Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

California SSI 'Notice of Planned Action' decreasing funds by $261., 'because your other income increased' - please help!

I just received a notice of planned action that my son’s SSI is being reduced by $261 because ‘your other income increased.’ It states that ‘because he has monthly income which must be considered in figuring your eligibility as follows: The food or shelter you get from someone. We value the food or shelter at $281.00 for April 2020 on.’ We did move from Los Angeles County to Orange County and I’m wondering if this is a factor. I do believe that due to the pandemic disaster, he is receiving a one or two time increased amount temporarily and if so, I’m sure this is being calculated. I have 10 days to appeal this letter with a form SSA-1696-U4, which will be a nightmare, I’m sure. I’m currently in appeals with IHSS because they stated they received his paperwork a day late. Um, no, I easily proved from signed tracking that it was received on the correct date. They still demanded that we appealed and now have a pending court date - which is completely ridiculous, but sadly pretty main steam for this broken system. Anyway, I now have little faith in the government system and would love to know if someone has experienced this and the most efficient way to tackle this. $261.00 is huge decrease and will effect this family greatly. Thank you so much and happy Sunday!

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Good luck with court. Hope it works out.

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I am sorry, it seems likes it’s a battle anytime there is a change. Lots of documentation and a detailed letter explaining everything and still you might not get the benefit back. They won’t ever explain their actions which is really frustrating.

The last time I rushed to get information uploaded on their app, they said I was late- I wasn’t - they just were processing it after the due date - that doesn’t make ME late.

The last call I made had a 46 minute hold after I worked through the option choosing game.

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Oh boy, I guess I better get used to the game. I talked to someone knowlegable and actually nice, so I think I’m getting to the bottom of it. But, jeeeez, nobody with a SMI could ever handle this - so stressful! Thanks for the response! Xo

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No problem, I always think the same thing and wonder how anyone with a brain disorder can manage to hang onto benefits. I dread it each time I see I have a message from them for my son.

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Really, such dread, sigh!

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I have had a hard time understanding how the SSI benefit factors in the financial support from the family for residential purposes. But it helped when I called my local SSA office and they tried to explain it to me over the phone. It has to do with whether the person is contributing his “share” of the cost of rent, mortgage, food, etc. You might find info on the SSA.gov site or related sites also. But your local office can hopefully explain it more specifically to your situation.

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Yes, he is living with 2 other people and he must pay equal thirds, his ‘fair share’ of the bills to qualify to receive the maximum benefits. I did call my local office and they were actually very nice and helpful, but the worker, not so much. There was a big communication barrier with her thick accent and I couldn’t understand some of the questions she was asking. At the end of the call, I realized she was recording answers incorrectly and asked if we could please correct this right now. She said, no, you’re going to have to appeal! So frustrating! It really tears at my heart knowing that nobody with a SMI could jump through these hoops. Sigh!

Happy Friday!

I have witnessed my mom’s SSI go up and down over the years. It is par for the course but if you feel strongly against the decrease you have every right to fight that. I have spent a lot of time on the phone, and even once had to find a pro bono attorney to help me fight a six figure medical bill that I was not liable to pay. (I was in college and just became my mom’s legal guardian and got a bill from her hospital for over $120,000! Can you imagine?!) Guardians are not liable to pay. Companies and governments can not be trusted. You have to always be willing to ask for help and fight for what you believe in. That will always remain. I agree with you, $261 decrease is substantial and gone too far. It might help to have a friend who is an attorney. Believe it or not there are good attorneys out there! (insert joke!)

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Hello. My son and I went through the very same thing just this past year. The notice of “your other income increased” is due to a deposit found in your son’s bank account which SSA can access and review. Or the SSA reviewer received information that your son had received what can be considered income, this includes food and/or shelter. If your son receives food and/or shelter, it is called In-Kind Income. An appeal could take months, because SSA reviews further back at your son’s records. $261 is a large chunk of money. You could go to SSA and explain that you can not afford such a big deduction from one check. You could ask to have a minimum amount deducted each month, such as $10. I find that SSA is willing to compromise as they are understanding, and want to help you. The stimulus check that your son will receive will not be calculated as income for up to 12 months. If the money is still in his account after one year, SSA will calculate it as income, as your son can not have more than $2,000 in his account. I hope that this information is helpful. Good luck to you!

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I’m sorry, I was stressed out at the time - my reference was to SNAP instead of Social Security.

Thank you so much - SSI is no joke! 120k, wow! I could never trust the government and always look for the error to clean up - it is present in practically every step of their work. When I called SSI to appeal on Friday the worker told me that they don’t like to clean up each other’s work. I said, well, I tried to clean it up before we ended the call, but she was not in the mood to correct her work. He told me to call in a few days and make sure that they don’t decrease the funding while it’s being investigated. It’s no fun and so tiring, but I’ve learned to fight to the bone for my son’s justice. It’s just exhausting at times. I do know an attorney and I just might have to reach out soon! Thank you so much and happy Monday!

Oh, so funny! The SSI office just called me and correct everything over the phone because they ‘don’t want to have to clean up each other’s work’ - awesome! I still don’t trust them and will call in a few days to make sure.

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Yes, this is exactly the reason ‘in kind income’ - thank you! I have corrected all is number’s in his appeal and I actually just received an unprovoked call from SSI stating they will send out the max funds - yes! Probably because I called about 100x and told them how important this money is to my son and that he won’t make rent with the incorrect reduction. They said that they don’t like to ‘clean up each other’s work’ and actually initiated the correction. It sounds like they do want to help me, but I will call in a few days and triple check that we’re all on the same page. Good to know about the stimulus check. After initially talking with the SSI agent, I ran to the bank and withdrew every single penny in the account, lol! I’ll figure this system out - with all of your help! Xo

Happy Monday, Jen

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