Supplemental Security Income

Poorest Americans Have the Most Difficulty Accessing Stimulus Checks

By | Economic Security, IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY, Supplemental Security Income

Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, Poorest Americans Have the Most Difficulty Accessing Stimulus Checks (June 24, 2020)

For millions of people who weren’t required to file tax returns, including some people who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, or make less than $12,200 a year, much needed stimulus payments were not automatic. Instead they had to fill out an online form, which sounds simple enough. But like Justice in Aging Directing Attorney, Tracey Gronniger, said for this article, “Someone who is familiar [with the process], who has a computer, internet service, a home, resources, and time to do these things is in a much better situation to actually receive a stimulus payment.”

Free Webcast: Obtaining Economic Impact Payments for Low-Income Clients

By | Economic Security, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government is distributing economic impact payments to individuals in the United States. This webcast, Obtaining Economic Impact Payments for Low-Income Clients, covers who will receive these payments and current policies surrounding how low-income recipients of certain benefits, including Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and VA Disability Compensation or Veterans Pensions, can obtain them.

Who should participate:
Advocates representing low-income clients receiving Social Security or means-tested benefits including SSI, VA Disability Compensation or VA Pension benefits.

Kate Lang, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging

The webcast took place on Friday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.


California’s Master Plan For Aging: Increase Income for Seniors and People with Disabilities who Receive SSI/SSP

By | FACT SHEET, Long Term Care, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY, Supplemental Security Income, Toolkit

California has committed to developing a Master Plan for Aging in order to meet the needs of older adults today and for generations to come.

The second of the Master Plan for Aging series of papers, Increase Income for Seniors and People with Disabilities who Receive SSI/SSP, offers three specific policy recommendations for addressing the rising income inequality leading to a lack of retirement security, and for addressing the recession-era cuts that pushed SSI recipients below the poverty line.

Trump Administration Proposes Social Security Rule Changes that Could Cut off Thousands of Disabled Recipients

By | IN THE NEWS, Supplemental Security Income

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Trump Administration Proposes Social Security Rule Changes that Could Cut off Thousands of Disabled Recipients (December 12, 2019)

The Trump administration is proposing changes to Social Security that could terminate disability payments to hundreds of thousands of Americans, particularly older people and children. The new rule would change they way they classify people with disabilities and institute more frequent disability determinations, pushing more people into an already overloaded system, and slowing it down for everyone. The ultimate result will be people losing benefits, particularly people 50-65 years old. Justice in Aging attorney Kate Lang said, “they’re out to shrink the rolls. And they’re setting people up to not comply.”

Benefits on the Line

By | IN THE NEWS, Medicare, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

The American Prospect: Benefits on the Line (June 19, 2019)

The Trump Administration has proposed to change how inflation is calculated, moving from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (chained CPI). This change in how poverty is measured would have drastic negative consequences for millions of low-income people, older adults, and people with disabilities. Many would become ineligible for benefits or would receive less assistance as chained CPI lowers the poverty line. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Tracey Gronniger says that, “It would hurt people who are so close to getting help. All of sudden, you have hundreds of thousands of people who are told, ‘Now you’re not poor anymore.’”

Fact Sheet: Seniors and People with Disabilities Who Receive SSI Can Apply for CalFresh in Summer 2019

By | CA Health Network Alert, Economic Security, FACT SHEET, REPORTS, Supplemental Security Income

Due in part to advocacy from groups like Californians for SSI, the 2018-2019 state budget included a policy change allowing California seniors and people with disabilities who receive SSI to be eligible for CalFresh (SNAP) benefits starting June 1, 2019.

Access to federal SNAP nutrition assistance will increase food security for California’s low-income SSI seniors and people with disabilities, leading to fewer people being forced to choose between basics like food and medicine, and giving people more flexibility to direct money toward other needs such as finding and being able to afford housing. The expansion will be particularly important for seniors age 60 or older, who represent more than half of the over 1.2 million low-income Californians who receive SSI to help meet their basic needs.

Aging services providers can learn more details about this important and historic change in a new fact sheet from Justice in Aging. The five-page fact sheet helps providers understand the details of the change in order to better support their clients. The fact sheet also includes information on CalFresh rules that will be particularly relevant for enrolling SSI seniors and people with disabilities this summer and beyond.

Report: Older Women & Poverty

By | Economic Security, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Health Disparities, Health Equity, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Nursing Homes, Oral Health, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Special Report, Supplemental Security Income

Because of structural inequities that impact women more than men, a significant percentage of older women are struggling to stay out of poverty.

There are 7.1 million older adults living in poverty in the United States, with nearly two out of three of them being women. Women like Venorica, who is working three jobs at the age of 70, and Vicky, who once ran a successful business with her husband, are struggling to stay afloat.

A new Justice in Aging report surveys the reasons more women are aging into poverty than men, discusses the support systems that are in place to help older women, and recommends ways we can strengthen and expand those support systems. The brief is accompanied by videos of women telling their own stories. Older women have cared for us and worked hard all of their lives. It’s imperative that we enact policies so they don’t have to struggle to make ends meet.


WEBINAR: Advanced Webinar- Understanding the SSI Transfer Penalty

By | Economic Security, Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR

When: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has many complicated financial eligibility rules, including the treatment of resources or assets. Applicants and recipients cannot simply give away countable assets to gain eligibility for SSI. Similarly they cannot decline assets that they are entitled to receive, such as inheritances, to establish or maintain their eligibility. An SSI applicant or recipient who transfers an asset for less than fair market value or declines to receive an asset could be subject to the transfer of asset penalty, becoming ineligible for SSI benefits for up to 36 months.

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Supporting Older Americans’ Basic Needs: Health Care, Income, Housing and Food

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Health Care Defense, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income

Older adults and their families strive each day to pay for health care and medicine, keep food on the table, have a roof over their heads, and have enough cash on hand to pay the utilities, get where they need to go and meet other basic needs. As families work together to meet these challenges, they are supported by a broad range of federal programs that provide Americans with the means to thrive as they grow older and remain at home and in their communities.

This issue brief discusses how these various programs work, who is eligible for them, and how they support the health and economic well-being of older Americans. For a quick overview, check out the fact sheet.

In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the SSI Program

By | Economic Security, REPORTS, Supplemental Security Income

Why do some individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits only receive $500 a month instead of $750? In many cases, the reason is “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM).

As SSI is a means-tested program, applicants and recipients must meet several financial eligibility criteria on an ongoing basis. The income and resource rules, including in-kind support and maintenance, are particularly complicated. These rules can cause significant hardship for low-income people trying to survive on SSI.

This new guide, In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the SSI Program, gives advocates tools to successfully navigate ISM on behalf of their clients. They can make a big difference by making sure that clients can maximize their SSI benefits to better meet their needs for shelter, food, health care, and other necessities.

Read the guide, and watch the recording of today’s webinar on In-Kind Support and Maintenance here.