SSA Making Changes to Benefits in Regards to Food Assistance

Changes to SSI law in 2024

Category: Disability Law , Social Security

The Social Security Administration has approved a rule change that will prevent food assistance from impacting the amount a person receives in monthly benefits. This rule change is for SSI (Supplemental Security Income). 

SSI is the program which fills in the gaps for people unable to sustain themselves due to age, fragility, disability or any other impairment which prevents a person from working or providing for themselves. About 7.5 million Americans currently receive this assistance. 

Under the current system, any food received by the SSI recipient through other means, such as other food assistance programs and/or friends/family, would be accounted for and the financial equivalent would be deducted from payment assistance. As of September 30th of this year, that will no longer be the case.

Food and shelter assistance is currently counted as “unearned income” and affects benefit amounts. Food will no longer count in this way. 

In the year 2024, the maximum federal SSI amount for individuals is $943, for couples is $1,415, and essential persons—those who reside with an SSI beneficiary and provide care—are $472.

In general, recipients of SSI must make less than $1,971 per month from their jobs in order to be eligible. Additionally, each individual or couple must have fewer than $2,000 in resources, or $3,000 in total.

Essentially, the rule change means that SSI recipients won’t have to worry about food received from friends, family or other sources and how it will affect their benefits. This will be a relief to current SSI recipients who constantly worry about balancing what they receive from SSI and from gifts from friends and family. 

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley had this to say: “Simplifying our policies is a common-sense solution that reduces the burden on the public and agency staff and helps promote equity by removing barriers to accessing payments.”

The change may also help cut down on over-payments or under-payments in SSI, making the system more efficient and less complicated. 

The Social Security Administration has made its goals to upgrade programs public in recent years. The overall goal is to get people the help they need and reduce the amount of barriers in the way of doing so and at the same time simplifying the process for program managers. 


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