TN 2 (03-24)

SI 01401.001 General Information about State Supplementation

A. Background

In addition to the Federal supplemental security income (SSI) payment, States may provide additional benefits to their own recipients in recognition of the variations in living costs from one State to another and for the special needs of some individuals.

B. Policy principles

1. Provisions of a state supplementary payment

  • A payment made by a State or political subdivision thereof;

  • Paid in addition to the Federal benefit;

  • Payments made on a regular basis (at least quarterly);

  • Paid either in cash or other negotiable instrument easily convertible to cash;

  • Paid to individuals either receiving SSI or who would receive SSI except for excess income; and

  • Paid in amounts based on needs or income of the individual or couple.

2. Not state supplementary payments

The following are not State supplementary payments:

  • Vouchers;

  • Third party vendor payments;

  • Services; and

  • In-kind income.

3. Administration of payments

  1. a. 

    A State may administer payments directly to its recipients. (See SI 01405.001)

  2. b. 

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) may administer payments on a State's behalf. (See SI 01405.001).

4. Mandatory Minimum State Supplementary (MMSS) payments

States must maintain the December 1973 income levels of certain former assistance recipients. This is further explained in SI 01405.001.

5. State supplement level (also referred to as supplementary or Optional State Supplementary (OSS) payments level)

This is the amount of the OSS supplement payable to an eligible individual/ couple with no countable income in excess of the Federal benefit rate (FBR). Levels are established and changed by the State for its recipients on the basis of category, living arrangement variations, and/or geographic variation. SSA will not administer OSS payments amounting to less than $1.00 per month. There is no minimum payment amount for OSS payments administered by SSA.

6. Geographic variations

For OSS purposes, States with federally administered programs may include two (or three with justification) variations, based on geographic location within the State. Such variations are assigned different payment levels within each applicable living arrangement.

7. State living arrangement variations

In federally administered OSS programs, States generally may select and define up to five payment variations based on living arrangements which have significant differences in living expenses. A sixth payment variation is permitted, under certain conditions, where a State is using five variations and desires to supplement the Federal living arrangement (FLA)“D” recipients. A State is limited to one payment variation for FLA-“D”. (See SI 01415.001B.)

8. State supplementation categories

The nine categories within each living arrangement which States may choose to supplement in their federally administered OSS programs are:

  • Aged individual

  • Blind individual

  • Disabled individual

  • Aged-aged couple

  • Blind-blind couple

  • Disabled-disabled couple

  • Aged-disabled couple

  • Aged-blind couple

  • Disabled-blind couple

9. Federal/state agreement

A State electing to have SSA administer its optional and/or mandatory supplement program(s) is legally required to keep in effect a written agreement between the State and Federal government. The agreement stipulates the administrative and fiscal responsibilities of both parties (including payment levels).

10. Mandatory passalong

A State must maintain the amount of its supplementary payments at levels which are not lower than the March 1983 levels (or the March 1983 levels as adjusted), or maintain its total expenditures for supplementation in the current 12-month period at the same level as in the immediately preceding 12-month period. (See SI 01403.001.)

11. Lien and relative responsibility

As a condition for receiving an OSS payment, States may require that a lien be placed against the property of recipients, or that a relative of the recipient be required to contribute to their support. Currently, 14 States have imposed such liens. However, SSA is not involved in the administration, compliance, or financing of such liens.

12. Residency requirements

A State or political subdivision may impose, as a condition of eligibility, a length of residency requirement in order to receive an optional State supplementation payment. Such a requirement must be specified in the Federal/ State supplementation agreement.

C. Glossary of Terms

1. Additional income exclusion or disregards

Amounts of income, earned and unearned, which a State chooses to disregard, in addition to the amounts disregarded under title XVI, in determining eligibility and payment for federally administered OSS benefits. Such additional disregards do not affect the Federal SSI benefit.

2. Combined payment level/total payment level

The sum of the OSS payment level and its corresponding FBR.

3. Congregate care facility/domiciliary care facility

A residential facility which provides, in addition to room and board, some level of supervision or care, but which is not a medical treatment facility.

4. December 1973 income

For MMSS computations, the State must determine the amount of the State assistance payment received in December 1973 plus income used in computing such payment according to the State's approved assistance plan in effect for June 1973. This information may need to be reported to SSA. (See SI 01405.001B.1.)

5. Imputed income

For MMSS purposes, the value assigned to the in-kind support and maintenance received by an individual who was not living in the household of another at the time of conversion, but subsequently moved into the household of another.

6. Minimum Income Level (MIL)

This is the income level which a State must maintain for all recipients eligible for protection under the MMSS program and, therefore, the standard used for computing the MMSS payment amount. The MIL is equal to the December 1973 grant amount plus the applicable countable income plus any subsequent increases (e.g., mandatory passalong increases) and/or decreases (e.g., to account for the loss of a special need) in the amount since January 1974.

7. State Countable Income (SCI)

For MMSS purposes, the amount of income which would have been countable in determining the State assistance payable under the rules in effect during June 1973.

8. State data exchange

A system for exchanging, by computer tape or printout, SSI and State supplement recipient eligibility and payment data between SSA and the States.

9. State living arrangement codes

Identification codes assigned to OSS living arrangement variations for administrative purposes such as systems coding.

10. State supplement only case

The status of a recipient who receives a federally administered State supplement payment, but no Federal benefit, because their countable income is at least equal to the FBR but is less than the combined Federal/State payment level.

11. Special needs grant

This is an amount paid by the State, under circumstances specified in the State's June 1973 assistance plan, to account for individualized needs which are not otherwise provided for in the basic assistance grant. In MMSS cases, special needs grants may affect the MIL.

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SI 01401.001 - General Information about State Supplementation - 03/27/2024
Batch run: 03/27/2024