go thru child support system. She lives with me and im on a limited income. Will they deduct from his disabilty to pay her. He provides medical insurance and i have not applied for any publuc assistance. I dont want them to turn this into a childsupport case

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Luisa,

      The Social Security Administration will not initiate child support action; and without a court order, they will not garnish his benefits. Two-thirds of any cash child support and any shelter or food your child’s father purchases directly for your daughter will count in determining her SSI payment amount. If he is receiving Social Security Disability (not Supplemental Security Income), your daughter may be eligible for Social Security dependent benefits on his account. If so, her benefits would not reduce his.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Carolshapiro

        Kay, I am now on ssdi,and I have since moved my daughter and grandson into my home…Father is out of picture and they needed a home.The baby gets food assistance ,but my daughter and myself do not..I pay all the bills etc..I also have Medicaid share of cost.should I have told someone that I now have 2 other people living here in my home?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Carol,

          If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), you do not have to report who lives in your household or who pays the expenses.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • melissa c.

    Im 25 disabled and recieve ssi of 733. I have to move back in with my parents. Will their income effects my benefits? My dad falls under the category for help with his insurance since his income is low. Will my income be counted in with hiss which would disqualify for his program too? Also is (his share which is total shelter shelf and food divided by individuals in the hoisehold) different from (FMV)? This is so overwhelming. Thanks for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Your Supplemental Security (SSI) should not affect your father’s assistance if you share costs and you do not pay more than your share of expenses. If you pay rent, your father’s benefit program may consider that income.For your SSI not to go down you need to either pay your share or fair market value (FMV) rent.

      Sharing and being a renter are two different things. Sharing means you are part of the household and the amount you contribute to costs each month varies depending on what the cost is, but the percentage of the expenses you pay stays the same. Renting means that you are a separate household and pay a flat amount each month. Renters have to pay fair market value (FMV) to avoid a reduction in benefits.

      Fair market value for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $192.00. FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rae

    Hi Kay,
    My husband was approved for SSDI/SSI in February 2016. We have one dependent (6 yr old daughter who is full time student)

    He started receiving a small SSI payment in March 2016 and the SSI payment has increased every month since then due to me losing my employment at the end of April.
    As of July 1 he started receiving the full $733 SSI benefit. But Effective August 1 he began receiving his SSDI benefit of $974 per month so we got a letter that the SSI Payment will be $0 effective 9/1/16.

    My question is relating to the fact that my husband’s younger brother (my brother-in-law) has moved into our home suddenly due to losing his income and then becoming homeless.

    My brother in law currently has no income and we are simply providing him shelter and food due to being a family in time of need. He has already begun looking for work and will start to piece his life back together from there. Will him living in our household affect my husbands new SSDI payment?

    Thank you for your help!
    Rae F.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rae,

      Who lives in your household does not affect Social Security benefits. You should apply for dependent benefits for your daughter to see if she can receive a benefit on her father’s account. By the way, your brother-in-law may qualify for food stamps if he buys his food separately from yours. Or, given that you are unemployed, the whole household might qualify for food stamps.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gina

    I have a question if my boyfriend moves outta state to Missouri and gets a job and gets a place for my son and him and I to stay will they take mine and my sons disability away?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gina,

      Your child’s benefits will follow him, that is, your boyfriend will need to file to be payee if you decide to remain where you are and won’t be following quickly. If you receive a separate benefit, the benefit will probably continue; but if you receive SSI, you do need to report that the composition of your household has changed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Susanne

    Hi Kay,
    I was approved for my SSDI on Aug. 2nd and yesterday my local SS office called me to do an interview for SSI. They asked alot of questions about if I owned anything, which I don’t. Where I have lived, which I have lived with 1 of my 2 children throughout this almost 4 year process of getting disability. At the end of the interview she said I was eligible for SSI until my SSDI came through and would be paid back pay which all of this would be taken out of my back pay from SSDI, which I didn’t mind just so I get it one way or another. I was on MyAccount today and found my monthly payment is $488.67 and then looked and saw my back pay. Its only $2199.00. Well this is for 32 months!! Does this mean they are going to pay me in 3 payments dragging it out over a year with the big payment being a year from now? If so, is there nothing I can do about this? When I start getting my SSDI I have literally got to buy everything for a house…down to a can opener and spoons and forks and up to all furniture. I also have to buy a car to get to Dr appts and places. If they keep the big payment for a year, its really going to mess me up on being able to get out and get a place of my own. I’d rather have waited 4 more weeks on my SSDI to have worked through the system. Now the SSI has probably slowed that down about 2 more weeks. Do you think this is a 1st of 3 payments? Is there anything I can do about getting the other 2 earlier? Also, since my case is “tied up” I can’t get an exact amt. of my monthly SSDI benefits. Do you know of a way to get an estimate of them? The MyAccount site estimator doesn’t work for me either since my case is still in the works. Thank you, sorry if rambling.
    Susanne

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Susanne,

      First of all, let me say that you may have a tax advantage getting a portion of your back pay in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because SSI is not taxable and a very large Social Security Disability (SSD) back pay check might make some of your Social Security taxable the year you receive it.

      The $2,199 is the first of at least two, possible three, installments to be paid six months apart. However, you can go two directions to try to get more or all of the back pay earlier. The first option is cost out what it will cost you to move into your own housing, itemizing everything you need to pay for. Then make a formal written request for the release of all your funds up to what is needed for you to get housing. (You can try putting in the down payment on a car to get to doctor appointments, but the car expense may not be successful because you have been getting to the appointments up until now.) Then Social Security at its discretion can decide to release the amount you request. The second option is to wait until your monthly Social Security Disability (SSD) start monthly payments, which is likely to be one to two months before the SSD back pay is released. Then request release of all the remaining SSI back pay, which is allowed when a person is no longer eligible for SSI.

      To figure out a ballpark estimate of your SSD back pay, use any estimate you previously had of monthly benefits and multiply it times the number of months between when benefits start and about two months from now. Then subtract the number of SSI months that will be paid times $488, which will be your SSI back pay.

      And, a side note: When you start to get SSI, if you have not yet gotten your Social Security and you have either moved out or start to pay your share of shelter and, if sharing food, groceries for the household, your SSI will be increased two months later to $733. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kelly

    Hello,
    I am on SSI and own my home. I would like to know if getting a roommate to help pay my mortgage would affect my eligibility? Is this considered in-kind income?
    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kelly,

      If the roommate does not pay more than half the mortgage, property taxes, power, heat, water/sewer, garbage, and if required by the lender property insurance, your SSI should not be reduced because the roommate would be paying only his or her share of the shelter expenses. If you share food, then you would need to share so that he or she was not paying for more than half of the food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kelly

        Thank you!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Kelly.

  • sara

    so my room mate had his appointment thursday saying he cant get ssi supplement and that he owes 766.00 because they overpaid him… they said he can sign a wavier form if he thinks its not fair or he can’t afford it….. we looked at the form and it wanted my info as well …. do i have to give my info to them? it almost looked like on one page they might try to make me help pay his bill…. we are confused with the whole form situation…. its a ssa-632.pdf (Request For Waiver Of Overpayment Recovery Or Change In Repayment Rate)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      If you and your roommate are not married, you do not need to provide any of your own financial information for your roommate’s request for waiver. One exception is that you may need to confirm how much he pays in rent, utilities, and food if you share food if you are the renter or home owner. If he is the renter or householder, then you might have to make a statement regarding how much you pay to him for those costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Jessica

      I live with boyfriend of 12 years I have son different person my boyfriend lkast two years claimed me as dependent I didn’t report because they only ever asked if I was married to my boyfriend what do I do

      • Jessica

        My son is 15 my boyfriend makes good money I dontbwork and am payee

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jessica,

          If you would like to finish your post and have a question, I’ll respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Jessica,

        Your boyfriend claiming you as a dependent is a tax issue. If your boyfriend has not been giving you or your son money in any form and you have reported correctly about who is paying the shelter expenses and, if food is shared, food expenses, then you have nothing more to report. If you or your son have received money, the amount and date (at least the month) of all such gifts need to be reported.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • katina

    i get 753 in ssi and ssdi an I pay 1/3 in HUD so I pay 245 in rent $30 in air will my benefits in crease if I’m paying rent

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katina,

      You benefits will not increase. Your Social Security is based on your earnings record, and the maximum SSI you can get when you have Social Security is the amount that brings the two benefits up to $753, which you are receiving.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • DEVIN

    Hello,
    I have a question, my son is now 22 years old and has been receiving the lower end of SSI since his 18th birthday being my income was not a factor at that time, However expenses have far extended my ability to continue to cover the full expense of housing and food. I rent an apartment which is up for lease renewal would it be beneficial to have him added on the lease so he can obtain more income from SSI? As a co-occupant? I can no longer afford the cost for housing and groceries and many other neccessities that he needs (transportation etc)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Devin,

      Your son could purchase and prepare his food separately from yours; or if he is not able to, you could do it for him. Doing so could make him eligible for food stamps. That would free up his money for shelter expenses.

      As long as his name is not on the lease, for him to get the maximum increase, he needs to either pay fair market value (FMV) for his shelter or pay his share of shelter expenses.

      FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing your state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount. Note that if you put your son on the lease the option for FMV room rental would no longer exist because he would be a householder. He would need to pay his share.
      His share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are rent, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage.

      If your son doesn’t have enough monthly income to pay FMV or his share, he could save up his SSI until he has enough saved to cover his share or FMV for two months. If he does this, he should save in a bank account to prove he had the money available. SSI will increase two months after he starts to pay his share or FMV.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • DEVIN

        Thank you for the information, would I then have to remove myself as his representative payee, he doesn’t have the knowledge to handle his funds independently however they are plentiful.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Devin,

          You can continue to be payee for your son even if he pays his share or pays fair market value for his housing and food. However, I wonder if a misunderstanding has occurred between us. You posted your question under an SSI (Supplemental Security Income) article and said he was getting “low end of payments;” which caused me to respond based on the assumption that he gets SSI. In this post from you, you say that your son’s funds are “plentiful.” This has led me to wonder if he is really receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, not SSI.

          If he is receiving Social Security, it is still perfectly fine for him to pay for his shelter or shelter and food costs if you provide food and you, as payee, can do so by writing yourself a check off his bank account. However, his paying for his housing and food will NOT raise his benefits if he is getting Social Security.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Wayne Brown

    Kay,

    Your knowledge is impressive. Maybe you can help me. I’m looking to buy my first home and I want to move my dad in with me. He is in end stage renal disease, on dialysis, and currently receives the SSI maximum as his only income. His current rent is $500/mo everything included and I believe he is given $200/month in food stamps.

    Are there any special programs for me, as a first time homebuyer, that might help him keep his benefits the same, as well as help cushion the financial burden of taking care of him in my new home?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wayne,

      I am not knowledgeable in first-time home buyer programs. Often the county or the local housing authority has informational classes.

      Regarding your father’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you and your dad have some decisions to make to about how the finances would be handled if he moves in with you. Specifically, will he rent a room and buy his food or have you shop for him to buy his food separately from yours. If so, he will likely continue to be eligible for food stamps. If he is paying for a room or apartment now for $500 everything included, then renting a room from you for $500 everything but food included would likely be fair market value. With that decision and payment, his SSI should stay at the same maximum rate.

      The other choice is for you to become one household sharing housing and possibly food. If you decide on that arrangement, for your father to receive the maximum SSI, he would have to pay his share (total expenses divided by the number in the household) of power, heat, water/sewage, garbage, mortgage, property taxes, and if required by the lender property insurance. If you shared food, your income would be considered in determining whether the two of you were eligible for food stamps and he would have to pay his share of food with or without food stamps to get full SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angie

    I already receive SSI and get the full 733.00 but am wondering how much someone can pay towards my utilities without my SSI being cut period. I had two dependents living with me but they have since moved out due to full employment by one and she doesn’t wish for me to lose my insurance because without it I will die and can’t afford anything on the exchange plus I pay almost all of my SSI to rent. How do I keep from losing my insurance and my rental at the same time?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angie,

      If the person who is willing to help with your utilities does not live with you, she can pay $20 a month on the utilities and not affect your SSI.If she pays more than that, your SSI will go down by all but $20 of what she pays, up to a maximum reduction of $244.33 if she pays directly. If she gives you cash to pay the bills, the reduction is not capped at $244.33 and will be what all but $20 of what she gives you. If you take in a roommate, the roommate can pay his or her share of rent and utilities without affecting your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kim

    Hi ,
    I am so confused with my daughters ssi , she has been disabled since she was 5. She is now 22 they stated she was overpaid back before she was 18 and collected on it. I received a letter saying she was paid in full in 2014, she was then over 18 and they go by her income of 0. we both lost our jobs and are borrowing money and she was paying way more towards living expenses then originally. Now they send another letter saying they overpaid her again and are taking more then 10 percent lowering her amount with 1 week notice but do not provide how much they overpaid her? This is the second time they have done this ? My question is she has always gotten a small amount not full 733 ever why do they keep doing this? And why if they overpaid her do they not list amount? last time I had to call and they said some 3, 500 and then canceled it then added it again. This is making me crazy nothing has changed for her

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      Your daughter is entitled to an overpayment letter that gives her the reason for the overpayment, the months she is overpaid and the amount of the overpayment each month. If she does not receive this, no collection should be made. Also, she has the right to appeal the overpayment if she disagrees with the facts used to calculate benefits. She could appeal on the grounds that she was never given an accounting of how the overpayment was calculated so the facts used may be incorrect. Request the computation as part of the appeal.

      On the second topic, you and she should report the change in her contribution to shelter expenses (and food if you share food) and when the change occurred, adding the reason for it–th eother members of the household are unemployed. This report could be part of the appeal of the fact of the overpayment or could be made separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kimberly

    Hello, I am currently living with my mother because I had to quit working because of my pain and I am filing for SSI. I am trying to fill out the paperwork and am confused about the part for Resourses. Do I need to let them know my mothers assets. Example, car, bank acounts, etc.?
    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kimberly,

      If you are age eighteen or older, your mother’s assets and income are not considered in determining your eligibility for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Karen

        That’s good to know. I’m 48 and I sure hope the SSI does not expect me to remain with my mother. Her help is temporary which is why I need the entire 733.00 amount. I can’t work due for medical reasons and I have no income and I’ve been staying with her for a while but I have to move out.

    • Dear Kay,
      My sister is 55 and gets SSI. She has 2 daughters that live with her both ages 26. One daughter also receives SSI. They live with my elderly mother who is now going into a nursing home. I want to help them get housing independently. How can they move to an apartment and how much financial help can I provide so we do not impact benefits. What is the best way to move them out and maintain maximum SSI funding?

      Thank you,
      Debbie

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Debbie,

        Pay for everything directly; do not give any cash money to your sister or the daughters. Payment for a moving van or truck rental paid directly to the provider will not affect benefits. Find housing with shelter expenses that the three of them can afford on an ongoing basis and that your sister and niece receiving SSI can cover one-third of the shelter expenses on an ongoing basis. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent. If they share food and don’t have a common food stamp grant, your sister and niece with SSI must also be able to afford one-third of the food costs. Pay deposits for the housing directly and try to do it all in one month because that assistance will affect benefits up to $244.33 each for the month that you make the payments. Keep receipts to prove the amounts.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Lisa Jones

          Good information. If I am a landlord and I have a woman that is on SSDI and is only receiving ~$466 b/c she was in her mothers care over 3 years, but then they both became homeless and lost their home, and the mother went into a nursing home and the girl came to live with me, would i be entitled to the difference in income backpaid or would she be entitled to that that 3 year difference not with her mother or would I the landlord be entitled the difference?

          Lisa

          • Lisa Jones

            Sorry. Forgot to put the difference in numbers/payments.
            $733-$466=~$244

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lisa,

              Please see my prior response. The figures that you have now provided indicate that your tenant is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If she gets an increase because of paying for her own shelter costs by paying fair-market-value rent to you and she is not behind in her rent, then none of any back pay that might be due would be owed to you.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Lisa,

            Your tenant needs to report her move to Social Security. If she is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), her benefit amount will not increase. If she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), her benefits might increase in her new living arrangements, where she is paying rent. You are entitled to rent only for the period of time that the disabled person has been living with you. Any other monies that might be due would belong to her for her other needs and desires.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • private

    i havea question I just got approved for ssi and live with my boyfriend and I have a 2 year old son I receive $511.00 in food stamps and I own my vehicle and I don’t work ive never been married however he works and pays the rent and bills but hes renting to own and on my ssii and disabled child they said I need a payee but I was in foster care most my life im about to be 22 and I don’t know my family and don’t have friends to consider for that so my 2 questions are is do I have to have a payee and also because of my living arragments will I not get all my back pay and or receive full benefit amount

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Private,

      Because you are receiving free hosing, your SSI back pay is likely to be paid in a reduce amount of $488.67 a month. Once you start paying your share of shelter costs (apparently you are all on the same food stamp grant), your SSI can increase to $733. Your share is the shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage. If the rent-to-own agreement is considered a mortgage contract, then shelter expenses also include property taxes and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      You can tlak with your physician about your capacity to receive and manage your own benefits. If the doctor thinks you are capable you can appeal the decision that you need a payee. The doctor could complete a form SSA-787, which is available online. Otherwise, if you trust your boyfriend, he could serve as your payee.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    Hi,

    I am hoping to have my mother relocate from Alabama to California to live in a household with my husband and me, making it a household of 3.

    Her main concern is having her current SSDI reduced because she lives in a household with us. However, we would need her to contribute to utilities and food. Do we split utilities three ways, and have her keep her food recents. Would she be better off paying us for some of the mortgage so that her checks are not reduced substantially?

    And, can I also claim her on my taxes as a dependent without it affecting her SSI payments?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      In one place you say your mother is receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) and in another that she is receiving SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income. Let me know which benefit she receives and I will be able to respond.

      Thanks,
      Kay

      • Nicole

        My apologies. She receives SSI. My mother’s second language is English and lots gets lost in translation.

        She receives SSI.

        Thanks in advance,

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nichole,

          For your mother’s SSI not to be reduced because she will be living in your household, she has to either pay her share of shelter (and food costs if you share food) or pay fair market value (FMV) for room rental and buy her own food or pay FMV for room and board.
          Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. Fair market value (FMV) for food would reasonably be the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is $194.00.
          FMV for room is the amount such rooms are renting for in your geographic area. Social Security law does not specify an amount required to be paying fair market value for room because the economy is different in every location. You can figure out a fair market rental rate by looking at ads for room rentals in your area or by choosing state and county on the federal HUD website at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn. It will not list rooms, but it will list studio or efficiency (one-room) apartments. A room in a house would probably be about half of that amount.

          I don’t know that your mother living in your household will make her your dependent for tax purposes. I wouldn’t think so she pays her own expenses as described above; however, I suggest that you consult with the IRS for an accurate answer.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicole

            Thanks so much!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Nicole.

      • Sandy

        Hi Kay, I’m in the same scenario. My mom gets SSI. She has Alzheimer’s. I called Social Security today to let them know my mom moved and she asked me so many questions. I was thrown off guard. I hope I didn’t mess anything up for mom. She moved in Sept with my husband and I. I had to quit my job. My brother has POA and in charge of her financials so I don’t see any of her SSI. We haven’t found a nursing home suitable for Alzheimer’s at a reasonable rate. I can’t afford to stay home and take care of her. My brother pays for her bills and gives me $ for her food since I cook it separately from ours. Are they going to change her amount?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sandy,

          If your brother does not give you either a flat amount for room rent or an amount that equals her share of shelter expenses, her Supplemental Security Income (SSI), will be reduced by the lesser of $244.33 or the difference between her share of shelter expenses and what she pays. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Nicole

      Also, one other question.

      The plan is that she will sell her home in Alabama, giving a portion of the sale price to my husband and me for a down payment on a house large enough for the three of us to live in.

      If she has money left over, is it true that any money (assets) sitting in her bank account will affect her ability to continue receiving SSI?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nichole,

        Giving away money will make your mother ineligible for SSI for a period of time. The length of time depends on how much is given away. However, if you put her name on the title of the house in addition to your name and your husband’s name, she will be buying a home for herself and not giving it away. The money used for down payment and any closing costs will be excluded as a resource for three months after the final sale of her current house to allow time for buying the house. Any money left over from the sale that is not designated for downpayment and closing costs on the house will count toward her $2,000 resource limit the first of the month following the sale. She can spend money on other things she needs such as moving costs, deferred dental care, clothing, etc. She should keep receipts so she can document how the money was used. And, of course, she may have to pay for her food and housing costs, as described in your reply of a few minutes ago until she drops to $2,000 again ($2,000 plus the amount set asise for the house purchase).

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Rob

    I am in the process of getting ssi for my child. Due to a job loss 3 yrs ago, my husband now makes 1/3 of what he made for 20 yrs, and I am back in college. So our 20yr old who can’t work, we are trying to get financial help with. From all that I read about the $243+$20 ISM, my question is… we are living in an older trailer on my parents property for free, but it would be wonderful if our child could pay for their share of food/electricity. How would that work as far as providing proof. As of now, they contribute nothing. We just can’t make it financially though, all our savings is gone. Would we save our grocery and electricity bills? We also have one child in College and one in High School. So would we “split” the bill by 5?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rob,

      Save your utility bills to present. Save food receipts if you need them to determine food costs, but usually food receipts are not required.

      Your son’s share is one fifth of the electricity and food. Because the family receives free housing, one-fifth of the fair market rental value of the trailer will also be income to him. You will need a statement from your parents about how much they could rent the trailer for if they were to charge fair market value (FMV). If they could rent it for, say $500, he would be charged with $100 in-kind support and maintenance (ISM), plus one-fifth of the food and utilities (up to $266) until he can start paying his share of the food and utilities and/or pays his grandparents his share of the FMV of the trailer.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • ceeceenieder

    If my husband and I live in my married son’s home and each of us pay 1/4 share of his mortgage payment as our rent will that affect my benefits? Does the rent have to be the market value of the space or will a percentage of the mortgage payment do? Also, when he has children would our share of the shelter expenses decrease because of the extra “little people” in the home? Will he have to acknowledge this income on his tax return just as if he has a rental unit and take depreciation on the space we occupy?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ceecee,

      Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household including children. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. I don’t think sharing expenses is the same thing as rental income for tax purposes, but your son should check with a tax accountant or the IRS to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica

    Hi…
    My grandma is 71 years old, she lives with me, we are currently renting in a house of a lady that receives SSI. I took my grandma to the social security office to apply and they gave her a paper which had to be signed by the owner of the house, the lady owner of the house refused to signed it cause she says since she receives the help then they will decrease it, I do not know if this might be true. I dont want to cause her any problems but we need to resolve this situation. Its only my grandma and me, she doesnt work, and its only me working and studying full time. How can we deal with this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      It is true that the landlady is getting SSI and she is turning a profit on renting a house she owns, her SSI will be reduced. If you do not have a rental agreement to prove the amount of your rent, your grandmother’s SSI will be reduced by $244.33 a month. Your other alternative is to move elsewhere and get a written rental agreement up front to avoid future problems.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Wendy

        My youngest son died May 18th 2016. My oldest son quit his job broke off his relationship with his girl friend. Because he’s afraid that I will do something to myself. It’s nice to have my son with me. But he reacted so quickly he didn’t think things through. I draw 883.00 and some change every month. I can barely pay the basic bills to live. I reported it to SS but are they going to take more money for him staying with me. I’m trying to take care of 2 people on that small. I’m up for review also. And with the loss of my youngest I can’t concentrate or focus. I open up another checking account but I was only going to open a savings account for my son’s daughter. So now I have 2 checking accounts going on. It takes at least a once to get money transferred into new account. So I’m forced to keep it open for another month. And I didn’t open the account for Grandchild. How much of a mess I’m I in? Will the cut my check out because of all this. I worked and paid into the system and it seems like they keep taking more and more. I’m being charged 13.40 penalties for not having cover. They back date mine to November 2011 but I didn’t get a medicare card until January 2014. Why

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Wendy,

          You raise multiple questions.You say that your worked and paid into the system and your payment amount sounds more like Social Security than Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If it Social Security, your son living with you will not affect your benefit amount. However, if you are receiving SSI, your son can still live with you and not affect your payment amount if he is not paying more than his share of shelter expenses (and food if you share food). Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

          With regard for your grandchild, I think I understand that you have become her representative payee and you are trying to get a bank account set up for her benefits to go to. If so, it does not matter whether the account is a savings account or a checking amount as long as you get it set up in her name. Usually the correct title would be “her name by your name, representative payee,” which you can do as soon as you have a letter from Social Security that shows you are her payee. If you deposited her money to one of your checking accounts that is a problem because the money may be counted as income because you mixed it with hers; otherwise having multiple accounts is not a problem.

          With regard to Medicare, the retroactivity to November 2011 is probably Part A only, which does not require a premium, with Part B effective the January 2014 after you decided to pay premiums. If you did not take coverage when you could first get it and did not have other insurance through employment, it is probably correct that you are paying a higher premium.

          To help with your financial situation, you may qualify for some premium payment assistance. More information about this is available at http://www.medicare.gov. If you and your son do not have food stamps, you can apply at your county or state social services office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • CMD

            My daughter is living in my house in AZ and has a lot of physical problems and can’t work , I pay the utilities and taxes and up keep on house I also claim her as a dependent on my taxes in IA . She is on AZ medial ins and food stamps . She just found out that she won’t be able to go back to work , she owned her own truck and was a Semi driver , can’t do that anymore . Can she apply for SSI ?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear CMD,

              Your daughter may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD, aka SSDI) based on her past work earnings. She can start an application online at http://www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213 for an application appointment. What she owns does not affect eligibility for SSD.

              If she still owns the truck, the equity value of the truck may put her over the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) resource (asset) limit for SSI disability payments. If so and she wants to apply for SSI, she can put the truck up for sale and request SSI benefit if medcially approved while the sale is pending. Once the truck is sold, if she has been paid SSI by then, she will have to repay the SSI and she will not be eligible for SSI again until her assets drop to $2,000 or less. Some assets, such as one passenger vehicle, are not resources for SSI. If she gets SSI, the amount she receives will consider the free shelter she is getting in the form of free utilities and property taxes.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Stewart Dean

    We receive payments for my son who gets SS and health Benefits. I have a 65 year old cousin who is taking care of a grandchild. He does not pay rent and they provide their own food. Would their living here effect his payments. He has not been able to get steady work and she has medical issues so they have no money.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stewart,

      If your child gets Social Security benefits (SS as you stated), who lives in your household does not affect benefits. If he is getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), living arrangement can affect payment amount. However, as long as your cousin and his grandchild do not pay more than their share of shelter expenses and buy their own food, their living with you will not affect your child’s (SSI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cecilia

    My son is autistic and only 8 yrs old. He get ssi based on my income. My youngest is 4. His father is disabled and a dailysis patient. He gets ssi because of his father. I report the wages he father gives me for my youngest. I also report my wages monthly. If my youngest father moves in will it affect there ssi? My income level and expenses will not change. His father will be paying for his own stuff. This is NY.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cecilia,

      If I understand correctly, you are saying that your younger child and his father get Social Security benefits and your older child, who has a different father receives SSI disability. My response is based on that understanding.

      The Social Security benefits will not be affected by the younger child’s father moving in. If the father pays only his share of shelter and food expenses, his being in the household will not affect your older child’s SSI. “Share” is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lisa

    I have a disabled daughter and we’re about to move into a cheaper apartment that will be $770.00 a month. Our current rent is $900, and she receive $733. Everything else (utilities wise) will remain the same but we wont have to pay water. Will her benefits be decreased? If so, by how much? Also there will be 3 people living in the house instead of 4.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      If the people in the household are your disabled daughter and her parent and minor sibling or two parents, your daughter’s benefit will not go down. If someone else is living in the household, then for your daughter to receive the maximum benefit, she has to pay at least her share of expenses, which would be one third of the rent and shelter utilities. Either way, you need to report the move.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • chris markin

    My wife is on SDI. We live in hud project . Based on your income. Her daughter needs to move in with her son .They both work. They are going to pay for there own food. For rent let say me and my wife pay 400. and the rent goes up to 1200. They pay would be paying 800. Do we still need to report them to S.S.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chris,

      If your wife is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), she needs to report whenever someone moves in or out of her household. With four in the household, each person’s share of the rent would be $300. If adult children pay more than their share of rent and shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage), your wife’s SSI will be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tia Sade

    My 8 year old son receives SSI… I have 1 ineligible daughter (she does not receive ssi) but i do receive child support for her about $600 monthly (she has a different father) I also work full time… Right now with my income his payment is lowered to about $500… Did i need to report my daughters child support… They never asked until his review, i was only told to report my wages which is what ive done faithfully… Does her child support count as MY income??? Does her child support play a factor??? I dont want my son to lose his ssi… i do not get any financial help watsoever from his dad…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tia,

      Your daughter’s income does affect your son’s SSI because $367 of your income is set aside for her support based on her not having any income. Your son is probably overpaid $367 for every month that your daughter received child support of $367 or more. Ongoing your son’s SSI will be about $133.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Tia Sade

        Also when school starts in August she will be living with my Mother, how will that impact… I make $2287 a month???

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tia,

      This reply is in response to your posts of June 19 and July The fact that your daughter receives child support does affect the calculation of your son’s SSI benefit. Because of her child support, none of your work earnings is set aside for her support. I expect your child’s SSI to drop by $367, which is the amount of the allocation for an ineligible child with no income. Your daughter staying with your mother will not change anything because with the child support, there already is no allocation for her.

      One last thing: if you have always listed your daughter in the household, you can expect an overpayment letter. You can ask to have the overpayment waived based on not being previously asked about her income, though the question would have been on the original application. If the waiver isn’t approved, you can ask to have the overpayment collected over time with a deduction from your son’s monthly benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Steve

    Kay,

    My 18yr old son is now getting SSI at the reduced 2/3 rate of max amount. He lives with us, his family, at home. As I understand it he must either pay room/board or his fair share of expenses in order to get the max amount.

    We wanted to provide a room/board agreement for his SSI but we were never asked questions about that when we applied for his SSI. What is the best route to avoid roadblocks and still get max amount? Room/board or fair share of expenses?

    With his current reduced amount of approx $435 he can’t pay our expected $500 room/board rate, but he could if he got the max amount.

    There are 5 of us in the home, but one comes and goes for college during school year. Monthly expenses are about $2200. What do you suggest and can you tell me how/process to get it adjusted? ie. form #, etc.

    Thank you so much.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Steve,

      If your son does not have saved back SSI benefits to pay room and board, I suggest that your son not pay anything for housing for three to four months. Save up the money in his bank account and then have him start to pay room and board with the saved money. Report the change to Social Security and his benefit will increase two months later. I suggest having him pay room and board rather than a share because it is simpler. Also, as your children leave home, his share will increase, perhaps even to a level that he could not pay. $500 seems low for room and board. Check ads for room rentals in your area and then add on an amount for food that is equal to the maximum food stamp grant for one person, which is currently $194.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Steve

        Thank you, Kay.

        He just got his award, so we have a 3mo check around $1450. He could pay back rent for 2months very easy.

        We/he signed a room/board rate sheet for $500/mo when we applied for SSI but the agency never provided an opp for submitting this info and we didn’t know how to do it when applying, so he got the lower 2/3 default rate.

