A significant modification may be on the horizon for Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities that would increase their monthly income. Wallace Johnson, an education support specialist at Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana, expressed the importance of any form of assistance for individuals with disabilities. Currently, Supplemental SSI Income Benefits recipients with disabilities experience a reduction in their payments if they regularly receive help with food and groceries.
The proposed change by the SSI Administration would no longer require applicants to provide information about their food expenses, which could result in an increase in monthly assistance. Wallace Johnson recounted a personal experience where he had to give away his car because he could not afford the repairs while trying to make ends meet with a disability. He expressed the difficulties of managing bills, food expenses, and other necessary costs to survive.
For people like Wallace Johnson, this additional monthly aid could make a significant difference
According to a published document on the Federal Register’s website, the Social Security Administration (SSA) anticipates that the proposed changes will simplify their rules and make them easier to understand and follow. Johnson believes that families will welcome the change, as it will allow them to retain their benefits while receiving necessary assistance. He noted that many government assistance programs, such as those provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, will soon expire.
The proposed rule is open for public comments until April 17, allowing individuals to provide feedback on the changes suggested by the Social Security Administration. To further support and inform the public, Families Helping Families is organizing a free Social Security workshop on Thursday, March 21, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The workshop will include a public affairs specialist from the SSA who will answer questions related to benefits and other topics of interest.