Even with financial help, many disabled wind up on streets

As this blog has reported previously, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, is a benefit available through the Social Security Administration to disabled Californians. Usually when a person is seeking SSI, their disability is serious enough such that they have little to no work history and thus do not qualify for disability benefits based on their work.

These disability benefits are no doubt helpful, and residents of Stockton who need them and are eligible to receive them should not hesitate to start the process of applying for them. However, according to a recent report, they are not enough, standing alone, to ensure that a person suffering with a permanent disability will be able to find adequate housing.

For instance, people on SSI on average draw a monthly benefit of a little under $800. It is important to remember also that SSI benefits are capped at a maximum monthly amount, and no one will receive more than this amount no matter how extensive their disability or how desperate their financial situation.

Unfortunately, it costs about the same amount for a person to rent the most affordable housing accommodations in an average housing market. As California is known for having high prices when it comes to purchasing or renting a home, one can easily see that SSI alone might not even cover a person's rent and will definitely not leave enough for that person to meet his or her other necessities.

Of course, the rest of the story is that there are other programs out there to help the disabled afford housing even on their very limited means. Just the same, though, Stockton residents need to realize that while SSI can be an important part of a disabled person's financial plan, one will have to look at other options as well.

Source: Word & Way, "SSi funding puts disabled at risk of homelessness," Jan. 17, 2018.

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