        Could/should we just have him pay $1000 back room/board and then submit our agreement to the agency with form ssa-8011?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Steve,

          What you suggest seems a reasonable course of action except you would not complete an SSA-8011 because that form is for sharing expenses and you are asserting that he had a flat rate rental agreement for room and board. You would instead submit the rental agreement that you reference. This may or may not result in an increase to the maximum amount. For it to do so, $500 a month has to be fair market value (FMV) for room and board in your area. As previously indicated, FMV for food alone would likely be $194, which is the food stamp grant for one person.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Steve

            Thank you, Kay.

            We will look up room rates to find more info. We want to keep it clean/simple. I had not actually looked at other rooms. Will do that and just call the admin and go from there.

            Thanks so much.

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome.

          • Steve

            Hi Kay,

            The admin is refusing the room/board agreement and wants the form filled out for expense sharing. Can they do this? If my child were in a group home, that home would not operate in such a manner. They would do flat rate monthly I am sure.

            If it comes down to it and I submit expense amounts, will they ask for proof? Is it just my word? If I had no mortgage in the future then would I have to disclose that, etc? (That would be a significant affect on SSI spending)

            I’d like it clean and keep them out of my personal business.

            Your thoughts appreciated.
            Thanks!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Steve,

              It is hard to prove room and board business relationship for a relative especially an adult child who is severely impaired because you would not evict on failure to pay; however, if you are charging fair market value, in theory, you could appeal the decision. Or, you could do what is suggested. You will have to submit proof of mortgage, property tax, and insurance and utilities. Your statement will be accepted for food. In the future when the mortgage is paid off, your child’s share will go down (no mortgage and no required property insurance); so the change will not have an adverse affect on benefits. Because of that, you could wait to report the change until the next annual redetermination review.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Catharine

    I am filling out the Medicaid disability form for myself. I still live at home with my father due to health problems. I was wondering what household expenses I put on the form. He basically pays for everything because I dont make enough to live on my own, never did. How much of this info do they want, I mean do they want ALL of the expenses, or just things like water, heating, electric, etc?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Catherine,

      List the shelter expenses and if you share food the total food cost. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance. Then state that you do not contribute. Later if you are approved for SSI and start contributing to these costs, you can report the change to see whether your benefits can be increased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Luisa

    My fiance receives SSI and disability. It is normally just he and myself in the house. He works part time and I work full time.

    Recently, we had a family member fall on hard times and request to move into our house. Will their moving in cause my fiance to loose his benefits? The family member doesn’t currently have a job–but may soon start some minimum wage work. Any thoughts? I appreciate you, thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Luisa,

      As long as the family member does not contribute more than his or her share of shelter expenses (and food if you all share food), having the family member in the household will not affect your finance’s SSI. Each person’s share is the total of the expenses divided by the number of people in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sarah

    I receive only SSI. My son is 18 and currently enrolled full-time in college. My monthly amount was reduced once he turned 18. I thought as long as he was enrolled in college he counted as a dependent.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sarah,

      The information you are providing seems to indicate that you are receiving Social Security benefits, not SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income, and that your son was receiving Social Security dependent benefits. If that is the case, his benefits end at age eighteen or if still in high school at age nineteen.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sarah

        I do get SSI but what I meant to say was I’m not getting credit for him being in the household. In fact I believe they are counting his Federal work-study money that he gets as part of his financial aid package. Can they do that as it is not part of the household income?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sarah,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid based on the disabled person’s assets and income, including in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of free food or housing. No allowance is made for minor children unless the disabled person has a spouse with income.

          If your son started to contribute to shelter and food costs when he turned eighteen and started to get work-study income, the reduction in your SSI might have occurred because he is paying more than half of those expenses so that you are receiving in-kind income from him. If that is not the case, then I suggest you go to Social Security and ask for an explanation of how your benefits are calculated.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Constance

    I have two questions…

    I recently had my hearing and my case was deemed “Fully Favorable”. Prior to not being able to work any longer, I was living with a room mate, and we had been sharing the rent and utilities with each of us paying half. We have both been purchasing our own food. I do get Food Stamps.

    When I had to apply for SSI benefits due to not being able to work, my room mate was so kind as to not put me out. I was allowed to stay until my case was heard. Not that it was easy on my room mate, but we have been friends for many, many years. Once I begin getting my payments (Received my letter April 25,2016), I intend on paying my half of the rent and utilities again. Will my benefits be cut because of my room mate not making me move out? I had to wait 576 days for my hearing. My room mate would like me to pay them back for at least some of the rent they covered for me.

    My second question is in regards to receiving your first payment. It was agreed upon that my onset date was May 31, 2014 due to the fact that I was working up until which time I could no longer perform my job functions and I was let go. I was paid some unemployment benefits, and those were taken into consideration at the time of my hearing, as they were trying to find a suitable position for me to work in. My case was heard and I was represented by an attorney on April 19,2016, and my Fully Favorable decision was mailed to me on April 25. When should I expect my award letter and or first payment? Will I receive a paper check or will it be automatically loaded on a debit card like unemployment benefits? Will I just be mailed a debit card?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Constance,

      Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be reduced for having received free housing. The only way the benefits wouldn’t be reduced would be for there to have been a loan repayment agreement with terms about when you were going to repay and how much. Then you would also have to provide proof of repaying after you got back pay and repaid. Your monthly SSI might not be enough to pay your share; but if not, when you get your back pay you can start paying your share (half) and report the change to Social Security. Two months after you start paying your share your SSI will increase.

      If you were also approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), free housing from your friend will not affect those benefits. The SSDI back pay will, however, be reduced for SSI paid for the same months.

      If you have not received a date for an interview to update your financial information back to when you applied, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an appointment for the interview. If you do not receive a call within a week, go to your local office to request an appointment. The SSDI will be paid after the local office pays the SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • A. Stephanie

    My 26-y/o son is permanently disabled with a serious mental disorder that was diagnosed when he was 19-y/o. He has been on SSI at a reduced amount because he lives with his parents, but was recently required to apply for SSDI Adult Child benefits because his dad is drawing Social Security). He was told he will be eligible for only $50 more per month and will lose SSI because it is lower than the SSDI. He was also told his Medicaid will end along with the SSI, although he will be eligible for Medicare (but there is a monthly premium and no prescription coverage). A worker suggested we charge him rent, which might increase his SSI to an amount greater than the SSDI, which would help him get a combination of both SSI and SSDI, and would allow him to stay on Medicaid. We submitted a flat rent agreement with comps to SSI worker, which she said would be simpler than the share-of-costs form. She also said that share-of-costs are usually higher and he has to be able to provide he pays his share (even if his income is less). I am now thinking this was a mistake, however, because he received a letter saying they will subtract $244 for in-kind support of food and shelter. Which means his SSI will still be lower than the SSDI, and SSI will end (along with Medicaid). I know this is complicated, but I am hoping for some answers, as I am afraid of making any mistakes in helping him that will make things worse instead of better. Also, the Social Security office workers lack compassion, and one was so intimidating that I left the appointment close to tears. I am worried about my son’s future, and it doesn’t help to be treated so badly. Thank you for any guidance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephanie,

      Fair market value for food would reasonably be an amount equal to a one-person food stamp grant. Fair market value (FMV) for room rental would be what is being charged for similar rooms in your area. If you live in an urban area, there may be Craig’s List or something similar with room rental ads. The HUD site might help in that it will list an efficiency apartment rate in our area and you would know that a room would be less than that (perhaps half). http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr_il_history/select_Geography.odn is the link.

      You might also work up his share and then compare the cost. His share is the total amount of food and shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage and rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance. If it is possible to buy and prepare his food separately, he could apply for food stamps and then he’d only have to pay his FMV or his share for shelter.

      Then compare his share or FMV, whichever is less, to how much he can pay. If his payment does not equal fair market value or his share, but it is within less than $264.33 of the share or fair market value, he can get a raise to some amount lesser than the maximum. (This is what happened that he got a slight decrease in support and maintenance but not enough to make him eligible.) For example, if his share or the FMV is $550 and he are contributing $450, his subsidy from you would be $100. His Social Security plus the $100 minus $20 would be his countable income. Once he got the increase he could increase his contribution to $550 to get the most SSI possible given his Social Security. Note that the increase in benefits occurs two months after the increased contribution begins.

      A completely different tack would be to apply for Medicare premium assistance for the Part B and Part D Medicare and/or purchase a Medicare supplement or advantage plan. (Part D is for prescriptions.) More information is available at http://www.medicare.gov. There might also be some helpful ideas at http://www.disability.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ritz

    Hi Kay

    My daughter (special needs, 18+ age) was recently approved for SSI due to her disability. She lives with us and we pay for her food/shelter.

    They have deducted 1/3rd of the amount since she’s getting ISM from parents.

    She will start paying her share of food/shelter to us, so she can qualify for full amount of SSI.

    Can I report this change by phone, or need to go in person?
    What documents are needed?

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ritz,

      Your daughter’s benefit will increase to the maximum amount two months after she starts paying her share. You can report by phone, but you will have to submit documents to prove the shelter costs. Shelter expenses are rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender, property insurance, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage. Her share is the shelter and food costs divided by the number of people in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • edith

    I want to know if me and my x husband who is on SSI and I am on disablity be able to live together? We was living together but they cut his check down to 173.50 when I started receiving my disablity and told us the only way he could get it back is I get my own place. I do not see how they can do this to us we are not married. Can u explain this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edith,

      If you do not live in a state that recognizes common-law marriages as legal marriage where you tell people you are married, your ex-husband’s income should not be considered in determining your SSI payment amount because legally he is not your husband. If you decide to live together, take in your divorce decree when you report the change of household composition. If your benefits are reduced because of his income, appeal (up to a hearing if needed).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • edith

        I have taken them our divorce papers and they tell us they will still lower his check cause of my disablity if we live together that is the state of Indiana for you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Edith,

          If you did not divorce to get SSI, I suggest that you appeal. The law allows deeming on from spouse to spouse and from parent to child.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • kylie

    when change of living arrangements do i have to show proof or lease of a new address, or I just explain who I am living with

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kylie,

      If you are not on the lease, you need a written statement from the person you are living with regarding how much room rent you are paying. If you are sharing expenses rather than rending, the statement needs to list who all is in the household and say how much you are contributing and whether you are sharing food or only housing. You need to take the lease agreement and bills for the shelter utilities, which are power, heat, water/sewer and garbage. If you are sharing food, the statement needs to include the total food cost for everyone in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hi Donna. Something else I need to ask. I also received a letter from the SSA letting me know that they, established my EOD at Jan 31st, 2016.

    Mrs Lopez and me down at the local SS Office in Pensacola put down my AOD at March 14, 2014.

    I have a thick medical file dated for all of Jan/1 week of Feb, 2015 from Hazelton- Betty Ford. ( they merged)

    It is a world wide well known, highly expensive facility. Throughout my medical records from them it states empathically concerning my severe “peripheral neuropathy” and the kind of medicine, and how much they gave me.

    I do see a local well known Doctor here in Pensacola, and I submitted his records of the meds, and amount in dosage and strength.

    The SSA had me see a Doctor and they paid for it. I was in seeing him 14 minutes, 21 seconds. I read up on line on fast these Doctors get you in, and out and a close buddy of mine I grew up with since 5th grade, is a well known lawyer and he told me to time this Doctor.

    He spent more time looking over my file from Hazelton-Betty Ford and saying over top of his glasses, OK, yes, Uh uh, Uh uh, yep, see no reason to disagree with them. He also let me know that he knows of Hazelton-Betty Ford and had some ” colleagues” of his go to it.

    And he said he has high respect for Dr Dawson at Hazelton-Betty Ford. So he ruled in my favor pretty much right to my face and he submitted his decison which I have a copy of, and he ruled in my favor 100 pct.

    Kay, the way I see it, if the SSA does not want to agree to my AOD=alleged on set date, they will have to agree to the dates of all of Jan/1 week in Feb 2015 to come to agreement that is my AOD and my EOD = established on set date.

    So I am appealing it. I don’t care, how long it takes, and I now have some of the best legal begal help representing me for free, because we are life long friends.

    Sincerely, Ed Sessions III

    P.S. Please give me your gut level honest opinion on all this. I worked for years from mid to upper management in HSE/Risk Management in the oil/gas industry domestic/international. I made a good income over 30 years.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ed,

      It is good that you have gotten legal assistance because Hazelton/Betty Ford is primarily known for the treatment of addiction and Social Security benefits are not paid for disability caused by alcohol or drug dependency or addiction.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • robert

    If a brother and sister live in the same house and one receives ssi and the other receives ssd,is there a problem.(same apartment)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robert,

      The sibling with SSDI will not be affected by sharing housing with his or her sibling. If the one receiving SSI pays his or her one-half share of rent and shelter utilities (not phone and cable) and either buys food separately or pays a one-half share of the food costs, the SSI benefit will not be affected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • I received a letter from SSA and it states,

        “We have found you meet the medical requirements for disability benefits. We have not yet made a decison about whether you meet the non-medical requirements , but we will make that decison soon. Then we will send you a second notice explaining our decison”

        ————————————-

        This is rather confusing to me. What do they mean by “non-medical requirments?

        Do note I have worked all my life, made a darn good income, and I am 58, divorced, no kids,and I applied for SSDI on Jan 29th, and received this letter 9 days ago, and a phone call from a lady with SSI telling me I qualify for SSI.

        So I scratch my head over this. How can I be receiving SSI when I been approved for SSDI? you can call me at 850-293-3868.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ed,

          I answer questions on this website only. I have removed your contact information to protect your privacy.

          It sounds as if you have been medically approved for both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). When you applied, you would have been screened for SSI, which requires income and assets below a certain level. It is possible to be approved for both benefits ongoing or for SSI only till SSDI starts. Given that you have made good money and worked regularly, I’d say that any SSI eligibility for you will be temporary. SSI is paid first.

          You may be asked to go in for an interview or to provide specific documentation about your finances (non-medical requirements) for SSI. A regional payment center will review your claim to double check that you were insured (non-medical requirement) on the date of disability that Social Security accepted.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Abraham

      If adult siblings are living together and one is receiving ssi with ssd but the other is not receiving benefits does it matter whether or not they are living with you in the same household?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Abraham,

        Living arrangement do not affect Social Security Disability (SSDI). As long as the person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paying his or her share of shelter and food expenses (or buying food separately), SSI benefits will not be affected. Shelter expenses are rent or mortgage, property tax, property insurance if required by the lender, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage. Share is determined by dividing the total shelter (and food if applicable) expenses by the number of people in the household. alternatively, if the person receiving SSI is not the renter or property owner, he or she can pay fair market value for room rental and not have SSI benefits reduced.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • CT

          Am I understanding correctly that if an apartment lease is in my name and I charge a renter less than 1/2 of the rent and i pay all other bills and each person pays for their own food it should not affect the person’s SSI benefits? Should they receive the maximum benefit allowed?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear CT,

            Your summary is not quite accurate if the renter is the person receiving SSI. If you charge the renter fair market value for the room and buys his or her own food, then the renter’s SSI will not be affected. It is not an issue of sharing in that situation. If you and the renter consider yourselves sharing housing, then the renter needs to pay his or her share of shelter expenses. Share is the total shelter (and food if food is shared) costs divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and rent or mortgage, property tax and, if required by the lender, property insurance.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • My question, I have an 11 year old son drawing ssi disability. My 24 year old son & my boyfriend, we live in my boyfriends house. All of a sudden, they said because we lived in my boyfriends house, we had to do a review. I supplied all of the monthly bills & other stuff as requested. And was even told it was probably in my best interest for my 24 year old to move out so that my sons check didn’t drop. Well, he moved out & guess what? They lowered his check to the minimum they have to pay him. Now my question is, is it better if my other son moves back home as he is struggling on his own. I thought that it said that this law depended on how many was in the home?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Tonia,

            If you are all sharing expenses, the more people in the household, the smaller your disabled son’s share of expenses is, so it could be advantageous to have your older son back in the household.

            Also, I suggest that you ask to see how your child’s share was calculated and how much they have on file as the amount he is contributing toward that share. If his share is equal to or less than the amount of his SSI payment you were using for the shelter expenses (and food expenses if you share food with your boyfriend and/or older son), then his SSI check should not have been reduced and you can appeal. One other note: If your twenty-three year old son purchases food separately, your disabled son’s share of shelter and food will be different. It would have been one-fourth for shelter and one third for food (assuming that you and he share food with your boyfriend.)

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Kay,
            Thank you so much. Yes, we all pay our own part of everything. With the amount of all of the bills, I was surprised when I was told his check was dropped to $415. It is just the three of us now. My boyfriend, myself & my son whom draws the ssi. It’s just been absolutely stressful. I found out I had kidney cancer, had to have surgery & then the ssi office is battling with me. Just so much stress.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Tonia,

              Do file an appeal.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • ashley

    hey i stay with my aunt and i have to pay her 250 a month and i only get 488 a month and now she want me to start paying the light bill and some of the uliutles could i get my full benefit now that i am helping paying some of the bills?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ashley,

      You can get an increase in your SSI if you pay your share of shelter expenses and, if you share food, your share of food. With two people in the household, your share of shelter expenses is one-half of the rent or mortgage and property tax and, if required by the lender, the property insurance; power; heat; water/sewer; and garbage. If you do not have enough income to pay your share but can get closer than $265 to your share, you can rebut the presumed reduction to $488 and have your benefits raised somewhat although not to the maximum. Once you get more SSI, you can increase your contribution again and report the increased contribution and get another small raise. You can keep doing this until you can pay the maximum–assuming your share is not to high to accomplish this. Alternatively you could begin to pay fair market value for a room rental rather than sharing and buy your own food or pay a flat rate for room and board as a renter. You can determine fair market value by looking at advertising of other similar room rentals in your area or possibly by checking on the Housing and Urban Development website at http://www.hud.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Julie

    I have been getting SSD for 3 years now. I have a mortgage on my home. My daughter lives with me.She is 23 years old and has mental problems. She was diagnosed years ago with bipolar and social anxiety disorder. She stopped taking meds and I have been her supporter for years. My health is failing. Drs are saying 3-6 years. I am worried about her future now. She does not have alot of work points because she could not tolerate being around people. I want her to apply for disability and SSI now. If she applies and gets approved for both will she have to use my income for determination while I am alive? I don’t even know if she would qualify for SSD since she hasn’t worked much? But could she get the suplimental? Can you apply for the Suplimental without applying for the SSD? Your help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Julie,

      If you daughter has not held a job for six months since she turned age twenty-two and you have medical documentation of her being impaired before age twenty-two, I suggest that she apply for Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) on your earnings record. At the same time she can apply for SSD and SSI. Someone age twenty-three needs only six quarters of coverage so she might be insured for SSD.

      When she applies for SSI, she has to apply for the two Social Security benefits to see if she is eligible, but she does not have to be eligible for them to receive SSI. Your income and assets will not affect her SSI application. The fact that you provide her with shelter and food will cause a reduction in the amount of SSI she receives. Once she starts to get benefits, the amount can be increased if she starts to pay her share of those costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cindy

    I’m receiving Adult/child SSDI benefits for an illness since I was little. My mom is going to apply for spouse benefit within the next year under my dad records. Do I need apply for SSI than when my benefit is reduce or is automatically done by SSA?
    Also, we have 6 people living in this house. My parents, my bro and her 2 kids and me. He pays electric and I have to pay the garbage bill. We both buy our own food because we are on a place on a renal diet because of kidney problems. How does that affect my SSI benefit should I get it. Electrics is about $70 and garbage bill is around $65 for 2 1/2 month. House has no mortgage and we live with our parents.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      To receive SSI when your Social Security is reduced, you need to file an application. To receive the maximum amount possible, you must pay your share (one sixth) of the property taxes, electric, water/sewer and garbage.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Holly

    Hi
    I currently receiving ssi. I just inherited the house I live in. No mortgage to pay. I live alone. So all the utilities are my responsibility and I also have the property taxes to pay and the home owner insurance to pay. The home owners insurance is 1000.00 dollars a year and the property taxes are 1200.00 dollars a year. Utilities are 350.00 a month. I do receive food stamps. I receive 636.00 a month,now but with the recent change that I now am living alone. Will my ssi check be increased to the maximum?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Holly,

      I would expect that your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit would increase to $733 if you have no other income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sherry

    I posted earlier that if my boyfriend moves in with me and my two disabled children 1 is 15 the other is 21 will that affect my kids ssi the kids are not his. do I need to report this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sherry,

      See my response of a few minutes ago. You do need to report the change in the members of your household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • sherry

        thank you so much for your response!!! I also wanted to say hes also unemployed and does not receive any ssi and neither do I and we are not married will my kids benefits still stay the same, I didn’t see your response that you said see my resonse a few minutes ago, sorry just need information and you are very helpful, thanks for all your help, I appreciate it so much!!! sherry

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Sherry,

          This is what I wrote previously:

          Your boyfriend’s income does not affect your children’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. As long as you boyfriend does not pay more than his one-quarter share of rent, shelter utilities, and food, his being in the household will not affect the benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • sherry

            if my son moves home and is disabled and 22 years old he receives ssi and is moving home as he will be 22 years old what do I have to do and will I have to fill out forms or will they need to talk to him hes autistic with a low iq and on a lot of meds this will just confuse him if they want to talk to him or do I just tell them he moved home and there are no changes which is true. thanks for your advice!!!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Sherry,

              Please provide the following information so I can respond: Are you your son’s payee? If not, does he receive his benefits directly or does he have a payee?

              A note, moving residence is a change that can affect payment amount. For your son to receive the maximum SSI, he has to pay his share of shelter expenses and food or his share of shelter expenses and buy his own food. His share is the total amount of these expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Shelter expenses are rent or mortgage, property tax, and if required by the lender property insurance, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage. Alternatively, he would have to be a renter renting a room from you for fair market value and buying his own food or a boarder paying fair market value for room and board. The last choice is harder to prove with a family member.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Nicole

        Dear Kay,
        I need help!! It’s so confusing with the SSI thing… I am not working due to my baby disability (he’s only a month old by the way) and I’ve been told that he should be qualify for SSI. I did apply for it and been told to wait 3-4 months for them to decide. My relationship status is complicated but the father of my son is thinking of moving in to help out with our son’s need and care… He’s income is about $1500 a month. So if he moves in (household of 6 )will it effect our son SSI benefits??

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicole,

          The income you describe is low enough that your child will qualify financially for SSI based on income. His father’s assets will be considered also in determining eligibility. You and he can have up to $3,000 in countable assets before any counts against your child’s $2,000 resource limit.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Nicole

            Thank you so much Kay for your reply! You’re a life saver!!!! 🙂 I’m at ease now 🙂

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Nicole.

  • Michele

    I currently receive SSD $555 and SSI $198 total=$753.00 per month and also receive $140 in food stamps. I just recently found out that i am 4 months pregnant and the father of the child wants to move in and live with us to help with the raising of our child. The father doesn’t work and has no income at the present time, will my benefits be affected? Also, when he does start working how will that affect my benefits? I am currently paying $550 per month with all utilities included. Also, with being pregnant with my first child, will he/she be able to receive benefits also?

    Thank you so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michele,

      If you are not married to the father or your child, his income and assets will not affect your Supplemental Security Income. Your Social Security earnings record may not be high enough for dependent benefits to be payable. You can find out by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and asking the amount of your Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which is your benefit amount, and the amount of your Family Maximum Benefit (FMB). If your FMB is more than your PIA, your child will be eligible for benefits.

      When your child’s father starts working and paying some of the household costs, you need to pay your share of shelter expenses and food (or purchase food separately). Otherwise you SSI will be reduced.

      Currently, you may be eligible for a WIC grant for food assistance because you are pregnant. I do not know whether it is more than food stamps.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elizabeth

    My friend who gets full ssi benefits has a supplemental needs trust that was willed to her. Money from that trust will go to purchase her a home. Can her working boyfriend live there and her still receive full ssi? It’s my understanding as long as he doesn’t pay more than 1/2 of electric, water, gas and food he can. Can they share food or must it be bought and prepared separately? Does this change if they are common law married? Can they choose to not present themselves as common law?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      Your friend and her boyfriend can live together and share food without its affecting your friend’s SSI as long as each pays half of the bills you listed plus half the garbage and half of the mortgage, if any, and half of the property taxes. If there is a mortgage and the lender requires property insurance, the insurance is a shelter cost and her boyfriend cannot pay more than half. She does need to report the trust and circumstances of the house purchase.

      If they marry, his income and assets will be considered in determining whether she remains financially eligible for SSI. Only a very few states recognize common law marriages and common law marriages in those states require a divorce to dissolve. One of the criteria for a common law marriage is that the couple consider themselves married and tell everyone they are married even though they have not gone through a marriage ceremony. Accordingly, common law does not appear to apply to your friend.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Toria

        Hi, my daughter currently getting ssi benefits of $30 a month because she still in the nicu, 5mth now. She on the edge of coming out soon but I’m confuse and what to do in the sense on my application I live with my grand MA. Is moving out on my own will allow me to get maximum benefit even if I don’t work r staying with grandma and paying half the bill and cook our food separate will allow me to get all maximum. Thnx

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Toria,

          For your child to receive the maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, you need to pay two-thirds the shelter utilities and two-thirds of the rent or mortgage, property taxes, and if required by the lender property insurance because you are paying for both yourself and your child and there are three in the household. Moving out on your own would also allow maximum payment if you and your child pay all the shelter expenses yourselves. Note that either way you have to start paying your and your child’s share before the increase occurs.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Dee Lambert

        Hi! My son currently receives the full amount of ssi and I just applied for my daughter as well. Right now it is just my 2 young children and myself. I have no earned income. We pay rent and utilities with his ssi. I am a full time student as well. I am engaged. My fiance doesnt live in my home. We are planning on moving in his home. He has a mortgage and pays all utilities. I would be able to help out by using the ssi benefits that we have been using to cover living expenses. Would my son still receive his full benefits? Also my fiance makes roughly $35,000 a year. How will this affect the ssi benefits when we get married. Thank you for your time.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          If your finance is either of your disabled children’s father, living with him will mean that his income and assets are considered in determining your children’s benefit amounts. If he is father to both of them, their SSI would be reduced to about $283 each. If only one child is eligible, that child’s SSI will be reduced to about $20. This is true, whether or not you are married.

          If your fiance is not the father of your disabled child, his income will not considered. As long as you use your child’s SSI to pay his share of shelter expenses, which would be one-fourth of the rent and shelter utilities (not phone and cable) and his share of food if you all buy and prepare food together, his SSI will not go down.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Luke

    Dear Kay
    I am legally blind and am no longer able to work, i live with a friend who has a daughter on ssi, I have a room , pay $300 and pay my own food. I am up for redetermination next week and right now get the full $733, I don’t know any info on my friends daughter or anything else what will I be asked? Also will this be enough to keep my full benefits?
    Thank you so much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Luke,

      Because you rent a room, you are not part of the friend’s household. All you need is a written statement from your friend that you rent a room for $300 and purchase and prepare your food separately. If similar rooms in the area rent for around $300 so that $300 is fair market value (FMV), your benefit should not be reduced due to subsidized housing. (Note: if you reported your change of address when you moved to where you are now, presumably SSA already determined you are paying FMV.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elisa

    Hello, what happens to your ssi income when someone moves out a house of 4?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elisa,

      If you are sharing expenses and the household goes from four to three people, the SSI recipient’s share changes from one-quarter to one-third of the expenses. If one-third is paid, no change in SSI payment amount occurs; however, the change does need to be reported.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Tamera

    Kay,

    A friend of mine is disabled and has a prosthetic leg which he still has difficulty standing on for an extended period. He has received SSI since his accident, and has a teenage son to care for as well. He receives food stamps and a small amount of AFDC for his son. Due to more issues getting around, and no transportation, his mother moved in with him. She is retired and receives SS retirement. As she now has to eat in the home as well, he tried to add her to his FS case. He was told that SSI and SS can not be on the same case, even though he has informed SSI she is living in the home and it did not reduce his SSI.
    Any advise on this?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tamara,

      Your friend’s mother can try to apply for food stamps on her own.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • kamiyah Johnson

        Hi my question is if I was living with my mother
        And moving out and renting a room and pay my own bills what will happen to receiving ssi benefits

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kamiyah,

          If you are paying fair market value for your room and buying your own food, you will be eligible for the maximum federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is $733.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sacha Curtis

    How will I find the reply will you email.me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sacha,

      My response should appear below your original posting on this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Logan

        Hi, I am on ssi and will be moving to live with my mother and father in their rental home. I get food stamps and medicaid… How much does my share of the expenses have to be monthly to recieve the full ssi benefit.of 733? Are any expenses excluded like cell phone or cable?

        Thank you so much!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Logan,

          Your share is the total of rent, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage divided by the number of people in the household. If you continue to purchase and prepare food separately, you do not need to calculate and pay your share of food.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Sacha Curtis

    I and my 6 yr old.daughyer get ssi for a disability
    We live in Oregon so the amount is 733 mine was reduced due to a tempt to work. Since I am attempting to work and support my children ( I also have a 15 yr old with. no income, she doesn’t qualify for welfare or food stamps due to both our ssi payment ) my disabled daughter needs a lot of care so her father was thinking about moving in his own room he has a girlfriend . Just to help out with child care and care for our daughter we were never married and have no plans to get married. He also is on ssi how will this affect us will my daughter lose her ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sacha,

      It is likely that your disabled child and her father will be considered to be in the same household because they are under the same roof. However, if he is receiving SSI and not Social Security and he has no other income, his being in the house will not affect your daughter’s benefits. Because you have not been married, your respective incomes will not effect each other. Just be sure that he and his girlfriend do not pay more than their share of shelter expenses and either buy and prepare their food separately or pay no more than their share. (With five in the household, each person’s share is one-fifth.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Danita

    I draw the max amount of SSI and live in MS. My parents passed away one in 2006 and one in 2009. My dad left his house to my sister. My house is in very bad shape and I need to move me and my son to my sisters but how will her income effect my SSI. There is no house payment. I get food stamps for me and my son and we will be providing our own food. How much of the utilities and house ins and property tax (i am tax exempt on my house)will i need to pay? do I pay half or do pay 1/3 or 2/3 considering I have a child? Please help we have got to figure this out . My sister has a good job but I still need all my benefits to pay my share if we figure out what is my share and our necessities.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Danita,

      You need to pay one-third of the property insurance and power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage not to have an SSI reduction due to living arrangements. However, you may not be eligible because of the value of the house that you are vacating. (The value is its market value less any money owed on it.) One way to deal with that is to put your house up for sale and request provisional payments while you are trying to sell the house. Once it is sold, you will have to repay the SSI your received during the time you didn’t live in the house.

