Will I Lose my SSI if I Move into a Nursing Home?

September 5, 2017
Dayes Law Firm

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program. This means benefits can be reduced or terminated entirely based on factors such as the amount of income you receive, whether anyone helps with your living expenses and where you live.

For this reason, your SSI benefits can be affected if you are admitted into a nursing home facility. The length of time you are in the facility will also affect your benefits.

Our knowledgeable Phoenix disability attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of SSI requirements. If you have questions about your continued eligibility for SSI benefits, contact our skilled SSI lawyers to schedule a free review of your case.

General Rule

The general rule states that if you live in a nursing home where at least half of your bill is paid by Medicaid, your benefits will be drastically reduced. You will only be entitled to keep $30 of your benefits each month.

However, individual states may provide a supplement to this amount. For example, California provides an extra $20 to SSI recipients who are living in a nursing home. This will further reduce the amount you receive from SSI.

Furthermore, if you are living in a public medical facility that is not paid for by Medicaid, you are not eligible for SSI benefits.

Short Stays

There is a major exception to the general rule. If your stay at the nursing home is for 90 days or less, you may be able to continue receiving the total amount of your benefits.

However, to maintain eligibility, you must provide the following information to the Social Security Administration (SSA):

  1. A doctor’s note that indicates that your stay will be for 90 days or less
  2. A statement from you or someone familiar with your situation that states that you must continue to receive your benefits to maintain your living arrangements while you are in the nursing home

It is important that you provide this information as quickly as possible to the SSA. You must provide this information before you leave the facility or on the 90th day of your stay. If you provide this information in a timely manner, you may be able to retain the full amount of your SSI benefits for up to three months while in the nursing home.

If there is an unexpected change that causes you to stay longer than 90 days, you are required to report this update to Medicaid, and you may lose the majority of your benefits at that time.

Duty to Report

Each SSI recipient has the duty to notify the SSA of any change in their living arrangements that may impact their benefits. This includes reporting such changes as:

  • A change in living circumstances that causes the recipient to not be financially responsible for all of his or her food and shelter expenses
  • A change in which someone else is helping to pay for a recipient’s food or shelter expenses
  • Entering a nursing home, medical or skilled nursing facility
  • Leaving a nursing home, medical or skilled nursing facility

Failing to notify the SSA of these changes can result in the recipient receiving an overpayment during the months when he or she is in the nursing home that he or she will be required to repay to the SSA.

Contact Our Experienced SSI Benefits

The compassionate disability benefits lawyers from Dayes Law Firm PC know how important your benefits are to you. We are committed to helping you maintain your benefits for as long as you are eligible to keep them.

Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation review of your case.

Call us at 1-800-503-2000 to get started today.