Renters on SSI Struggle to Make Payments

New Study Shows National Average Rent is More Than Amount Received by People with Disabilities on Supplemental Security Income

The report, Priced Out in 2010 – The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities, shows that in 2010, the basic cost of shelter, represented by the average regirlnt for a modest one bedroom apartment, was more than the entire income of an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Federal housing affordability guidelines state that low-income households should pay no more than 30% of monthly income towards housing costs, or about $211 per month for someone who receives SSI. However, the study shows that there was not one state or community in the nation where a person with a disability on SSI could afford to rent housing without a permanent rental subsidy.

In 2010, as a national average, a person receiving SSI needed to pay 112% of their monthly income to rent a modest one-bedroom unit, leaving no income for food, clothes, or other necessities. People with disabilities receiving SSI were also priced out of smaller studio/efficiency rental units that cost 99% of SSI income. Incredibly, this study found that there are now 218 markets across 42 states where rents for modestly priced units exceed 100% of monthly SSI. Further, there are 30 housing markets where rents were equal to, or in excess of, 150% of SSI.

In addition to programs like Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), food stamps (SNAP), and rental assistance programs, Local Independent Living Centers, or ILCs, are a great resource for renters who struggle to pay their rent. ILCs provide people with disabilities advocacy and support services, including assistance with employment, transportation, housing, health care and living skills. A list of ILCs in the United States can be found by visiting http://www.ilru.org/html/publications/directory/index.html and selecting your map on the page. ILCs do vary in terms of the types of services they provide, and they are not in every city or town, but many are very helpful and can let you know about programs that might be able to help.

If you or a loved one has a disability and would like more information about Social Security Disability benefits or need assistance in applying for Social Security Disability benefits, contact The Cochran Firm Disability Lawyers at 1-800-THE-FIRM (1-800-843-3476). We are available day or night to help you receive the Social Security benefits that you deserve.


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