      Another alternative would be to rent it out and it could be excluded as income producing property; however, the rent profit would count as income to reduce your SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Danita

        The house I live in (which my mom left to us)is in my name, my sister’s name and my brothers name. So if it is falling in I cant move because it will effect my SSI. Nothing is owed on that house. If we sale the house (it will just be for the small amount of property it sets on) and use that money to build on to my sisters will that hurt me. There is nothing owed on my sisters home either. Or what if that house has to be torn down because of the shape it is in. I do not understand this market value thing.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Danita,

          One solution for you might be to move out and immediately put the property up for sale. Then request provisional SSI payments. Once the property was sold, you would need to repay SSI benefits that you received while the property was for sale and you were not living in it. You could use the rest of the proceeds from the sale to build onto your sister’s house and not have it affect your SSI if your name was put on your sister’s property so that you were living in property you own and so that you would not be giving away to your sister the money from the sale that was yours and was used for the build on. One thing to watch for, however, would be to pay your share of property taxes and shelter utilities at your new residence.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Danita

            Can I put my house up for sell now an live in it till it sales and then build on to my sisters with that money and not owe anything? It will take everything I get from that property to add on to my sisters home so we can live there. the house I live in is in mine and my siblings name and when and if I move into my sisters, that house will be in both our names also.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Danita,

              Yes, you can do that. You have three months to reinvest the money from the sale of the house in your new home. Be sure to live on your sister’s property as soon as you move out of the house you sell. Also, be sure that you do as you plan and get your name is on the property at the time you are building onto the house, there so that it shows the addition is on your property.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Jim christie

    My son was just approved for ssi. His payment was reduced because he lives at home with us and we have paid for all housing and food costs. Can we now begin to charge for these expenses and receive the full amount? If so how do we determine the rent and file for reconsideration. He has no other form of income so the amount of fair value if we actually split all the costs by the number of us in the house, four, would exceed his total payment so might look dubious. Is there another way to calculate fair value so he could receive the full payment so he can contribute to those expenses? Do we have to present a lease to document his contributions?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jim,

      You can go two ways. If he has back pay coming, he could use part of the back pay to pay his share of rent or mortgage, property taxes, (property insurance if required by the lender) and his share of food. He would need enough back pay when combined with the monthly benefit to do this for two months because the increase takes effect two months after he starts paying his share.

      If his share is still too high for him to pay it, you could begin to treat him as a roomer/boarder. First search for median rentals in your city or county. Look for a HUD site, which should list this. That you give the SRO (room rental) rate to charge. Then find out the current maximum SNAP (food stamp grant) for one person. Those two together would be fair market value (FMV) for room and board and you would need to charge. Make printouts for documentation of the rates.

      If he can’t pay his share or FMV, have him pay as much as possible and if it comes to within less that $244 of his share, his benefits will be increased some, jug not to the maximum.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ron

        I have been battling with Social Security for aprox. 4 years now, prior to the first attempt or application I had and still have an agreement with my father that I would repay him rent/back rent at $200 a month. I never in my wildest dreams expected I would still to this day do you declined when I clearly satisfy the needs as dictated in the SSI and book/Social Security Administration office and yes I do have a Doctor, that filled the paperwork out needed yet I’m still declined? I don’t get that but moving on – (i do receive food assistance) and my father is in dire straits – I don’t understand how he gets along with the small amount of ssi retirement he receives? So, with the agreement between my father and myself in writing, am I qualified or able to receive the $200 per month back rent via backpay, from my inital application date? -when I am finally approved?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ron,

          If you can prove that you have a bonafide loan from your father and you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your SSI will not be reduced for free shelter.. Otherwise, your back pay will be reduced likely to $488 a month for past months.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • sam

    My mom lives with me and shares mortgage, insurance, taxes and utilities. But she is still deducted the $244.33.

    She mentioned that she is not sharing the food with the rest of the family.
    The representative told that only if she shared the food she will not be deducted the $244.33, is that true?

    I thought when one does not share is when this $244.33 will NOT be deducted. Can you please clarify.

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      If you mother is paying her share of the shelter expenses that you listed and is buying her own food, she should not have a reduction for in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance. Her share is the expenses divided by the number of people in the household. I suggest that she contact Social Security again and ask to see a claims representative to appeal of the calculation of her claim. You will need to submit proof the the amount of the expenses and a statement as the to amount she contributes and that fact that she buys food separately.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Shellie

    Hi,

    My son gets SSI, he is only 7 years old. My boyfriend (not my sons father, but father of the baby I’m carrying) moved in shortly after my son was approved.

    My boyfriend did not work, up until a month ago and I paid him initially to help out with my son before and after he moved in. As my son had a hard time staying in school without suspensions etc. And I needed a sitter who wouldn’t throw in the towel, while I work full time.

    In October, I received a raise and did not realize that I needed to report it, as I was still under the amount listed on the site. This is my first 6 mos receiving disability for my son. I can not find any forms online to report changes, and I can never get a hold of anyone when I call. Taking time off of work to sit at the office is not acceptable, as I use my Paid Time Off for my OB/GYN appts.

    When I do report, do I include my boyfriend or because we are not legally marred it doesn’t count? My teenage daughter also lives with me part of the time. Do I include her as well? I’m so confused and unfortunately there is not much help even with the technology that is now available.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shellie,

      You can be set up to report your wages by phone, but you probably will have to go the office if you cannot get through. You can also report the wages by mailing in a copy of your pay stubs. You do need to report your boyfriend moving in with you. His income will not affect your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because you are not married and he is not your disabled child’s father.

      As long as he does not contribute more than his share to pay rent, shelter utilities (not cable or phone) and food, his being in the household won’t affect the benefits by providing support for the disabled child. His share is the total of those costs divided by the number of people in the household. That gets us to whether or not your daughter is a member of the household. If your home is her primary residence, you can list her as a member of the household; if it is not, then probably you can’t. This is assuming that she does not stay with you whole months at a time. As an aside, if your child’s benefits are reduced due to your work earnings, report when the baby is born because that will reduce or eliminate the reduction.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    Dear Kay,
    I have question about a new family and i am disabled with ssi. Do it affect my ssi change to down or up?
    i was born deaf and i just became new mother of my first child and a father of my child living with us. He’s my boyfriend and we are not married, he just started working to pay half 50/50 everything the rent and bills that i cant afford pay all bills and to care our child under my ssi alone.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      Your boyfriend’s income does not affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). As long as he does not pay more than his share of the shelter and food costs (1/3) and that of his child (1/3), his contributions to household expenses will not affect your SSI. Stated another way, if he pays more than 1/3 of the total costs, he needs to specify that the extra amount contributed is for the child.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christina G Diggins

    I have two adult autistic sons who live with me (age 19 and 21). They both receive SSI, however their dad is still paying $750 total ($375 per child) for child support (court ordered to continue after age 18 because of their disability). SSI determines other income for each son: $375 (child support) – $20 (by law) + $244 (value of food and shelter provided by me) = $599.33. Then, the monthly SSI they each receive is $733 – $599.33 = $133.67.

    The part I don’t get, is that I use all of the $750 for my sons to pay the household expenses. The original determination for the older son, when he turned 18, said that household expenses per month were $1,412 (including property insurance – which I have now read is not to be included). $1,412/3 people = $470 per month. He pays for 1/3 of the household expenses by using $375 (from dad) plus $133.67 (from SSI). Why are they subtracting $244 for value of food and shelter provided by me, when it is my son who is paying for it? It seems like they are counting the same money twice: $375 from dad, and $244 from me, when I am using the $375 from dad to pay for expenses.

    I am going to go back in to the SS office, and I’m not sure how to handle this. It has been a few years, and the household expenses have changed: $1,265/3 people = $421 per month (I am not including property insurance). Each son is paying more than 1/3 of the household expenses ($375 + $133.67 = $508).

    So, I have 4 questions which I wonder if you might help me with:
    1) Should they be awarded the remaining $244?

    2) If they should get the $244, is there any way to get “back-pay” for the 2 years that it has been reduced by $244?

    3) Is property insurance really supposed to be included in the household expenses; it is listed in my oldest determination form from 2012 (it would increase the monthly household expense per person to $521)?

    4) Finally, are we supposed to include fast food (pizza, burgers) in household food expenses if we bring the food home?

    Thank you, and God Bless!
    Christina

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christina,

      1. Your children should not be charged a reduction for in-kind support and maintenance beginning with the point that they started to get SSI and had enough money between child support and SSI to cover their shares of the expenses. I suggest that you file a formal appeals of the calculation of their claims on a form SSA-561.You have to file separate appeals for each child and submit all the documentation twice, once for each appeal. Attach a summary statement that itemizes the shelter expenses by month (or range of months if they are the same for a length of time). Submit copies of all the shelter expense bills, which I will list below, for each itemized period. Make an argument as follows: in-kind support and maintenance should not have been charged for specific months that you name because you sons’ child support, which has correctly been charged as income, and their SSI was used to pay their shares. Also assert that prior to when they got their first SSI, their SSI should have been reduced by only $75. See number 2 below.

      2. The adjustment to full $733 SSI can only go back is to the point they started to get SSI because they didn’t have enough income to pay their shares previously. However, you can rebut the presumed $244 reduction for the period before that because they were each paying all but $95 of their share prior to getting SSI (based on $470 share) so their SSI should have been reduced $75 each. ($470 – $375 = $95 – $20 = $75).

      3. My understanding is that property insurance is a shelter expense if it is required by the mortgage holder; otherwise it is not. (Most lenders require it.) Shelter expenses are mortgage, property tax, insurance as explained, electricity, heat, water/sewer, garbage.

      4. Convenient food brought into the house is food consumed by the household and should be included.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christina G Diggins

        Thank you very much for this! When my oldest turned 18 (2012), my youngest lost his SSI/Medicaid (because my retirement was “too high” for us both), until he also turned 18 and had to re-apply for SSI. I’ve been to the local office a few times since 2012 trying to understand why they are treating the child support and in-kind as separate dollars, when they are the same. I would tell them that I have to use the child support to pay the bills, but I left each time more confused than when I got there. You have helped me tremendously! Also, my house was already paid off by 2012, and it even says, “mortgage/rent: $0, property insurance: $276” on my oldest son’s determination. No mortgage company to require it, so it should never have been included in the original determination of household expenses. Again, thank you so very much. This is going to make a tremendous difference in both their lives! God Bless You!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Christina.

          • Christina G Diggins

            I visited SSA office last week, and the fabulous news: they are going to award both my boys the additional $244 per month! Thank-you!

            I must say, however, the first woman I talked with started with, “How much did your oldest son pay for electricity last month? How much did he pay for water?” I realize why it was so confusing the first visit in 2012. He physically doesn’t pay anything, and this is what I believed she meant (and I’m a bit suspicious this is intentional).

            I did try to argue that it should be retroactive to 2012, but they said that since I didn’t file an appeal within 60 days, I couldn’t go this far back. On the 2012 determination form, it did say “..mortgage/rent $0.00, property insurance $276.00..” and I argued that they should have been the ones to catch it: since there is no mortgage to require property insurance, the $276.00 shouldn’t have been included. They still said it was my responsibility to know this – oh, well. I am extremely happy going forward, and I’m spreading the information (and your website) to every parent I know!

            Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for your great advice. Going forward, this $244 per month is going to be a great deal of help; both guys are attending a new (private) training school for adults with autism and it is expensive!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Christina.

    • I was never getting the full amount of my SSI because I’m married and they base my SSI on his income we are now getting separated and I’m moving in with my neice who is also on SSI n she has a child also on SSI will I get my full amount and how will this affect my neice and her child’s SSI….plz help and thank you

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Donna,

        When everyone in a household receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it is assumed that you are sharing the expenses equally. This means that you will be eligible for unreduced SSI when you move in with your niece f you do not have other income.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Phyllis

    Hello Kay, I am a 61 year old woman who has been on SSDI for 20 years. When I first began collecting, I was living with my mother, who was helping me with everything I needed to survive. Now, however, since my mother passed I am living alone and find that I cannot meet my monthly financial needs. Is there any way that my SSDI payments can be raised? I presently get $1176 a month in SSDI and $16 a month in EBT (food stamps). This may sound like a lot to some, but actually when rent, food, household items and utilities have to be paid, oftentimes I end up with $5 or less in my bank account. Thank you so much for caring to reply.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Phyllis,

      I can think of two possibilities, one more immediate than the other. You may be able to get some assistance with the payment of your Medicare premiums, which would free up part of the Social Security for other use. More information is available at http://www.medicare.gov. You might also try to get on a waiting list for government-subsidized housing if any is available in the area where you live or you are willing to move to such an area. Or, if you have two bedrooms, you might consider a roommate to share rent and utility costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Phyllis

        Thank you very much, Kay, for your information! I will certainly look into that link and also consider what you’ve said about the other issues.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Phyllis.

  • misty

    Dear Kay.I get s.s.I. and so does my boyfriend,since we live in the same house and pay all the bills 50\50,will that affect either one of our s.s.I.? I just wanted to know and bless you for any information you may have.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Misty,

      Your living together and splitting expenses 50-50 will not affect either or your SSI benefits. You do have to report that the change in your living arrangements. Make it clear that you are not married or domestic partners.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • annette

    i live with my cousin and did not have to pay for any food or rent. i was receiving food stamps and recently got approved for ssi. now my cousin wants to charge me for rent but my question is will that be deducted from my ssi or would i receive the maximum? she wants me to start paying on the first of the month but right now i do not now how much my monthly payments will be because they are still working on that. i am supposed to start receiving my first payment march 1 so should i contact ssi to let them know i have to start paying rent.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Annette,

      Your back pay will be reduced for the free housing. After you have paid rent at fair market value (FMV) for two months your monthly SSI will go up. You may not be able to pay the amount of rent she wants if it is over $488 until you get our back pay.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Pam

    hi, i have a question about living arrangement also, i own my own home and will be getting ssi i would like my son to come and live with me to help me with the things i cant do . i wouldnt charge him rent as i wouldnt be paying him for his help but would ask him to pay his own part of the electric,gas and he would have to buy and fix his own food would they take away any of my ssi because hes hear helping me ,in other words would i have to pay for his gas and electric. if so i dont understand it why i would be reponsible to pay his share of electric/gas because they would deduct it from my total amount of ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Pam,

      As long as your son does not pay more than the total gas and electric and property tax each month and prepares his own food or pays no more than half of the food if you decide to share food, his living with you will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because he would not be paying any of your share.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • LISA WILLIAMS

    Kay, I have a important question. I am living with a friend whom gets ssi and I waiting for a court hearing for to get my ssi. We live together only as friends nothing more. But I would need my full amount of benefits to get myself together and get my own place. I don’t want to hurt this person’s ssi benefit amount for they are getting their full amount, just because I need my full amount when this person is trying to help me. I don’t want his to be reduced. If I get my full amount. Can you please email me, how can we both live under the same roof and get full benefit amounts without it hurting his ssi amount or mine. If they reduce his he can’t live and if they don’t give me my full amount I can’t live.

    Lisa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lisa,

      Your getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not affect your friend’s SSI. If you are not now paying for your share of shelter expenses (and food if you buy your food together) and you are approved, your SSI payments will not be the full maximum amount because you are getting free shelter. If, when benefits start, you use the monthly benefits and/or SSI back pay to pay your share, you and he can report that to Social Security and two months after you start paying your share, your SSI will be increased to the full amount. Alternatively, you can use your benefits to move out and rent your own place and two months later your benefits will increase, assuming you pay all your shelter and food expenses yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Andrea

    Someone told me that I could apply for Head of Household on top of my SSDI. Is it possible to apply for this option since my situation has changed?

    Thank you,
    andrea

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Andrea,

      I believe that your question is a tax question. Please discuss it with a tax accountant or the IRS.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • David

    I have received a fully favorable decision on 1/21/16 for ssi. My question – i live with my son, daughter in law, and 2 grandkids. I receive $194.00 in snap and must prepare my own meals in relation to my heart problem. I pay $250.00 in rent per month out of their total of $850.00 for rent and electric. Have i fulfilled my “fair share” according to ss? Just askin’ another opinion.. Thanks D..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear David,

      Based on the information that you have provided, your living arrangement will not reduce your SSI payment; however, if you have income (rather than savings) that you are using to pay $250 for rent and utilities, all but $20 of that income will be used in calculating your benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • DeeDee

        Hi Kay …how long will it be before I get a answer from SSI after I seen their doctor for my depression I went on February 15,2016 and how will I know if I was approved the doctor was a very nice lady I got a good vibe from her this month makes the 6th month I been waiting…and do this means I will be approved

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear DeeDee,

          Your being sent to a physician for evaluation does not necessarily mean that you will approved. It does, however, mean that your claim is being more actively worked on. The doctor has three weeks to submit the report. Then the report will be reviewed in the context of the rest of the information in your claim file. Experience seems to indicate that can take from a couple weeks to a couple months for a decision.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Hello im stephen an well me i move to temple ga 30179 with my mom an step dad an i had my mom report to ssi that we move an 2 mouths later i got a latter in the mail saying that im getting $250 in food an housing from some one else an they lower my ssi money down to $483 a mouth an im haveing to pay my mom an step dad $395 in bills an im have to buy my own food i only have $95 to eat off of a mouth an me an my mom was thinking that it was going to be hell getting my ssi money back up so i was looking for a job an got one working for abm an ssi lower my ssi money down to $306 after i got that job an mouths later ssi lower my money down to $193 because they said that i got more income off my job 2 weeks later my job abm fried me an i got my payment things from abm an i had my mom make a latter up for me an i sent out to ssi so should this fix my money

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Stephen,

        Work earnings will no longer affect your SSI benefits two months after you stop working so you will get an increase. Because you are responsible for providing your own food, I suggest that you apply for food stamps. As soon as you get them, if you are continuing to pay $395 for the shelter expenses, you may be able to get your SSI raised back up to $733 a month. It will be raised if $395 is enough to pay your share of rent or mortgage and property taxes and shelter utilities. Your share is the total expenses divided by the number of people in the household.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Mary

    Hi Kay, I do have another question. I lived with both my parents for 23 years (I became ill when i was 28, I am now 55) because of being ill. I am on SSI. Both of my parents died in 2014. The house is in a trust that says I get to live here until I die or go into a nursing home. Then it goes to my sister or her heirs. This is the house that we grew up in. She is the trustee of the trust. My parents left all (not a lot) of their money to my sister because they knew they couldn’t leave it to me. The trust states that 20% of that money should be used to help take care of the house. I called the S.S. office right after my mother died and asked them if my sister was allowed to help pay the property taxes. The person I spoke to told me that they thought she could since the house was the “homestead.” Do you know if this is the case. I saw on some papers the S.S. office sent me that it say others cannot pay property taxes. Also I understand that my sister should be able to pay for things such as the plumber, pest control, roofing etc? Thank you very much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      Your sister paying for repairs and maintenance of the physical condition of the home will not affect your SSI as long as she pays for it directly and doesn’t give you the money to pay for it. If she pays the property taxes, it will be charged as income to you because property taxes are considered a shelter expense. (See D.1. at https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500835465.) It might be that if the taxes are paid all in one month, the payment would affect only one month’s SSI payment with a reduction of $244.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        I actually spoke with the S.S. office today and they did say that because it is the “homestead” my sister can pay the property taxes as long as she pays it directly and not to me. Just for future knowledge. Thank you very much for your help!!
        Sincerely,
        Mary

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          Thank you for the information. SSI law is very detailed and complex; apparently the property your living in met the special homestead criteria, possibly because it is held in trust and your sister will inherit eventually.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Mary

            Yes, that’s it Kay. Thanks so much!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Mary.

  • Dennis

    I’m 61 years old and recieve only $784.00 monthly (SSI)..My rent is $725.00 monthly..I was getting approximately $1000.00monthly until 2012 when they discovered that my parents had been helping me financially for about 3 months..I have been struggling all this time,as after i pay rent i cannot pay my electric ,i cannot buy clothes,necessities like toothpaste,shaving cream ,towels,etc..i refuse to move in to a hud low income area ghetto as because of my bipolar and severe anxieties, are also accompanied by a sleep disorder and i cannot sleep in that kind of surrounding..noise rules are never enforced and thugs hang out all hours..honestly ,HUD housing is the worst..period..I live in a senior community and it’s hugely quiet at all times and it’s been the answer to my sleep problems..but i cannot live in only 784.00 per month ..I’ve written the social security administration and even filled out forms putting down the correct amount i now recieve..which is nothing but SSI.. I to them ,in a letter that accompanied the forms that i was getting help from family but only for a few months in 2012 and i explained that for 4 years now i’m only receiving SSI and struggling and cannot buy necessities or pay my electric bill without the church’s help or who’mever i can get to help me each month..I have about 60 dollars left after rent each month..period!! the answer i get back everytime (in letter form) is always the same..that their records show i receive over $1000.00 monthly..Why isit that even though i’m trying to correct this information they’re not listening!!! Is this a ruse on their part to keep from paying me what i should be getting from them?? What’s going on??

    • Dennis

      let me add some detail to above,my previous comment..In 2012 my parents were helping with an old beat up car as it was costing me money every month..My bank account reflected a figure slightly above 1000.00 monthly for about 3 or 4 months..The Social Security Administration cut me down to $700.00 at that time and now it’s 784.00 a month..my dad had a stroke on may 15 2012 and they stopped helping me at that point and i have since then several times ,written to the government explaining the situation and filled out forms correcting the issue..I’ve sent letters accompanying the forms explaining it all and all i get in reply each time are letters stating “our records show that you receive over the qualified yada yada yada, of 1000 dollars..etc..Are they NOT reading my letters? This has been going on since 2012..I can’t buy clothes and other necessities and am having to constantly beg from the churches and my mother as well as cousins and friends EVERY month just to get my electric bill paid..and it’s humiliating to beg people for money to buy a pair of pants ,or a shirt,shaving cream,pair of socks .underwear,etc…I’ve been receiving disability since 1980 for bipolar disorder,severe anxieties as well as a sleep disorder according to a recent diagnosis by my doctor(not tested but yet his professional opinion),probably caused by the bipolar and anxieties..Why is it that they’re responding to my letters in a way that indicates they’re not even bothering to read them ??

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dennis,

        Please see my response of a few minutes ago to your earlier post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dennis,

      The information you have provided seems confused. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not to my knowledge pay $1,000 in any state. I wonder if you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSI), which may be $1,000 before deductions for Medicare premiums and/or taxes or collection of a prior overpayment or garnishment for child support. I suggest that first you clarify the type and gross amount of benefits you receive and of any deductions from the gross, if any. Once you have that information, feel free to post again and I will try to offer some possible suggestions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ritz

    Hi,

    My son (now 12 years) got some money at birth for his birth injuries and the money is sitting in a special needs trust.

    Can the trust buy a house and we (parents and 1 18-yr old sibling) continue to live in that house without any issues?
    We take care of him, and in exchange we can live in the trust’s house. Is that fair?

    I am the trustee of the trust myself.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ritz,

      I suggest that you show the trust documents to an attorney who is knowledgeable in trusts to get an answer to your question about what you can legally do with the trust in relationship to how the trust is written.

      You posted this question under the SSI (Supplemental Security Income) portion of this website, so I assume that you have either applied for SSI or are thinking of applying for SSI for your disabled son. If that is correct, you would need to tell Social Security about the trust and if the trust is excluded as a resource, any withdrawals from the trust that are used for housing may be counted as income for SSI in the month of withdrawal. However, if you buy the house quickly after drawing money from the trust, only a month or maybe two would be affected because once your son started to live in his house, the house would be excluded as a resource.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ritz

        Thanks Kay.

        We’re not planning to apply for SSI yet because he’s only 12 (and household income is deemed to him).

        He’ll be eligible once he’s 18. From your point though, it seems like its a good idea to buy the house now since he’s not drawing SSI anyway at this time.

        The trust has been written to allow purchasing the house in trust’s name.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ritz,

          Your assessment of the situation seems reasonable as related to SSI. When he turns eighteen, he would be living in a house held in trust for him.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ritz

            Thanks!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Ritz.

  • Mary

    Hi Kay,
    I have been ill for 26 years and am on S.S.I. I was living with my parents but they both died in 2014. The house is in a trust, thank goodness, but the property taxes just about doubled after they died. Can a friend pay for my car insurance if I end up not being able to? Thank you very much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      If your friend pays the car insurance directly to the insurance company and does not give you money to pay the bill, the assistance will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary

        Thank you so much for the information Liz. That goes for ANY state? I am in Florida. Thanks again!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mary,

          Yes, the rule applies in all states.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Mary

            Thank you so much for the info Kay!

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Mary.

    • nicole

      Can i work 80 hours a month and still keep my ssd or ssdi

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nicole,

        I need more information to respond. How much will you be earning gross and how much SSI do you now receive?

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • nicole

          I make 14a hour and only work 80 hour a month and I get social security not ssi

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Nicole,

            Your work earnings in 2016 are $10 below Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level and are above the 2015 level. You can only work at SGA level so long and then Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits end. If you have not recovered medically from your disability, your benefits are payable during your first nine months of work above $810 in 2016 ($780 in 2015 and $770 in 2014). During the thirty-six consecutive months after the end of the nine-month Trial Work Period, you will be paid benefits only in months that you do not perform SGA. After the thirty-six months, your benefits and claim terminate in the first month you perform SGA. You can read about this in the Red Book, which is available for local Social Security offices or online at http://www.ssa.gov.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • liz

    HI. Im writing with a question, I live with a roommate and her Mom, The Mom is retired on ssi, my roommate is on ssdi and gets state benefits for stamps and help with insurance. I was told I couldnt apply for state benefits living with her, that it would affect her benefits? Im also on disability, is this true? Ty
    Liz

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Liz,

      Any assistance you receive will not affect your roommates Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. I believe that if you and your roommate purchase your food separately, that you could apply for your own separate food stamp grant, but I don’t know for sure. I suggest that you inquire at the office that administers the food stamps.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ann

    Hi kate i like to know if my adault daughter gets approved for ssi and stays at her uncle for the time will it affect his ssd as she would be homeless if wasnt for him

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      Your relative’s Social Security Disability benefits are not affected by who lives with him.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Subrina

        Hi Kay, I am planning to live with both my grandmother and my mother. They both recieve ssi, my mother for disability and my grandmother for disability and widow. If we are sharing rent 3 ways will this affect their income? My grandmother receives about $1400/ mth my mom $733/ mth. If we are all paying $500-$550 for rent will this not change what they receive?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Subrina,

          Your grandmother’s Social Security benefits are not affected by who lives with her or people paying part of the household expenses. Your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be affected if you all pay equal shares of rent and shelter utilities (and food if your mother shares food).

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • eric peirson

    Hello Kay,

    I got a job offered and will work at Salt Lake City, Utah.. my wife wants stay in Roanoke, VA…

    Ill make an 15.00 dollars per hour with a full time.. i have been working part time for 6 years…

    My wife has SSDI… SSI (depend on my work income)

    I only have SSI (it depends on my work income)

    We have two kids, my kids are staying in Roanoke.. ill be working at SLC for one year due to contract agreement.

    Im trying to figure it out cause i think my wife should get her SSI raise cause ill getting my own place at SLC… i cant afford yo pay both rent of apartments.

    What should we do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eric,

      if your wife has been receiving less than $733 a month and you do not send her money after you move to Utah, her SSI may go up so that her SSDI and SSI together total $753. Your SSI will stop because of your work earnings will be too high. You and your wife need to each report–she in Virginia and you in Utah–as soon as you move so that her benefits can be redetermined and yours can be stopped.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Christina

        Hi, Kay. Will applying for an apartment for someone else affect my approval for disability?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Christina,

          Probably not, but please explain what you mean by “applying for an apartment for someone else.”

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Hello, Im hoping you might be able to direct me in the right direction. Ive been looking/reading so long my eyes are blurry!
    Ive been on SSDI, for 1 year, Ive been homeless and they offer no info when I ask. Because of my anxiety and other things, Im terrified to go to a shelter. Since the middle of Oct, I have been staying in hotels as much as possible. I was recently told that the people who have an EBT card can show their receipts and get reimbursed for the costs. I have not been able to pay for my normal bills (storage, phone, life stuff). Do you know of a ‘form’ or ‘rules’ ‘waiver’ info I can look into?
    Thank you, Debbie

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      I don’t understand your situation. I think you are saying that you are getting Social Security Disability benefits, but do not have housing.Also, I don’t understand who you think might reimburse you for hotel costs or what you mean by “rules waiver.” Could you please clarify these points and also confirm you are getting Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI) so that I can try to answer your question.

      Thanks,
      Kay

      • Hello Kay,
        Sorry if my question was incomplete. I was trying to figure out what the ‘shelter allowance’ is and because Ive spent ALL of my monthly income on hotels, while Im looking for a place to live, if I would/could be eligible for a reimbursement of any kind. Im a disabled widow, and Im receiving SSD from my husbands acct because I qualified when I turned 50, for my mental illness.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Debbie,

          Thank you for the clarification. There is no “shelter allowance” from the Social Security Administration. The amount you receive is based on your husband’s earnings history and your age when you started to receive benefits. I suggest that you contact your local housing authority and apply for government subsidized housing. You might also contact any social service or non-profit agency that helps homeless people transition to their own housing to see if they can be of any help. If you are receiving less than $653, you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in any Social Security office.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Lee cross

          How many adults can live in the same House hold who’s on ssi and or ssdi or both

          • Lee cross

            Iam just curious cause there r 5 adults and at least 1 teenager who is on ssi and ssdi in a house hold none r married except the original home owner who just got back with the teenager dads who he is collecting ssi from him and their will b a six person moving in a 3 bedroom two bath house just curious causes I just looking out for the six person

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Lee,

              As long as the residents who are get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) report who is living in the household and pay their own share of shelter expenses, there is no problem from the viewpoint of SSI eligibility; and living arrangements done affect Social Security. If the housing is government housing, you would have to address your inquire to the Housing Authority.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Lee,

            There is no limit on the number of people living in a household.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  • Peggy

    Hi, I am writing because my two daughters are now 21 and 23 years old and both are Downs people. I had received 488.– plus 22 from the SSI and state for their care. Other parents told me they should receive 733.00 .I checked with social security who told me to submit a rental agreement which I did now I received a SS statement of room and board. Both girls contributed 500. a month toward expenses and we never pursued anymore because they told me when I applied they would never get the full amount while living at home.

    Both have other needs and one has to follow an american diabetic diet and heart association guidelines for salt and sugar. We have purchased the foods in the weekly shopping with the rent and board of 500. I asked for 685.00 as the monthly breakdown is 692.00 for the house. They have their own bedrooms and bathrooms but share the rest of the house.

    The form ask if they do not pay the rent would I evict them. This is insulting to me as no I would not. That would put them at risk as a group home can not hold back food from my one daughter and she surely would eat any sugar items she could.

    If I answer no to these questions I am sure they will cut the 1/4 out and we will be the same as before. I feel they need to contribute the 685.00 as my husband is working many hours over time to support the house.

    If I answer a straight no to these questions it will not give the full picture. As both like items and will put them on the grocery list.
    Should I start to purchase the foods separately from now on .

    and list that as a yes I am both girls rep payee. This is all confusing. And I want to honestly state what we agree upon.

    Why do they penalty for honesty and should I apply for food stamps. They are both eligible and fresh organic foods cost more than processed which has to much sodium for my one daughter.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Peggy,

      First of all, you need to answer honestly. Otherwise you are committing fraud. Second, each daughter’s benefits are calculated separately and it sounds as if their circumstances within your home are different.

      Let’s look at one daughter first. If you are cooking a separate menu for your diabetic daughter, then yes, buy her food separately and apply for food stamps for her to see if she qualifies. You can then either have her pay her share (one quarter) of the rent or mortgage and shelter utilities or as close to her share as possible or continue to treat her as a renter. On the form you could say that you would not evict her but you would rent the room to a stranger for the same amount (Check your local area rentals to see if $500 for room and access to the house is fair market value. If it is, say so on the form.)

      If the other daughter eats the same thing as you do and you prepare for all three of you (you, her father, and her), the three of you would have to qualify for food stamps together for her to get them. For her to be paying fair market value for room and board, she would probably need to pay an amount equal to fair market value for her room plus an amount equal to one person’s maximum food stamp allowance.

      Going a completely different direction, you could treat all of you as sharing rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and food. Each would need to pay one-quarter of the total. One way to get to the point of their being able to pay their share would be for them to pay nothing for three or four months until they have enough saved up that they can pay their share for two months with the saved money. If they do, the benefit will increase to $733 two months after they start to pay their share. For example, beginning to pay their share using saved money in April would result in an increase in June.

