Receiving in-kind support and maintenance means that someone in or out of your home is helping you with your food and shelter expenses. In-kind support and maintenance can be in the form of living with someone else who is contributing some or all of your food and shelter expenses, or in the form of gifts or payments of money or items which you could sell to pay for food or shelter.
For Social Security Disability purposes, food and shelter includes the following expenses:
- Room and board
- Garbage Collection and Sewer
- Heating Fuel
If you are collecting SSI, whether it is due to a disability or any other reason, you are required to report any in-kind support and maintenance you receive. Failure to do so can result in an overpayment of benefits. If you are overpaid Social Security Disability benefits, you will be expected to repay them. Often, such overpayments are not discovered until you have been overpaid a significant amount, which can create a real financial problem for people on Social Security Disability.
In-kind support and maintenance does not include living arrangements by which you pay your share of the living expenses. Your “share” is determined by adding up the total living expenses and dividing by the number of people living in the home.
If you do receive in-kind support and maintenance while you are on SSI, your Social Security Disability payments will be reduced. The amount by which the SSA will reduce your payments is determined by using either the one third reduction rule or the presumed maximum value rule.
The one third reduction rule applies if you are living in someone else’s house for more than a month. This does not include temporary visits, such as when you go to visit relatives for the holidays or other temporary stays. The presumed maximum value rule is applied any time you are receiving in-kind support and maintenance and the one third reduction rule can’t be applied to your situation. The presumed maximum value is designed to put a cap on the amount of in-kind support and maintenance which can be counted against your Social Security Disability.