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How It Will Affect Retirees’ Paychecks

The second half of this year comes with three additional SSI changes that will impact recipients, especially retirees’s paychecks. Thanks to these changes, more low-income seniors and specific people with disabilities will be able to apply for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program this fall. If you qualify for the SSI program or are interested in applying for these monthly benefits, check here for all the information about the new SSI changes introduced by the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

How will these SSI changes impact Social Security beneficiaries in 2024?

The Social Security Administration is in charge of managing the retirement, survivors, and disability insurance (RSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit programs. According to the government agency, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) pays monthly benefits to seniors aged 65 and older, as well as adults and children who are blind or disabled. These benefits help cover essential costs such as housing, food, clothing, and medicine. 

To be eligible, you normally need to earn less than $1,971 per month from work and have limited financial resources, but there are many other considerations, such as income from pensions, unemployment benefits, or disability payments. It is important to consider that 70% of SSI beneficiaries are members of households with combined family earnings of less than $30,000, which includes assistance program income. As the SSA confirmed, the new SSI changes will help expand the program, allowing more people to apply for these benefits. 

Rental assistance won’t have the same impact on SSI eligibility and benefits 

The rental assistance change is one of the most significant SSI changes that will take effect on September 30. A program that is now offered in seven states—Connection, Illinois, Indiana, New York, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin—will now be available nationwide thanks to the new rental assistance rule. The policy changes the way the government measures rental assistance, including rent subsidies.

The policy has already been implemented in seven states, so the living circumstances of tenants are unlikely to have an impact on their eligibility for SSI or the amount of payments they receive. This new rule gives all SSI applicants and recipients nationwide access to the same favorable policy, as the SSA declared. Additionally, more persons will be able to qualify for essential SSI benefits as a result, which could raise the payment amount that some people are eligible to receive.

The requirements for receiving SSI will expand

Among other SSI changes, a new rule will include recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also known as food stamps, in the definition of a “public assistance household.” As a result, more people will qualify for Supplemental Security Income. It also removes a provision that may have prevented bigger households, especially multigenerational households, from qualifying for SSI. 

As a result, this will affect SSI recipients who live in families with only certain individuals receiving public assistance. Under the new regulation, the government will assume that applicants in public assistance homes do not receive financial aid from friends or relatives they reside with. This modification will expand SSI requirements and allow more people to qualify for the financial aid program and, in some situations, earn a larger monthly check.

Food aid won’t count as income anymore

SSI changes will also include a new guideline for in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) calculations. Under the new rule, which goes into effect on September 30, food aid will no longer be counted as income for reviewing applications and calculating monthly payments. A person’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income may be impacted by ISM estimates, which may also result in a reduction in benefit payments. Furthermore, people applying for SSI will not be at risk of being punished for accepting unofficial food aid from friends, family, or their community if food value is no longer considered an indicator of material need. They will also be exempt from reporting that data.

Read More: How It Will Affect Retirees’ Paychecks

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