      Or, you could do a split solution and apply for food stamps for your daughter if she eats different food and have her pay her one-quarter of the shelter expenses only and have the other daughter pay one-quarter of shelter expenses and one-third of the food costs for the three not getting food stamps.

      (And an aside, how are they paying $500 when their income is $488?)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Drea

    Dear Kay,

    I am an SSI recipient. I am engaged and plan to marry my boyfriend who is a foreigner living in the USA on a one year work visa. I reside in California and he resides in Florida where he works. He must continue to live and work in Florida for the remaining 8 months of his work program. My question is, if we were to get married next month, would his income affect my SSI benefits for the following 8 months, since he will not be residing with me for that period of time? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Drea,

      As long as you are not living with your husband, his income will count in determining your SSI benefits. If he pays your rent, shelter utilities, or food directly or gives you money, your benefits will be reduced by all but $20 of the amount of assistance he gives you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sonja

    I have 2 kids with a rare disease and they are both on SSI. I currently rent an apartment and live on my own, but I’m considering moving in with the kid’s grandma. She is retired from the post office and receives a very good retirement income. She owns her home but is still paying off her mortgage. My kid’s father and I aren’t together but he lives there also. If I were to move in to the house I would pay rent for 2 rooms, and I would eat seperate from them. My kids currently receive full SSI benefits but I’m concerned about if they would lose any benefits by doing this… Do you know how this works and how would I document any rent paid, assuming I would need to keep record of that… Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sonja,

      You are entering into a gray area with regard to moving into the same house with the children’s father. You may have difficulty proving that you are in a separate household with him. If you are determined to be in the same household, the children’s father’s income and assets will be considered in determining their payment amount. If so, you and their father can have $3,000 in countable resources (a second car’s equity value will count). Any excess will be split and count toward each child’s $2,000 limit. To figure how much of your and his income will count to reduce the children’s SSI, you can use the formula in the example in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      If the children’s father were not living there, then the situation would be simpler. If you paid market rate for the two rooms, then there would be no impact on the SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angela

    Dear Kay,

    My mom receives monthly SSI benefits. She currently lives in her son’s apartment. She lives there by herself. She pays for the monthly HOA fees to the Association Board. She pays for her own food and electric.

    Her current social worker is insisting that this arrangement warrants an in-kind-support. Due to the apartment being a son’s property, they ask for a fair market value of what this place would rent out to a 3rd party and then calculate her penalty and benefits based on that.
    She pays for everything herself and does not get any monetary help from her son.

    Does this sound right?
    Is monthly HOA fee paid to the Board and not her son, considered rent?

    Thank you so much for any help and advice you can provide!!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angela,

      Your mother might be able to argue that the HOA payment is in lieu of a direct rental payment. Otherwise, it is correct that her Supplemental Security Income would be reduced because she is receiving free rent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Cindy

      My son received a settlement from an injury when he was a baby. Because we take care of him we live in a house that the special needs trust owns, so in turn he owns. Will this affect the ssi I was just granted?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Cindy,

        If you are receiving free housing, your SSI will be reduced.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • norman

    Hi Kay
    I’m helping a person to get SS assistants (she doesn’t speak English), she is homeless.
    /
    She was just approved for SS. She lives in South Florida.
    They are giving her about four months back-pay, (from the date of her cancer operation.)
    /
    They are asking for a living arrangement letter.
    She was living in an abandoned house, a bank took it over and she had to leave.
    At present, an elderly lady is allowing her, to come into her private residence, only at night to sleep, to be safe.
    She has to leave the home in the mornings and is not given a key.
    She is not allowed to stay when the owner of the apartment is not home.
    What kind of living arrangement is that?
    /
    The person at SS said for the apartment owner to write that she is not being charged since the date of the back-pay (June 1 2015.)
    With that she can put her on some other plan.
    /
    I only understood the 400+ and 733 awards after reading your blog, the person at SS talked about it, (it did not make sense.)
    From your help blog, I determined that the homeless person would receive the lesser moneys.
    /
    From the SS website, it appears homeless are treated the same as everyone else, even though they say, there is a movement to eliminate homelessness?
    /
    It is beyond me, how-to proceed, which is best for this homeless person with cancer?

    • norman

      I forgot to say;
      /
      The homeless person has no income and no assets, and is 60yrs old.
      She does not share or receive food and shelter costs.
      /
      She does receive food stamps.
      /
      Thank for helping, you are one of those angle persons!
      /
      HAPPY-Thanksgiving

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Norman,

      Social Security rules treat a person who is homeless the same as who lives in his own house, apartment, or mobile home, that is, no reduction for shelter received in a shelter.The woman who is letting the homeless person sleep in her home should put in the letter that the homeless person has no daytime privileges and does not have a key and can only sleep there. If there is a limited number of hours or certain hous she can be there, she could list that as well. I think that you can then help the woman you are helping make an argument that she is homeless.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Athena Porter

      Kay, I live with my boyfriend. Rent is 675 all utilities included. I get foodstamps but no income myself that’s why my boyfriend doesn’t make me pay rent but if I’m eligible then I’d like to start paying half of the 675. What will that mean as far as monthly benefits I don’t have to pay half the rent I just have to eat my own food

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Athena,

        If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your SSI will be reduced by $317.50 (half the rent less $20). If you start paying $317.50 when your SSI starts, two months later your SSI will increase from $488 to $733, assuming you have no other income.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • dee

          I get ssi. I live with adults unrelated ( not family, roomates) to me in a private home. I do not have a written lease with their landlord, only an oral agreement with them which in Texas in supposedly legal. I told SSA on initial interview this, and that I pay 500 a month for rent, and buy my food with food stamps. So I get my first pay which include 1 year of backpay and a detail of how much was paid for those months, my lawyers fee etc., I noticed my FBR was reduced by 1/3 in some months but not others, and was reduced by 1/3 going forward. So I read up on the rules and then write to SSA stating the same as before except for pointing out that I now pay rent of 600 which also happens to be 1/3 share of total house bills (shelter only, not food) to my roomates, thinking this would cover all living arrangement scenarios. Next few month FBR was paid at full rate, and more backpay appeared too, so I think great-finally said it how they want it. Then I came up for yearly review. Same rent/food stamp story as on initial interview except rent is 600 now. A couple months later I get a letter saying FBR will reduced by 1/3 again due to ISM going forward. What am I doing wrong?

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Dee,

            You are not doing anything wrong. Appeal the calculation and submit a letter from the person you pay the rent to that you rent a room and pay $600 rent and buy your own food.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • dee

            I live in Texas. Must I pay a share of the total cost of dwelling divided by number of people in the home ( it changes a lot) or can I pay for my room only regardless of how many others live in the home? If room only, what proofs are most effective in valuing a room in a private dwelling? I live in an area where room rental/sharing is common but is not handled by realtors or advertised so that’s not an option. HUD publishes a report called FY 2015 Fair Market Rent Survey. This report does not state room rental value but a studio apartment rate of 599. Do you think I could argue and win a room rental rate of 400 using this report as a starting point? Ex: If private studio apartment FMR is 599 then single room rental must be less, correct? but what$? How do the 2nd and 7th circuit/Texas residents court ruling regarding ISM calculation work? What can I do to prove FMV of room if my roommate does not want to get involved in the documentation process?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              You can set up a rental arrangement in the household and buy your own food. However, your question about fair market value when rooms aren’t advertised is hard to answer because it is hard to quantify the value of having your own kitchen and bath against your utilities being included in a room rental. Accordingly, the opinion I am going to offer is not based on facts, just a playing it safe estimate of $450 for room including utilities. I am not familiar with the court rulings you are referencing. You can buy a receipt book and have your roommate sign a receipt for the payment each month. That would be a normal business practice even if SSI were not involved. It you get food stamps, that can prove you buy your food separately.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • dee

            i just noticed a second page to the article above where it explains about room rental vs. sharing. If i read correctly a room rental agreement (room rent (utilities included), and a statement of no food sharing, usually does not require documentation of total cost for entire home and number of residents, only a statement from the person I pay my rent to how much i pay. However, Fair market value of the room rented is somewhat subjective and is usually taken as FMV on the word of the person renting the room to an SSI recipient, but sometimes SSA has an alternate opinion of what FMV is and the SSI recipient and/or landlord must justify to SSA’s satisfaction FMV. Is this correct? If so, I am in need of suggestions regarding proofs of FMV. thanks.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              You have a correct understanding of the article. Please see my response to your question in your last post.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Emily

    Ms. Kay

    Me and my boyfriend are purchasing a home, he receives SSI. I have paid for all deposits and costs. We will be splitting the costs of everything (mortgage, utilities ( which are in his name). Will my income affect his SSI and will him owning a home

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Emily,

      Once you and your boyfriend move in and your split the costs, his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will not be affected. I am not sure how your paying the entire down payment and closing costs will affect him, but I think because it results in half ownership of a house he will live in as soon as he owns it and the house will be excluded as a resource that it will not affect his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lee cross

        How can u tell whether or not that person is lying out how much the rent. And bills r when it is going to b split up into 7 or 8 people causes I missed count on the number of adults who r living their cause I know for a fact have a kid or I also on drawing a check off his father and living in the home with both parents and I also no of two other adult who on also living there who draw ssi and they r excepting twins with a elderly woman who draws straight ssi and I trying to help my friend by asking if she could live their with all these people living off the state in a 3 before m trailer home and their r at least 4 government cells phone in this same house hold and I thought it was one government phone per house hold and at least 3 adults who r either married drawing ssi and ssdi or both unless u. Have a elderly and a child who is on disability and is not n the home of the father can draw off his account unless child support payments are being garnish by Court order i am just looking out for my friend before she does move in to this home

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lee,

          Please see my prior responses. The only thing I have to add is that I don’t know what a “government cell phone” is.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • nicole

        My bf get ssi and we want to move together and we will pay half of all the bills and pay our own food would this affect his ssi,what should we tell the social security office

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicole,

          If you split housing costs fifty-fifty and don’t give your boyfriend any cash, his SSI will not be affected by your living together. You and your boyfriend should make statements that you will split rent and utilities and buy food separately.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • nicole

            Should I tell the social security office that we are bf and gf and we splitting the cost of living and bills and buy our own food.I get social security and work part time.I get 14 dollars a hour and only work 80 hours a month

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicole,

              Who you live with and who pays the household bills does not affect Social Security Disability benefits and does not have to be reported. Please see my response posted a few minutes ago regarding your work activity.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • nicole

            Should I tell social security that they we are bf and gf and 50/50 of all the bills and our own food or tell them we are friends.I don’t want my bf to lose his ssi,one day we want to have kids.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicole,

              You should tell the truth if they ask the relationship. Deeming of income occurs only between married couples and parents and children.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • nicole

            Do i have to show social security office proof where I live at?I get social security not ssi. Also will my bf keep his ssi if we ever move together and pays half of all the bills and our own food. I’m stressing out a lot about this.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicole,

              It is important to keep Social Security up to date on your address so that you get important notices. You do not have to provide any proofs about it related to your own Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.

              If you and your boyfriend move in together, you may have to make a supporting statement and provide proof of rent and utilities for his SSI. If you split the shelter costs evenly and buy your own food and do not give him cash, his benefits will not be affected.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Val

    Dear Kay

    I have a couple of questions and I’ve searched on here and I think I got the answer i needed but I am not sure..
    I was approved for SSI here recently, the Social Security Rep is currently going through my income verification from the last three years to decide and see how much I will be getting monthly as well as back amount..
    I live with My Son and 2 grandchildren that I have custody of, I was unable to work and the only income coming into the house was Child Support which was used to pay our bills and take care of the 3 kids, it is my understanding that they do not count child support payments against the amount you receive. is that correct?
    My other question is I stopped receiving child support for my son a year after he graduated, 2 months after that he got a job and started paying $200 to the landlord for rent, our rent total is $650 a month. That is the only thing he pays I pay the remaining 450 as well as all utilities. Will him paying $200 towards rent affect the amount I get a month? Do they consider that inkind(?) income or not because there are 2 other children in the house besides myself and him…

    Thank you for your response..
    Val

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Val,

      The child support for your grandchildren should not be counted as your income. However, your grandchildren and your son are supporting you by paying for the rent and utilities and any food not covered by food stamps. Your SSI will be reduced by the lesser of your share of those expenses or $266. Your share is one quarter of the total expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Val

        Thank you,

        We were receiving snap benefits and I have be unable to work since 2011.
        The ALJ put my claim back to October of 2012 and at that time up to July 2013 I also had 2 other grandchildren placed with me through the state so there was 6 of us in the house up till then. So you are saying my benefit amount will be reduced by $266 correct, including the back amount?
        Val

        • Val

          Sorry you said 266 or the lesser…I divided 733 by a quarter and it was 183.25 so would my benefit be lowered by that amount as it is the lesser of the two..Not sure if that is how they figure it or not.. When I look at how they do it it confuses me..LOL
          Again Thank You.
          Val

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Val,

            Please see my response of a few minutes ago. Your share (one-quarter or one-sixth) is your share of the expenses, not a percentage of the maximum benefit. If your share is $300 or $350, for example, your $733 benefit would be reduced by $266. If your share is less than $286, the $733 will be reduced by the actual amount of your share less $20. For example, if your share is $200, the reduction would be $180.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Val,

          Yes, I think that the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be reduced for the free housing that you received. However if your share (one-fourth or one-sixth, depending on the time period) of rent and shelter utilities was less than $266, then the reduction will be less. I suggest you gather your utility bills for that period or get a statement from the utility companies of the amounts billed to present so that your share can be figured.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • miriam

      I draw sis and live with my mother and step dad and I am over 18 do I have to report my mom income

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Miriam,

        Now that you are eighteen, you do not have to report your parents’ income.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • nicole

      I get social security and I have part time job And my bf gets ssi.will his ssi get affected if we ever get married

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Nicole,

        Your income will be considered in determining your husband’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. Whether or not it will affect the payment amount depends on how much you are earning. The first $65 is excluded and half of your earnings above $65 is also excluded. Additionally, $788 is set aside for you support before any is calculated against his claim.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Eva iglesias

    My husband is an ssi beneficiary and I’m not .he lives in NJ and I live in ny.i only see him 2 days a week .will it affect his ssi.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Eva,

      What you describe is a bit of a gray area. If you maintain a residence elsewhere, especially if it is in your name, and are staying with him in his household two days a week, your income may not affect his SSI. However, it may depend on your reasons for living elsewhere and for visiting. In other words, if you live elsewhere in order to work and come home weekends, for example, then you are probably part of his household and your income would be considered in determining his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • BC

    Dear Kay,

    Say I apply for SSI benefits, food stanps and energy assistance and I own my own home, but, I let one of my family members stay with me on an empty floor, but, tell them that they cannot say that they are living here, but, in in consideration of me letting them dtay there, they hand me a few bucks. Now, let’s say that someone from any agency such as Social security, or the food stamp office or the energy asistance program come out and do a home visit, do I have to allow the person doing the home visit into any of the bedrooms on any of the floors in my house. If I do, do theyh have the right to go looking into any clothes draws or other piece of furnature that holds personal beleongings.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear BC,

      Lying to get benefits is fraud. You can be prosecuted, fined, or jailed for fraud. You can also be barred from getting future benefits. You need to report to Social Security and the food stamp offices that you have someone living with you. Part of your report is to say how much the person is paying to live there and how much your shelter costs are. If the amount is less than half your mortgage and shelter utilities, his living with you will not affect your SSI benefits. You may also have to report the renter to the agency or non-profit that provided energy assistance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Megan

    Hi Kay, my husband is in the U.S. and I am in Australia. We are not separated but he is being told that he will need to divorce me or get a legal separation to be able to get SSI Disability. Is this true or is someone telling him the wrong information? Any advice is greatly appreciated

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Megan,

      You and your husband do not have to divorce for your husband to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Because you do not live in the same household, your income and assets will not be considered in determining his financial eligibility. However, if you and he have joint bank accounts or co-own other countable assets, his ownership will count toward the $2,000 resource (assets) limit and could cause him to be financially ineligible. As an aside, if your husband is insured for Social Security Disability (SSDI), what he owns is not considered in determining eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    I have a 19 year old son with autism on SSI. We are new to the system and just started receiving benefits in April of this year.

    SSI called me today for a 6 month and I was not truthful about our living arrangements. We sold our house in July and moved into a temporary rental until we could renovate our new home. We are moving into the new home this month. When they called today I told them we still lived at the old house because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing my address with them three times. Everything else remains the same as far as who lives with us, my son doesn’t work and we charge him rent and food for staying with us.

    I am worried that he will now lose his benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      You need to correct the record immediately. Lying to the government is against the law. Call Social Security and say you want to correct what you said, that you and your son are temporarily in a rental until you can move into an other home. Say that you didn’t say so initially because nothing had changed about your son’s room and board payment and the residence is temporary, but you thought better of it and decided you should let SSA know.

      If your son was paying a flat rate for room and board before and after the move and not a share of shelter and food you can say that he is still a roomer paying the same amount for room and board. If he is sharing expenses, you have will have to submit proof of the household’s shelter and food expenses in the rental so a determination of payment amount can be made based on the household expenses where your son now lives.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • 32742 alipaz sp. 95 . Hi, I have a question about SSI payments being affected by an older son in need of a temparary move in until he can get on his feet after a job loss due to a mental disorder: bi polar. He is having to apply for disability either from his past job or from Social Security, that still has to be sorted out yet. Meanwhile I have been approved for SSI because of a physical problem and my husband has been recieving SSI for around 5 years since he had a heart attack. We are both recieving Social Security as well. My concern is that if my son has to live here for awhile after moving out of his apartment which is still pending, we will not be asking him for any money because he won’t have much and must try to save what he can to move to his brother’s home in Texas, which they haven’t yet purchased land and built a home yet so it will take some time. He will be buying his own food and keeping it pretty much separate from what we have and paying his own vehicle expenses, and other life’s needs. How will this affect our SSI payments ? Depending on what he is able to get as ” income”, he can write and sign a statement that we are not accepting any form of payment from him if this would help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kitty,

      Your son’s living with you will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments as long as he either does not contribute to housing costs or does not pay more than his one-third share of shelter expenses.

      As an aside, if your son has disability insurance through his employer, he can apply for both the employer-sponsored disability insurance and, if his disability is expected to last at least twelve months, Social Security disability. He does not have to choose between the two.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • A

    Why do i have to pay for others stuff to get the full amount?

    My brother who’s 5 years older than me, makes 20k a year, does not pay rent at all. He barely buys any food. The only thing he pays for is his cellphone.

    So why do i have to pay 1/4th of everyones stuff? I pay for my own food, electric, phone, basic needs. Guess how much that leaves me on the 488? $100. I cannot even get my license with this. How could i even pay more money towards my 1/4th if its not possible?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear A.,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid primarily to cover the costs of shelter (rent, power, heat, water, garbage) and food. If you are getting free or reduced price shelter, you cannot receive the maximum SSI rate. You might find out how much your share is to see whether what you are paying on the electric and the $100 would increase your contribution to a full share. The other option would be to pay a flat rate for renting a room and continue to buy your own food. If you have not applied for SNAP (formerly called food stamps), that could help your financial situation so that you can either pay market rate for rent or pay your share. After you have paid for the full value of your shelter for two months, your SSI will increase to $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dee

        Does SSA ask for specific type of documentation to establish what constitutes Fair Market Rent for a room rental in a private dwelling? If so, what?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          Start out with a statement from the landlord or landlady that you rent a room and pay a certain amount for the room. If asked to prove the amount is fair market value, look in the newspaper or on Craigslist or a similar site to find room rentals similar to yours and print out the ads.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Janet

    Good Afternoon,

    My son (in his 30’s) on SSDI lives with me. If I charge him rent do I have to claim the amount given to social security on my taxes? For example; if I charge him a flat rate of $300.00 per month do I have to claim this amt on my taxes?

    Thank you for your time.

    Janet

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janet,

      You need to direct your tax question to the IRS.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jane

    Hi. I own 3 acres of land and a house and a trailer, valued at 5,000.00 and I live in one dwelling and my mom rents the other from me for 450.00 a month (utilities included). She gets about 720.00 in SSI and she gets SNAP. I get SNAP. My expenses are electric, trash, and phone, which I pay with the 450. I am applying for SSI. Will receiving her rent affect the amount I get? Will it affect hers? If I get approved can I stop charging her rent? Or will that decrease her amount? Thank you so much for your help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jane,

      Probably you and your mother will be treated as living in separate households because you are not in the same dwelling. As such the $450 she pays you is income to you. If you have no other income, $430 of the rent will be countable income to reduce your SSI if you are eligible.

      Your being approved for SSI will not affect your mother’s SSI; however, if you stop charging her rent and let her live rent-free in the other dwelling, her SSI will go down to about $488.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • EC’s Dad

    Question…. our developmentally disabled daughter is turning 18 but still enrolled in school.

    In determining her “fair share” of housing & food, is it reasonable to set a price of no more than 25% of the mortgage payment on our house? Realistically, I’d have to think that’s easily defensible as her fair share for room & board.

    We’ve started building out a small apartment as her own physical “leasehold”, and had planned on the SSI income to help fund that, but at a 33% reduction, that’s going to take a year longer to pay off the costs of construction.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear EC’s Dad,

      Sharing applies if you are all part of the same household. With sharing, her share is based on the number of people in the household. If there are three, her share is one-third of the mortgage and shelter utilities and food. If there are four in the household, her share in one-quarter.

      That said, now that she has turned eighteen, you seem to be moving her more to the status of a roomer. While she is still living in your house and not in her separate apartment, you could start charging her room rent and have her apply for food stamps and prepare her food separately. Two months after that began, her benefit would increase to $733 and you could raise the rent if you choose. (I suggest food stamps because $400 is likely not fair market value for food and housing, so paying only $400 would likely not raise her SSI to $733.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Linda

    My disabled 22 year old was just approved for $488.67 per month. She has never worked and is unable to leave the house due to her mental illness. I am her (unpaid) caregiver and have not held a job since she was born. When the SSI therapist (home visit) told me he was going to approve her for benefits, I thought it would be for $733. My husband is retired and his total income is $24,000. Is $488.67 the norm in NYC? I am new to the process of asking the government for money, but when my daughter lost her health insurance from her father’s retiree benefits (only up to age 19, if not a full-time student), I disregarded my husband’s wishes and applied for benefits on her behalf (I have power of attorney.) This has been such a depressing situation all around, and I was stunned to see she was receiving a reduced benefit.
    TL;DR
    Is $488.67 the norm for someone who must contribute to household expenses? (My husband can no longer deduct her on his taxes.)

    Thanks for any input!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Linda,

      Two months after your daughter either starts paying fair market value to rent a room in your home and buys her own food, perhaps with a SNAP (formerly called food stamps) grant, or begins to pay her share (one-third for three people in the household) of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities, and food, her benefit will increase to $733. If she is unable to pay her share, but can come within less than $244.33 of her share or of fair market value for the room, her benefit will increase but not to $733. If this last situation occurs, each time there is an increase, she could increase her contribution so that the benefit gradually increases. Note that any amount of SSI will make her eligible for Medicaid in most state.

      Another possible income option is that you could contact your state’s social services office to find out whether your state pays a stipend or small wage to relative caretakers of someone who is severely disabled. If so, you might be able to earn a small wage to help the financial situation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • victoria

    Hi Kay,

    (I’m Kay too, my middle name is Kay).

    I really appreciate reading your comments and advice. My boyfriend gets disability and he received a letter today asking if someone else was living with him. He’s very worried about this letter as I am living with him and we do split costs 50/50 (food, rent, utilities). I do not get my mail there and he’s afraid that i may get audited if he reports that I live with him.

    My question is this: what does he have to report, and if he does have to report that I live there and we split the costs, is there any chance at all that his benefits will decrease? (personally, I would rather move out than have this negatively affect him in any way).

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Victoria,

      You boyfriend is required to report who is living with him and who pays the shelter and food costs where he lives. Given that you split the shelter and food costs and you are not married, as long as you don’t give him cash also, his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will not be affected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kim

        Kay,

        Does that also apply to family members?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kim,

          I am not sure I understand exactly what you are asking. Please clarify and I will try to respond.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Vawn

    I dont know if this exact situation/question has been addressed but I was approved about two weeks ago and received my letter of approval for “Supplemental Security Income” with a fully favorable decision a few days ago. I am recently separated from my spouse. We no longer live together so now im in Kansas and on section 8 housing with 3 kids and only $100 for monthly chuild support that isnt always given. Other than that I have absolutely no income but borrow money to pay the utilities. Will that make me ineligible to get the ssi benifits because I have zero income?

    Also the letter says “another office will process my decision and see if you meet non-disability requirements for supplemental security income payments..” …if you dont hear anything within 60 days contact your local office.
    -Can you tell me what that means? Is the nondisability requirements part saying i may not actually be disabled although the judge says so and can make me ineligible for any payments? Or are they two different things? And does that mean I have to wait 60 days for possible payments? How much longer after contact with ssa can I expect a check?

    Again, Im sorry if my question has been asked before. I saw a question like mine but lost the page.

    Thank you in advance for your time and response.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vawn,

      The child support should be treated as your children’s income and not affect the calculation of your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. The money you have borrowed will be treated as a loan and not affect benefits if you have a written repayment agreement to repay as soon as you are approved for benefits. You also need an accounting from the lenders of how much they have lent you. If there is no repayment agreement the money you were given for your utilities will reduce your SSI payment.

      A review of the “non-disability requirements” means review of your income and assets to determine whether you are financially eligible for SSI with income and assets below the SSI limit. If you have not gotten a call from the local office within two weeks, call or visit and request an appointment to go over your finances since you filed the claim.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Vawn

        Thank you very much for your response

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Vawn.

  • michelle serraty

    hi kay i have a question im getting ssi im planning to get married my boyfriend its getting welfare due to health matter that ssi does’nt consider to be enought to qualified he’s renting a room my question is can we rent an appartment and share the bills will our bennefit be reduced or stay the same thank you for your time

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Michelle,

      If you get married, your boyfriend’s income is considered in determining your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amount and your income will probably be considered in determining whether he continues to be eligible for the welfare payment. He needs to check with the welfare office. If you live together but do not marry and you each pay half of the shelter expenses and food or buy and prepare food separately, your SSI will not be affected. I don’t know whether that arrangement would affect the welfare payment.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • michelle serraty

        ohhh ok thank you so much for taking your time answering my question

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Michelle.

      • nicole

        I get ssdi and i have a part time job and my bf gets ssi can we live together with out him losing it

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Nicole,

          Your income will not affect your boyfriend’s Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Living with him will not affect his SSDI and, if he pays his half of rent, shelter utilities, and food, it will not affect his SSI.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • nicole

            Okay thanks

            • Kay Derochie

              You are welcome, Nicole.

          • nicole

            Can i work while on ssd or ssdi And not lose it?every time I call social security they say different things

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Nicole,

              Please see my reply of a few minutes ago.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • TR

    The SSA rep called me today to see how much SSI I will be receiving.. During the end of the interview when they were asking about previous income and throwing out dates I got all confused and told the rep this several times, and it appeared to me that she was getting aggravated with me on the phone when I asked her a question to try to explain it better and that I was getting confused she told me she had another phone appointment.. Mind you this phone call was not set up before hand so I didn’t have any material in front of me that would of helped me with dates and not gotten me confused…When I got off the phone I sat and thought about what she had said and asked and started looking at emails as well as paperwork and realized that I gave her misinformation about income because I got dates confused and the way she was questioning me..Can I request another rep to handle my case and will this hurt me in the long run..I did call the rep back and told her that because I got confused I gave her misinformation because I was thinking she meant my previous case I had before this one that got denied and that I was mixed up on dates and all..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear TR,

      It is unlikely that your claim will be transferred to another representative. I do suggest that you write up a statement about getting confused in the first phone call and include the correct information in the statement. Give the statement to Social Security to put in your claim file and keep a signed and dated copy for yourself.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nichole

    My Mother, father, and Uncle all live in the same household. My Dad and Uncle both receive SSI. We are considering moving my Uncle in with me and I am going to apply for income based housing. Do I need to become his payee and will that cause his SSI amount to go decrease and my Dad’s to increase OR will they both increase. (My Parent are buying their home and my Mom is my Uncle’s current Payee in NC)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      Your father’s SSI will not be affected by your uncle moving out. Your uncle’s SSI will not be affected moving in with you if he pays his share of rent or mortgage and shelter utilities (not phone or cable) and of food if you share food. You do not have to file to be his payee if you live close enough to his current payee that she can manage his money and take care of his needs. Changing payees, however, does not affect payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mar

    Dear Kay

    I just got approved for SSI.. I live with my 2 younger grandchildren that I have custody of. My question is we live in a mobile home that is owned free and clear by their father who lives out of state, I pay the lot rent on it as it’s in a park. How will that affect my SSI? Will they use that as in kind income as we only pay for the lot rent, I might also add that all utilities are in my name and I pay those as well..Thank you for your assistance.
    Mar

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mar,

      The fair market value (FMV) of the shelter you and the children live in and the shelter utilities (not phone or cable) divided by the number of people in the household is your share of shelter expenses. If you pay your share, you are not receiving in-kind (non-cash) income. FMV is likely to be how much the mobile home would rent for if the rent included the park rental. If by paying all the park rental and the utilities, you are paying your share, your SSI will not be reduced. Be sure to submit proof of the expenses you pay and get either a statement from the mobile home owner of how much he would rent the home for including lot rental if he were to rent it out or ask the mobile home park manager to write an estimate of what similar homes rent for including lot rental costs, if he knows. Also you need a statement or other proof of what you pay. Note that if you do have a reduction, once the SSI starts, you can increase your contribution to pay your share. Two months later your SSI will be increased.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mar

        He is unable to rent this home out to anyone per the park rules, family can live in that is all..Only homes that can be rented in here are the ones owned by the park it’s self, he would have to sell it out right or move it.. So how would they go about the FMV of it in this case?
        And the only ones living here are myself and his 2 children which I have custody.. I pay for everything here, lot rent, electric and water as well as the up keep of the place..

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mar,

          The only way you can find out for sure how Social Security will establish the FMV of the mobile home is to report where you are living and provide all the information I listed in my previous response except, instead of a statement from your son or the park manager about what the home would rent for, get statements that the mobile home cannot be rented due to park rules. Maybe, the home will be determined to have no rental value.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Mar

        Forgot to ask, so because I do not presay rent the place only pay lot rent they will deduct that from my SSI?

        This is all confusing to me…
        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Mar,

          I have answered this question in my response of October 4.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lorraine

    I just got approved for SSI benefits of 834 a month, i received a letter stating i need to report everyone in my house. My daughter live with me, im on section 8 and i receive food stamps only for my self. Do i need to report my daughter income, she pay the utilities only, just the electric and water. Will my benefits be affected.. this will be my first check i just got approval in August i have an appt on 10/01 need help asap..Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lorraine,

      Yes, you need to report that your daughter is living with you and the amount she is paying on the water and electric. If she is paying more than half the rent and utilities when those two figures are combined, her excess contribution will be income to you; however, your first $20 income is excluded and will not affect benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • brenden

    Hello, my father in law passed away last week and now my mother in-law who’s on disability (stroke and in a wheelchair) cannot afford her bills. We thought of moving in to help out. Will it affect her benefits of we do? She will lose the house without help. It would be my wife, my 4yo daughter and I. My wife’s the only one working at the moment.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brenden,

      If your mother-in-law is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), your moving in and paying part of the expenses will not affect her benefits.

