No one wants to go to the hospital. And an extended stay is something most people would do just about anything to avoid. However, one thing most people don’t realize is that a long stay can affect Social Security benefits!
Here’s the low down: If you are hospitalized in a medical treatment facility for 30 days, your SSI benefits may be cut to $30 per month.
Now, here is the long answer with all the legalize:
You are not eligible for SSI benefits for any month throughout which you are a resident of a “public institution.” A “public institution” means an institution that is operated by or controlled by the Federal government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State such as a city or county.
As a side note, if you apply for SSI while you are a resident of a public institution, you cannot be eligible for payment of benefits (even though you meet all other eligibility requirements) until the “first day of the month following the day of your release from the institution.”
Basically, your benefits will not start until the month after your release. If you were released on January 1st, your benefits would start February 1st. If you are released January 31st, your benefits still start on February 1st. The first day of the month following the day of your release from the institution.
However, this does not include a publicly operated community residence which serves 16 or fewer residents. What is a community residence?
To be a community residence, a facility must provide food and shelter. In addition, it must make available some other services. For example, the other services could be
(i) Social services;
(ii) Help with personal living activities;
(iii) Training in socialization and life skills; or
(iv) Providing occasional or incidental medical or remedial care.
Serving no more than 16 residents. A community residence serves no more than 16 residents if
(i) It is designed and planned to serve no more than 16 residents, or the design and plan were changed to serve no more than 16 residents; and
(ii) It is in fact serving 16 or fewer residents.
Publicly operated. A community residence is publicly operated if it is operated or controlled by the Federal government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State such as a city or county.
Facilities which are not a publicly operated community residence. If you live in any of the following facilities, you are not a resident of a publicly operated community residence:
(i) A residential facility which is on the grounds of or next to a large institution or multipurpose complex;
(ii) An educational or vocational training institution whose main function is to provide an approved, accredited, or recognized program to some or all of those who live there;
(iii) A jail or other facility where the personal freedom of anyone who lives there is restricted because that person is a prisoner, is being held under court order, or is being held until charges against that person are disposed of; or
(iv) A medical treatment facility (defined in §416.201).
- 20 CFR §416.201 General definitions and terms used in this subpart.
- 20 CFR §416.211 You are a resident of a public institution.
- 20 CFR §416.212 Continuation of full benefits in certain cases of medical confinement.
- 20 CFR §416.414 Amount of benefits; eligible individual or eligible couple in a medical treatment facility.