The Residential State Supplement (RSS) Program provides financial assistance to Medicaid-qualified Ohio residents to help pay for the cost of Class Two Residential Facilities, as known as Adult Care Facilities. Ohio defines a Class Two Residential Facility as a facility that provides accommodations, supervision, and personal care services to any of the following:
- One or two unrelated persons with mental illness;
- One or two unrelated adults who are receiving residential state supplement payments; or,
- Three to 16 unrelated adults.
The RSS program is intended as a supplement to the assistance already being received by the individual from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or disability benefits. Although the RSS benefit is provided to recipients as cash (as opposed to in services), it can only be used toward the cost of their residential care.
Given participants in the RSS program must be eligible for Ohio Medicaid, they are also able to receive 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.
Program participants cannot concurrently receive assistance from this state Medicaid program and an Ohio Medicaid Waiver program, such as the Assisted Living Program or PASSPORT.
Qualifying for the Residential State Supplement program 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 – Participation in this program is limited to persons age 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.
The applicant must be enrolled in regular Medicaid, rather than one of the state’s several Medicaid waivers. The state has established a guideline — rather than a strict limit — on the applicant’s income. As of December 2022, the applicant should have monthly income no greater than approximately $1,300. The exact income limit is determined by one’s local County Department of Job & Family Services (CDJFS).
In 2022, the applicant can have no more than $2,000 in countable assets. While that number might sound very low, many assets are exempt from counting for benefits eligibility purposes. A qualified benefits adviser can guide individuals, couples, and the senior’s families through the options to qualify for RSS when eligibility is not clear. Learn more.
Note: All residential facilities must be licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). Program participants cannot reside in a residential facility that has 17 or more beds unless OhioMHAS has approved the living arrangement, which the agency can do on an individual basis.
Benefits and Services
The RSS Program provides cash assistance to be applied toward the cost of rent in adult care facilities. 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 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.
How to Apply / Learn More
The Residential State Supplement program is administered by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), in collaboration with the County Department of Job and Family Services.
One can download the necessary paperwork to begin the application process by visiting the OhioMHAS website. Scroll down to “How do I apply for RSS?” A fillable online application can be found here and faxed to 614-485-9747.
Conveniently, Ohio does allow an applicant’s representative to submit their paperwork by fax or secure email. Alternatively, one can learn more about the application process by calling OhioMHAS Community Transitions at 1-614-752-9316.
Please make note, a wait list may exist for this program. Individuals currently residing in a nursing facility who wish to transition back into the community are given priority in the event that there is a wait list.
Ohio residents can receive free assistance to help them find affordable assisted living. Be sure to confirm the residence is licensed by the Ohio Department of Health, as that is a requirement to receive RSS. Get started here.