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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37639
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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My son is disabled and receives SSI. I am his legal guardian.

Customer Question

My son is disabled and receives SSI. I am his legal guardian. He currently lives in his own apartment alone but is considering moving back into my house. Will moving change the amount of benefit he receives? Can he pay toward room and board while living in my home?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,
I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
While it is certainly possible for him to pay you for all of his living expenses and remain eligible for 100% of his SSI payment, family is looked at most closely of all living arrangements. If he shares a home with you he must be sure to pay his fair share of food and other housing costs, such as power, heat, water/sewer, cable, and telephone----basically everything that you must pay each month except for property taxes.
As an alternative, he may live with you and agree to simply take a 1/3 reduction in his guaranteed SSI payment and then not be responsible to pay you for room and board. This is called the Value of the One-Third Reduction Rule (VTR). It means that he can live with you and accept room and board from you and only lose a maximum of 1/3 of his SSI benefit. If you can afford to support him, this may be the way that maximizes the money he has. Here is a link to the policies that SSI applies in these kind of situations. You will be interested in the "Living Arrangements" section very near the top of the article:
http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v68n4/v68n4p15.html
So, in conclusion, when your son moves in he will need to choose whether to accept room and board from you at no charge and receive a 1/3 reduction in his benefits, or whether he will pay a fair share of all the living expenses he benefits from while living in the home.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
Kindly, remember to rate my service to you. That is how I am credited for assisting you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2015,
Doug

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