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Social Security is finalizing a rule expanding access to SSI

The Social Security Administration is making several changes to the Supplemental Security Income program, which will take effect in September. (Disability Scoop)

According to the new rule, more people will soon meet the conditions for the additional insurance supplement, and some current beneficiaries will have their monthly payments increased, the Social Security Administration announced.

Changes will come under a regulation the recent expansion of what counts as a «publicly assisted household» has been completed.

The agency is expanding the definition to include households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, payments, as well as households that do not all receive public assistance.

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Beginning September 30, a household on public assistance will be considered a household with an SSI claimant or recipient and at least one other person receiving means-tested public income support payments. Previously, everyone in the household had to receive public assistance to be able to count.

In cases where a person lives in a household with public assistance, the Social Security Administration assumes that he does not receive assistance from other household members that could be counted as income.

In addition to increasing eligibility and payment amounts for some, the rule is expected to reduce the reporting burden faced by individuals living in public assistance households.

The Social Security Administration said it estimates the rule change will lead to an additional 109,000 individuals receiving SSI and an increase in monthly payments for approximately 277,000 beneficiaries by 2033.

«I am committed to making systemic changes to help people access the critical benefits they need, including SSI,» said Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley. “By simplifying our rules and including an additional program targeted at low-income families, such as SNAP, we are removing significant barriers to accessing SSI. These changes promote greater equity in our programs.”

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The rule is one of several updates to the SSI that are scheduled to take effect in September. The Social Security Administration said it would also change the way it handles «support in kind and maintenance» in the form of rent subsidy and will stop counting food as part of support and maintenance in kind.

Approximately 7.5 million Americans, including many with disabilities, receive SSI each month. The program currently offers a maximum federal benefit of $943 for individuals and $1,415 for couples.

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