Friday, June 24, 2011

Supplemental Security Income Is Simply Not Enough

Research is starting to show what hundreds of thousands of those living with disabilities already know-Supplemental Security Income (SSI), alone, is not enough to survive on. Recent studies have shown that those with disabilities receiving SSI could not afford housing. In fact, “in 2010, there was not one state or community in the nation where a person with a disability receiving SSI could afford to rent modest rental housing without a permanent rental subsidy”.

Even in the states with the cheapest housing, such as South Dakota, “renting a one-bedroom apartment still accounted for 70 percent of the average SSI payment”, leaving only a small portion of money left for other living expenses. The disparity between SSI and housing costs has been increasing over the last decade. In 1998 “the cost of renting an apartment equaled 69 percent of the average SSI benefit, but by 2010 that number grew to 112 percent”.

The question is, what does this growing disparity really mean for those living with disabilities? It means that as many as “1.2 million people with disabilities live in homeless shelters, public institutions, nursing homes and other unsafe or segregated environments”. Many of these people often do not get the proper attention and assistance that they need, resulting in sub-par living conditions.

This problem is not limited to those living with disabilities, many other citizens are affected as well. Its estimated that “700,000 adults with disabilities are living with parents ages 65 or older, in part due to their inability to afford a place of their own”.

The National MS Society has been working closely in coalition with the NC Housing Coalition on making housing in NC more accessible to people living with disabilities and to make in-home care a viable option.

To read the whole story please click here-Paying Rent With SSI
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