What are State Assisted Programs for SSI Recipients?

Children and adults who have disabilities may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a disability cash benefit program that has income and assets limits (please see Funding and Public Policy on the Autism Now Website for more information). States have the option of offering additional programs to their citizens who receive SSI benefits.

What are these state assistance programs?

There are 3 major state assistance programs.

  1. State supplementation of the federal SSI payments
    • Mandatory minimum supplementation—This provision ensures that recipients who converted from former state supplemental assistance programs in 1974 receive the minimum federal benefit level.
    • Optional state supplementation—Some states provide an additional cash benefit to enhance the federal benefit level in states where the cost of living may be higher. The benefit supplement is often determined by your living arrangement i.e. do you live with family, your own home, adult foster care.
  2. State assistance for special needs—Some states provide a variety of assistance for special circumstances that are not covered by the SSI payments. Some examples of special needs include personal care, homemaker services, funeral expenses, emergency housing, therapeutic diets, maintenance for service animals and heating security deposits. Be aware that some states do not offer assistance for special needs and each state has a different set of services.
  3. Medicaid—all the states offer Medicaid programs. States either develop state specific eligibility guidelines or grant Medicaid to all SSI recipients. Medicaid law requires that all states pay covered medical expenses for up to 3 months prior to the Medicaid application.

Why are these programs important to me and my family?

Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid related assistance programs offer valuable supports to individuals with disabilities so that they may remain in their own homes and communities.

How do I find out what state assistance programs are available in my state?

The 50 states and the District of Columbia offer a different assortment of state assistance programs. Find out what your state offers.

Find your state and click on the document. Each state will list what additional assistance programs they provide, details about what it is, and eligibility criteria. For more information on social security disability programs go to the Social Security Administration website.

Date posted: May 4, 2012. Content created by The Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University. Last updated: March 21, 2018.

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