Page Reviewed / Updated – Feb. 13, 2023

Program Description

The Wisconsin Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Exceptional Expense Supplement, abbreviated as SSI-E, provides a subsidy of $95.99 a month to single SSI recipients when there is a demonstrated need for 40 or more hours a month of long-term supportive services or in-home care. Individuals do not necessarily have to be currently receiving 40 or more hours of care, only to have been assessed and found to have the need for that amount of care.

Assistance is provided to individuals living at home, in the home of caregivers, in adult family care (sometimes called adult foster care), or in assisted living residences.

The Exceptional Expense Supplement should not be confused with Wisconsin’s regular SSI state supplement. All persons eligible for the federal SSI benefit also receive the state supplement.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

In addition to the 40 hours of care requirement for the Exceptional Expense Supplement described above, the Supplement requires that the recipient be eligible for SSI. Full qualification information for SSI is available here.  

Financial Requirements

Income Limits
As of 2023, SSI-E requires a single individual to have a monthly income of less than $889.77. Married couples are required to have less than $1,488.41.

Asset Limits
Individuals must have less than $2,000 in countable assets. Couples can have up to $3,000. Make note, certain assets are exempt (non-countable) and include one’s home, household furnishings, personal items, and a vehicle.

Over the Financial Limits?

Wisconsin residents who exceed these income and asset limits but still cannot afford their care costs might still qualify for this program by working with a Medicaid planning professional. They are trained to assist applicants who find themselves in this very situation and are well versed in reallocating income and assets so that it isn’t counted toward the limits. For instance, extra income can be deposited into a Miller Trust, also referred to as a Qualified Income Trust, and an Irrevocable Funeral Trust can be used to lower one’s countable assets.

Benefits and Services

The Exceptional Expense Supplement is $95.99 for an individual and $345.36 for a couple. It is added to the recipient’s existing SSI monthly payment, which is comprised of the federal SSI benefit and Wisconsin’s supplement.

The actual amount may vary based on the location in which the recipient lives. For those who live in Natural Residential Settings, which essentially means those who live at home, the payment may be slightly higher. For those who live in a Substitute Care Facility, which in plain language means assisted living or adult foster care, the subsidy may be slightly less.

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How to Apply / Learn More

To apply, persons should contact their local county Department of Health Services. For contact information by county, click here. The individual’s local agency will arrange an assessment to determine eligibility.

Some limited additional information is available here.