      If she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your living in the household will not affect her SSI benefits if you do not pay more than your family’s share, which is three-quarters of shelter costs and of food costs if you all share food. Shelter costs include utilities but not cable or phone. If you mother-in-law receives SSI, she needs to report that you have moved in and provide proof of shelter costs and the two of you need to make statements regarding how much you pay and how much she pays. Note: if you pay for expenses before you move in, it will cause her SSI to go down. As an aside, if she is at least age fifty, your mother may be eligible for widows benefits from her husband’s earnings record.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    Hello,
    My minor son is disabled and receives SSI. There are 3 in our home and household: my son, me, and my husband/his father. My mother would like to (needs to) move into our house. There is a large bedroom and a connected bathroom that could be hers. Her food will be kept and prepared separate in there (microwave/toaster oven). I don’t know if it should be mentioned there is a door to a side yard/area from that room. She pays all her own expenses; she is completely separate economically. She would like to compensate us for the space we would lose and utilities she would use. If she gave us cash that equaled no more than 1/4 of the house payment and utilities, would that affect my son’s SSI payments/ be considered countable income? Or, if she paid things like our cable, phone, internet, and car insurance bills for us out of her account, is that considered our countable, in-kind income? What she paid would equal no more than 1/4 of housing and utility expenses.
    To complicate things further, possibly, she has applied for SSDI which I think would be supplemented by SSI. If she is approved, would that change anything? Thank you, your help is appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      If your mother pays only one-quarter of the mortgage and utilities, her contribution will not affect your son’s SSI. If she pays more, the amount she pays above her one-quarter share will probably be divided among you three and one-third charged to your son. If she were to pay for the the services that you listed and paid them directly, the payments would probably not be countable income because they do not result in your having possession of something that could be converted to cash to cover housing and food costs for your son. You may want to go over this with Social Security before your mother moves in.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Trish

    I have a question. My minor child gets SSI and I am planning on getting married. I live in Indiana and the guy I am going to marry lives in Cali. he will not be moving to Indiana for at least 4 months after we get married. Do I have to claim his income is he is not giving us any money?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Trish,

      Your husband’s income will be considered in determining your child’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when he moves in with you and your child. In the meantime, if he gives you money to cover expenses or pays for shelter or food costs directly for your son, you have to report this income, but not his income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lisa watts

        Hello me and my husband are married but he is staying with his parents cause of a situation we do see each other every week and our son. Would he have to claim his SSI through his parents house even though we are still married he just isn’t living at my place with myself and my parents. Would he still be able to claim me and our son.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Lisa,

          If your husband is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security, then his payment amount is based on the living arrangements (meaning, whether or not he pays his share in the household where he lives); and your income, if any, does not affect his benefits. So, he needs to report to Social Security about where he is living, if he has not already. SSI does not pay dependent benefits. If he is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), his child and possibly you could be eligible for benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Maggie

        Hi, Kay

        My ex husband and I divorced more than 30 years ago. We just became roommates two years ago but we live in different bedrooms. We are not dating each other or anything. I am on SSI. Recently, he also applied for SSI in California and the local office representative immediately treated us as a couple and put our names together in the application even though he insisted that we divorced 30 years ago. Now, the SSI amount would be $300 lower than if we collected individually. We feel very upset because we are really not a couple. So how do we contest the decision made by the social security? Thank you very much!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Maggie,

          Appeal the calculation of your claim on the basis that you are not married. Present your divorce decree. If necessary, appeal a second time to get a hearing.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • SophiePappas

    I am on SSI and two of my 4 children are autistic and also on SSI. My rent is $1,600 not including utilities. I have narcolepsy and arthritis in both my legs so its hard sometimes to do some things around the house. My mom is 77, retired, sickly and has to move out of my brothers house due to he is moving out of state. I would like to take my mom in but I cannot afford to lose any money from SSI since it is my main source of income to keep the house running. She does not work and has lots of health issues. Will this cause a problem for me even though she won’t be giving me any money? Her small pension has to pay for her medical and medicines and her own low sodium foods. I am only concerned about her needing to live somewhere and I want to take her in with me and my four children, will this affect my ssi at all?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sophie,

      If your mother does not contribute to shelter costs or pays no more than her share (one sixth) of shelter costs and buys her own food, her living with you will not affect your family’s SSI benefits; however, you do need to report when she moves in with you and you both need to sign a statement that she will be buying her own food and not paying any of the shelter costs. If she hasn’t applied for food stamps, she might look into that.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Angela

    I would like to know. I am getting 973.40 from Ssdi. I pay $900 of $1300 rent and my daughter father pay $400. He also pays the light and gas bill plus food with his food stamps. I recently reported it to Ssi and they cut $81. Out. They want a statement of household income. Will they cut my benefits more if I’m not paying for food. Just rent.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Angela,

      If you and your daughter are on your daughter’s father’s food stamp grant, there will be no additional reduction because the food stamp program is paying for your food. I am not sure how it will be handled if you are not on the grant–whether they will consider him providing the food or the government.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Christina

    Need advice. I am a single mom with three kids. My 2.5 year old was approved for ssi benefits a couple months ago. He receives 733 a month. We live in 2 bedroom house and I pay 650 a month in rent. I’m thinking about renting a house that will be 1350 a month, and if I do i will have a roommate (my 2 year old’s father would be the roommate and we are not together) if I decide to get the house. That roommate will be paying half of the rent, half of ultilities, but will be paying for their own food. When I report this to SS, will having this roommate affect the amount my son receives?
    Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Christina,

      Even though you and your child’s father are “not together,” the child’s father’s income in addition to your income will be counted in determining your child’s eligibility and payment amount. With two other children in the household, your son might still be eligible. Because of the filial relationship between your disabled child and the adults in the household, who pays the shelter and food expenses does not matter. You can ask Social Security to run a sample calculation using both your son’s parents’ income before you move in together, or you can calculate an estimate using the formula in the article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Courtney cole

    I currently receive ssi. I was getting a reduced amount of $608/month cause I was renting a room from a friend and was paying a low amount for rent. She kicked me out on the 1st and I am currently living in a hotel with my mom and dad. We have been splitting the costs of the room. Will my ssi decrease more, stay the same or maybe go back to the max of $733?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Courtney,

      If you are paying one third of the cost of the hotel room, the reduction in your SSI will be removed two months after you started paying your share. You need to report this change to the Social Security Administration (SSA) right away.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Courtney cole

        They pay half the room and I pay half. The hotel is averaging $70/night. I pay $35 towards it

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Courtney,

          I would expect your SSI benefit to go up. You need to report your change of address to Social Security even though it may be temporary.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Courtney cole

            I got a p.o. box the other day to use as a mailing address. Would I need to give.them the hotel address as my physical address or can I tell them I’m homeless since I technically am

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Courtney,

              You need to give Social Security your hotel resident address. Where you live (your “living arrangements”) are one factor that determines SSI payment, so you are legally required to provide information about where you live, even if it is temporary.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • kcmrns

    I just was approved for SSI. I’m going to receive mu first check in two months. Here is my question. My adult daughter lives with me and will be starting a new job soon at 13.50 an hour. 40 hrs. Per week. I own my home outright. We split the utilities in half. How will her income affect mine. I’m approved for 733. A month. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kcmrns,

      Your adult daughter’s income will not affect your benefits and does not have to be reported to Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diana

    Hello,
    I have a question pertaining to my mother. She currently receives the maximum benefit for ssi -$733. She recently recently became entitled to Medicaid/medicare under ssi (she does not qualify for regular social security benefits), but her disability has gotten worse to the point that she cannot live without help. I want to move her in with me, but my income is a bit high (~60k- I would have taken her in earlier but my mother would not agree to be supported by her daughter). She will still be paying for her own food (as she still wants to feel independent), but I’m worried about her Medicare benefits. How would moving her in affect her cash amount and Medicare?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diana,

      Your income will not affect your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and associated Medicaid coverage. (She does not have Medicare unless she is at least sixty-five years old because she is not receiving Social Security Disability benefits.) If your mother cannot pay her share of shelter costs (rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage), which is tht total divided by the number of people in the household or cannot pay fair market value for renting a room in your home, her SSI will be reduced, possibly to as little as $488 per month. As long as she continues eligible For SSI, the Medicaid should continue as well.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Anonymous

    I have a question about food stamps. My mother and I lived in the same household, where she was the head of the house. Both my mother and I were receiving food stamps. We received our foodstamp benefits on the same card as a single household listed under her name. Recently, my mother has died. What should I do to cancel her foodstamps, while still receiving my portion? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Anonymous,

      Report your mother’s death to the food stamp office as soon as possible. Be prepared to provide proof of your current income so that the amount of your new food stamp grant can be determined.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Patricia O’Reilly

    Is it true if you marry while on disability you will lose all of your benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Patricia

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Patricia,

      If you receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) based on your own work record, marriage will not affect your benefits. If you receive disabled adult child Social Security benefits and marry someone other than a person who also receives disabled adult child benefits, your disability benefits will stop.

      If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the impact of marriage on benefits depends on your spouse’s income and the number of minor children you and your spouse have in the household or for whom your spouse pays child support. It also depends on whether you and your spouse have over $3,000 in countable resources (assets). A home you live in, one vehicle, certain life insurance policies, and a few other things do not count toward the resource limit. You can ask the Social Security Administration to calculate the impact of your intended spouse’s income and assets on your benefits before you marry.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Laurie

      I really need some advice. I have a 23 year old son who has Autism and is non-verbal, I am his caretaker, I can not leave him alone. We also have a younger son who we are helping put through college. My son with Autism does receive SSI, but it just doesn’t seem like it’s very much. If something were to happen to myself or my husband there is no way my son could live on what he gets, this makes me very concerned. We can barely make it as I have to stay home and having a home, food, utilities and helping our other son through college. What is the maximum amount my son can receive? I’m just wondering why his amount is so low, if he had to live with even one of our other adult children there is no way the money he gets would even pay for his groceries let alone rent and utilities. Thank you for any help, it’s much appreciated.
      Laurie

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Laurie,

        The maximum federal payment is $733. If when you son was approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you and your husband were providing your son with food and shelter, the maximum he could receive is $488. If you now use part of his $488 for shelter and/or food, you can report that to Social Security. Be prepared to provide a statement of how much of his benefit gets used for rent or mortgage, utilities, and food and how much those costs are for the whole household. Take the rent lease or mortgage bill and utility bills to document the expenses. If your son’s contribution equals his share (one- fourth with four in the household) or comes to within less than $265 of his share, his SSI will be increased.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • Hugh

    Hello Kay or anyone else who might be able to help:

    I’m a single father with a 19-year old intellectually disabled daughter. In April, I applied for SSI for her and it was approved in May. I’m her representative payee.

    I have two questions for which I’d appreciate your help:

    1) When we originally applied, my daughter obviously had no income or assets of any kind, and so they deemed her to be receiving food & housing from me, and only awarded her the reduced amount of about $450 a month. Now that she is receiving her SSI payments each month, I’ve been using some of it to pay for food and rent (we live in rental apartment together). Our rent is $1500 a month, so there is no way that my daughter, even with a full SSI award, can pay her “fair share” of the rent each month (which I assume would be 1500/2 = $750 a month). Does the fact that she’s not paying her “fair share” mean that they will continue to deem her as receiving food/shelter from me, and decline to maximize her SSI award? or does the fact that she is now paying for SOME of her food and housing allow her to get the full SSI award? Obviously, the only reason why she is not paying her “fair share” is that she’s only getting ~$450 a month from SSI.

    2) Because my daughter is intellectually disabled, her condition is one that is not going to get better over time, so her SSI approval letter stated that she would only need to be re-certified once every 6 years or so. And yet last week, much to my surprise, I received a letter from SSA saying that “We must regularly review the cases of people who get SSI. We need information from you to make sure you are still eligible”, and scheduled a phone appointment for September. We applied in April and was approved in May, so it’s only been three months! It seems odd that they’d want to speak to me and “review” my daughter’s case so soon. Is this common? what should I expect from the call?

    Thanks so much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hugh,

      Your daughter’s share of shelter expenses is half of rent and shelter utilities (power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage) and food. If she pays enough toward those expenses, the amount of in-kind (non-cash) income she receives from you in the form of shelter and food could decrease and allow a partial increase in SSI. For this to happen, she would have to be receiving less than $265 support from you, meaning that her contribution to food and shelter would have to come within less than $265 of her share. Given your expenses as you present them, it appears that it might not be possible for her to do so on an ongoing basis, even if she has some back pay to pay her share temporarily. (The maximum federal SSI is $733, though some states pay a small SSI state supplement as well.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hugh

        Thank you very much for the explanation.

        A follow up question, if I may: what kind of documentation does SSA typically ask for as evidence that someone – for example, my daughter here – is contributing towards rent and food? My daughter’s name is not on the apartment lease, and she doesn’t write a check to the landlord. Do I just write a letter to SSA stating that, e.g. starting from 2 months ago, my daughter’s SSI award is being used to pay for her food with the remainder going to rent? Is that sufficient? It just seems like it’s something that’s hard to “prove.”

        Thank you!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Hugh,

          Proof is your statement, which needs to include an itemization of the expenses I listed in my prior response, the names of the people in the household, and the amount of your daughter’s benefits that are used for food and the listed shelter expenses, and when she started to contribute. You do not have to say that part is earmarked for food unless you are buying her food separately from yours and you are not sharing food to prepare meals. (If your daughter were her own payee, she would write a statement of her own saying how much she contributes.) To support your statement, you will be asked to submit a copy of your lease and the relevant utility bills, usually for the last year.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • KS

    Here’s a good question for all of you:

    My girlfriends twin boys, age 5, are severely autistic. Their father, a deadbeat, has done nothing for the boys since he and her split up over 3 years ago. She worked 3 jobs as a medic to make ends meet, and still was not able to fully meet her obligations, so she went into financial ruin. About a year ago, her and the two boys moved in with me to help her get her affairs in order.

    OK to the point…

    She has been trying to apply for disability for the boys for a couple of years now to get them some help, occupational therapy, help pay for super expensive child care, special dietary needs, etc., and she was denied because of MY income. I am not the boys father, their father does nothing. IF their father did his job, the boys would be in a different situation and would be able to get the help they need. Social Security went into my bank account and got my bank and investment information without my permission. I got a letter from them saying I needed to call and provide this information, but you all know how it goes, you call back…leave a message, and they never call you back. This went on for weeks. So they went ahead and ILLEGALLY searched my records without my permission.

    Has anyone else come close to this situation? What are my rights? What can we do? I have a savings account from before her and I dated. That can’t be what stops these kids from getting what they are entitled to receive by LAW.

    Thanks!

    • KS

      Let me also add that the boys will be able to receive ZERO rehabilitation, therapy, special schools, etc., because we can’t afford them, and she doesn’t qualify for anything like Katie Beckett. So we can use their biological father’s income, or his lack of paying ANY form of child support in this case.

      It’s just wrong.

      This is the government working against good people.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear KS,

        Please see my response to you prior post.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear KS,

      Your girlfriend can appeal the decision on the basis that you and she are not registered domestic partners and that you either do not live in a common-law marriage state or, if you do, you do not present yourselves in public as married or tell anyone you are married. Accordingly, your income should not be counted in determining the children’s eligibility. If the children are denied again on appeal, she can appeal a second time and go before a judge.

      Here is some general information about income that may count to either reduce the children’s SSI benefits or that could combine to make them financially ineligible. The children’s mother’s income may be high enough that some of her income is deemed (considered) available for the children’s support. Also, if your girlfriend is not paying her and her children’s share rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage (and food if you and her family share food), the children are receiving in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance which counts as income. With four people in the household, your girlfriend’s and each child’s share is one-quarter of the expenses. For example, if the shelter and food expenses for the household are $1,600, then each child’s share is $400. This means that if your girlfriend is not paying $1,200 of the shelter and food expenses, the children are receiving some support from you. If for example she is contributing $900 for the three of them, then you would be providing $100 support to each of them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • lorraine

    so can someone answer this for me i got approve for ssd but not for ssi cause my daughter had said she was pay my bill to i get approve so now that i am approve and pay my own bill can i either get more money cause i just get 541.00 or can i now get approve for ssi to,cause now i have to pay all bill and rent but i wasnt when i apply cause i could work if anybody can help me i do so thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lorraine,

      As soon as you start to pay all your expenses, take proof to the Social Security Administration, and request that you be approved for SSI. (You may have to file a new application, not for a medical decision, but for a financial determination of eligibility. The Social Security office will tell you if that is necessary.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nikki

    I’ve been disabled my entire life. I am 21 years old and I have been receiving ssdi payments of 488 since I was 18. When I applied, the social security representative told me once I started paying my parents, who I live wth, rent and such, it would increase. I let them know later that in total I am paying 450 in rent, electricity, etc. I received a letter saying it was not enough to increase my ssdi amount. If I pay them 500 a month, would that increase it? Also, in the future, if my parents moved out, and I rented this house from them, would it increase? Or is there any way to have it increased at all?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nikki,

      For your benefit to increase to the maximum benefit of $733, you have to pay your share the mortgage and utilities, and, if you share food, your share of food. If you buy your food separately, for example with food stamps, then you need pay only your share of rent, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage.

      To receive an increase that is not to the maximum benefit, you need to pay enough toward your share that the in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance you receive from your parents is less than $265 a month. Your share depends on the number of people in the household. If there are three in the household, your share is one-third. So, for example, if rent, utilities, and food for the three of your come to $1,800 a month, your share would be $600. If you contribute less than your share but enough that the in-kind support is less than $265, an SSI increase will occur. Here’s an example of how that works. If your share is $600 and you contribute $450, you would still be receiving $150 support from your parents (the difference between your share and what you pay). All but $20 of the $150 is countable income. Therefore, your SSI would increase to $603 ($733 – $130). The increase would begin two months after you started paying the $450. Once you go the increase, you could increase your contribution to $580 so that the support from your parents would drop to $20, which would not count and two months later your SSI would increase to $733.

      The other way to get an increase is for you to buy your food separately and become a renter in your parents household, paying a flat rate for your room. To get the full increase, you would have to pay fair market value for the room, that is, the amount that rooms like yours in homes like your parents’ rent for.

      If your parents move out, to get an increase you would have to pay fair market value for rental of the whole house and also pay all your own utilities. To the extent that you did not, the subsidy from parents would count as income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dee

        How do I prove fair market value for a room rental when there are no readily available comparables to cite? (I live in a rural area where rooms in private homes are not advertised for rent anyplace. Its all word of mouth) Would the HUD Fair Market Rent Survey suffice as a starting point for valuing a room in a private home? This document shows average rental rates for efficiency apartments.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          Usually when a person rents a room from a non-relative, fair market value (FMV) is not questioned unless the rent is very low. If HUD the figures for an efficiency apartment in your area are such that they would support that your $600 for room and utilities would be FMV, then you could attach a copy of that to your appeal.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lori

    Greetings,

    I am a green card holder, 65 years old. I lave been living in the USA for 10 years, since 2006. I, together with my husband, accumulated 40 qualifying work credits ( combined). Can I receive SSI based on 40 work credits? I know from SSA information web site that I can. I applied, and TC ( technical expert) after my long debate with the clerk said that yes, I’m eligible. TC left the office and I received a letter from different clerk that again I’m not eligible . I’m very tired and confused.

    Should I really with the lawyer?

    Sincerely,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      You and your husband cannot combine your work credits to become insured for either Social Security Disability or Social Security Retirement benefits. At age sixty-five you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits based on age if your income and resources (assets) are below the SSI limits. Application is made in any Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chandler

    Dear Kay,

    I’m 20 years old and a college student applying for SSI. For the past 10 months I’ve lived at home with my parents and they have paid all of my living and medical expenses ( I had to withdraw from school and work for a while b/c of becoming disabled). My grandparents have been helping me with college costs. I’m starting a new job on Monday and then will have some income, but until this point in the year I didn’t. I believe I will be paying my parents some rent money every month once I actually HAVE money of my own. I am also looking to save to get my own housing at some point, which I will also need SSI help to accomplish because I can’t work enough to support myself. My questions are: 1) will my student status and the fact that my grandparents are helping me disqualify me? 2) how much money should I pay my parents in rent to be considered ‘paying my fair share’? Is it just the 30% of income figure I’ve read about or will I need to consider food and utility costs as well? Thanks so much for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Chandler

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chandler,

      If your grandparents are paying your school costs directly to the college and directly to the bookstore, etc. and not giving you money, their help will not affect your application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your student status allows you to have more work earnings before your earnings reduce your SSI, so being a student does not disqualify you. If there are three in your parents household, to avoid having a reduction for in-kind (non-cash) income, you need to pay your share of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (power, heat, garbage, water/sever–not phone or cable), and food assuming that you all share food. With three in the household, your share is one-third.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Arnold

    I’m on SSDI ($217/month) via benefits for disabled children as well as SSI ($536/month). I live in a place for seniors/disabled so I pay about a third of my income for rent. I met someone online and she owns a trailer in another state over 1,000 miles away, and I was wondering if I rent a room from her will my benefits be taken, or reduced? I can’t live with her if they are reduced or taken, but I want to be with her and the long distance is killing me. If it helps she works at a casino and owns a car, but she’s in debt due to hospital bills, and needs help to keep her life together. If I move in with and my income is unaffected, we could get by.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Arnold,

      Moving will not affect your Social Security disabled adult child benefits. If you rent a room and pay fair market rate for the room and buy your own food or pay fair market rate for room and board and consider yourself to be in a separate household from the woman you are renting from, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be reduced. Or, if you and she are in the same household and you pay your share (with two people in the household, your share would be one half) of rent or mortgage, shelter utilities (not phone or cable), and food if you share food, then your SSI would not be reduced. Also, you might want to talk to the housing office to find out how long a waiting list there is to get back into subsidized housing if your planned living arrangements don’t work out.

      Note that if you get married, your Social Security will be terminated. The only exception is if you marry someone who is also receiving disabled adult child benefits. Regarding SSI, your wife’s income wiould be considered in determining your SSI payment amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ryan Goodrich

    Hi, i currently live on my own and receive ssi. My trust fund is currently paying my rent because im not getting my full benefit amount. If i have someone move in with me to help with rent so my trust doesnt have to pay it,will that affect my SSI payments? And will it help get my full benefit amount back?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ryan,

      If you get a roommate who pays no more than half of the rent and half of the utilities, your SSI should increase two months after the payments from the trust end unless there is something about the way that the trust is written that would cause a reduction for other reasons.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ryan

        The only reason my trust pays it now is because i dont get my full benefits. Thats why i was thinking of getting a room mate so that i could agree to split rent and utilities and pray my benefits go back up. I guess my other question is this…i only get around 480.00 and my rent is 766.00 with splitting the rent and 2 utilities my portion would be 473.00 will i get my full benefits back after the change of getting a room mate if i so choose?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ryan,

          When you start paying your share of housing costs, your benefits will increase effective two months later. For example, if you pay all your costs in August, your benefits will go up in October.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ryan

            Hello again Kay,

            So i did end up getting a room mate and reported it to social security via the 1-800 number…August was the first month we officially split expenses…my question is i havent heard anything from social security confirming my change?? is this normal??

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ryan,

              It can take a little while for changes to be processed. If the change doesn’t affect payment amount, you will not get amy written acknowledgment. If the change affects payment but you remain eligible, the new benefit amount will take effect two months after the change occurred.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Nelson

    Hi Kay,

    My father applied for SSI and he most likely going to get $733 in. My father has $850 in rent and $35 in light. My question is if he gets approved and gets the SSI of $733 if I help pay my father’s rent and light difference which is $152 will he get penalized for that? any kind of reduction? I’m confused because if they do bring it down then that would mean that I would have to give him more for his rent and light and by giving him more doesn’t that mean they would lower it even more… PLEASE PLEASE help me understand this, break it down somehow.

    Best,

    Nelson

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nelson,

      Please see my prior reply. If you reduce your contribution, your father SSI will go up only to $601 beginning two months later. Essentially, to receive the $733, he needs to find housing that will allow him to live on $733 a month such as a rented room or small studio. He might also apply for government-subsidized housing, but usually there is a waiting list.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Phil

    Hello,

    My dad applied for SSI and i just found him an apartment and I’m paying for his rent and light bill ONLY until he gets approved (hopefully). Will me paying for his rent and light affect his application and how much he will get? I did tell them that I’m helping him because his not working. Do they consider me helping him after he receives the SSi or before (during application). Please help.

    Thank you,
    Phil

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Phil,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are calculated on a monthly basis based on the income including in-kind income that your father receives during the month. Accordingly, his back pay for months prior to his monthly benefits starting will be reduced by $264 for any month in which you paid the rent and light bill, assuming you paid these expenses directly. If you gave your father the money to pay the bills, the full amount you gave him, less $20, will count as income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dianne

    Hi Kay,

    My son just purchased a house and his sister and husband will be living with him. They are both on ssi, but not my son. Both my daughter and her husband are deaf. They were told they would be responsible to pay 2/3 of my son’s mortgage and utilities, which they cannot afford. When we met with ssi (I was their interpreter) I forgot to mention to ssi that my grandson (my son, son) will also be living in the house, but part time (every other weekend/some holidays/summer). My grandson has his own room. With this new information will my daughter and her husband be responsible for 50% and not 75% of the shared housing/utilities? Appreciate any in information you can share.
    Thank you

    • Dianne

      Hello again,

      I also wanted to ask you if renting a room would be a better option (if this is even an option) than shared housing for my daughter and her husband?

      Looking forward to your reply.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dianne,

        Please see my previous reply. If fair market value for the room is more affordable for your daughter and son-in-law, then it is a better choice.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dianne,

      If your grandson lived in the household full time, there would be four people in the household and their share would be 25% each or 50% for your sister and her husband. With your grandson living there only part of the time, the situation is not as clear.

      A couple things to note: 1) The utilities being referenced are power, heat, water, sewer, and garbage (not phone or cable), 2) Your relatives could set up a different arrangement. That is your sister and her husband could, instead of sharing as part of the household, be renters and pay fair market value (FMV) for the room(s) they rent. They could research how much similar rooms with similar living room and kitchen privileges rent for in their area. It may be less than their share if they were sharing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dianne

        Dear Kay,

        Greatly appreciate your feedback. It will be put to good use as we try to work through this with the social security office. They were pushing us towards the shared housing option for some reason and acting as if there was no other option. Do you have any thoughts on why the room for rent option was not provided? I only knew about the room for rent based on what I was reading from your blogs/forum.

        Sincerely,
        Diane

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dianne,

          I think there tends to be an assumption that relatives are sharing a household.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Jessica

    My 13 year old son receives SSI disability and he receives the max amount. I am thinking about renting a room to some one but they also receive SSI disability . I pay $1000 in rent. And around $450 in bills…. If she moved in she would pay $300 ( bills included) and paying for her on food and essentials seperatly . My question is…. Would this affect my son’s ssi or hers or both?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      If your renter pays fair market value (usual amount) for a room of the type you are renting her, her SSI should not be affected. Whether or not her rent payment will reduce your son’s SSI depends on whether you have other income and, if so, the amount and whether it is earned or unearned income. I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration before the renter moves in to be sure of the impact or lack of impact. You can also use the formula in the SSI article “What Are Deemed Income and Resources and How Do They Affect an SSI Application for Children?” on this website to get an idea.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Vikki

    Hi,

    I and my husband are about to apply for SSI-65 years old. We separated a couple of months ago, but did not divorced. We have a separating agreement -notarized. Can we live at the same adress, but rent separate rooms? Currently, I rent a room in the house where there is an additional room that he could potentially rent.

    Will we be treated as different households if we live at this arrangement, or we have to move out from each other to different addresses? We both have food stamps that go individually to each of us. We are treated as separated couple by Food Stamp NY.

    Husband lived at the different address, but the landlord sold the house recently. Now, we think he could rent a room at the same address where I live?

    Thank you,

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vikki,

      I suggest that you double check with the Social Security Administration (SSA), but it seems to me that if you have separate leases or rental agreements, you might be considered separate households, assuming that you are renters and not sharing a house. It is, however, a gray area because you are under the same roof. The separation agreement would not have the same impact as divorce would on your SSI status.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Laura

    Hello Kay or Whom Concerned,

    I have SSDI & a small amount for SSI. Am Single & no children or any other income and my disability status is unchanged.

    I have moved to a temporary housing situation with a friend until I figure
    out where I am moving permanently and it’s in another state.
    It may be one month or several months I’m not sure.

    I did change my address so I can receive mail here but it’s not in affect yet.
    I am contributing towards expenses here but because I just got here a week ago, it’s still informal and not a set amount at this time.

    Should I report this to SSI & SSDI or can I wait until I find a permanent place to move?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laura,

      You are required to report your change of living arrangement for your temporary housing. You and your friend need to decide whether you are going to a share of housing costs and provide your own food or share food also. If you share, in order not to experience a reduction in your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you must pay your equal share. With two in the household, your share would be one half. If there are three in the household, one third, and so on. The other choice is to pay a flat market rate for your room and provide your own food or pay a flat market rate for both room and board.

      As an aside, if you are receiving your benefits into a bank account, do not close the account until your benefits have been received into the new account.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • bernice

    I’m 30 yrs old I’m not married and I get ssi. My boyfriend also receives ssi. My sister doesn’t receive ssi or ssdi only food stamps and myself my boyfriend and my sister want to move in a apt together. If my boyfriend and I split the living cost and pay our own food and shelter cost Does my sister living rent free but paying for her own food affect me and my boyfriends income if we allow her to move in with us…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bernice,

      As you described the situation, your sister being in the household will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or that of your boyfriend.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Diana

    Hi Kay,
    This whole SSI thing is so confusing! My 21 year old daughter just received a partial lump sum for back payments of SSI. I have read the “Guide for Representative Payees” but still not clear on how I am suppose to spend the lump payment. I am frankly worried as it says I need to document how I spent the money for her. The payment is for the past 4 months (march-june) I put the money the social worker said I needed to into her account for her spending money, and am left with what I assume is her fair market value rent. (Lets say $1000.00) Since it is June and her needs were paid for by my husband and I during those months is this money now ours to keep as reimbursement? Will we have to document how we spent it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Diana,

      Your question includes several issues. First, you do need to keep a record of how you spend your daughter’s benefits. I suggest that you keep a simple ledger entering the date, what you paid, and how much was spent. When you give your daughter spending money, keep a record of the deposit slip from when you put it in her account. Just keep receipts for the rest. If you give her cash, have her sign a receipt. You should pay for her clothing, medical and dental care, personal hygiene items, haircuts, bus tickets, etc. directly to the provider so that you know the money was spent for what was intended. Excess funds of up to $2,000 can be saved for future unexpected needs or to pay first and last months rent and deposit on a place of her own. SSI back pay does not count toward the $2,000 limit for the first nine months after receipt.

