Whether you lose your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) depends on how long you are in a nursing home and who pays for your nursing home care.
SSI is a needs-based program that provides financial assistance to low-income individuals who are aged, blind, or disabled. If you move into a nursing home and Medicaid pays for your care, your SSI benefits may be reduced. However, depending on your circumstances, you may still be eligible for some SSI benefits.
It is important to note that if your SSI benefits are suspended, you can still reapply for them once you no longer reside in a nursing home.
Short-Term Medicaid Nursing Home Stays
If you are in a nursing home for fewer than 90 days, your SSI benefits will not be affected.
You will still receive the same amount of benefits you did before you entered the nursing home if you provide the Social Security Administration (SSA) with the following information:
- A written and signed statement from your doctor verifying that you will be in the medical facility in question for no more than 90 consecutive days
- A written statement from you, a family member, or another caregiver stating that you need your current SSI benefits to maintain your permanent home during your short-term stay in the nursing home
You may also need to provide the following:
- The name and address of the nursing home
- The dates you expect to be in the nursing home
- The reason for your stay in the nursing home
The SSA requires SSI beneficiaries to submit the necessary information before leaving the nursing home or by the 90th day after first entering the nursing home.
Long-Term Medicaid Nursing Home Stays
If you are in a nursing home for more than 90 days and Medicaid pays for more than half of your nursing home costs, your SSI benefits may be reduced. The amount of your reduction will depend on how much money you have in countable assets. You may still be eligible for some SSI benefits if your countable assets are below a certain limit.
How and Why to Report a Change of Address to the Social Security Administration
If you move, even if it is just a temporary move to a nursing home, you must report your new address to the Social Security Administration. You can report your change of address online, by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting your local SSA office.
It is important to keep the SSA updated on your current address so that they can properly send you any SSI benefits to which you may be entitled. Additionally, failure to report a change of address to the SSA may result in penalties such as suspension of benefits.
Is Your SSI Case Under Review?
If your SSI case is under review, the SSA is taking a closer look at your case to ensure that you are still eligible for benefits. This review can happen at any time and is usually triggered by a change in your circumstances, such as moving into a nursing home.
You will need to provide the SSA with updated information about your assets and income, if your case is under review. You may also be required to submit documentation, such as bank statements or pay stubs.
Cooperating with the SSA during their review of your case is essential. Failure to do so may result in a loss of benefits.
Contact a Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
If you are considering moving into a nursing home or have already made the move and are having trouble maintaining your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you should speak with a Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer.
Massachusetts Social Security lawyers can help you navigate the process of applying for or maintaining SSI benefits. They can also help you understand your rights and options if your benefits are reduced or suspended due to a nursing home move or other reasons.
Don't try to deal with the Social Security Administration on your own. Let a Massachusetts Social Security disability lawyer help you protect your interests. Please fill out our online contact form or call us at 508-283-5500 to learn more.