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  • Shared Horizons, Inc.

Social Security Removing Barriers to Access SSI Payments: A Boost for Special Needs Trust Beneficiaries

Shared Horizons Celebrates Social Security's Initiative to Enhance SSI Accessibility

In the intricate landscape of special needs care, even small policy adjustments can have significant ramifications. The recent decision by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to exclude food from in-kind support and maintenance calculations marks a pivotal moment for both beneficiaries and their caretakers. This regulatory amendment, set to take effect on September 30, 2024, carries profound implications, particularly for entities like Shared

Horizons, a pooled special needs trust based in DC. The SSA’s ruling, detailed in the Federal Register, underscores a crucial shift in understanding the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. By omitting food from the calculation of in-kind support and maintenance, the SSA acknowledges the multifaceted nature of caregiving expenses. This adjustment holds particular significance for special needs trusts, which serve as vital financial vehicles for ensuring the long-term well-being of beneficiaries.

Shared Horizons, as a leading provider of pooled special needs trusts in the DC area, stands at the forefront of adapting to these regulatory changes. With a commitment to safeguarding the financial security and quality of life of individuals with disabilities, Shared Horizons embraces the SSA’s policy shift as an opportunity to enhance its services. The exclusion of food from in-kind support and maintenance calculations addresses a longstanding concern within the special needs community. Previously, the inclusion of food assistance in benefit calculations often led to reduced benefits, leaving beneficiaries vulnerable to financial instability. This change removes an obstacle that hindered the effectiveness of special needs trusts in providing comprehensive support.

For beneficiaries, the implications of this policy adjustment are profound. By preserving full benefits eligibility, individuals with disabilities can access essential resources without compromising their financial security. This ensures greater flexibility in meeting diverse needs, from medical expenses to housing and transportation.

Furthermore, the SSA’s decision aligns with broader efforts to promote financial inclusion and autonomy among individuals with disabilities. By recognizing the unique challenges faced by this community, policymakers demonstrate a commitment to fostering a more equitable society.

Shared Horizons applauds the SSA’s commitment to enhancing the welfare of individuals with disabilities. As an organization dedicated to empowering beneficiaries and their families, Shared Horizons remains vigilant in adapting its practices to reflect the evolving landscape of disability policy.

The SSA’s decision to exclude food from in-kind support and maintenance calculations represents a significant milestone in the journey toward greater inclusivity and support for individuals with disabilities. Shared Horizons looks forward to implementing these changes and continuing its mission of providing compassionate and effective care for its beneficiaries. With September 30, 2024, marking the official implementation date, the path forward is clearer than ever, offering hope and security to those who need it most.

At Shared Horizons, we remain dedicated to our mission of empowering individuals with disabilities to live fulfilling and independent lives. We will continue to monitor developments related to Social Security policies and provide our beneficiaries with the support and resources they need to navigate these changes successfully.

For more information about Shared Horizons and how we can support you or your loved one, please visit our website or contact our team directly.

Shared Horizons encourages beneficiaries and their families to stay informed about these changes and to take advantage of the enhanced support services provided by Social Security. Through proactive engagement and collaboration, we can work together to ensure that every individual with disabilities receives the assistance they deserve. We continue to strive towards a future where all individuals have equal access to essential resources and opportunities. And together, we can build a brighter future for individuals with special needs.


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