Living Arrangements and Benefits

If you are applying for or already receiving Social Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, where you reside as well as the nature of your living arrangements can have a very big impact upon the amount of assistance you receive. While your living expenses do not have an impact on the amount of aid that you may be eligible to receive, the arrangement for payment of those expenses, more specifically food and shelter costs, can significantly affect your SSI disability benefits.

Paying for Your Own Living Expenses
If you are responsible for paying for your own living expenses then you may be eligible to receive the maximum Social Security Income benefit available to you. This means that if you live on your own (regardless of whether you are a homeowner or you pay rent) and are responsible for paying for your own food and shelter, then chances are you may qualify for the full amount of Social Security Income benefits. Additionally, if you live with someone else, but are still responsible for your own food and housing costs, then you may also still qualify for the full amount of Social Security Income benefits.

Receiving Assistance with Living Expenses
If you reside on your own but receive assistance with your living expenses, then the amount of aid for which you may qualify may be reduced by as much as up to 33% of the Social Security Income Federal benefit rate. In addition, if you reside with someone and do not pay for your own food and housing, or make only partial contributions, then this will also affect the value of the benefits you receive. Exceptions to this apply only to spouses, and parents of minor children.

Living in an Institution
If you reside in an institution such as a hospice, nursing home, hospital or prison then you will receive the greatest cut to your benefits. This, as persons who have been institutionalized can only qualify for benefits not exceeding $30 per month. In addition, to qualify for this $30 the institution has to be one where Medicaid covers more than 50% of your healthcare costs.

Homeless
Finally, being homeless does not exempt you from receiving Social Security Income disability benefits. If you are homeless you may still qualify for the maximum benefits available to you. Additionally, if you reside in a safe haven facility that supplies the homeless with cheap housing then your benefits will not be affected. However, if you have taken refuge in a shelter this will have an impact on your benefits, as you may only receive benefits for approximately six months of the duration of your stay there.