People with disabilities who receive SSI [Supplemental Security Income] payments continue to be the nation’s poorest citizens. In 2010, the annual income of a single individual receiving SSI payments was $8,436 – equal to only 18.7% of the national median income for a one-person household and over 20% below the 2010 federal poverty level of $10,830. Since the first Priced Out study was published in 1998, the value of SSI payments compared to median income has declined precipitously – from 24.4% of median income in 1998 to 18.7% in 2010 – while national average rents have risen over 50% during the same time period.
In 2010, as a national average, a person receiving SSI needed to pay 112% of their monthly income to rent a modest one-bedroom unit. In the 12 years since the first Priced Out was published, the amount of monthly SSI income needed to rent a modest one-bedroom unit has increased an astonishing 62 percent. People with disabilities were also priced out of smaller studio/efficiency units, which averaged 99% of monthly SSI.