In January, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requested comments on a series of questions they posed related to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits for people experiencing homelessness who reside in emergency shelters.
According to federal statute, people receiving SSI/SSDI who reside in publicly funded shelters (which are narrowly defined by SSA and rarely apply to any shelters today) can only receive benefits for six months out of any 9 month period. This rule is outdated and was established at a time when emergency shelters were funded and provided services very differently than they do today.
SSA’s questions asked experts to relay experiences with this rule, the impact it has on people experiencing homelessness and their access to basic services including health care. SSI/SSDI benefits are vitally important to residents in supportive housing and CSH opposes any suspension of benefits, especially while homeless.
CSH submitted comments, which were due Monday, March 12, and explained how people access emergency shelters, the wide range of services they provide and the negative effects of suspending SSI/SSDI for this very vulnerable population.