Q: I’m an adult on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and live with two other family members in an apartment. My SSI payment is cut by one-third because the Social Security office says I don’t pay enough of the household expenses. How much of the expenses must I pay in order to get the full SSI?
A: Under the rules, you must be paying an equal share of the expenses. Because there are three in the household, you must pay one-third of the expenses. If you are not paying an equal share of rent, utilities, groceries, and other household expenses, your SSI payment must be reduced. To learn more, go online to the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Q: I just started my first job and my paycheck is less than I expected. Why am I paying (FICA tax) for retirement benefits when I have a lifetime to live before retirement?
A: Besides being required by law, you are securing a portion of your own financial future through the payment of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection, whether you retire or become disabled. In addition, when you die, your family (or future family) might be able to receive survivors’ benefits based on your work as well. Aside from all the benefits in your own future, Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. That means your Social Security and Medicare payments also help today’s retirees. You can read more online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or email: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.