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Are SSI benefits enough to provide for housing?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2015 | Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income helps millions of Americans make ends meet financially. This monthly benefit oftentimes makes the difference for families who would otherwise have no means of financial support. However, according to a recent report, SSI benefits may not be enough for some people.

According to the report, the rent that a person has to pay to live in just about any location in America oftentimes exceeds the entire amount of a person’s monthly SSI benefits. In fact, the report indicates that in 2014, the average rent for a one bedroom apartment was 104 percent of the average monthly SSI benefit.

So, what can a person who finds themselves in this position do for housing? Is there anywhere that a person can get housing that does not use up their entire Supplemental Security Income benefit? Well, according to the report, there may be one option, but it may not be that appealing – studio apartments. The average rent for these apartments, which are basically one room, usually with no walls to separate bedrooms and kitchens, came in at just below the average monthly SSI benefit payment.

But still, this is a problem that may need to be addressed sooner rather than later. Some are calling it a crisis, with an inordinate amount of a person’s monthly benefit needing to be devoted to paying for housing. In areas that already have higher than average housing costs, like Los Angeles, the problem may be at the crisis level. However, regardless of rent costs, SSI benefits are still a key piece of financial support for millions of Americans.

Source: Disability Scoop, “Housing Unaffordable For Many With Disabilities, Report Finds,” Shaun Heasley, June 11, 2015

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