How to Stay Out of Hot Water with SSI


SSI Regulations can be confusing and difficult to find and understand! Many people break the regulations simply because they do not know what they are.

I created this list because I have met too many people who have no idea why their check went up or down or stopped or started. This information is not easy to find, and on the entire internet I have not found one single place that simply tells you everything that can make your SSI check change.

Here’s everything I’ve learned from researching obscure sections of the Social Security policy and operations manual, reading articles from disability lawyers, and talking to other people with disabilities who found out the hard way.

This page is only for SSI. If you are on SSDI, please don’t read this page. You will give yourself a million headaches for no reason. What am I on? 

SSI Rules To Live By

SSI Living  Regs

SSI Food Regs

SSI Rent Regs

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

I’m Happy My Check Didn’t Change

Don’t be happy. 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. Also, makes sure to follow all the rules and make any changes you need to right away. Don’t wait. 

I’m Sad My Check Didn’t Change

Don’t be sad. 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.

While Applying

If you are applying for SSI, the way you are living right now can make your backpay check go up or down.  Learn more: How to Apply for SSI Without Falling into Quicksand

If you are applying for just SSI, all of the SSI rules are really important. If you are applying for both SSI and SSDI, these rules may not matter too much. Here’s how to tell: How Important is it that I Read All These SSI Rules?

Coming Soon

This is (obviously) a work in progress. Stay tuned:

SSI Income Regs (coming soon)

SSI Gift & Inheritance Regs (coming soon)

SSI Working Regs (coming soon)

SSI Asset Regs (coming soon)

SSI Marriage Regs (coming soon)

SSI Parent’s Regs (coming soon)

SSI Safe Ways to Spend Money (coming soon)

2 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
    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)


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