SSI State Supplementary Payments / Optional State Supplements and Eldercare

SSI State Supplementary Payments Definition

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplemental payments are monthly cash payments offered by the states to low-income individuals or their care providers to supplement one’s federal payment. (Learn more about SSI here). As of 2018, the current federal SSI amount is set at $750 / month for an individual, so the state’s supplemental payment would make one’s monthly payment greater than $750.

 

Overview

 State supplements to SSI benefits are often increased for those living in skilled nursing or assisted living residences. Learn more.

Forty-six states, and the District of Columbia, currently provide additional cash benefits to supplement the federal SSI payment. The dollar value of these supplements varies based on the state in which one resides, and sometimes, but not always, on the living situation of the recipient. As an example, a person living independently may receive one amount, someone receiving home care a different amount, and a person in an assisted living residence a third amount. For example, in California, as of 2018, the state supplement for an aged individual living independently is $160.72 / month, and for those seniors receiving non-medical home care, it is $423.37 / month. Unlike in California, the District of Columbia has a state supplement for those living in adult foster care homes. In 2018, the state supplement is $640 / month for an individual residing in a foster care home with 50 beds or less and is $750 / month for an individual in a foster care home with a minimum of 50 beds. 

There can be considerable confusion surrounding state supplements to SSI payments due to the variety of names by which they can be referred.  Among these are State Supplementary Payments, SSP, Optional State Supplements, OSS and simply Supplemental Assistance.

Did You Know? There are many other government and non-government assistance programs for aging care. Search for eligible programs

Qualifying for SSI State Supplementary Payments

All applicants must currently be receiving federal SSI payments and be a resident of the state in which they are seeking SSI state supplemental payments. Eligibility for the state supplemental payments is determined at the state level and is based solely on the income and assets of the applicant. Their age, health, marital or veteran status, geographic location within their state, and their care needs do not directly impact their eligibility. However, it may very likely impact the amount of financial assistance they receive.

Most states use the same income and asset requirements as the federal program. (For an individual, as of 2018, the income limit is $750 / month and the asset limit is $2,000, and for a couple, the income limit is $1,125 / month and the asset limit is $3,000 for the federal program). However, there are states that set their own qualifications. Some of these states have more restrictive income limits than the federal standard, and other states have less restrictive limits. One can find their state’s SSI supplement eligibility criteria by clicking the state links, which follow. Please note that the information at these links is provided by the Social Security Administration, but is several years out of date, and more current information could not be found.

 Arizona, North Dakota, West Virginia and Mississippi do not offer state SSI supplements at this time.

 

 

Benefits of SSI State Supplementary Payments

As mentioned above, the dollar amount of state supplements may vary depending on the living situation and care requirements of the individual. Persons receiving care in a foster home or residing in an assisted living residence might be eligible for a higher amount than those living independently. As an example, the state of Rhode Island does not pay a state supplement for those living independently. However, as of 2018, the state pays $332 / month for persons in assisted living or residential care facilities and $797 / month for those in an advance care adult community supportive living residences.  Read about state-specific information Optional State Supplements for assisted living.

Unlike federal SSI checks which are paid directly to the individual, in some states supplemental payments are paid directly to care providers.

Click on your state below to see your state’s SSI supplement amounts. Please note, although the Social Security Administration provides this information, some of it is several years out of date. Therefore, it is best to consider this information as directional and not entirely accurate for 2018. However, other information is current for 2018 and combines both the federal SSI payment and the state’s supplemental payment. 

 

 

Application Process

In some states, the application process is managed by the federal government (the Social Security Administration) and in other states by their state governments.  Contact the federal government social security office for SSI state supplements in the states listed below.  

Residents of all other states should contact their local social security office.

  • California    
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Michigan    
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey     
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont