Many people who are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition depend on financial support from the Social Security Administration for assistance each month. Qualified applicants with disabilities may apply for Supplemental Security Income, a specific type of disability program. However, newly proposed rules from the SSA could affect those who currently receive those benefits or who may receive them in the future.
Changing the determination of monthly payments
The amount of SSI benefits a California applicant receives depends on many factors that are specific to the individual situation. In an explanation of the proposed changes, the SSA states they could reduce SSI benefits by as much as one-third of the monthly amount received if someone else buys the beneficiary groceries or provides meals to that individual. The SSA says that the current system is not effective.
The proposed changes do not impact the way that SSI beneficiaries receive support for housing and shelter. If passed, the SSA intends to ask recipients if they eat all of their meals out and whether they pay for their food separately from others who live in their homes. Advocates support these changes and say that they could be helpful for disabled individuals who struggle with food insecurity.
Advocating for disabled individuals
Disabled individuals in California who are seeking disability benefits will find it helpful to speak with an experienced attorney. A lawyer who understands the Social Security system can provide help and guidance to someone seeking important financial support. Those who have disabilities may first need an explanation of benefits and eligibility requirements.