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

Amelia Ross
2 Min Read

The Social Security Administration (SSA) frequently updates its policies to align with current societal needs, aiming to support beneficiaries effectively. A recent change impacting the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program will take effect in September 2024, focusing on food assistance eligibility.

Overview of SSI Program:

SSI offers monthly financial aid to disabled or blind individuals with limited income and assets.

Policy Change Details:

Starting September 2024, food received will no longer count towards income for SSI eligibility, a departure from current rules that could reduce benefits.

Impact and Reactions:

Advocates like Darcy Milburn from The Arc praise the change, highlighting its positive impact on beneficiaries by eliminating benefit reductions due to food assistance.

SSA’s Perspective:

Social Security Commissioner Martin O’Malley emphasizes the policy’s aim to simplify processes and reduce administrative burdens for both the public and SSA staff.

Benefits of the Change:

Removing food from income calculations aims to make the system fairer and less complex, encouraging community support without risking benefit reductions.

This update reflects SSA’s commitment to fairness and accessibility in benefit distribution, setting a precedent for future improvements.


Who qualifies for SSI benefits?

Individuals who are disabled, blind, with limited income (below $1,971 per month), and few assets.

Why is food assistance being excluded from income calculations?

To ensure beneficiaries receive full benefits without reductions based on food support received.

How will this policy change benefit SSI recipients?

It will prevent reductions in monthly benefits due to food assistance, improving financial stability.

What is the SSA’s goal with these policy updates?

To simplify processes, reduce administrative burdens, and promote equity in benefit distribution.

What future changes might SSA consider?

Continued efforts to streamline policies and support vulnerable populations more effectively.

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