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SSI Living Arrangement Rules In 2024

Last updated: January 3, 2024

In the United States, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has been a great source of additional earnings for low-income households, people with disabilities, seniors aged 65 and older, and retired workers. As of 2024, approximately 67 million Americans received Social Security benefits, equating to more than $1 trillion in paid benefits. 

Like other benefit programs of the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSI has certain eligibility requirements and guidelines, including the SSI living arrangement rules. In this article, we’ll cover the SSA definition of living arrangement, as well as the different SSI living arrangement rules. Read the article below to learn more. 

Overview Of Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers a federal income supplement program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It provides financial assistance to individuals with limited income, seniors aged 65 or older, and persons with disabilities or blindness.

SSI benefit amounts may vary from one person to another. This is because your monthly SSI payments are calculated based on your total earnings as well as the assets you own. A representative from the SSA will review your net self-employment income or gross wages, as well as your resources, to come up with your SSI amount. 

Aside from financial requirements, basic eligibility criteria for SSI also include the following:

  • An adult or child with a severe disability that limits daily activities and bodily functions for at least 12 months
  • U.S. citizenship or eligible immigrant status
  • Currently resides in the U.S.  

Summary Of SSI Living Arrangement Rules

SSI Living Arrangement Rules were established based on the concept of in-kind support and maintenance, or ISM. An individual applying for or receiving SSI is considered obtaining in-kind support and maintenance when he or she receives financial support from a third party for certain basic living expenses. 

In-kind support and maintenance are regarded as income by the SSA. As such, ISM can lower the monthly benefit you are entitled to receive by a fixed percentage, depending on your current living arrangement.

The following expenses are considered ISM by the SSA:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent
  • Home insurance
  • Heating
  • Gasoline
  • Property tax
  • Electricity
  • Food
  • Water
  • Sewer
  • Garbage removal

Living Arrangement Rules For Eligibility

Living arrangements are important in determining the monthly SSI benefits you are entitled to. Below is an in-depth overview of how living arrangement rules work and the different factors the SSA considers when determining your living arrangement.

Definition Of A “Living Arrangement”

According to the Social Security Administration, your living arrangement refers to where you live and the nature of your settlement, whether you live alone or with another person, whether you live in a nursing home or a hospital. Your living arrangement is also influenced by whether you pay for your own food, utilities, housing, or someone else's. 

There are four categories of living arrangements recognized by the SSA:

Living Arrangement A — A person is said to have an (A)-type living arrangement and is entitled to 100% of allowable SSI benefits based on their net income when they own their residence, have rental liability, and cover a proportional share of basic household expenses.

Living Arrangement B — A person is said to have a (B)-type of living arrangement when that individual resides in another person’s house and receives shelter and food assistance. A person’s SSI benefits with living arrangement B are subject to a one-third reduction. 

Living Arrangement C — Any qualified minor under the age of 18 who resides with their parent(s) will receive the maximum allowable SSI benefits calculated at 100% of the income guarantee. Children who qualify for SSI are not subject to ISM rules and are therefore not charged for the utilities, housing, or food their parents or other legal guardians provide.

Living Arrangement D — The maximum monthly SSI payment for an eligible person with a (D)-type living arrangement is $30. Belonging to this category are those residing in a private or public medical care facility wherein Medicaid covers more than half of their treatment costs. ISM is not a factor considered by the SSA for individuals in living arrangement D. However, their SSI benefits are nevertheless reduced despite this.

Factors Considered By The Social Security Administration (SSA)

The amount of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you are eligible for is also based on your living arrangement. This implies that the SSA may calculate your SSI benefits differently. They take into account several factors, like:

  • Residing in your own place (apartment, mobile home, single-family house)
  • Living in another person’s household
  • Staying in a public care facility or group care
  • Residing in a private medical institution (nursing facilities, retirement homes, hospitals)

They also consider whether you proportionally contribute or pay your own household expenses, such as water, electricity, food, rent, and other utilities. 


In order to receive SSI, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements, including SSI living arrangement rules. There are four categories of living arrangements acknowledged by the SSA: A, B, C, and D. The benefits amount of your SSI may vary depending on your living arrangement.

If you are a veteran requiring assistance for service-connected disabilities, read this article from Disability Help on SSDI and VA Disability in 2024.

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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