Page Reviewed / Updated – May 19, 2019


The Residential State Supplement (RSS) Program provides financial assistance to Medicaid-qualified Ohio residents to help pay for the cost of adult foster care, adult care facilities (adult group homes), or residential care in an assisted living community. Please make note, both adult foster homes and adult care facilities are referred to as residential facilities. 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 towards 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.

Eligibility Guidelines

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 – 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, 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 April 2019, 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).

Assets – In 2019, 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 seniors’ families through the options to qualify for RSS when eligibility is not clear. Learn more.

***All residential facilities must be licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). Please note that 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 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. 

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How to Apply / Learn More

The Residential State Supplement 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. 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, as of April 2019, there is no wait list 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 waitlist.

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