Social Security benefits to change again in 2024 – New eligibility criteria

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently updates its policies to ensure they align with current societal needs without burdening beneficiaries. A recent significant change, effective September 2024, revises eligibility criteria for food assistance under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

Main Content:

What is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?

SSI offers monthly financial support to disabled or blind individuals with limited income and assets. To qualify, individuals must earn below $1,971 per month.

Key Policy Change:

Starting September 2024, food will no longer count as income for SSI eligibility. Previously, the value of food received could reduce benefit payments.

Impact on Beneficiaries:

Approximately 7.4 million Americans on SSI will benefit from this change. It ensures that groceries or meals received from family or friends won’t affect monthly benefits, easing financial stress for recipients.

Response and Impact:

Darcy Milburn from The Arc praised the change for its positive impact on disabled individuals, highlighting it as a step towards fairness and reducing bureaucratic hurdles.

SSA’s Perspective:

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley emphasized simplifying policies to reduce administrative burdens and promote equity in benefit access.

Broader Implications:

By removing food from income calculations, the SSA aims to streamline operations, improve accessibility, and encourage community support among beneficiaries.

The SSA’s update to SSI policies represents a significant step towards fairness and accessibility in benefit distribution, aiming to enhance the lives of vulnerable individuals.


What is the SSI program?

SSI provides financial assistance to disabled or blind individuals with limited income and assets.

Who will benefit from the policy change?

Approximately 7.4 million Americans currently receiving SSI will benefit from the removal of food as income in eligibility calculations.

Why did the SSA make this change?

The change aims to simplify rules, reduce administrative burdens, and ensure that beneficiaries can receive community support without fear of reduced benefits.

When will the new policy be implemented?

The new policy is scheduled to take effect in September 2024.

What are the broader goals of SSA’s policy updates?

The SSA aims to promote fairness, accessibility, and simplicity in benefit distribution while reducing bureaucratic obstacles.

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