      Ongoing you can charge your daughter fair market value for room (and board if you are providing food), but not at a rate of $1,000, which is in excess of her monthly benefit. I believe that you can repay yourself only if you and your daughter had a repayment agreement; however, check this with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

      Note that you are responsible for reporting any changes that could affect your daughter’s SSI payment amount such as changes in living arrangements. Your daughter’s SSI has probably been paid in a reduced amount because you have been providing shelter (and food?). This means you should report that you have started to use some of her money to cover her current shelter and food costs. This will cause her SSI to increase two months from now. To help in reporting, I suggest that you get a pamphlet from Social Security on reporting responsibilities. You might also read the article on reporting under the SSI tab on the navigation bar of this website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • vetnelys

    Hi
    I live in Florida and my 2 kids receive SSI. My husband who is the only one working decided to buy a house for our kids, we where living in a small apartment of 2/1 and they really needed the space. We try to rent a house but it was to high for us. So we bough a house on June 5 and he pull out from his 401k 7,900 for the closing (deposit the check in the bank account on June 3) and to buy and fix stuff for the house. the house need some cosmetic repairs. Also to buy furniture, bedroom set for my son, dining room and fence (my son like to wonder around to much) I call to the SSA and they told me that what I have to do is give them copies of the goof faith estimated of the new house, receipts of what we have bough with the money and bank statements. It will be our first home. I know that I talk with 3 different representative and they tell me the same but I’m just afraid that my kids could lose the Medicaid cause of the 401k of my husband. I know that by the end of the month he will use all the money on the house, also forgot to mention that is in another county (the new house is in Volusia county) we are currently in orange county and will move by the first week of July to the new house. Can you help me please? thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Vetnelys,

      Please see my prior reply. Changing counties will not affect benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • EDGAR MARTINEZ

    Hello…I’m trying to figure out how much money an SSI recepient can put down towards a down payment for a mobile home without getting in trouble with the SSA. You know, the lower end priced ones,,,I know the asset limit for each individual is 2k but since we’re not a couple, my roommate and I(she receives SSI as well), and buy an owner financed mobile home, and put like 3k down, wouldn’t ssa ask us how we saved up for the down payment even if it’s lover than the 4k limit for two separate individuals receiving SSI? How would ssa proceed in this case? I’ve googled for an answer but have found nothing yet. The other question is if I can be lent money for a down payment from a relative without it counting against my SSI benefits? So confused these days…lol….but I’ve made it to kissimmee and you were right, I love it here so thanks for the info.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Edgar,

      If you and your roommate, who also receives SSI, save up the money and buy the mobile home together, each contributing the same amount for the down payment and the ongoing monthly payments, you will have no problem with your SSI benefits. You are allowed to save, as you said, up to $2,000 each. Once you buy the mobile home and live in it, it will not be countable resource. If you borrow from a relative, you need to execute a written loan agreement signed by all parties that includes a repayment schedule. If your roommate is to be an owner, both you and she should probably be listed as borrowers. Then, of course, to prove it’s a loan, you need to keep a record of repayment. (As an aside, I suggest that you get information on whether the primary lender will finance for you if you take out a loan for the down payment.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jose Leal

        I almost have the same situation. My mother and I both bought a mobile home, however, I put down the entire $5000 down payment for the mobile home from my savings. However she is co-owner since we both needed each others income to qualify for the loan and space rent. Will my payment be seen as in kind support, when we report the change for her ssi? We both will be living there.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jose,

          Your payment may not be counted as income to your mother because you will both be living in the home and a home that an SSI recipient lives in is an excluded resource. If the payment does count, it will affect her benefits only in one month.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jose Leal

            Thank you Kay. One more question. If it does count will her ssi be stopped for one month or reduced?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jose,

              If you and she moved into the mobile home the same month that you and she took legal possession, then it only one month should be affected.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Daniel Sierra

    Hello, I’m thinking of relocating and am on SSI. If I sell household goods that I own to get to the other state, will my SSI be reduced for the first month even it’s only about $700 total that I got for my stuff? Will they be asking for the entire total of my sales and will I have to present sale receipts? Do I have to visit the SSA office as soon as I get to the other state if it’s at the end of the month like the 28th or so, or can I wait a week? So many questions…LOL

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Daniel,

      Selling household goods to pay for the move will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit as long as you do not have more than $2,000 on the first of the month after you sell the items. You do not have to report the sale if your countable assets are not over the limit. (The household goods were excluded, but the cash from the sale counts toward the limit to the extent you still have it at the beginning of the following month.) You can wait to the following week to report. If you have direct deposit of your benefit, do not close the account until a payment is deposited to your new account.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Stacey

    I have decided to let my disabled 15 year old niece move in with me. I feel I am more equipped to take care of her rather than her Mother at this time. Her mother receives a SSI check for her monthly. My question is how do we change it so her check is coming here to us to help take of her here. Also will mine and my husbands income take away from her benefits since we are aunt and uncle. I have never dealt with this kind of situation, and I do not know where to start. Her mother is willing to let her move in with me, but is telling me we will lose her benefits. Which are needed because she needs a lot of help.

    • Stacey

      I should add that I have no clue if her benefits are SSI or SSD. I know she is receiving it for mental impairments. However I do not know exactly which she is receiving.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Stacey,

        Please see my reply of a few minutes ago. If your minor niece is receiving benefits due to disability, she is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stacey,

      You can file an application to be your niece’s payee once she moves in with you. Your and her uncle’s income will not affect her benefits. If she pays (with her SSI benefit) her share of the rent or mortgage, utilities (not phone or cable) and food, her benefit will not be reduced by living with you. If there are three in the household, her share will be one-third. If she does not pay her share, her benefit will be reduced but not stopped entirely.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Janey

    A friend has applied for SSD, he has a minor daughter who resides with her mother, could his daughter receive SSI if he is approved for SSD? He own a small track of land and a mobile home, he is not currently residing in it but can. Will this affect his or hers potential benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Janey,

      Your friend’s property will not affect his daughter’s application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      If he is approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) and his Family Maximum Benefit is high enough to pay Social Security dependent benefits, the amount his daughter is eligible for (and any child support he is paying for her, if he is paying child support) will count as income to reduce her SSI benefit. If the child has income of $753 or more monthly (including any amount deemed from her mother), she will be financially ineligible for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • curtis bailey

    if me and my gf both get ssi but we pay for rent and bills food and our own personal needs and household needs but share the same bed would one get cut down

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Curtis,

      Living together and splitting expenses with your girlfriend will not affect your or her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you get married, your benefit amounts will decrease.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cody

    Dear Kay,
    My girlfriend my son and i moved in with my girlfriends grandmother. She is battling cancer and made a Will for my girlfriend to inherit the house. If her grandmother passes away the house will go to my girlfriend who is disabled because of seizures. She receives $733 monthly. When my girlfriend inherits the house and 1 acre of property will the house and property cause my girlfriend to lose her (ssi)? Basically is she allowed to own a home while being on ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cody,

      The inheritance of the house and property will affect your girlfriend’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) only in the month she receives it. She is allowed to own property as long as she lives on it. She does have to report having moved in with her grandmother. If she is paying her share (one quarter) of the housing costs (or housing and food if she is sharing food with anyone in the household other than her son), her SSI will not be decreased by the move.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Johnny

    Hi Kay, on two occasions, I have posted additional questions, however, I cannot locate either my questions or your answers. Each time I have posted, I get a message that says the website is waiting for commentator to reply but then I never seem to be able to locate my messages after that. Can you please respond directly to my email address so I can find where my questions and your answers are located? Thank you. Johnny

  • Kenneth

    Hello,
    I’m 32 years old, and thinking about moving into my Dad’s house temporarily until I can find subsidized housing, would my SSI and SSDi be reduced if I move in with a Parent? My current rent is $350, and it would remain $350 if I moved into Dad’s house.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenneth,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) is not affected by your living arrangements (as long as you stay out of jail). Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) probably will not be affected by moving in with your father. If room rentals in your area run around $350, then you will be paying fair market value for the room in your father’s home and will not be receiving in-kind support from your father. (Because you do not mention food, I assume that you will be purchasing your food separately from your father.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Misty

    a friend of mine and her daughter and son live with me, the daughter who is 21. the daughter is getting SSDI. I have been asked to provide a breakdown of expenses so she can have her case re-evaluated. what expenses are used to calculate a fair share? so can I provide her a proper amount.

    Thanks,

    Misty

    • Misty

      forgot to mention that there are 5 of us in the house. the son is 13 a minor, does he count in the division of the of expenses too.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Misty,

        Please see my previous response. The SSI recipient’s share will be one fifth; the minor child is a member of the household. Give Social Security the expense information I described in the earlier response and confirm there are five in the household, and they will do the calculations.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Misty,

      First, a clarification: Your friend’s daughter is not receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability). The fact that information about household expenses is being requested indicates that she is receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Household expenses include rent or mortgage and property taxes, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage. If she is sharing food with you, the household expenses also include food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Katrina

    My mother is on disability receiving benefits and she and my stepdad are selling their home earlier than they expected. Long story short, they are unable to move out of the Bay Area (Northern CA) until my stepdad’s retirement dates comes up in late August; their intention is to move out of state, but they also do not have a house out there yet. That means they need somewhere to stay temporarily for a few months. If they rent a hotel for those few months instead renting an apartment, how will it affect my mother’s SSDI and/or SSI? I want to make sure they have all the information before making a final decision. Thank you in advance!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katrina,

      The type of housing your parents have and the state your mother lives in does not affect your mother’s Social Security Disability (SSDI). As long as she and her husband pay for the hotel with their own money and someone else does not for the hotel room, living in a hotel will not affect your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      There are, however, three other circumstances about their changed circumstances that may affect your mother’s SSI eligibility. First, when they receive the proceeds of the sale of the house, they likely will have resources above the $3,000 resource limit for SSI eligibility. The money from the sale will be excluded from counting for three full calendar months after receipt if the intend to buy another house. After that, it will be counted. This means that if your parents get the money from their house in April and have not bought a house by July 31, your mother will be ineligible in August if her and her husband’s assets at time exceed $3,000. Second, moving out of California will mean that your mother will no longer be eligible for the California state supplement portion of her SSI payments. Some other states have a an SSI state supplement, but not all. Last, the change in her husband’s income may change her SSI eligibility because more income exclusions are given for work income than for retirement income such as pensions and Social Security. She needs to report the sale of the house,her move to the hotel, and her subsequent move out of state as each occurs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rose

    I’ve been having problems with SSI. My husband and I are divorced..have been for 2 years..haven’t been a couple for 13 years. I am staying temporarily at his house.He is here when he feels like it..he’s a drunk and is gone most of the time. We live in separate rooms and have for many years.We are in no way a couple at all nor have been. I pay him 250 a month plus I pay the gas bill, my groceries, phone ect. I own a house in another area that I cant live in right now, as it is currently under repair ( roof leaking, no kitchen or bathroom) I can’t move there until it is fixed, and I have people working on it but it is taking a very long time.. The gal as SSI keeps telling me my ex husbands income counts on my SSI and I keep telling her it doesn’t.They reduced my check a couple of times already and finally got it straightened out I thought, but she still says that his income counts because he USED to be married to me. WTH?? I got another call from her today wanting to know my situation again, as we went thru this already about 4 months ago.What is it that I can’t convince her that we are NOT a couple, nor have been, we don’t present ourselves as married or anything else.I even read that part from the SS website and still swore she was right and his income counts! What do I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rose,

      Ask to speak to the representative’s supervisor and request that the employee receive training so that she understands that income is not deemed from an ex-spouse and stops insisting that it is. Note that if you lived in the same house with your ex while you were still married even though you were not a “couple,” his income would be considered in determining your SSI payment amount.

      As an aside, does Social Security know you have a house that you are not living in? Potentially it could count as a resource that could make you ineligible for SSI. If not, you need to tell them about the house and that you are temporarily absent from the house while it is under repair to make it habitable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ralph

    I’m retired and receive Social Security benefits. My adult son, who currently resides in my household (in New Jersey), receives SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) based on my earnings record. He also receives Medicare coverage.

    If he were to relocate to an apartment (which I own) in Pennsylvania, would this affect his eligibility? Also, would transferring the apartment to his name present any relevant pros/cons? (I know that he would qualify for a “homestead” property tax rebate, but that obviously is unrelated to his disability benefits.)

    Thanks very much for your kind advice.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ralph,

      If your son is receiving disabled adult child benefits on your Social Security earnings record, his moving and/or being given an apartment will not affect his benefits. If he is also receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the gift of the apartment would make him ineligible in the month that it is received but not thereafter as long as he lives in it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Carlos

    Dear Kay Derochie,

    Thank you for helping so many people out. I live with my mother, in her (or her and my father’s) house, along with my adult brother. Ever since my parents split up, I have attempted numerous jobs so as to chip in with my living expenses despite the mental health issues I am working on. As of yet, it has proven mostly fruitless…

    Am I eligible for SSI regardless of the fact that both my parents work? What is the average wait time from the beginning of the process to the time I am accepted? Do I need to pay money for legal fees? Is it easier online or to meet with someone in person? I have never filled out a tax return.

    Thank you so very much for your time and dedication,
    Carlos

    • Carlos

      Note: I am 22

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Carlos,

      Because you are an adult, your parents income does not affect your eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are approved, your SSI will be paid in a reduced amount because you are getting fee housing (and food?) from your parents. Initial claims take two to five months to process and often another month or sometimes more to get paid. If you are denied, you should appeal with an attorney experienced in Social Security claims. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Samantha

    I have a 13-year-old daughter who receives SSI. I work full-time and there are no other children in the household. My husband, who is not her father, works in another state and is only here 5-6 days a month. He does not receive mail here, and he does not pay any household bills except rent- and that’s only because I can’t afford it on my own. We do not have any joint accounts, joint property, or joint debt. How does Social Security define “household members” for the purposes of determining income? My daughter’s benefits have been stopped because my husband makes too much money, even though he does not really live with us or contribute to expenses. I explained this to the caseworker, but she said his income still counts. What can I do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Samantha,

      I suggest that you appeal because your husband does not live in the household; however, if you win the appeal, because he is not a member of the household, his payment of rent is income to either you or you and your daughter. If he is paying it directly to the landlord, half of the rent is income to your daughter. If he is giving you the money to pay the rent, then the whole amount that he gives you is income to you and is part of your income that will be added up to determine how much, if any, of your income is deemed from you to your daughter to reduce her benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nicole

    I was in a group home close to getting my own and I had a overpayment of 7,737,000 for inkind support and maintenance from a payee not reporting certain benefits is there anything I can receive like housing or something that I never received?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nicole,

      I don’t have enough information to understand your exact situation or to respond. If you want to provide more information regarding your current living arrangements and your current income, I will try to respond.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lan Phan

    I own the second house in another county and have no mortgage. My total household expanses is $900 a month ( insurance , property tax, electricity, gas, water, sewage…) . My mother is living with my in law , my niece (Total is five person including me and my wife). we live in first house that we own distance from second house is 60 miles for job and come to second house and stay there for 3 days per week.
    She paid me $400 /month and received SSI $809.41/month . Now SSI review and she only pay me $450 /month and SSI reduce her to $645.07 because they say she get $264.33 for food or shelter get fr someone.

    Questions: May I appeal for their decision and she pay for her own food and eat separatly. Does she get the maximum SSI if she have no income.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lan,

      If your mother is giving you one-fifth of the $900 shelter expenses and food, then she is not getting in-kind (non-cash)income from the owner of the house (you?). If she is not paying her share, she is getting income from you. If she is not paying her share, but the difference between her share and the $400 she pays is less than $264.30, her benefit should be more than it has been reduced to (though less than the maximum). If she buys her food separately, then she only has to pay her share of the shelter expenses to receive maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kenny

    Can two people draw ssi liveing in the same home and half the bills.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kenny,

      Yes, two people who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), splitting the shelter and food costs and, assuming they are not married, it won’t reduce their payment amounts.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Scott

    Hi, I hope this site is still active as I have an important question. I live in Virginia and receive $732 a month ssdi. I’m getting married soon and moving to Maine with my wife who also receives ssdi. The plan is for us to live with her cousin, also on ssdi & her 2 year old son. The reason for this is we figure we can all keep an eye on each other with our various conditions and take care of each other (to a degree). But I need to know how our disability will be affected. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Scott,

      If you and your wife to be receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your marriage will not affect either of your benefits. If one of you receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be treated as an disabled couple and you and she will not be eligible for SSI if your combined Social Security exceeds $1,109 monthly. All but $20 of your combined SSDI will be subtracted from the maximum couple SSI of $1,100 to determine the amount payable to you as a couple. If you and she are eligible that amount of SSI will be divided by two and paid to each of you.

      If you all (you, your fiance, and her cousin) receive SSDI, living together will not impact anyone’s benefits. If one or more receive SSI, benefits will not be impacted negatively as long as the SSI-eligible individual pays his or her share (one quarter) of shelter costs and of food costs if sharing food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Scott

        We are all on disability. Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Scott,

          As explained in my previous response, the law is different depending on disability program under which you are receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Lanena215

    Hi,I got a question I’m on the appeal process for ssi my question is my boyfriend and father of my two sons wants to get married he lives on his own ,my kids live with my mom ,for a little while now .so they don’t live with me and to be more clear we been dating 6 1/2 years now but I’m happy where I live and he’s happy where he’s at,I don’t wanna say yes I’ll marry you and mess up my case that I been working on so hard to provide the paperwork and prof I can’t work,he works he got his own bills and problems and mines are completely separately ,anyways I guess he wants the tittle..so the question is will it affect my case even if we don’t live together nor plan to be any time soon ?? Is just me Andi can’t count my children the are adopted by my mother. I’ll be waiting on your reply thank you so much

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Laneana,

      If you marry, your husband’s income and assets will affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim only if you live together.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Chris

        I can hardly beleive that Social Security called and asked me about the guy I live I Live with? I am SSI qualified as person living with a disability before the age of 22. If the other person I live with is not married to me. receiving SSI or SDI I don’t see where the problem is. Why dose it matter if I live with a man or a woman.They want to know if this is a roommate or a boyfriend. They even asked when we go out do we consider ourselves boyfriend or girlfriend and introduce ourselves that way to people? Really……if you live with a boyfriend or girlfriend and declare them them to be that are they obligated by any contract like a legal spouse? No, they are not. If they get hit by bus or run off with someone else you have no protection under the law. If your gay and living with a same sex partner is that different than being heterosexual and having just a room mate and dose Social Security need to know about your sex same partner in the same way they need to know about the living arrangements of boyfriend/girlfriend couples? I say stay out of my bedroom Social Security and any other government agency. If I earn wages or get legally married and have real changes in my tax filing status then we can talk.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Chris,

          If you are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) as you stated, then a condition of your receiving benefits is to reveal your marital status, your spouse’s income and assets if you are married, with whom you live, your relationship to that person, and the amount of shelter and food expenses and who is paying them. This information is needed to calculate monthly SSI benefits.

          If you are receiving disabled adult child benefits on a parent’s earnings record as your statement of “disability before age twenty-two” seems to imply, then one condition of eligibility is that you not be married. A few states recognize “common-law” marriage, which is a relationship in which two people tell other people they are married but they have not been married with a license. If you live in one of those states, that might be the reason for the questions.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • kim

    I am living with my son in Naples Fl. now. Have not worked for over 3 years. have just been approved for SSDI . I am receiving snap (food stamps) for myself. I pay noting to my son for room board ect. at this time. Have been waiting for paper work to come in. I plan on moving to Lakeland Fl. & live on my own once the ball & money states coming in. On the paper work that they send so i don’t short change myself how do I tell them this.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kim,

      If you have been approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI), where you live (in the U.S.) has no impact on your SSDI benefit amount.

      If you also applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your SSI benefit will be reduced for months in which you got free shelter from your son. After you move to your own residence and begin to cover your own shelter costs, report your move to Social Security and your SSI will be increased two months after you stop receiving free shelter from your son.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • k kneebone

    My parents bought my mobile home for me and I am paying them back. If I get roommates, will the income be mine or theirs? Will this affect my SSI benefits? My name is on the deed and title but none of the money from a roommate will go to me, it will go to my parents bank.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear K.,

      You will have to get a formal determination from the Social Security Administration on the matter of the rent paid by your roommate. How the roommate’s payment is treated may depend on the arrangement you have with the roommate. If you are real roommates sharing expenses (splitting them in half), then her paying half of the utilities (and half of the food if you share food), then the roommate would be paying her share and what she paid likely would not count as income to you. If instead, she is a roomer, paying a flat amount for the room, the rent she pays is likely to be countable income to you that will affect your SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits. This is because your parents have not kept a mortgage-holder lien on the title. Similarly, your monthly payment to pay your parents back would not be part of the shelter expenses if the deed does not show a a lien holder.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • k kneebone

        Thank you so much, all good things to take into consideration.

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome.

  • Debbie Henz

    Oh my gosh! So sorry! She is covered by SSA.

  • Debbie Henz

    Sorry forgot Buckeye Healthcare took over the Medicaid.

  • Debbie Henz

    Also…. who is the best agency to contact in the Ohio to hash out all the details?
    Thanks again

  • Debbie Henz

    My husband and I have a 28 year old daughter who is an end stage renal patient. She is on hemo dialysis 3 days a week. Last fall she had a pacemaker put in.She is not able to work and uses a walker.
    She has SSI and Medicare and Medicaid and food stamps. Her SSI is 595.00 per month. Her medical is covered by Buckeye Healthcare. Her food stamps are around 126 per month, she just had a little increase, but not sure exactly what it is.
    She lives and pays utilities at a rental property my husband and I own. My husband is 63 and wants to retire due to painful back issues. We charge her no rent.We are in the process of fixing the rental property up to start renting it in June of 2015.The question is, can she come home and live with us? Will it effect her benefits? What are your thoughts?Thankyou so much!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debbie,

      I understand from your second post that your daughter receives Social Security Disability (SSDI), not SSI. If that is the case, her living with you will not affect her benefits.

      When she starts to live with you, if she has $2,000 or less in countable assets and pays her share (one-third if three in the household) of rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage and either continues to get food stamps buying her food separately from you or pays her share of food, she may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to supplement her Social Security benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Erika Sykes

    Hi, my son just started receiving said because of an brain injury he has that happened September 2014 he’s only 11 years old since I don’t have my own place yet I only get half of the full amount I live with my mom daughter and Now disabled son plus four younger brothers and since he has been getting benefits I Now have to pay my mom half of What I get for him for utility expenses is there any way that social security would increase his benefits because about time I pay my part it’s really nothing left anything I should do?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Erika,

      If I understand correctly, there are eight people in your household. Your son’s share of rent or mortgage and power, heat, water/sewer and garbage is one-eighth of the total. If you use his SSI benefit to pay his one-eighth and you are paying for his food with food stamps or you are also paying one-eighth of the food, his SSI will go up to the maximum $733 beginning two months later. Even if his contribution is not his full share, it might be enough to cause some increase in the benefit, which would then allow him to contribute more and get another increase. If you kept increasing his contribution, his benefit might gradually reach the maximum. Another option is that you may be able to use some of his back pay to start paying his share. Keep in mind that his contribution is only for himself and not for you.

      Also when you report the new contribution to expenses, you will need a statement from your mother confirming the contribution amount and start date and also a copy of all the household’s shelter bills to prove the amounts and a statement from your mother of how food is purchased (separately or with the family, with food stamps, etc.).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mikie

    My adult son rents a room from his father and I at the rate of 450.00 per month. My house is paid off. Will he receive the full SSI monthly benefit ? We do not pay for any of his food. We know he was approved but they have not disclosed the benefit that will apply going forward.

    They did not approve backpayment of the 450.00 that my son owes us while he was waiting for the SSI decision, they reduced his benefit by a third although we provided them with the agreement we had in writing. We are totally perplexed by this as my son was supposed to repay us.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mikie,

      Your son can appeal the calculation of his benefits. If the written agreement was made in the past when he started living with you, it could be accepted as proof of a bonafide loan, that is one that has to be repaid. If he wins the appeal, he would probably then have to submit proof of repaying you after he gets his back pay.

      As soon as he starts getting benefits and actually starts paying the $450, his SSI will increase two months later. For example, if he is paid $489 in April and pays you $450 and you and he report the payment to Social Security, his SSI will increase in June because benefit amounts are based on income received two months earlier.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • BM

    My 24 daughter has PDD (Autism Spectrum) and receives SSI. She lives with me and her step-father. Her case is up for review June 2015. We moved in May 2014 and we now have a bigger mortgage and we are concerned her benefits may be reduced. We do charge her rent and her income is important to the household.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear BM,

      If you are charging your daughter a flat, fair-market-value rate for rent (or a flat rate for room and board if she shares food with you) rather than having her pay a share of expenses, your move and higher shelter expenses should not affect her benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • My son has been receiving SSi disability for about 3 years. I recently got diagnosed with a long term health issues. Will we both be able to get SSI disability? We are both living in the same house hold. He currently is recurring $733 monthly.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Stephanie,

      Yes, it is possible for both you and your son to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Gladys

    My son gets ssi and if i get married with a person that is from mexico will that affect his benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gladys,

      If you and your son live with your husband, your husband’s income will be considered in determining your child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and his payment amount if he continues to be eligible. I suggest that you ask Social Security to estimate the impact of your potential husband’s income on the SSI benefit before you marry so that you are informed in advance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elle

    My seven year old son just got approved for ssi. Backdated to 2011. Me my husband and my two sons lived in a rent free house that his brother owns until dec 2014 . We paid all food and utilities ourselves. My son gets 400 a month in child support. The ssa worker is trying to deduct from his back pay because the house was rent free,but we had to pay for the taxes and repairs. The house actually was not in livable condition until my husband made repairs. The agreement was between my husband and his brother and he was living there before we met and got married. How can she do this? The rent on the house would only be 200 a month at the most because the actual value of the house is only 640 dollars which is stated on the taxes. The rental agreement is for my husband to pay taxes and upkeep the property. How is this fair to my son. How does child support deduction affect ssi as well. There were many months when we had no income other than the child support.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elle,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as its name says, is intended to supplement other income, including child support. It is correct for your son’s SSI benefits to be reduced in any month in which he gets child support. It is also correct that free shelter (utilities and/or housing) is in-kind (non-cash) income and reduces SSI benefits. The maximum reduction for free housing is $244.

      Based on the information that you have provided, I suggest that you appeal the calculation of your son’s SSI. His share of the in-kind support the family has been getting is one-quarter of its total value because there are four people in the household. You can base your appeal on two grounds: 1) Your son’s share of the free housing is less than $244 because the rental value of the house is only $200 (or whatever amount a property rental management company or other source verifies it is. (If the fair market value of the free rent is $200, then your son’s income would be $50.) 2) You could also argue that your family is paying a form of rent because you are paying the taxes, which the owner’s responsibility in a rental situation.

      To support your appeal, present proof that your husband paid the property taxes, a statement from his brother that payment of the taxes was a condition of your family living in the house, proof of how much the house would rent for on the open market (a rental management company, rental ads for similar houses in the area.) Note that the tax assessment is an indicator of the low sales value of the house, but it is not proof of the rental value. You can point out the value of the house, but also be prepared to provide proof of its monthly rental value.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • I have a question. My son and I were living in with my aunts friend and she was paying for shelter but I paid for my own food. He’s only eligible to receive I be $488 but for the past month we’ve been living in a hotel. I pay $850 a month to stay here, $242 a week. If I reported we live here now and I use his benefits to stay here, will his benefits go up?

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Kae,

          Your son or you, if you are his payee, are required to report all changes of residence to the Social Security Administration so that your son’s benefits can be recalculated based on the new living arrangements. Your son’s benefits are likely to go up two months after you and he started paying all your shelter costs, so report the change as soon as you can. Take receipts to show when you moved in and how much the rent is.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Hope

    My son, who has Down Syndrome, just turned 18. We filed for SSI on his birthday. My question involves living expenses. Should we have him pay rent or fair share? If he pays rent, do I have to claim that income on my taxes? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Hope,

      You can do either, charge rent fair market value for room or room and board or you can caIculate his share of rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage (and food if you are all eating together) and have him pay that amount. I suggest that you contact the IRS or a tax accountant regarding the taxation question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cherry

    Hi I live in california & my mom gets 720 in social sec plus abt 196 in ssi & lives in low income apt. If she moves in with me will it be reduced? I live in a home owned by my ex & he pays the mortgage but i pay the bills which are abt 1200 a month not including food. What bills do they consider, only gas water elec? Can i just charge her 500 to rent a bedroom or does she have to pay half all expenses? If i take on the mortgage of 1500 then half expenses would be more than she gets. Can i pay more of it & just charge rent? Will they say she cant afford it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cherry,

      You can treat your mother like a renter and charge her room rent. If she is paying fair market value (FMV) for the room, her federal SSI will not be reduced because of renting from you. You do not mention how you will handle food. If you share food, she would have to pay half; otherwise, her federal SSI would be reduced by the amount of free food she was receiving from you.

      Your mother receives California SSI Supplement as part of her SSI payment. I do not know how the State of California defines “independent living” vs. “living in the another’s household.” If it is the same as Social Security’s living arrangement definitions, your mother’s state supplement probably would not be affected by her renting a room and paying her share of food or buying food independently. Nonetheless, I recommend that she check about the state supplement before she moves.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • cody

    Kay, i am port of a family of 4, my son which is only 5 years of age, girlfriend, my mother and i are thinking about moving into my girlfriends grandmothers house with her because shes starting to get older and needs help now and again. My mother receives $733 and my girlfriend receives $733. Both are from ssi. Her grandmother ( the person we are thinking about moving into with also receives money from the government. The grandmother receives ssd (not for sure how much though). And i work as well. Not much at the moment but my total monthly income is roughly $500 maybe more if work is busy. The house is already paid for. The only bills would be (utilities, property taxes, medical doctor visits, prescriptions, and food). Plus phone, cable, and car insurance but believe that doesn’t count anyways. My main question is ( sorry I’m typing so much) is if we do move in how will it effect my mother and girlfriends ssi payments. ?. We would be paying our share of the bills but will the social security administration penalized us because there’s no mortgage being paid because the house is paid for?. Please help. I dont want to move from our place if moving into her grandmothers house is going to effect there income.

    • cody

      Kay, sorry another part of a question i forgot to add. What would happen also if we said what we paid or if we just paid her rent plus food for us 4, would the money that we paid the grandmother for rent would it affect her ssd? Or would it be better just for everyone to split food and living cost.?

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Cody,

        Please see my response of a few minutes ago. Rent paid to your girlfriend’s grandmother will not affect her Social Security Disability (SSDI): however, it may be more financially feasible to share as described in my previous response than to pay market-rate rent for room and board.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cody,

      As long as your girlfriend and your mother each pay their share of property taxes, heat, power, water/sewer, and garbage (and food if shared), their Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not be affected. Their share is one-fifth each of the shelter. Their share of fodd costs depends on how many people share food. For example, if you, your girlfriend and your son share food, your girlfriend’s share of food is one-third; if you three share with your mother, your girlfriend’s and your mother’s shares of food is one-quarter each. If all five of you share food, then the share is one-fifth.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Kay

    Hello,

    My son currently receives ssi benefits and i was wondering if moving (within the same city) would affect his eligibility or his ssi amount. We (my son and i) currently live with my mother and they did not count my mothers income when we applied. We will be moving in with a friend of mine, but because it is a friend and not a relative, will they now want to include her income? My income and our bills will remain the same with this move.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kay,

      Your friend’s income and assets will not be considered in determining your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount. What will be considered is whether your son will be paying his share of shelter (rent, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage) expenses. With three people in the household, his share is one-third. SSA will request proof of the expenses from your friend. If you and he share food with the friend, SSA will also look at whether he is paying his share of food.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Alice

    Hi I just started my process with disability for my son his 4 and he has ADHD . My interview was done recently and I was sent a house sheet of the ones living in home. We live with my mother and step father my mother is disabled we do buy our food sepratley . My question is do I have to include my mom &step father s.s.#.s on the sheet I don’t have the #s and there asking questions why do they need theres if there not applying. Will that effect my sons decision if I don’t put there #s I did put the names and dob ?. Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Alice,

      You do need to list everyone in your household, so you have to list your mother’s and father’s names and their relationship to you. The reason for this is that the Social Security Administration has to determine whether your son is receiving in-kind (non-cash) income in the form of free or subsidized shelter from the people other than his parents with whom he lives. You can try omitting their Social Security numbers.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Agee

    I am currently receiving SSI for my two sons right now but their behavior is getting out of control and I am thinking about sending them to live with their father. If I do so will I lose their benefits because they are not living with me.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Agee,

      If the children live with their father, their father will become their payee sothat he can use the money for their support in his household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Ann

    Kay , thank you on your answer , just a quick follow up, since I will not leave in that apartment , but just rent one bedroom to my mom, do I need to give her a lease for that amount and the statement that she rents from me?. This is two badroom but she will be paying only for one room And cover her bills. Also, will SSI office need to see that I cover the rest of the appartment cost 50%to the morgage company? Since I will not leave there but pay half of the payment for the second bedroom only, will it reduce my mom’s SSI benefits? Thank you, Anna

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      You will have to get a formal determination from the Social Security Administration on the situation you describe. That said, my opinion is you as owner would pay the whole mortgage on the apartment and anyone living there would pay you rent. If your mother is the only one in the apartment, she is effectively renting the whole apartment. (She likely uses the bath and kitchen). So, as my previous response indicated, I believe that your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments will be reduced if she does not pay fair market-value (FMV)rent for the apartment.

