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The RSS Program provides financial assistance to Medicaid-qualified, Ohio residents to help pay for the cost of adult foster care, adult family care or residential care in an assisted living community. The program is intended to be used as a supplement to the assistance already being received by the individual from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or their Disability benefits. Although the RSS benefit is provided to recipients as cash (as opposed to in services), it can only be used towards the cost of their residential care.
Participants in the RSS program may also apply for Ohio Medicaid's medical benefits that are not otherwise provided by the assisted living community. Note that there are different financial limits on Ohio Medicaid for aged, blind and disabled adults.
Qualifying for the Residential State Supplement and Ohio Medicaid in general requires an individual to meet a variety of eligibility guidelines. Applicants are evaluated on their age, need / functional ability and financial resources.
Age – generally participation in this program is limited to persons aged 60 and older. However, an exception is made for persons with a disability, as determined by the Social Security Administration. All participants must be at least 18 years of age.
Need or Functional Ability – applicants must have a need for care. For most program participants, this is demonstrated by the fact that they are being discharged from a nursing home or hospital and cannot receive the level of care they require at home.
Income – the applicant must be enrolled in regular Medicaid, and not just one of the state's several Medicaid waivers. The state has established a guideline—rather than a strict limit—on the applicant's income. The applicant should have monthly income of less than $1300.
Assets – The applicant can have not more than $2,000 in countable assets. While that number sounds very low, many assets are exempt from counting for benefits eligibility purposes. A qualified benefits adviser can guide individuals, couples and the seniors' families through the options to qualify for RSS when eligibility is not clear. Learn more.
The RSS Program provides cash assistance to be applied towards the cost of "rent" in assisted living, adult foster care or adult family care homes. Acceptance into the RSS program also entitles the individual to Ohio Medicaid's medical and prescription drug coverage benefits. Once the beneficiary is residing in adult foster care or assisted living, they receive room, board, personal care assistance, medication oversight and are able to participate in the recreational and social activities offered by their home provided there is not an additional charge.
The Residential State Supplement is administered by the Ohio Department of Mental Health, in collaboration in the counties’ Department of Job and Family Services. One can download the necessary paperwork to begin the application process by visiting their website. Conveniently, Ohio does allow an applicant's representative to submit their paperwork by fax or secure email. Alternatively, one can learn more about it by calling the program's toll-free number at 1-855-RSS-ODMH.