Can I Qualify for SSI While Living With My Parents?

The information in this article is current as of January 25, 2022.

Living with parents or family is a smart way to save money while receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In addition to saving money by living together, you may be assisting aging or disabled parents or relatives. Perhaps your parents are helping with childcare. Maybe you’re a minor and not old enough to have your own place.

You are eligible and can qualify for SSI if living with your parents.

What Is SSI?

In case you don’t know exactly what SSI is, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly payments to:

  • Adults and children with a disability or blindness who have income and resources below specific financial limits; or
  • People ages 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial qualifications

Am I Eligible for SSI?

Anyone can apply for SSI. You may be eligible to receive SSI monthly payments even if you are currently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance or retirement benefits. You are eligible if you:

  • Are 65 or blind or disabled
  • Have limited income
  • Have limited resources
  • Are U.S. citizens, nationals of the U.S., or some noncitizens
  • Reside in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands. Exception: The children of military parent(s) assigned to permanent duty outside the U.S. and sure students temporarily abroad may receive SSI payments outside the U.S.

How Does My Living Arrangement Affect SSI?

Depending on your living arrangement and what you pay for, your SSI benefit can vary.

  • If you’re an adult and live alone, rent or own your home, and pay for your food and shelter, you’ll receive your state’s maximum benefit amount.
  • If you’re an adult and you live in someone’s home and pay for the cost of your food and shelter, you can still get up to the maximum.
  • If you live in someone’s homeand don’t pay for your food and shelter or pay for a portion of your food and shelter, your SSI payment may be reduced by up to one-third of the SSI Federal benefit rate.

Can I Get SSI While in a Nursing Home or Hospital?

If you live in a nursing home or hospital, you may see a reduction in your SSI benefits based on your living arrangement, such as:

  • Living in a hospital or nursing home and Medicaid is paying for over one-half of the cost of your care; or
  • If you’re a minor and living in a hospital or nursing home for the whole month and private insurance and Medicaid together is paying over one-half your cost of care; or
  • Living in a public or private medical treatment facility where Medicaid is paying for more than half the cost of your care. If you’re in the facility for the whole month, your SSI benefit is limited to $30 (plus any additional State payment). Your benefit rate may be reduced if you have other income.

Can I Still Get SSI While Temporarily in a Medical Facility?

You may receive your full benefit if you’re temporarily in a hospital or nursing home, including State Supplementation. However, there is a special rule for anyone staying in a medical facility for 90 days or less. So you’ll have to provide some information to the SSA.

You’ll need someone close to you, such as a family member or friend, to act as a Representative Payee. This person should be knowledgeable about your situation and call SSA or appear in person. Have them provide the following details:

  • You’ve entered a medical facility, such as a hospital or nursing home, and will be there for 90 consecutive days or less, and
  • While in the facility, you’ll need your SSI benefits to maintain your home or living arrangement where you plan to return upon discharge, possibly.

SSI will also need a signed note from your physician to determine if you qualify. This statement must indicate whether they expect your medical confinement to last 90 full consecutive days or less, beginning with the day after you entered the institution. You will need this doctor’s notebefore your discharge date or by the 90th day, whichever comes first. You must report this information promptly to guarantee that you receive temporary institutionalization benefits.

Can Someone Who Is Homeless Qualify for SSI?

The benefit amount is the same as living in your own house, apartment, or mobile home. Depending on your state, if you’re living in a public shelter, you can receive up to the maximum SSI benefit payable for up to 6 months out of any nine months. You also don’t need an address to receive SSI benefits. Payment arrangements can be made to ensure you get your checks.

What If Someone Helps Me With Food and Housing?

Food, housing, or both is called “in-kind support and maintenance.” If someone is providing you with this, it’s counted as income when deciding on the number of your SSI benefits. For example, if a parent, family member, or friend is helping you pay your rent, mortgage, food, and utility bills, the total amount of your SSI payment is reduced. Depending on how much assistance you receive from family or friends, your monthly benefits can be reduced up to $284.66.

In-kind support and maintenance are not counted if you:

  • Live alone and pay for your food and shelter
  • Live alone and pay for your food and shelter
  • Live with just your spouse and minor children without financial assistance from anyone outside of your home; or
  • Live with others and pay for your food and shelter costs.

What Living Arrangements Don’t Qualify for SSI?

If you live in a nursing home, hospital, jail, or prison, you may not qualify for SSI. If you do qualify, you may be only eligible for a maximum of $30 a month, depending on your state. Based on the situation, such as temporary, there are some exceptions to this rule.

How Much Money Will My Children Get if I’m on SSI?

A child can receive up to half of the parent’s full retirement or disability benefits. In addition, if a child receives survivors’ benefits, they can collect up to 75% of the deceased parent’s primary Social Security benefit. Note there’s a limit on the total amount SSI will pay a family.

Can I Receive Emergency Housing While on SSI?

If you’re receiving disability benefits through the SSI program or collecting social security and need housing, the emergency assistance program can help. The Federal government understands that the pandemic has affected many Americans. Many have lost their jobs and cannot afford rent or mortgage payments.

If you or someone you know needs help with housing, the U.S. government can provide some relief.

Can I Apply for a Credit Card on SSI?

You can have a credit card while on SSI. There are no rules keeping someone who collects SSI from getting and using a credit card. Getting a credit card may be challenging because of the government’s definition of income. Also, credit scores and income come into play when applying, which could make it challenging to obtain a credit card.

How Can I Get More Information About SSI?

If you need help understanding living arrangements, have questions, or need assistance with getting the proper documentation, you may contact a representative at your local SSA office. Visit to locate a field office near you. In addition, SSA customer service can be reached by phone at 1-800-772-1213.

Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service

If you qualify for federal benefits such as SSI, you also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that allows low-income consumers to receive free or heavily discounted communication services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.