Take Action Now to Help Struggling Seniors &
People With Disabilities Make Ends Meet
Take Action by April 17, 2023 to Urge the Social Security Administration to Allow SSI Recipients to Receive Help with Groceries without a cut in Benefits.
On February 15, the Social Security Administration (SSA) published a proposed regulation that would take a small step toward updating one of the outdated financial rules for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program to allow SSI recipients to get a little extra help from friends and family to buy food without experiencing a corresponding loss of benefits.
SSI provides lifesaving benefits to disabled people and older adults, but people can see their benefits cut by one-third (up to just over $300 per month) if they get help from friends or family with paying rent or buying food. This rule is called “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM). SSA’s proposed regulation would make a small change, to remove food from ISM calculations.
This proposed regulation is a good first step. While most SSI recipients don’t see benefits reductions due to ISM, all SSI recipients have to report their finances for ISM calculations. The regulation would make the SSI program easier for SSA to administer, because it would require a little less reporting. SSA would have more resources to make the SSI program work better.
SSA can do other things to update SSI, and it should act quickly. For example, it should move quickly to issue regulations that would exclude some SSI recipients (such as SNAP recipients or people with very high housing costs) from ISM reporting altogether.
Ultimately, Congress should act by eliminating ISM entirely and updating other SSI financial rules like the asset limit and the marriage penalty.
Please express your support for the current proposal to remove food from ISM calculations, and urge SSA to move quickly to make additional changes to SSI financial rules so that they work better for disabled people and older adults.
Edit this message to tell users that can't take action (because of their location) how to contribute. For example, consider adding a link to a petition or donation page that you have created, or add social sharing options so that these supporters can help get the word out on social media.
The comment period for this document is now closed.