Tag Archives: SSD

Social Security Eliminates Overpayment Burden for Social Security Beneficiaries

Automatic Overpayment Recovery Rate Reduced to 10 Percent

The Social Security Administration announced it will decrease the default overpayment withholding rate for Social Security beneficiaries to ten percent (or $10, whichever is greater) from 100 percent, significantly reducing financial hardship on people with overpayments.

“Social Security is taking a critically important step towards our goal of ensuring our overpayment policies are fair, equitable, and do not unduly harm anyone,” said Martin O’Malley, Commissioner of Social Security. “It’s unconscionable that someone would find themselves facing homelessness or unable to pay bills, because Social Security withheld their entire payment for recovery of an overpayment.”

 

Social Security to Remove Barriers to Accessing SSI Payments

Today, the Social Security Administration published a final rule, “Omitting Food from In-Kind Support and Maintenance (ISM) Calculations.” The final rule announces the first of several updates to the agency’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) regulations that will help people receiving and applying for SSI.

SSI benefits help pay for basic needs like rent, food, clothing, and medicine. People applying for and receiving SSI must meet eligibility requirements, including income and resource limits. Under our old rules, ISM includes food, shelter, or both a person receives – the agency counts ISM as unearned income, which may affect a person’s eligibility or reduce their payment amount.

Under the new final rule, beginning September 30, 2024, the agency will no longer include food in ISM calculations. The new policy removes a critical barrier for SSI eligibility due to an applicant’s or recipient’s receipt of informal food assistance from friends, family, and community networks of support. The new policy further helps in several important ways: the change is easier to understand and use by applicants, recipients, and agency employees; applicants and recipients have less information to report about food assistance received from family and friends, removing a significant source of burden; reducing month-to-month variability in payment amounts will improve payment accuracy; and the agency will see administrative savings because less time will be spent administering food ISM.

Congress Introduces Two Bills Which Could Help The Disabled

There are 2 new bills pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. The first is the Stop the Wait Act (H.R. 4386 and S. 2496). This bill would immediately eliminate the five month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and gradually phase out the 24-month waiting period for Medicare coverage for SSDI beneficiaries.

The second bill is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act (H.R. 4280). This bill would update SSI eligibility criteria. More particularly, the Act would increase the SSI resource limit to $10,000 for individuals, and to $20,000 for a married couple. It also would change the index that is used to calculate the annual Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) to the CPI-E. Additionally, the Act would repeal the in-kind support and maintenance provision, eliminate the marriage penalty, increase the general income exclusion from $20/month to $123/month, and increase the earned income exclusion from $65/month to $399/month. The dollar figures that were increased would also be annually adjusted for inflation.

Of course, each of these bills has to be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then signed by the President. Keep your fingers crossed.