In the event that the Social Security Administration is successful in implementing a proposed modification to how benefits are calculated, beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments may soon receive larger monthly amounts.
Food would no longer be included in the computation of in-kind support and maintenance (ISM), which is unearned income provided in the form of food and/or housing, according to a proposed rule that was published in the Federal Register earlier this month.
In order for the government to include food expenses in its ISM calculations, SSI applicants and recipients would no longer be required to disclose this information.
According to the SSA, SSI benefits are now cut by one-third if an individual or couple is receiving food and housing assistance from another person while residing in their house. Any food, housing, or both that is provided to someone or paid for by someone else is considered support in this context.
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How Much Increase Would SSI Payment Would be?
SSI offers a monthly payment to individuals and children who are disabled or blind and have resources that fall below-set income thresholds. Those 65 and older who meet the income requirements for SSI benefits are also given payments even if they are not disabled.
After being approved for SSI, a claimant’s monthly payment is calculated by deducting countable income from the federal benefit rate (FBR), which is the monthly maximum federal SSI payment.
According to the SSA’s Federal Register proposal, the FBR for 2023 is $914 for a single person and $1,371 for qualified persons who are married to a qualified individual. The average monthly SSI benefit for a beneficiary is lowered by 50 cents for every $1 of earned income after the first $65 is earned.
For a few different reasons, the agency wants to alter the regulation. One is to make its policy simpler with the intention of enhancing how it is applied, decided upon, followed, and understood. The second goal is to “promote equity by not disadvantaging an already vulnerable population” when they get food aid.
According to the SSA, 7.3 million people were receiving SSI in January 2022. During the same month, the SSA decreased the benefits of nearly 793,000 SSI claimants because of ISM, according to internal data from the agency.
Per the Disability Scoop, the draft regulation would be open for public discussion until April 17, 2023, before it is finalized. There was no timetable provided for when it might be authorized and implemented.
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