The Group Suffering Most From High Rent Prices

Rent prices are on the rise and our fragile residents, disabled senior citizens, are ending up in homeless shelters because SSI is not keeping pace with the rises in the cost of living.

By Trista Sobeck | Published

In the fall, SSI will turn 50 years old. The Supplemental Security Income program was created to help those with disabilities stay out of living at, or below, a poverty level. However, the program’s rates have not kept up with quickly rising rent prices—especially in the last 2-3 years. This is leaving many sick and elderly Americans homeless.

Those who do qualify for the hard-to-get assistance have to show that their income is incredibly low level, as well as a meager savings account. Most proponents agree that this keeps some people from even trying to save. The more money they have, the less chance for them to keep their SSI. And with rent prices outpacing SSI benefits, many have nowhere to live.

More About SSI and Rent Prices

According to the SSI website, those who are either, blind, aged, or disabled, and have little to no income will be able to qualify for the assistance which will have to procure basic needs like food, water, and shelter. In this instance, the shelter part–due to rent prices—is becoming an impossibility.

The amount SSI recipients can get is the same throughout the country (Those in California do not get more than those in Kentucky, for example). That monthly amount is $841 per individual. A couple can get $1,261. A couple is defined as “an eligible spouse” according to SSA.gov.

rent prices

The monthly allowance has increased this year because the Consumer Price Index did increase. However, most say it’s simply not enough to keep up with rent prices—and they show no hope of slowing down.

The result of this outpacing is that more homeless shelters are filled with older, sickly folks who cannot work and can barely get by with groceries. There are reports upon reports of ill senior citizens taking up “residence” in daily shelters. This image is no longer like the stereotype of the past—lazy, or drug-addicted people who don’t want to work.

Although that is another issue altogether, the question remains, why is the United States content to forget its elders? Albeit, it’s sick elders. And how can any organization help as long as rent prices climb?

Our Nation’s Fragile Citizens

For nearly three-fifths of its beneficiaries, SSI is their only income. Who can afford to live on $841 a month? The average amount of a one-bedroom apartment is $1,216 a month.

Although some folks may rely on other benefits, they are either difficult to get or waiting to get approved takes a long time. Years, sometimes. While they are trying to get approved for more money, rent prices quickly increase. So, many times, people can not even get on track.

Last year, it was reported that the Democrats in office want to boost SSI as an overall plan to help assist those with little to no options. The “raise” that occurred was only due to the Cost of Living (COLA).

Democrats argue that SSI has not kept up with what is happening in the economy and needs a definite overhaul. And, like all things, that takes money. Unfortunately, rent prices are increasing almost 17% a year.