People often wonder if their monthly benefits are affected if they have a Loved One move in with them who is also collecting Social Security Disability.
The first thing to ask yourself is, “Which program am I receiving benefits from?” If you are receiving SSDI benefits, you never have to worry about other assets or income in your home. SSDI benefits are awarded based on your work history and how much you paid in to the program while you were working. As long as your medical condition prevents you from working, you are entitled to these benefits.
However, if you are receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits, there are limits. SSI is funded by general tax revenues and not by Social Security taxes, so it’s only available for the most needy. Therefore, your monthly SSI benefits will be reduced if you have other assets, income or assistance.
SSI benefits are calculated using the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) which is tied to the Consumer Price Index. Basically, as the cost-of-living goes up, the FBR is adjusted. For 2019, the FBR is $771 for individuals and $1157 for married couples. If you and your spouse are both disabled, this is the largest total amount you will receive as a couple. If your spouse still works full-time and you have no dependent children, it is unlikely that you will qualify for SSI benefits. (But remember, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits.)
Your monthly SSI benefits will be reduced dollar-for-dollar for any income you receive from things such as employment, annuities, child-support and other monthly insurance payments. (The first $20 of unearned benefits and $65 of earned benefits are not counted toward your financial limits.) Your monthly benefits will also be reduced if you are receiving assistance such as living with a family member who is providing you with free or low-cost housing. If you are living in your own home and a family member (such as a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle) lives with you but is not contributing to your household expenses, your monthly assistance will not be affected but his/her benefits may be reduced by the value you are providing for his/her housing.
You can always contact your local social security office to address how any income or housing changes may affect your monthly SSI payments. And a good attorney can also help you navigate the application and benefits process.