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Improving Accessibility: Social Security Administration Expands Eligibility Criteria for SSI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently introduced a regulatory update to improve access to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This change is intended to help people who apply for or receive SSI benefits.

SSI provides monthly payments to people with disabilities or blindness, as well as adults age 65 and older. These payments help cover essential expenses such as rent, food, clothing and medication. Eligibility for SSI depends on meeting specific criteria, including income and resource limits.

Beginning September 30, 2024, SSA will expand the definition of a public assistance home. This includes households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments and those where not all members receive public assistance. The goal is to allow more people to qualify for SSI benefits, potentially increasing payment amounts for some beneficiaries and reducing the administrative burden for people in public assistance households.

The revised rule also changes how public assistance households are determined. Under the new rule, a public assistance household includes an SSI applicant or recipient and at least one other household member who receives one or more specified means-tested public income maintenance (PIM) payments. Previously, all household members were required to receive public assistance. This change benefits SSI recipients in households where only some members receive such benefits.

In summary, SSA's regulatory update aims to expand eligibility criteria and promote equity within the SSI program. Through these adjustments, we seek to expand access to essential benefits, ultimately promoting greater financial security for vulnerable populations.

Source: Social Security to Expand Access to SSI Program by Updating Definition of a Public Assistance Household

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