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SSI Recipients Will Be Able to Receive Informal Food Assistance Starting in September 2024 Without Reducing their SSI Benefits

by | Jun 13, 2024 | Firm News

The Social Security Administration announced in March 2024 that it will be omitting food from in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) calculations starting September 30, 2024.  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides monthly payments to adults and children with a disability or blindness, and to adults aged 65 and older, who have limited income and resources. The benefits are to help pay for basic needs like housing costs, food, clothing, and medicine.  There are strict eligibility requirements such as less than $2,000 in countable assets.

Until September 30, 2024, if an SSI recipient received informal food assistance (i.e., a parent pays for groceries for the SSI recipient), then this would be considered ISM and the SSA would count that as unearned income that would reduce the SSI benefits.  Starting September 30, 2024, any informal assistance for food will not be considered ISM and will not reduce the SSI benefits.

This is an important change since in California the maximum SSI benefits that a recipient can receive in 2024 is typically $1,182.94.   That is not very much to cover both food and shelter (i.e., room, rent, mortgage payments, real property taxes, heating fuel, gas, electricity, water, sewerage, and garbage collection services) in California.  It also will make it easier for those who manage SSI funds for a recipient or are trustees of a special needs trust for an SSI recipient.

Here is a link to a more detailed discussion about this change –,%2C%20and%20garbage%20collection%20services).