Management Advisory Report: Supplemental Security Income Payments to Multi-recipient Households

Date: 
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Report Number: 
A-06-09-29149
Report Type: 
Audit Report
Office Affiliation: 

The Government recognizes that the cost of necessities for two people living together is less than if they maintain separate households, and it incorporates these economies of scale into Federal poverty guidelines. In partial recognition of these economies of scale, the SSI program reduces payments to married couples. However, the SSI program does not apply comparable reductions to SSI payments issued to unmarried couples living together or to other multi-recipient living arrangements.

As a result, our estimates indicate the program allows approximately 50,000 recipients living in households with at least 3 other recipients to receive about $63 million in annual tax-free cash payments in excess of established Federal poverty guidelines.