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Woman's story shows value of Supplemental Security Income

One woman who has been unemployed for a few years understands well what it means to be short on money and food. Since she was laid off two years ago, this woman and her teenage son have relied on her Supplemental Security Income for rent and utilities. This woman states that she spends approximately two-thirds of her SSI disability money on rent and utilities.

Meanwhile, she explains that she and many others in her neighborhood rely on food lines. She goes to the food lines for herself and some of her neighbors who are homebound. This particular food line is open once a month and people begin lining up hours before it opens.

Families and individuals like this woman may seek out various means of assistance. While some, perhaps many, of the people in this food line do have jobs, affording all of the necessities for a family can be difficult even when a member of the household does have a job. When one loses a job or cannot get a job to begin with, finances can be even tighter.

When this woman was laid off from her job, her financial situation surely became less secure. Though, without SSI disability benefits she would probably have an even more difficult time affording housing and utilities.

As opposed to Supplemental Security Disability income, SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, can be beneficial for a person who has not yet paid a sufficient amount of money into the Social Security system. For instance, a person who becomes disabled as a young adult may not be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Supplemental Security Income can help persons who have not contributed enough money to Social Security yet.

Source: The South Los Angeles Report, "South L.A. food lines are lines of survival," Melissah Yang, Feb. 7, 2013

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