Social Security Benefit Expansion Goes Nationwide This September

( – Millions of Americans receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments each month. It’s a Social Security program that benefits children and adults with disabilities, as well as Americans aged 65 and older who have limited resources and live on limited income. A new rule is changing the eligibility criteria and will likely result in recipients having more money in their pockets.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), it is expanding the rental subsidy policy for people who receive SSI payments. In the past, receiving rental assistance affected one’s eligibility or lessened the amount they received each month. However, a new rule will help mitigate this factor. Seven states—New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, Connecticut, Indiana, Vermont, and Texas—have already enacted the policy changes. But now, it’s slated to go into effect in all 50 states.

The final rule was posted on Thursday, April 11, and is slated to go into effect on September 30. It will not change the maximum allowable payment, which is currently set at $943 for 2024, but it could increase some people’s payment amounts by doing away with deductions on those allowances.

This is the second recent update the SSA has made to its SSI benefits. In March, it posted another policy change that benefited recipients as well. This particular change omits food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) calculations, a category that defines assistance such as shelter, food, or both, that another person provides. That total is considered income and can affect eligibility and payment amounts.

By eliminating food from its calculations, the likelihood of people seeing more money or even qualifying where they previously wouldn’t for the benefits increases. Additionally, it reduces the amount of information that recipients have to provide to the SSA and will minimize fluctuations in monthly payment amounts as well as payment errors, which have been an increasing problem for those who receive benefits.

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