The Social Security Administration uses a different standard to determine Supplemental Security Income benefits for people living in certain states. Now, the agency wants to update its rules to treat beneficiaries nationwide more equitably.
The agency is proposing a new rule to modify how it alters benefit payments for those who receive what’s known as “in-kind support and maintenance” in the form of a rental subsidy.
Under current rules, SSI benefits are reduced if a person is paying rent or shelter expenses that are lower than the current market value, or what they would pay on the open market. This is significant in cases where a person with a disability is renting from a family member, for example, who charges them a reduced rate.
But, due to court rulings, the agency uses a less stringent standard in seven states — Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas. In these states, benefits are not reduced if a person is spending more than a third of their income on housing even if their rent is less than the current market value.
The proposed rule published this month in the Federal Register seeks to expand the more lenient standard already in place in seven states to the entire country.
Federal Register link if you would like to make a comment or read the details, see https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/08/24/2023-18213/expansion-of-the-rental-subsidy-policy-for-supplemental-security-income-ssi-applicants-and#open-comment