TN 36 (05-12)

SI 00520.500 Publicly Operated Community Residence (POCR)


Social Security Act, Section 1611(e)(1)(c);

20 CFR 416.211(c)

A. Background on POCR

A community residence provides an alternative living arrangement to residents in a large institution. A resident of such a facility may more easily participate in the activities and services provided by the surrounding community. A community residence can be located in an urban, suburban, or rural area; the specific geographic location does not affect its status as a community residence. The intent of the following provision is to encourage the physical placement of the aged and the disabled away from large institutions and into community facilities by allowing supplemental security income (SSI) eligibility in such a living arrangement.

B. Definitions of community residences

1. Community residence

A community residence:

  • is residential (i.e., not an educational, vocational, medical, or penal institution),

  • is community based (i.e., located in a community where supportive and other services are provided), and

  • provides services in addition to food and shelter. Some examples of other services are social services, help with personal living activities, training in socialization and life skills, and providing occasional or incidental medical or remedial care.

The services may be available either at the community residence or through the programs and services available to those living in the community; availability of the services is a key to community integration as opposed to isolation.

2. Publicly operated community residence (POCR)

A POCR is a community residence that:

  • is publicly operated (i.e., operated or controlled by the Federal Government, a State, or political subdivision);

  • is designed to serve no more than 16 residents; and

  • actually serves no more than 16 residents.

NOTE: If a facility that plans for 16 or fewer residents temporarily accommodates more than 16 residents, it is not a POCR during that time. Conversely, a facility that plans for more than 16 residents cannot be a POCR even if it is actually accommodating 16 or fewer residents.

C. Policy to determine a POCR

1. A POCR is not a public institution

A POCR is not a public institution for SSI eligibility and payment purposes.

2. Not a POCR—not residential

A publicly operated facility is not residential (and therefore not a POCR) if it includes in its total program for its residents any of the following.

  1. Correctional or holding activities—that is, it provides for confinement of recipients because of:

    • a court sentence to confinement (prisoners) including provisions for prisoners who, although they are physically in the community, remain under the jurisdiction of a penal institution (work release, etc.); or

    • court-ordered holding (material witness, juvenile); or

    • pending disposition of charges by a court (prisoners who have been arrested or detained).

  2. Educational or vocational training; that is, the provision of an approved, accredited, or recognized program to some or all of the residents.

  3. Medical or remedial care in a medical care facility.

3. Not a POCR and not community based

A publicly operated facility is not community based (and therefore not a POCR) if it is located:

  1. in a building housing other publicly operated facilities that provide inpatient institutional treatment or custodial care; or

  2. in a building on the grounds of a public institution; or

  3. in a building that is part of a group of buildings housing other public facilities, which provide inpatient institutional treatment or custodial care; e.g., buildings architecturally arranged to form a unit or conceived of as a unit, buildings located in an artificially delineated compound (a court, a quadrangle), or buildings considered by the community to comprise a unit (a former State hospital complex); or

  4. on grounds immediately adjacent (i.e., having a common boundary) to a facility that provides inpatient institutional treatment or custodial care in an institutional setting; or

  5. across the street or even at some distance from a parent institution (for example,