How to Stay Out of Hot Water with SSI

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Artwork: Robin Mead

SSI Regulations can be confusing and difficult to find and understand!

Sometimes people break the rules because they don’t know what the rules are.

Sometimes people get their check lowered and have no idea why or what happened.

Sometimes people are told they owe Social Security money back, even though they reported everything they were supposed to.

Luckily, none of these things will happen to you!

Here’s everything you need to know:

SSI or SSDI

Before reading this page, please double check and make sure you know which program you are on. Many people get this wrong and wind up following the wrong rules. This page is only for SSI. Some of these rules also apply to Medicaid. Nothing here applies to SSDI or Medicare. How to Tell What You’re On

Overview

How to Survive on SSI – Important Survival Information. Please read.

“How I Get By On SSI” – Stories and tips from readers

SSI Rules To Live By

SSI Living Arrangement RegsRegs about who you live with

SSI Food RegsRegs about paying for food

SSI Rent & Mortgage RegsHow much rent, mortgage and utilities to pay

SSI Resource Regs – Savings and stuff you own

SSI Income Regs – Earning money or getting money

SSI Ups & Downs

Ten Common Reasons SSI Might Be Low

Ten Common Reasons SSI Might be Denied or Stopped

How to Make SSI Go Up or Down

How Report and Change an SSI Check

How Can I Save Money Without Losing SSI?

How Can I Make Money Without Losing SSI?

SSI Interviews

How to Handle an SSI Interview (PERC)

While Applying

How to Apply for SSI Without Falling into Quicksand

Working and SSI

How Does Working Affect My SSI Check?

Overpayments

How To Respond When Social Security Tells You That You Owe Money Back

How Sandra Got Her Overpayments Waived

Inheritance

Special Needs Trust – Please plan ahead

For Children on SSI

Most of the above links also apply to children. In addition:

Overview of SSI and Family Income Chart

Formula for How Parent’s Income Affect Child’s Check – Warning: Incredibly complicated

SSI Rent & Mortgage Regs – If your child is not receiving maximum SSI, this may be why.

Protecting SSI from Child Support

“I’m Happy My Check Didn’t Change”

Don’t be happy. If your finances or living situation changes, but your check doesn’t change, this is not necessarily a good thing. Social Security can take months or years to make a change, and by that time they may say you owe them thousands of dollars! If there is a change in your life, it is best to notify Social Security right away and to follow all the rules. If you still get an overpayment notice, see links above.

“I’m Sad My Check Didn’t Change”

Don’t be sad. If your finances change or living situation changes, but your check doesn’t change, you can take an action. Social Security will not change your check automatically. If you have had a change in your life, your check doesn’t just magically go up. You have to make the magic happen.

 

6 thoughts on “How to Stay Out of Hot Water with SSI”

  1. The new federal ABLE ACT allows savings of around $300,000 with yearly caps of $14,000 in state ABLE accounts for those disabled prior to age 26 and the age has just gone up, so check in on that. Also you don’t have to be determined disabled by federal govt social security disability, you just need a doctors note
    I know this doesn’t seem possible given that the cap has been at $2000 but new program now to help people save when on SSI.
    THe only state that so far as of July 2017 doesn’t have high rates for joining and bank fees is Tennessee. You don’t have to be from Tennesse to join. Those on federal means based programs, like ssi, section 8, food stamps etc, can choose whichever state they’d like to join.
    See this website for the federal program
    http://www.ablenrc.org
    Why is there a 14,000 savings allowance per year and so many bank fees when those on ssi, food stamps, etc that the program is meant for only get $753 per month.
    This program I think was the initiative of parents of children with autism who wanted to get help with these means based programs and still allow their child their money.
    The ABLE Act was passed in a bi-partisan effort (both dems and republicans)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very informative and I really appreciate the info. I’m hoping to see the inheritance info soon as I am expecting very shortly. I am greatful!

    Like

    1. Hi Kaia,

      The most important thing to know about an inheritance is to ask your family to set up a Special Needs Trust. This can be done through a lawyer that specializes in Medicaid estate planning. If you are to receive any money, it can go directly into the trust and will not affect your SSI.

      For a house, you are allowed to inherit it if you live in it, and you only own one house.

      Hope this helps.

      Like

    2. You also may want to check into the ABLE Act which is new legislation started in 2015 that if u were diabled at a certain age you can put money aside for disability related expenses and still keep SSI Medicaid food stamps. There is a lifetime cap of. $300,000 but only can put in$14000per year. Check out everything by googling Able resource center which is the main page for info from govt program.
      There’s lots of videos to understand it.
      It may or may not sute your needs

      Like

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