      If someone else shared the apartment,then your mother’s responsibility would be half of the FMV and half of the utilities with the other resident paying the other half of rent and utilities.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Toni

    Hi Kay, my daughter is 21 years old and receives the full amount of her ssi check which is 720, she’s been living with her grandpa and now she wants to move back home with me but she is afraid they will reduce the amount of her check. My household consists of me, my husband and my 3 daughters, ages 3, 9 and 10. My question is will they say she is responsible for one third of the household expenses or one sixth? Does it depend on the adults in the household or everyone including minor children? Thanks for your help

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Toni,

      Please see the reply I posed earlier today.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Toni

        I can’t find it, I apologize, the only post I see on here is one for yesterday to a lady named Ann. I really need your help, I can’t seem to get any advice anywhere,

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Toni,

          Here is what you wrote and here is what I replied:

          Hi Kay, my 21 year old daughter receives the full 720 for her ssi check. She has been living with my dad, her grandpa, he is also payee of her check. She is wanting to move back in with me, my husband and her 3 minor siblings, ages 3, 9 and 10. My question is, if she moves in with us will they determine her check amount based on the 3 adults in the home, me, my husband and her? Or will they base it on 6 people being in the home, us 3 adults and her 3 minor siblings? She wants to move back home badly but she’s so afraid her check will be cut. Thank you so much for your help!

          My reply: Your daughter’s share of shelter expenses and food will be one-sixth of the total costs. If she buys and prepares her food separately, then her share would be one-sixth of shelter expenses only. You and her grandfather might discuss whether it would be advisable for you to apply to be payee for your daughter’s benefits while she is living with you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • Ann

    Hello, I own an appartent and would like to rent it out to my mother who is receiving SSI, she is 70 and currently leave renting as well. She ll cover approximatly $600 in rent payment , and all utilities and food. I make morgage pmt on that apartment , but I ll cover the rest of the payment, around the same amount of $600. Can you please let me know if her monthly benefits might be negatively effected if she ll rent from me , and also, I cover the move. Thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      The answer to your question depends on whether or not you will be living in the apartment. It sounds as if you will not and my answer is based on that assumption. My answer is also based on your mother receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income), not Social Security. If you mother lives alone in the apartment and pays rent that is market rate for such an apartment, her SSI will not be affected. If she is paying less than market rate, her SSI will be reduced because you are subsidizing her rent. If you pay for the moving costs directly to the movers, the amount you pay for the move will not affect her benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lori

    My adult daughter is receiving ssi and she lives with us in military housing. Can we charge her rent?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      There is nothing in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) law that prohibits your charging your daughter rent. In fact, if your daughter pays rent, she may be eligible for a higher benefit. I would, however, check with the office that handles your military housing to see whether you are allowed to charge rent to your daughter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rachel

    Hello,
    I am currently on ssdi and only 30. My boyfriend and I are talking about moving in together in a house with a mortgage not renting. Will us moving in together effect my Ssdi income? Even if we set up the bills like room mates would and split it 50/50? Also what if we get married? Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rachel,

      If you are receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) benefits based on your own earnings record, your living arrangements and marital status do not affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dan williams

    We’re two normal folk receiving SSI benefits in Illinois and planning to relocate to florida sometime in may when our rental lease ends.If we sell some of our stuff will it count against our SSI benefits as we need the money for the trip, security deposit, and whatever else may come our way. Is there a cap on the amount we can get from selling these items,or is there no way out and we’re stuck in Chicago forever. LOL

    Will the state of florida ask us where we got the money from and we have to present them with sales stubs and so forth or will that wait for the ssa review? We don’t want to have to face the 12-36 suspension penalty of SSI payments and then not even be able to pay our rent here in chicago and end up homeless, and we divide all our expenses fifty-fifty. Thanks in advance for any help.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dan,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will not be asked how you paid to move. If you are getting SSI and not SSDI, selling belongings is converting resources from one form (things) to another form of resource (cash). The countable resource limit for a married couple is $3,000; for single individuals it is $2,000. If your countable assets including cash remain below the applicable limit, all you have to do, if asked how you funded the move, is to say you sold possessions. If you go over the limit and carry the excess over to a new month before spending it on the move, you will be ineligible in the month you have excess countable resources on the first day of the month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • dan williams

        Thanks Kay….I forgot to articulate some things…we’re two males, unmarried so I assume we don’t count as a couple and as such our limits would be 4k? Would that potentially mean we can sell things up to that amount and not suffer the penalty? Of course, we don’t have that amount of assets or close to it, but I’m wondering how all of this works because it’s just kind of goofy.If I sell a bit over 2k, would I be able to pass the excess to my roommate and viola..I’m free? Is being over that limit reason for them to cancel the benefits altogether…or is it just a reduction of benefits, and do I have the option of spending down to the acceptable level? The logistics problem I’m faced with is I can’t wait until the last month of april to sell things because I don’t know if it would be too late to find buyers and then I’m stuck with things I could’ve made money from. On the other hand, I can’t spend money on a living arrangement from Chicago ( their requirement to get rid of the cash within 30 days) because renting out of state without being physically in the new location presents obvious risks.
        Very tricky!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dan,

          You and your roommate are two separate individuals for SSI because you are not married. You each have $2,000 resource limit. You cannot pass excess resources to him or vice versa. If you are over the resource limit on the first of the month, you are completely ineligible in that month and no benefits are payable for the month. This continues until you spend down. If you spend down in one month, you will again be eligible in the following month

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • dan williams

            Fabulous, and I want to thank you for the outstanding service you do for everyone here, helping us figure out these things. Hugs.

            • Kay Derochie

              Thank you. Dan, and you are welcome.

          • DAN WILLIAMS

            I wanted to add a little itsy bitsy question….given the fact that we’ll be arriving with about 2-300 dollars each in florida, will that money count towards a reduction in benefits for each person for our first ssi payment in florida even if it’s going to be used towards rental deposit just because we had that money on the first of the month? Sorry for the additional question and thanks again for the invaluable information.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dan,

              The SSI asset limit for an individual is $2,000. If the cash you mention and your other countable assets are below $2,000, you will not have a break in eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Crystal

    Hello, I have a telephone interview scheduled with ssi because I recently reported a change of address for my son.. Our rent is 1650$ and my sons benefit is about 700$, My ex pays the remainder of the rent as part of a separation agreement he and I have made. I am unemployed and have no income from any kind of work, I also have two other children who do not receive ssi. Will the amount that my ex pays for the portion of the rent be counted as income and negatively affect my sons benefits? I’m not sure what to call the rent supplement he provides, I know if I call it child support they will reduce my sons benefits by 1/3, should I call it spousal support, or inkind? Since my son pays all his check towards our shelter will the amount my ex spouse even count, since it’s just a supplement to make us be able to afford the rent? We live in California.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Crystal,

      If you have a written separation agreement, take it to Social Security because the document will specify exactly what the payment is. If you don’t have a written agreement, you might talk with your ex about what he considers the payment to be and for whom he is paying it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa Barbano

    Sorry Kay i don’t understand what your saying…i thought each month i was supposed to be putting anything that wasn’t used during the month in a savings…are you saying that’s not the case…And the question is which i think you answered but, once the funds are in the savings i can use them for other months. Right…can you also yell me more about this resource limit cause my income is the only income on the household do they base her benefits off my paycheck each month…i don’t understand what the $2000 thing ids about…thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Income is money (or free food or housing) that is received in a month. Resources are things that are owned including money that are carried over from month to month. For example, if you earn $1,200 gross in February, that money is income. If you spend $1,000 of it and save $200 for future use, on the first of March the $200 is a resource and it continues to be a resource countable toward the resource limit on the first of each month until it is spent.

      As far as your income affecting your child’s benefits, If your income is more than the amount allowed for your support and the support of any non-eligible child in the household, the excess is income to the SSI-eligible child. You can learn more about this by reading the articles on deemed income and deemed resources under the SSI tab at the top of each page of this Disability Advisor website.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cindy Schkade

    I suppose I should add that we live in Texas

  • Cindy Schkade

    Hello…my sister recieves SSDI and is currently living in a rental house. She recieves housing benefits and a small amount of food stamps. My family and I would like to know if we could buy a house and rent to her? We have found it to be getting harder to deal with land lords as we all get older. Thank you for any information that you can provide us.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cindy,

      You can make any housing and financial arrangement you wish to if your sister is receiving SSDI (Social Security Disability) and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Where she lives will not affect her SSDI benefit. If you all share food, her food stamps could be affected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Cindy Schkade

        Dear Kay
        So it is okay if she rents from family members? She would not have any roommate. She would live alone.
        Thanks
        Cindy

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Cindy,

          There is no prohibition against renting from a relative.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • jenny

    Hello I was wondering if my boyfriend moves in with me and my 2 kids and I work only 12 hours a week and he is not employed yet will it affect my son who is 11 Ssi benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jenny,

      If your boyfriend has no income, his being in the household will not affect your son’s SSI benefits. When he starts to work, if he pays only his share of shelter and food costs (one quarter), his contribution will not affect the SSI benefit. If he is your disabled child’s father, when he has income, the SSI benefit will have to be recalculated to consider both your and his income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mike

    I am a 27 year male that is disabled
    I have been on SSI now for about 5 years
    I just recently moved out of my parents place and now live on my own
    I pay all my own bills on time, dont have a payee causee I’m good with my money, but need help sometimes cause of my conditon
    can SSI take away my benefits. I live n a disabled complex where everyone else is disabled as well and all on ssi
    SSI sent me a revew form to fll out becaus told them my recent address
    will I loose everything, I really love my place..
    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      It is routine for Social Security to request living arrangement information every time you move. You are living alone and paying all your own expenses, so there is no reason to think that your benefits will go down or stop because of your move.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mary

    hi kay, i recieved a fully favorable decision from ALJ for SSI. my house is paid for with no mortgage or debts against it. i am recieving $ 400 per month from a room mate. this money is helping to pay my household bills. will this money cause me to get less from SSI. i am not sure how to explain to them if its rent or room mates share of household bills. from what i am reading on your page, seems very important that i pay my share of the utilities, etc. and it seems like referring to the 400 as rent would mean it is income for me. its never been clearly understood if roomys share is rent or her share of household bills anyway. when she moved in all i knew was splitting the bills would amount to about 400 anyway when you consider the cable bill @ $97 per month, power bill @ average of $250, utilility bill @ $95 and of course i was considering my own additional bills apart from this amount such as auto insurance and cell phone and my annual taxes on my homestead. should i say her $400 is rent or her share of the household bills? i thank you. mary

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      How you report the income from the roommate is based how you regard the payment and whatever agreement you have with her. Is she renter or a roommate sharing expenses? That is, do you and she consider that she owes a flat $400 regardless of variations in the expenses or does she pay half? Note that for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) purposes utilities are power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage only. Based on the figures you provided, you will have some countable income from your roommate’s payment whether she is a renter or sharing. I suggest reporting the situation as it is when you have the financial update interview before payment is issued. Let Social Security determine the amount of countable income.

      Later when you receive back pay, if you choose to, you can change the financial arrangement to pay your share of the shelter expenses as defined by SSI law and stop receiving any additional cash from the roommate. The roommate can pay for other non-shelter expenses, such as the cable directly and not have it affect benefits. If you do that, you can report that change and receive an increased benefit two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Liz

    My brother moved in with me last May. He is paying 1/4 of the bare-bones rent & utilities, which comes to $400 per month, so that living with me will not affect his SSI. (there are 4 people in the home, they told him he had to pay 1/4 of rent & utilities)

    He also has food stamps and pays for his own food. Only on occasion do we have a meal together, where all of us eat the same thing – maybe once or twice a month. Otherwise he eats food he purchased with his SSI or his food stamps. His medical bills are covered by Medicaid, and he has his own car.

    I help him with his car insurance and his cell phone bill – everything else is paid by me. This includes cable, internet, streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, lawn care, maintenance, renter’s insurance, pest control, and so forth. If we all everything up and divide by 4, I end up paying more than half of his share. If we add only rent, electric & water & food & divide by 4, he pays his fair share.

    Can I claim him as a dependent, without it affecting his SSI? And what documentation should I hold onto, if so, to ensure the SSA will not penalize him and pull part of his benefits? This is a temporary arrangement, until he is able to get into housing – if they lower his SSI, he will not be able to afford to be on his own, even with housing assistance…

    • Liz

      I need to make a correction – I was mistaken, he is only getting $40 monthly in SSI, the rest is SSD. I know that my claiming him on the taxes will not affect his SSD, but I need to know if it will disqualify him for the SSI if I claim him. The reason being – if he proves ineligible for SSI due to in-kind support, he will lose his eligibility for Medicaid, which he really, REALLY needs…

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Liz,

        Please see my reply of earlier today. The additional information you provide in this posting does not change my reply.

        Thanks,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Liz,

      First, whether are not you can claim your brother as a dependent is a tax question to direct to the IRS or a tax accountant.

      As far as the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) goes, if you are helping with the car insurance and cell phone bill by paying these things directly and not giving him money to pay them, then your paying those items will not affect his SSI payment and as long as he continues to pay his share of rent, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage and continues to buy his own food, his SSI should not go down whether or not he is legally a tax dependent. He should pay you by check or money order and keep copies of the payment documents and you should keep your utility bills to prove the shelter costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Melissa Barbano

    I am fairly new to SSI disability for my daughter…She was approved in January 2015 and i see that as her mother i am able to use the money towards Food, clothing, Shelter, recreational things, etc…But i am not sure what percent of her money do i use and what percent of mine…Example i own my house its just me and my three children, what percent can i use towards the mtg pmt…another question is she is Type one Diabetic and have been approved for an insulin pump but we need a computer to download the program on…because having the pump cpnnected to the computer allows the doctors to see how she is doing without having to go there all the time….Could you tell me what percentage of her money i can use to purchase this computer since she needs it to setup and use the insulin pump…

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      You can pay up to one-quarter of the mortgage and utilities and food with your daughters SSI. (With four in the household, her share is one-quarter.) You can purchase the computer entirely with your daughter’s money because the device is needed to monitor her insulin levels. This is true even if the computer is also used for other things. Get a letter from the physician stating the need for the insulin-monitoring program and the keep the letter with the spending records you keep for your daughter’s SSI benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Melissa Barbano

        So so could you tell me what monthly household bills this 1/4 comes into play…example mtg is 830.29…electric & heating bill 237…cable & internet 108.00…car pmt 330…gas about 50.00 weekly…just trying to figure it out sorry…plus in march for her birthday were going to six flags waterpark for the weekend and on that Sunday is her birthday party so the total for the sunday party is $340 for everything…can get money be used for her birthday party or no…sorry for so many questions

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Melissa,

          Shelter expenses are mortgage, electricity, heat, water, sewer, and garbage. Her money could fund her birthday party and outing if all her more basic needs are being met. Some of her money could be used for gas as related to her transportation for trips to doctor, school, etc.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Melissa Barbano

            Ok i think i get it…one more question, when money goees into a savings account for anything left from the month, is that money allowed to be used if something comes up next month or the month after and you used all the SSI money for the month…sorry just trying to understand

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Melissa,

              Benefits do not have to be used up in the month they are received. You can save for emergencies, unforeseen expenses, or for a larger purchase. You do also need to consider the SSI resource (asset) limit. Just be aware that the SSI resource limit for your child is $2,000 and that resources are counted on the first of each month. Benefits are not payable for any month that the child’s assets are over the limit. (SSI back pay does not count toward the resource limit for the first nine months after it is paid.)

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Latishia Ellinger

    I have a lease agreement with a roommate and we each pay half of all bills. I have not been able to work due to my son’s medical conditions (which he receives benefits for), my only income is unearned income from my va pay, so I have been paying my rent but have not been able to pay my half of the utilities but still owe them to my roomate. So my question is can my roommate claim both my son and I as dependents when filing taxes, in order to pay back what I owe, as I cannot file for taxes because I have no earned income? And will it affect my son’s benefits in any way?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Latishia,

      Please check with the IRS or a professional tax preparer for your tax question.

      With regard to your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it important for you to keep his contribution separate from yours for purposes of the calculation of SSI benefits. It sounds as if there are three people in the household. Your son’s share of shelter costs for SSI purposed is one-third of the total rent and utilities (power, heat, water/sewer and garbage) for the three of you. If you are using his check to pay at least one-third of the total shelter costs, then he is paying his share. If he is not paying at least his share, then his SSI will be reduced. If he pays his share, then the person who owes on the total cost of rent and utilities is you and the fact that you owe will not affect your son’s SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Brooke

    I’m on SSI and planning on moving to a house where I will have 2 roommates. We will be equally covering rent (1/3 each) we will be evenly splitting all other cost being: utilitys and food. since we are all paying a even amount of all living expences does their income effect my SSI aid? (since I will have no financial support through them)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Brooke,

      The living arrangement you describe will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI); however, you do need to report the change. Take the rental agreement and statements from the roommates that you will all be paying a one-third share and there are three in the household.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Katina Harmon

    Hello. I live with my son who is 19 and my daughter who is 21. They both get SSI. I myself get SSI and SSD. My son asked me to let his friend stay with us for 4 months, who is a ward of the court, while he waited for more permanent housing. The friend is 18 and will not be helping with any household expenses. The county court would give him $200 a month to feed himself and cover his transportation costs. My question is would this arrangement affect any of the benefits that I or my adult children get?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Katina,

      Having your son’s friend stay with you will have affect anyone’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amount because he will be buying his food separately and will not be contributing to shelter costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Clay Johnson

    So, I couldn’t eat the same meals prepared in the same house simply because the food is supposed to be prepared separately, ever? Some of these rules are really odd because that kind of thing is almost impossible to supervise or monitor.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clay,

      The food stamp program is a public assistance (welfare) program and eligibility for it is determined by the income of everyone in the household who shares food. If the people you live with total household income is too high for food stamps, then you and everyone in the household would be ineligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kiki

    i recive ssi disability every month my husband and i was not paying rent in our old house so i was getting 300-355 monthly and him working 40 hours a week…i was told since we was not paying rent my and my husband working 40 hours weekly that was all we would recive monthly…. because of a dispute over the home we had to move out and now i have to pay rent 450 monthly not counting other bills we have to pay ……i was told before if i ever had to pay rent then my monthly check would go up now that i do have to pay rent now i was told my check would stay the same how can that be right paying out more than i recive…kiki

    • kiki

      srry i meant he gets paid biweekly not weekly

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kiki,

      If you and your husband are living alone or with your minor children and are paying rent and utilities for yourselves and you are paying market rate, your benefit should go up. Similarly, if you are living with others and sharing expenses and you are paying your share of rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer, and garbage and food (or buy your food separately from the other members of the household), your benefit should go up. Your share is the total of the listed expenses divided by the number of people in the household. Your husband’s share is the same. The increases begins two months after you and your husband start paying your share. If either the above is the case, then I suggest that you file a request for reconsideration (appeal the calculation).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jen

    Hi,

    If my parents take me out of their SSI claim because I am not at home most of the time due to school, will that affect the housing arrangement? My family is living under the housing program, so will I be forced out of the program because I am not claim in my parent SSI?

    Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jen,

      You need to check with the housing authority regarding the effect of how your absence while attending school affects your parents housing. It may not affect it if you come home for vacations and between terms, but they need to check.

      I do not understand what you mean by “take you our of their SSI claim,” but if you mean not include you in the household because you are away during the school terms, again, you may still be considered part of the household because you have not changed residences. your parents should go discuss your family’s specific situation with the Social Security Administration to get guidance on whether by law you are still part of the household while attending school.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dan

    my female roommate is unemployed, has been for a few years, has a genetic situation that makes it hard for her to gain employment. Does she have to declare my income as household income in looking for benefits?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dan,

      Your income does not affect your roommate’s eligibility for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Nikie

    I am in my 30s and physically disabled. I live at home with mom and pay rent to her. I have the oppurinity to attend a seminar for 10 weeks at a college and stay in the guest housing that the college has. I’m confused about whether I need to tell ssi that I’m moving .this would be like staying at a hotel. I won’t even be able to get regular mail there The school said that in an emergency letters etc could be sent to the office and theywill get them to us but, all of my bills etc would still need to go to my moms . I would pay for housing upfornt with the cost of the class. After the class I would ressume my normal livimg arrangements. I really need help sorting this out, it’s a great opporunity to get away and meet new people but, I dont want to mess up my ssi thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nikie,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you do not need to report anything. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), then the situation is different. Attending an educational seminar is not moving, so you do not need to report a change of address as long as you maintain your current residence by continuing to pay your mother the usual amount for your shelter costs while you are gone. If you pay the room and board portion of the seminar costs, you will not be receiving in-kind (non-cash) income from the sponsors of the seminar, so you will have no income to report. If you can’t do that for lack of funds, then you should discuss the matter with a Social Security claims representative to find out whether the free food at the seminar will count as income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Missy

    Hello,

    my brother has SSD and is wondering if he has somoene move in and pay there own expenses and the person is on ssi, will that effect my brothers SSD? or what would happen? wanna know before anything happens.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Missy,

      Your brother’s Social Security Disability (SSD) is not affected by whom he lives with or by the roommate’s income. The person who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and moves in with your brother has to either pay his equal share of shelter expenses and food (or buy his own food) or pay fair market rental value for room and board (or for room and buy his own food). If he does not, his SSI will be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Missy

        Thank you so much Kay! God Bless 🙂

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Missy.

  • Randy

    I was approved for ssi and have had the interview about my living cituation. They told me I will recieve my first check soon but didnt tell me how much it will be. I live rent free in a house that my newphew owns he hasnt charged me rent because he knows I am disabled and had signed up for ssi. He wants me to pay rent as soon as the money arrives and I did tell them that durring the interview. I was just wondering how much will my check be for being that I do not pay rent at this time and will that change once I do pay rent?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Randy,

      The maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you can receive while receiving free housing is $489 a month. When payment starts, you will receive back pay. If you use the back pay to begin paying rent and you pay market value for the rental and pay the utilities, your federal SSI amount can increase to $733. (Both of these figures are based on your not having other countable income.) The increase will occur two months after you start paying for your own shelter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • MomofAutisticChild

    I have a disabled child and he just recently got approved for ssi. He will be getting a lump sum of money and monthly payments however we are moving next Jan/Feb and possibly moving in with my fiance, I realize it would not affect my sons benefits, but if my fiance and I get married.. how will that affect my sons benefits (he is not his son). thanks so much!

    KM

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear KM,

      Your fiance’s income will not affect your son’s SSI. Whether or not moving in with your fiance affects your son’s SSI payment amount depends on whether your son pays his share of expenses. Specifically, if there are three in the household, his share is one-third of the rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage and one-third of the food (unless you purchase your and his food separately). If your son does not pay his share, his SSI will be reduced for in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance. If you marry, your husband’s income will be considered in determining your child’s SSI benefit amount and the issue of paying a full share will no longer apply.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • noelle fiedler

    Will i loose my SSI when i get money from the sale of my house??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Noelle,

      If you plan to purchase another home to live in, the proceeds from the sale of your home will be excluded for three months while you complete purchase of another home. Otherwise, the proceeds from the sale, count against your $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 if you are married and living with your spouse) on the first of the month following the closing of the sale. This means that you SSI will stop the month after you receive the money from the sale (unless you plan to and actually purchase another home).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Derlyna

    I receive ssd & food stamps , if I let my son move in & he pays for his food will it affect me ? He gets food stamps but is homeless

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Derlyna,

      His moving in will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSD). If you purchase and prepare food separately, his living with your should not affect either person’s food stamps. If you decide to share food, then you would be changed to a single food stamp grant for the two of you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Derlyna

        Thank you for your fast reply…..very greatful

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Derlyna.

  • Ron

    I am a disabled divorcee. Prior to my being divorced, my kids were collecting a portion of my SSDI and I was told that I had reached my household maximum. Now that they are no longer part of my household, does my SSDI increase?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ron,

      Your children should still be receiving dependent benefits. If they are not, their mother should apply to be payee and get the benefits started again. The family maximum applies to the amount per month that can be paid, not to total benefits paid. Your own benefit will remain the same after the children turn eighteen and are no longer eligible.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • kellie

    I am wondering about my SSI, I receive SSI and Disability my 2 kids do not get anything. Its just us in the household as of right now. I have been talking with their father the last few weeks about him moving into the spare room and paying the satelite bill, internet bill , kids cell phone bills and other items the kids need when they are needed. This would help us both out. But I cant afford to lose any of my benefits because we are not together and I can not depend on him for this!! He will not be paying the rent or lights and he will be responsible for his own food so will this cause me any problems??

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kellie,

      If you are not married to your children’s father, his income will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he pays for the items you mentioned directly to the providers and does not give you money to buy them, then his paying those expenses will not affect your SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mitzi Arredondo

    I have a question for a long time my children father has been paying Rent and utilities as means of child’s support! This will decrease my SSI if I win resulting in less back pay and less payment each month if he continues paying this way! But if he pays me the cash directly and I pay these bills myself my SSI will stay at market value so to speak from my understanding, am I understanding this correctl? I go next month to AlJ hearing! And I could change these arrangements with him! Because who can live on 480.00 a month much less 733.00 that’s tight as it is! Help with this question asap please! Mitzi

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mitzi,

      Please see my response to your prior question. Your current post raises another issue. If our children’s father gives you cash to pay rent and utilities, the exact amount of the cash, less $20, counts as income. If the bills are paid directly to the landlord and utility companies, the reduction is limited to one-third the maximum SSI amount.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Clay Johnson

    What do I do when my Medicaid was cut off when I lost my SSI? I lost my SSI because the amount of support they count from me having to live with my father went up plus this year the COLA made my SSD payment go up. The way I understand it, all that together put my total 33 cents above the total amount that the government could pay me maximum if I lived alone. I was getting 1 dollar for SSI that allowed me to keep my Medicaid along with my SSD. I am disabled to the point where I cannot leave the house in which I live except by ambulance and I cannot get a job, so SSI, now just SSD, is my only income. Since I can’t make more money, it is not possible for me to pay half of the expenses for living with my father. it’s not a case of not wanting to pay, but a case of it being impossible short of a miracle, literally. I’d prefer to be contacted by email alone and not have my words put up on this website, but maybe someone else has my problem.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Clay,

      I do not respond via private email. I suggest that you go to http://www.healthcare.gov to see whether you can enroll in an insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). You may qualify for Medicaid even though you don’t qualify for Supplemental Security Income. You need to do this within sixty days of losing your Medicaid to be allowed to enroll outside the annual enrollment period.

      If you are now paying half of the shelter and food and have the capacity to prepare your food separately, even if someone else shops for you, doing so might result in reinstatement of SSI at a higher rate. I you paid your half of the shelter expenses (rent or mortgage, power, heat, water/sewer and garbage) and ate separately, purchasing your food separately with food stamps, assuming you qualify, your eligibility might change.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Clay Johnson

        Thank you for the response. My situation just changed today, literally, because my father died and my siblings may put me into a nursing home because I can’t pay half, or anywhere near a fair share under the definition required, of the expenses because I am bed bound and can’t leave the house except by ambulance. Why is there not an exception for those who can’t work at all and can’t pay the amount? I’ve paid for my own food for years, but nothing else because I can’t get a paycheck or a salary or anything like that.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Clay,

          My condolences on the loss of your father.

          Your current post gives me the impression that someone was living with you and your father. If that is the case and others are living with you now, then your share was not half, but the total shelter expenses divided by the number of people in the household. In response to your second post of February 2, you do not have to prepare the food yourself. You could have someone shop for you and prepare your food separately from the others. That way, you could qualify for food stamps and use your Social Security to hopefully pay your share of shelter expenses. If you can do that, two months later, your SSI and Medicaid could be reinstated if you remain in the household.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Clay Johnson

            No one was living with me and my father, my mother died in 2011, but I had 2 attendants, one for days and one for nights and weekends. I lost the ability to have those attendants paid for at the end of 2014 when I lost my SSI and hence lost my Medicaid. We’re trying to get my Medicaid back by either me moving in with my brother and paying him a flat rate rent per month or maybe moving me into the local housing authority when a space becomes available, but as of the time I type this, I don’t know if I can live in a housing authority because I’m bed bound and there’s no way to pay for 24/7 attendants. I would get at least one of my attendants back if and when I get my Medicaid back, but the daytime one I don’t know if she could come back because my father was helping pay her rent. She can’t make enough with 37 hours a week at 7.90 an hour to pay her rent and all of the rest of her expenses. I’m not sure how someone would prepare my food separately from everyone else because there’s not a way to get a second kitchen. If I can’t get into the housing authority place because of being bed bound and not having a 24/7 attendant possible, I am hoping my brother will let me live with him. You’ve been very helpful with the information. I do appreciate it.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Clay,

              You are welcome.

              Just another note: You do not have to have a second kitchen to handle your food separately. It would just be purchased separately and while other people’s food was being prepared, yours would be done at the same time. You would not be sharing groceries and you wouldn’t necessarily be eating the same things as they.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

          • Clay Johnson

            I keep forgetting to say one or two things when I respond to you. Because both my parents are now dead, I have been converted to “Survivor Benefits”. I don’t know if it being called that changes anything as far as I’m concerned, instead of it being SSDI or SSI.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Clay,

              Survivor benefits are higher than dependent benefits. If both your parents worked enough to be insured for Social Security survivor benefits, your benefits will be paid based on a combined family maximum. Also, keep checking regarding the law on in-home care because there is a movement toward paying for more in-home care to avoid the need for facility care and the law may change.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

      • Clay Johnson

        I forgot to say that, logically, being bed bound as I am makes me incapable of preparing my own food personally at all.

  • shareka

    HELLO KAY!

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF MY CHILD UNDER 18 GET SSI PLUS SHE ALREADY GETS SSDI UNDER HER FATHER DISABILITY WILL BY HER RECEIVING SSI STOP MY BENEFITS? I MYSELF RECEIVE SSDI AND SSI….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shareka,

      Your child being eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will not affect your Social Security or SSI or her Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • shareka

        ThAnk u

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Shareka.

  • Melissa

    Hello,

    I collect SSI as my only form of monthly money. I pay school loan interest. If I were to file my taxes and get a refund check on the interest payments I made, would my SSI payments be affected?

