Does A Roommate Affect SSI Benefits

By / Supplemental Security Income / No Comments

Find out whether taking on a roommate affects the SSI benefits a parent receives for a disabled child, and also how you can petition to have SSI payments applied to delinquent property taxes.

Dear Disability Advisor,

I am a single mom with 4 children.  My 2 daughters receive court ordered support. And my disabled son that gets SSI and his non eligible brother also gets court ordered support from their father (different father than my daughters) If I have a roommate move in that makes very good money will my son lose his SSI benefits? Also, the back pay has not been issued yet for him but is $10,000.00 can that be used towards back property taxes? He was approved after 18 months of applying.


Dear Tonya,

As long as the roommate does not pay more than his or her share of shelter expenses and of food if you all share food, having another person in the household will not affect your disabled child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The roommate’s share is one-sixth of the total shelter expenses and one-sixth of the food expenses if you share food with your roommate.

Money paid into a Dedicated Account specifically cannot be used for shelter, food, and other routine expenses. However, if the back taxes are threatening your family’s shelter (i.e., you have received notices that the property will be seized and auctioned for non-payment of taxes), you might be able to make a case for using some of the money to catch up the taxes because one allowed use of Dedicated Account funds is for expenses related to your son’s disability, which could be construed as his health.

It is a long shot, but if you want to pursue this use of the funds, make a written petition to use a specific amount for back taxes on the basis that your son’s not having a home will threaten his health.  Attach any documents you have from the tax department that reference potential loss of the home. If you are told you can use the money for taxes, get the approval in writing just in case in the future the use is questioned.


The Disability Advisor

Does A Roommate Affect SSI Benefits
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