In commenting, the Alliance emphasized that people on SSI experiencing homeless need this benefit and other supports and services in order to find and remain in permanent housing. Alliance President Nan Roman wrote:
“Access to emergency shelter does not mitigate the need for income support, especially for the most vulnerable homeless people. In fact, there is a considerable gap between what shelters provide and what homeless SSI recipients need to solve their housing problems, especially if they are chronically homeless. This argues further for improvements in how SSA administers SSI benefits to homeless populations.”
Homeless advocates, including the Alliance and Monarch Housing, recommend:
Better federal outreach programs to homeless people who may be eligible for SSI; and
Revised enrollment procedures are also needed, to account for the unique challenges chronically homeless people face in shelters and on the street.
The SSA is reviewing the impact of the rule that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits cannot be paid to homeless people who rely on shelters for longer than six months in a nine month period.