SSI Housing Regs: Special Exceptions

Art: Robin Mead

There are a few circumstances where someone else can pay your share of household expenses, or offer you free rent, without affecting your SSI:

🌷 Loans. Loans do not affect SSI. Can be a personal loan (friend or family) or a student loan or another kind of loan. Make sure you have a written, signed loan agreement.

🌷 Rental Loan Agreements. These are sometimes used by someone living with friends or family while applying for SSI. Learn more: How to Make a Rental Loan Agreement

🌷 Programs. If you are receiving assistance from a nonprofit or government program, this will usually have no affect on SSI. Food stamps, medicaid, utilities assistance do not affect SSI.

🌷 Subsidized Housing. Subsidized housing can make your rent very low, and will have no impact on your SSI check. This is a key way that many people on SSI survive. Learn more: Section 8 Guide for the Disabled and Plucky

🌷 Live-in Spouses. If you live with your spouse, Social Security already considers your spouses income when determining your check. If your spouse pays for food, rent or utilities, this does not affect SSI.

🌷 Parents. If you are under age 18, and live with your parents, it does not matter if your parents pay your rent. Their income is already included in your SSI calculations. If your parent does not live in the home and pays your rent or mortgage, this might lower your SSI check.

🌷 ABLE Accounts. ABLE accounts can be used for rent or utilities, but not for food. ABLE accounts are for people who first became disabled before the age of 26.

🌷 Other Bills. Someone paying your share of household expenses can lower your SSI check. Other types of household bills do not count (maintenance, lawn care, phone, internet, etc). Anyone can pay these with no impact on your SSI. As long as they pay the bill directly and NEVER GIVE MONEY TO YOU.

🌷  Homelessness: If you are homeless and living in a public homeless shelter, your check may or may not be lowered, depending on how long you stay there. How Much is SSI if You are Homeless?

Now that you know the special exceptions, time for the next step: How Much Rent to Pay on SSI