Where you live and your living arrangements can influence your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

  • If you have your own place and cover your own food and shelter expenses, whether you own or rent, you might receive the maximum SSI amount available in your state.
  • You can also get the maximum SSI if you live in someone else's household, provided that you pay for your food and shelter.
  • However, if you live with someone else and don't contribute to your living expenses, like food and housing costs, or only partially do so, your SSI benefit may be reduced by up to one-third of the SSI Federal benefit rate.

What if Someone Else Helps Pay Your Living Expenses?

  • If someone else provides you with food or shelter that you don't pay for, it could lower your SSI benefit.
  • But, your benefit won't be reduced if your spouse, living with you, provides these items. Also, if you're a minor child, your benefits won't be reduced if your parent(s) living with you provide these items.
  • Items you receive that can't be used for food or shelter, like household items or clothing, won't affect your SSI benefit.

What About People in Institutions?

  • People living in institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, or prisons generally aren't eligible for SSI, but there are exceptions.

What About the Homeless?

  • You don't need a permanent residence to get SSI. If you're homeless, you may qualify for the maximum SSI amount in your state.
  • If you're already getting SSI, you may also be eligible for subsidized housing.
  • If you live in a public shelter, you can get SSI benefits for up to 6 months out of any 9 months you're there.

Understanding how your living situation affects your SSI benefits is crucial to ensure you receive the support you're entitled to.

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Last Reviewed: November 5, 2023