    Thank you,

    Melissa

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Tax refunds are not countable income for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jessica Loren

    My son is 18 with high functioning autism. We just applied for SSI for him. He lives with me in my home I own outright. I had him apply under him only renting a room from me, charging him fair market value rent, hoping we get the max for him. He graduates from high school in June and wants to move into his own apartment and very mature and ready. He should be able to pay for the apartment and food with the max SSI, but I would have to pay his utilities. How does SSI calcualte this? And I would have to cosign for his apartment, but would not live with him, he would live alone. As a cosigner, does that count me as in his household? Also, if I pay his deposits, how does SSI see that? In-kind support? State of Texas.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jessica,

      The security deposit would probably not count as income. A last month deposit would probably count in the month it was used when he moved out, though I can’t be sure. Your being a co-signer on the apartment does not put you in the household and won’t affect benefits. If you pay your son’s utilities, the value of the utilities paid will be in-kind (non-cash) income to him and all but $20 will reduce his SSI. To get the full amount, he needs to find an apartment where he can afford the utilities or get a roommate with whom to split the costs fifty-fifty. (Note that he may be eligible for food stamps.) If his claim pends for a long time, he could have some back pay that he could use for utilities for a time, but eventually he would need to make a change. Note that when he starts paying fair market rent, his benefit will go up two months later.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jessica Loren

        We found an apartment we like near my son’s college. As a cosigner, I do not qualify for the income, because I am taking a year off from work to complete nursing school. I am living off savings. The house we currently live in is paid for and all utilities are paid until the end of 2015 (I always pay ahead for the current year). The apartment requires me to have 30,000 in the bank, or receive 3,000/monthly. My other option is to pay the 6 month lease up front for my son which I easily have. Obviously this messes with his SSI. I am planning on selling the house, so will have plenty of cash, but need his apartment first before the house sale.
        My question is this: If I put the apartment in my name, pay the entire 6 months up front, plus deposits, can I charge my son rent like in the house I own? So basically everything remains the same, I am charging him fair market value for a room rental, only it is in an apartment while the house is up for sale. Or I can say I am a roommate? My son does not drive so having the apartment is essential for school, plus across the street is everything, grocery store, his dentist, fast food, bus stop takes him right to school. Any insight would be appreciated!

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Jessica,

          You cannot say you are a roommate if you don’t live in the apartment. You could rent the apartment in your name and sublease it to your son for the same amount as you pay for it, which is its market value. However, if you pay the utilities, that amount up to $244.33 will count to reduce his SSI benefit.

          Note that during the time his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim is pending he will not have income to pay for the apartment, so any back pay will be reduced by one-third for the free rent and utilities. When he starts to receive benefits, he could use his back pay, little by little to pay his utilities himself or he could prepay them for a length of time. He will also need to use his back pay to pay his rent for a couple of months because when he starts to pay all his own shelter and food costs, his SSI will increase two months later. It is possible that when he is in his own apartment, he may qualify for food stamps even if you are paying his rent and utilities. Note that cash you give him will be income for SSI also.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Jessica Loren

            Your insight is so fantastic. I think we found a way for me to cosign. My son’s dad will deposit 3500/month to my account, then I in turn will pay a portion of his bills out of that. I would rather have my son have the apartment in his name and me as a cosigner. In this case, the rent is 750.00. I would have to pay 17.00 towards rent plus his electric bill of 75.00 each month. I think he will be approved for the max of 733.00 which is how I come up with the calculations. He will not work a job. If I pay the electric and 17.00 rent balance, will this bring his benefit down from the max? Thanks for everything!

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Jessica,

              The first $20 of unearned income is excluded. If you pay $92 on your son’s apartment and utilities, your son’s SSI will be reduced by $72 to $661.00. Basically, there is no way that he can live in a $750 apartment, plus pay utilities and get full SSI. Also, if you give him any cash for miscellaneous expenses, that will reduce your son’s SSI further.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Ann

    Sorry I meant to say I am not going to put them in a nursing home . My uncle I think is suppose to get 480 but they take about 70 dollars a month out for some reason he had to pay back when he moved in with My Mom. I guess he only got that amount cos he lived with her.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Ann,

      Please see my response to your previous post. Thank you for the clarification of why your uncle is not receiving $480 ($489 in 2015). Yes, $480 would be the amount of SSI your uncle would receive (before overpayment collection) if he was not paying for shelter and food costs when living with your mom. If he pays his share, his benefit would go up to $733 before overpayment collection.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Donald

    Also does he have to pay half the bills for both of us to still get our SSI benefits or can he just keep himself up ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donald,

      Please see my response to your first post.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Donald

    I draw SSI because I am disabled and my uncle who is disabled draws SSI also and wants to stay with me and my wife will it affect my SSI .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Donald,

      As long as your uncle doesn’t pay more than his share of rent or mortgage, power, heat, water, sewer and garbage (and food if you share food), his contributing to household expenses will not affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If there will be three in the household, his share will be one-third of the expenses.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marina

    my parents recieve SSI/Disability and have section 8 housing assistance, when they first applied for section 8 they were approved for a 2 bedroom since my dad is in so much pain and is loud during the evening and hard for my mom to sleep, a year later they no longer approved the 2 bedroom, but they can not afford to move out and are struggling to find a 1 bedroom that accepts section 8. so i was going to move in with them and pay for the 1 bedroom, i was wondering if i can also claim them on my taxes at the end of the year?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marina,

      Please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a tax accountant for an answer to your question.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • sara

    I am on SSI in Texas and I have a minor child. We have to move so my son suggested moving in him and he is my adult son to an apartment he wants to get. He has his girlfriend (who does not work) and their child. I of course will be paying half rent half lights and half water and whatever else bills but my food will be separate from theirs for my daughter and I because we currently get food stamps. My question is will my benefits be cut because my part of the rent is almost 500 and I need to keep my full benefits if I decide to have my adult son who is 21 to be my roommate? Also my name will be on the lease as well as his sister/my daughter. And will Social security approve him as a roommate since he is my adult son? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sara,

      Your daughter’s share of expenses in a household of five is one fifth of the rent and utilities. If she pays her share, her SSI will not be cut. You will not be able to put your daughter’s name on the lease because she is a minor, but that does not matter as long as she pays her share.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mary

    My son daddy gets ssi can my son get a check he 2monthsold do we have to live together or it doesn’ matter

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mary,

      If your son’s father gets Supplemental Security Income (SSI), his child is not eligible for benefits because SSI doesn’t pay dependent benefits. If the father is receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), you should contact Social Security to apply for dependents benefits for the child.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lori

    My daughter is 18 and will be applying for SSI soon, she still lives with my husband and I but will eventually bein paying a flat fee once payments begin, what does SSA need for documentation of this arrangement and how would this arrangement affect how much she receives?

    Thanks in advance,

    Lori

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lori,

      If your daughter is approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and starts to use her benefits to pay a flat room and board fee (or room and handles her food separately with food stamps), her benefits will increase two months later. Whether or not she then receives the maximum SSI will depend on whether she is paying market rate for her room or room and board. Once she starts contributing, you and she should report the change and both sign a statement regarding the amount she is paying and the date the payment started.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Cher

    When one of the deemed parent is paying child support for a child outside the home, is the earned income of the parent reduced by the child support paid? How is that calculated if there is one eligible child and one ineligible child in the home, and another ineligible child outside the home for which the deemed parent pays child support?

    In the sharing arrangement, does the pro rata share of the mortgage have to be paid directly to the mortgage company to be not be considered rent? Is this necessary to pay it directly to the mortgage company to not consider it as income? Is it taxable? If a house has 4 bedrooms and 3 are used by one family, and one by the other, and there is a bathroom for each, is the pro rata based on the number of people or the number of rooms used? (Total 5 people, total 4 rooms)

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Cher,

      Court-ordered support payments for a child outside the household are considered in determining how much of the parent’s or stepparent’s income is deemed available for the disabled child’s support. In a sharing arrangement, the share is determined by the number of people living in the household, not by the division of bedrooms.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • wendy

    Hello, I was partially favored for SSI back in Aug 2014, I received a small stipend, this was based on my then husbands income at the time. My husband has sense then removed himself from the home, leaving me with no means of paying anything. Would I be able to go and receive future SSI payments to help with my future living situation.. Thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      Go to the Social Security Administration to report the date that your husband moved out. Beginning with the following month, your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment will be recalculated considering only your income.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Rayna

    Hello.
    My son is 18 now and is a full time student and receives SSI $1402 a month. He lives with me for free. He wants to move out with a older friend that has her own apt. Will Ssi be reduced if he lives there for free like he does here with me or should she charge him rent? She doesn’t want him on the lease so he isn’t suck there by contract. Since he gets ssi does he have to stay at home with mom (me) or can he be on his own and still be a full time student. Should he not pay her rent to keep the $1400 or should he pay rent ,food and utilities to keep that $1400 ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Rayna,

      The amount of your son’s benefit, $1,402, seems to indicate that he is receiving Social Security not Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The maximum federal amount of SSI is now $733. While some states have supplemental SSI payments, I do not believe any pay $700. If your son receives Social Security, where he lives will not affect his payment unless he moves abroad to a restricted country. If he is getting Disabled Adult Child benefits on a parent’s earnings record he will no longer be eligible if he gets married. If he is still in high school and receiving dependent benefits as a minor, his benefits will end when he turns nineteen or leaves high school, whichever is first.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Sam

    Hi, I am 24 and leasing an apartment for the first time. I reieve ssi and disability . I am very worried however that my change of address and the lease in my name will stop o decrease my benefits. I have never recieved the maxium brnifits as I work when I can. This last year I have held a stable job and my benefits have been lowered again. I do not make more than 2000.00 a month roughly I would sat 1400.00 . Even with my ssdi I have less than 2000.00. How will having a lease and utility bills in my name affect my ssdi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Sam,

      Your having a lease in your name will not affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If you have roommate and pay your share (half) of the rent and utilities and food or buy food separately, having a roommate won’t affect your benefits.

      Based on your $1,400 work earnings and SSDI benefits, I would not expect you to be eligible for federal SSI benefits. You might be eligible for a small amount of SSI state supplement if you live in a state with a fairly large state supplement. If you are in fact receiving SSI, I recommend that you double check with the Social Security Administration that you they have all your work earnings records and that your benefits are being correctly calculated.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mandy

    hello
    if my parents get social security benefits for rent and other household expenses and i have my own home is there any changes in my tax payment means increase tax payment because my parents pay me half rent

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mandy,

      You will have to direct your tax question to the IRS or to a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • April

    Hello, me and my ex wants to remarry for religious reasons and for our child. But we want to continue to live separate, since we live down the road from each other anyway. Will his ssi be reduced if we’re married but live in different households?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear April,

      Your husband’s SSI will not be affected by marriage as long as you don’t live together and you don’t pay any of his shelter or food costs or give him money.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Irum Ali

    my mother age 70 with no income lives with my sister. my sisters husband income(houshold income) is more than 70000 but my sister does not work . till now she was taking care for my mother in all aspects like food and all but now my mother thinks that she should apply for SSI since she does not want to be burdon on my sister’s husband .. will my mother be eligible for SSI . my sister wants my mother to stay with her .please help what should my mother do to get SSI(supplimental security income )

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Irum,

      Your mother’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income aged person benefits is not affected by her adult children’s income. Because she lives in her daughter and son-in-law and is receiving free shelter and food, her benefit will be reduced to $489. When benefits start, if she starts to contribute to food and shelter costs, her benefit may increase. When she starts to contribute, she needs to report the change to have the calculation reevaluated. Your mother also has to be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency or have one of a few special immigration statuses and have countable assets below $2,000.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Elizabeth

    My parents both reside in Louisiana on property that they own. They both draw SSI and my father also gets retirement. We would like to know if it would hurt their SSI or retirement benefits if us their children where to put a mobile home the their property. The house would be in the our own names. We would be responsible for our expenses. They pay their own bills and expenses. But we want to make sure they are not going to have any problems.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Elizabeth,

      If you do not pay your parents for use of the land, your living there would have no impact on their benefits, except if the power or other utility bills come on a single bill and you pay part of it. If so, just be careful your parents continue to pay their share. For example, if both households total five people, then their share would be 2/5s of those bills. Note: If you parents do not really receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and really receive Social Security, then disregard the information about the utility bills. I won’t matter who pays them.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • John

    Hello,

    I have a roommate that I live with who claims ssi and he is disabled. We each pay rent and and we split the food bill. SinceI make more money then him I do contribute more to the food and other bills in the house. If i were to claim this person as a dependent on my taxes, would it affect there monthly benefit they receive.

    Thanks J

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear John,

      First I suggest that you check with the IRS to see whether it is even possible to claim your roommate as a dependent. If it is possible, to claim the roommate, doing so does not directly affect his Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. However, if you are paying more than half of the total rent, utilities (excluding cable and phone), and food, then you are providing him with in-kind (non-cash) support and maintenance and it has to be reported to the Social Security Administration. Whatever amount you pay above his share (his one-half) is income to him and will reduce his SSI. If on the other hand, he is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD), then how you split up expenses has no effect on his benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Suzanne

    My son currently receives SSI, he is 29 and mentally disabled.
    My question is if he moves out of our house and into a relatives home, pays his fair share household expenses, will he be eligible for food stamps and other supports? He has no income and the relative he plans on living with has a wife and 2 minor children.
    We all live in NY

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Suzanne,

      If your disabled son is going to purchase his food separately from the relatives he’ll be living with, then he will likely qualify for food stamps. The amount will depend on the amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) he is getting and the amount he pays for his housing and his monthly medical expenses. If he pays his fair share of rent or mortgage and utilities (excluding phone and cable), living with the relatives will not have an adverse effect on his SSI. In fact, if his benefit has been reduced because of free or subsidized housing in your household, his SSI will go up two months after he starts paying his share at his new home.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Mike

    My mother is senior receiving SSI and lived in public housing and I work and rented apartment nearby. Two years ago we applied for Section 8 assisted living program to live together and recently moved to our new apartment. The rent in this premise is based on 30% of gross income of all occupants(in our case sum of mother SSI and my income from work and dividends from bank accounts). I brought my mother to local SS office to report address change and when asked question about how much she pays for rent our answer was: she pays 30% of your SSI and I pay 30% of my income. Result of this was letter from SSA about reducing my mother SSI benefits because : “You live in household and not paying your pro rata share of household expenses. Therefore it is determined that you are receiving in kind support and maintenance from within the household.”
    It mean the clerks at SSA want my mother to pay 50% of expense to keep her SSI amount unchanged but in this case if for example tomorrow I will lose my job amount we pay for rent will equal my mother 30% of her SSI or for example my income will increase and then 50% of rent will equal $750 – amount higher than her current SSI benefits payments. Is here any logic here. What can you advice me in this situation ?

    Thanks.

    We applied to live

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      The information you received is correct. You are subsidizing your mother’s shelter costs. She needs to pay half the rent. If in the future, she is unable to cover her half, she has to report that. At that time, her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will go down by the amount of the subsidy less $20. Note that you can pay for all the household supplies such as soap and paper products, pay for her prescription co-pays, buspass, haircuts, cell phone, tv/internet cable, etc. as long as you pay for them directly and do not give her cash and as long as what you pay for is not food, rent, or shelter utilities.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jay

    If you receive ssi and you’re living with parents whom want you to pay rent, do you receive a larger ssi amount ? And if so, how much larger ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jay,

      The amount your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit will increase depends on the amount it was reduced for the free housing and whether you have other income. The maximum federal SSI benefit in 2015 is $733. The increase will begin two months after you start paying either market rate for a room rental or your share of shelter expenses (and food if you are sharing food). If you start paying for your shelter in January, your benefit will increase in March.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • gerald

    Hello Kay, I receive 832 dollars from my SSD, I’m thinking about marrying my girlfriend and her two children 15 and 17, she makes about 20,000 a year will that effect my SSD if we’re married? thank you

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Gerald,

      If you indeed receive SSD (Social Security Disability) and not SSI (Supplemental Security Income), your marriage and your wife’s income will have no affect on your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Wendy

    I allowed someone on disability to move into my house with no rent or utility costs to them….absolutely free because they said they get paryial disability of $430 a month. My compassion took over as she has had cancer and now I found out this woman is stashing the cash and has more money aand food than me every month….I dont know how to ask for rent when I already let her move in for free but.the conditions changed and she lied….aughh

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Wendy,

      Tell her that your circumstances have changed and you need her to pay rent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • tima

    i get 878$ ssd and live alone but need to move. how can i still get my full benefits

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tima,

      I need more information to respond. Please clarify what you mean by full benefits? Do you mean back pay? If not, have you been told that your benefits are reduced?

      Thank you,
      Kay

  • Tatiana

    My daughter, who is 8, was approved for SSI. Her first payment will be in January but it is not the full amount. They are deducting $240 for food and shelter. We live with my mom including my 3 yr old son. When i applied for my daughter’s ssi in 2012 i made an agreement with my mother that i would pay her back for those years and start paying $500 monthly for our rooms. Is there a way i could have Social Security take that into consideration and raise her monthly payment and release some of her back pay that we have in the bank because we are not allowed to freely spend it?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tatiana,

      Sometimes Supplemental Security Income (SSI) back pay that has been deposited to a Dedicated Account with special use requirements can be used to pay debts, though the guidelines are very restrictive. You can make a request to access the money. If you and your mother entered into a written agreement in 2012, take a copy of the agreement. If you did not, have your mother write up a statement that you had a verbal agreement that you would repay her at a rate of $500 a month for food and shelter for your family of three. Social Security might then allow release of $166 a month (your son’s share of the room and board charge) for months since 2012.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Karen

    I am currently renting a room from someone who receives ssi and maintenance checks from her husband who passed away. I recently applied for ssi does me paying rent affect her ssi or maintenance checks in anyway? Another question is that I was told I could also apply for ssi for my son but would that affect me?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Karen,

      If you are a renter, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, considered you to be in a separate household from your landlord and her finances do not affect you. If she receives SSI, she needs to report the rental income to the Social Security Administration. If she is actually receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), then your renting a room doesn’t have any bearing on her benefits and she doesn’t need to report. If your son becomes eligible for SSI, it will not affect your eligibility.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • dee

    I live in government housing and my son gets ssi and the question is if I move my boyfriend in and he’s on full disability will this effect my sons ssi?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      Your boyfriend’s income should not affect your son’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI). His living in the household should not affect the SSI benefits as long as he does not pay more than his share of rent, utilities (excluding cable and phone) and food or buys his food separately. Be sure to report the change to Social Security, the housing authority, and food stamp office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Jess

    I got approved for ssi and live with my sons father. We are not together. I will pay my fair share towards food and shelter. He owns his house and we don’t present ourselfs as a married couple. Will I still get ssi or will they go off his income. He makes about 40,000 a year. He doesn’t pay for anything for me

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jess,

      As you present your living arrangements and relationship with your son’s father, his income will not affect your SSI.

      Sincerely,
      kay

  • Tami Lynne

    My 20 year old daughter receives SSI. She lives with her dad and I and pays her fair share of household expenses (1/3 of mortgage, food, and utilities). In a year or so the mortgage will be paid off. At this time will she be able to continue to pay her fair share by paying 1/3 of property taxes, food, and utilities or will we need to change to a rental agreement to avoid the SSI being reduced.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Tami,

      Your daughter can continue to pay her fair share.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • el

    My son met a girl n family in to money
    her grandma n her mom gets ssi
    food stamps n child support
    my son started moving out alittle at time n not telling me
    for atless 4 months then he didnt chznge his address n wouldn’t give me the address r
    Report it
    n ive been paying all bills n etc n he would still come n be here to n eat n sleep here n uses electronic n etc to so he going to hs to hs
    n he has been getting mean to me would i get in trouble over him being this way towards me i pay the bills he comes he n stay time time uses food n electronic n etc n i give him to
    n buy stuff for him can u hep me out this would i get in trouble over things he wouldn’t give me address where he moving to n still hv address here n was told he didnt do so cause he dont what people’s staying w dnt lose their ssi
    plz help out

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear El,

      You need to go to Social Security and discuss the situation with them. Before you go, try to figure out how many days a month he is at your house. Perhaps you can continue to be payee and perhaps not. Also your son may lose his benefits if he won’t divulge his part-time address to Social Security. As far as the people in the other household, if they all receive SSI and he is deemed to be living there, his being there and getting SSI won’t hurt their situation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jamie

    If my husband and I are married and he’s on ssi and we decide to move another. Couple. In and add them to our lease and split household costs. In half will they mess with his money? They allready count my income against him we can’t take any more moneybeing deducted …..

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jamie,

      If there are four in the household and the other couple pays only half of the costs, your husband’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) should not be affected.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lorna bodine

    I recently started receiving ssi payments about 2 months now . I’m currently staying with a famy member, but wanting to move into a trailor of my own with a room mate . I would still be paying rent , and paying for my own food . Would this affect my monthly payment I receive ? Or am I even allowed to move ? Another question is if u could apply for a increase , if the money I’m receiving isn’t enough to pay for the monthly expenses but does not reach the maximum that it can receive ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lorna,

      You can move, but you will not get an increase because expenses go up. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment amount is based on your other income,including in-kin (non-cash) support in the form of food or housing. If you move and share your expenses for rent and utilities (excluding phone and cable) 50-50 with your roommate and either split food costs or buy your food separately, you could be eligible for the maximum SSI, assuming you do not have other income. If you are receiving less than the maximum SSI now because you are receiving free or subsidized housing, your SSI will increase two months after you begin to pay your full share of shelter and food costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Deb

    I lost my job & might have to go on welfare I live with my b/f we have 2 kids together My b/f gets SSI amount of $721 he pays pay one third of the rent and utilities Does he have to call SSi due to living arangements even though I make less on welfare
    Also
    Will his SSI check get reduced
    or cancelled
    Please reply thanks

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Deb,

      Because you are not married, your income changes do not affect your boyfriend’s SSI benefits. As long as he continues to pay his share of expenses (four in the household mean one-quarter of the expenses), his SSI should not be affected by your living together.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • mike

    I have a 27 year old daughter with a four year old grandson that wants to move back home I live in florida my house is paid free and clear she gets 722 per month for ssi for her self I was going to rent the second floor to her that has every thing tha a apartment needs … not a legal apartment …..for six hundred everything included plus she pays for her own food, will her ssi get effected ,,,,, the rent in the area goes for 900 per month with out utility s thanks mike

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Mike,

      If your apartment is in fact comparable to those going for $900 a month, same number of bedrooms, types of utilities, etc.,including factoring in that the apartment has no private entrance, which most apartments do, then your daughter’s SSI benefits would be reduced. Given that two people are living in the apartment, the reduction might be $150 a month, half of the subsidy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Confused in MN

    I have two sons that receive disability (5 and 4). I have an out of control mentally ill 11 year old. A group home is currently being discussed.

    What affect would that have on her siblings’ disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Confused,

      If you have income of your own, depending on how much income you have, your children’s SSI disability benefits could possibly be reduced if currently part of your income is being allotted by SSI law to support the eleven-year-old. It is also possible that her absence from the home could be considered a temporary absence and that you still have parental control so the allotment for her might continue. If you have no income, there would be no impact.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Amanda

    I receive ssi $26.00 and ssdi $727 and my child received $698.00 from my ex husbands ssdi. Can my name go on the deed of a home as coowner without it affecting mine or my daughters benefits? The other coowner of the home receives SSI.. Will that affect his benefits? All expenses will be split. House insurance, utilities, etc and food prepared seperately. Thank You

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Amanda,

      Your daughter’s Social Security Dependent’s benefits will not be affected by any property ownership you have or any income you have. With regard to your Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in the month in which your name is put on the deed, the value of the house that is attributable to your share of ownership (there are various kinds of joint ownership) will likely count as income to you and you will be overpaid the SSI you received for that month. I do not know for sure the effect of the other owner giving away half of the value of the house. However, I believe that if he or she has been living in the house and the house was, therefore, an excluded (not countable) resource for him or her, giving away some of its value will not affect his or her SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • megan

    My son in law moved out and left my daughter. he was recieving disability benefits on himself, my daughter and their three children. Two of which are not his and are supported by there fathers. He is still everyone. Can he legally still claim children that are not his and do not live with him?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Megan,

      If your daughter is not already representative payee for the children’s Social Security dependent benefits, she should go to Social Security to apply to be payee indicating that their father/step-father is no longer in the household. If she is far from an office, she can call 1-800-772-1213 for the forms. If your question is also about taxes, you will have to contact the IRS or a tax accountant for assistance on that matter.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • melissa

    Ok if I live with my boyfriend who I have a child with and he pays the rent for us but I pay all the food expenses with food stamps. How will ssi most likely calculate my benefit amount a month. We are not married.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      Your SSI will be reduced because you are receiving free shelter. To avoid a reduction, you need to pay one third of the rent and utilities (excluding cable and phone).

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Lost

    My question is this..my daughter receives ssi. My husband and I want to separate then divorce. He wants to keep this house and rent us another home. He is suggesting paying the 425.00 rent for us and 600.00 child support/alimony. In the state of Wisconsin how much, if any, would my daughter get in ssi? Also, if he is paying his parents less than market value for this home we would move to, would that also screw things up?
    Finally, if all of this is a bad idea in general, what should I be asking for in the divorce? My daughters condition will never improve, I am her full time care giver. Any advice would be really appreciated!

    • Lost

      I should also mention that I do not work other than being my daughters care giver.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Lost,

      I suggest that you discuss your situation with a family-law attorney for advice on the financial aspects of your separation and divorce.

      I can only give you general information about Supplemental Security Income (SSI).The month after you separate from your husband, his income and assets no longer affect your child’s SSI. However, any cash child support from him will reduce your child’s SSI benefit. If he pays the rent, at least half of the rent he pays will count as in-kind (non-cash) income to your child. So, hypothetically, if there is $300 child support, $300 alimony for you and $212.50 in in-kind income for each of you, your child’s SSI would be about $208.50. If $450 is not market value for the house, then your child’s SSI will probably go down to about $181.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Hello, I’d like to know if I have a home that is paid off and the city has become unsafe.
    I have children under the age 5.
    Im on SSDI/SSI
    I’m selling my condo and moving in with a friend in a safer city in MI. What would I do with the money I make from selling my condo?
    Do I have to be on the deed in order for them to not make me spend all to live? Thank you in advance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Melissa,

      If you do not reinvest the money from selling your condo into another home that you live in or into other excludable resources such as a car, if you don’t have one, or irrevocable term life insurance up to $1,500, the proceeds from the sale of your home will count toward the $2,000 asset limit beginning with the month following the month in which you receive the money from the sale. If you are over $2,000, your SSI benefit will stop until you are again below $2,000. If you become eligible again within a year, you will not have to file a new claim. Note that your Social Security benefit will not be affected by the sale of your condo.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Marie Godfrey

    My question is me and my sister is currently on section 8.She is the head of household and I live with her. However I would like to move out with my boyfriend. How will that affect my sister. Would she loose the section 8?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Marie,

      You and your sister need to talk with the Section 8 office to find out what effect your moving out would have, such as, pay more, pay less, or move to a Section 8 unit with fewer bedrooms.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Oscar G.

    My 77 year old mother is temporarily staying with me and my tooom mate. She has Alzheimer’s and receives 387 from social security and about 100 or so from ssi. In order for her to qualify to reside at an assisted living facility she must be be receiving at least 743 or soon combined income (ss and ssi). When I took the interview by phone I answerd everything truthfully and was told she was only partially qualified for the 100 in ssi. Currently, she receives about 500 or so. They told me that I need to charge her fair share of rent and bills. My mom requires constant supervision and cannot be staying at home alone until I get home. I am a single male and have no kids. I work long hours and she gets worried because I come home late. I now discovered my landlord has raised the rent due to seeing my mother in the premises. And even though I reassured him this is only temporarily he didn’t reconsider. When I interviewed by phone the thought of charging my mom for room and board was outrages. However, if I say now that her share of rent and utilities about 500 per month and how much will they increase her ssi? I’m so stressed and feel bad for the entire situation. (My mom, my roommate, and yes even feel bad for asking the government for help) Can you or someone help with this situation? Any tips, recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Oscar,

      Your mother’s share is one third of rent, utilities (excluding phone and cable), and food, her SSI will increase to the maximum, which will change her total income to $741.00 a month, but the increase will take effect two months after she starts paying her share. If she doesn’t have enough income to pay for her share, another option is to shop for and prepare her food separately from yours, in which case she might qualify for food stamps. That way she only has to pay for her share of rent and utilities. Also, you could apply for her to receive Medicaid to pay for the cost of the assisted living. In that case she would become ineligible for SSI, but her housing, food, and care would be paid for and she would be left a small amount of her Social Security for personal care needs. If this is hard to sort out, look for an agency that helps seniors with transition choices.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Ann

        I am thinking about moving my Mom who is 81 years old and has stage 4 colon cancer and my uncle has COPD and congestive heart failure . I know my Moms Social Security won’t be affected but I’m worried about my uncle who draws 407.00 a month from SSI and had medicaid . Will our income affect his check. If he helps pay on Mortage ,Food and power . How much does he have to pay if he only draws 407 a month . He also gets long term community care can he still get that.He was living with my Mom who now has to be cared for herself but I want to care for them Both.

        • Ann

          They do receive 15 dollars a month for food stamps so I don’t know if they can keep them or not which really don’t matter as much as my Uncles check that he will have to have for his care and my Mom has Tricare and Medicare so I think she is Ok. My Uncle always lived with her since my grandparents died he never married .Im not about to abandon him. He is in bad shape also . Also if he pays his share how do we show proof or do we have to.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Ann,

            Please see my response to your first post. Proof of expenses would be paperwork showing the amount of the mortgage and the utility bills. You and your uncle will and your uncle can each sign a statement that he is contribution X number of dollars per month to cover his share of the expenses beginning with a certain month. The change in his benefit, if any, will occur two months later assuming he remains eligible.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Ann,

          Your income will not affect your uncle’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If he pays his share of mortgage, utilities (power, heat, water, sewage) and food, his SSI will not go down and it could go up if SSI is the only income he has. His share is the total cost divided by the number of people in the household. Even if he isn’t paying his share, it is possible with a contribution, his benefit could go up, just not the maximum. As long as he is eligible for any SSI, he will be eligible for Medicaid. Or, with recent changes in government healthcare legislation, he might be eligible for Medicaid without it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Ann

            Thanks and what if he just gives me some to help out and he gets his own food . How will that work? As long as our incomes don’t affect his. He only gets 420 dollars a month so he can’t really pay a third yet. Can he still get his 420 if he just gives some on the bills ?

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Ann,

              You need to decide whether your uncle will be sharing expenses or paying rent and buying his own food. If he pays rent and buys his own food, he may qualify for food stamps. If the gap between rental value for the room and what he pays or between his contribution and his share is less than $244, he would get an increase in benefits two months later. Paying some amount less than market value as a renter or less than his share if sharing will not lower his benefit further.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

  • Kristen C.

    just a quick question….I currently live with my boyfriend, who gets ssi like I do (in CA) and another roommate to help pay the rent. we are having to kick the roommate out due to her creating problems. if we do this, we will not be able to afford to split the rent 2-way and afford food, necessities, etc. will we be able to get a raise in ssi if this ends up happening?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Kristen,

      Your and your boyfriend’s SSI will not be raised because your roommate is moving out. You might check into whether you and he qualify for food stamps or you possibly you can take in another roommate to pay a third of the costs.

      Sincerely,
      Kay