PS 01605.039 Ohio

A. PS 00-204 Subsidy Community Living Payments from the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

DATE: February 18, 1997

1. SYLLABUS

At issue is an opinion on whether funds provided by the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities to subsidize the cost of maintaining individuals in community living arrangements count as income.

Ohio law recognizes that payments such as these made by the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities to subsidize the cost of maintaining individuals in community living arrangements and allow for noninstitutional care of the type that is generally provided in group homes or halfway houses, are not income based on being social service assistance.

2. OPINION

By memorandum dated August 19, 1996, you asked us for an opinion on whether funds provided by the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities to subsidize the cost of maintaining individuals in community living arrangements, rather than in institutions, could be excluded from income considered in determining SSI eligibility and payment amount. In our opinion, for the reasons indicated below, such payments are not "income" to the claimant for SSI purposes.

For the purpose of determining SSI eligibility, the income of an individual does not include assistance based on need, furnished to or on behalf of the individual by a State or political subdivision of a State. 42 U.S.C. § 1382a(b)(6). Furthermore, payments such as those made by the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (ODMRDD) to subsidize the cost of maintaining individuals in community living arrangements and allow for noninstitutional care of the type that is generally provided in group homes or halfway houses, may be excluded from consideration as income based on being social service assistance. Assistance provided in cash or in kind under a Federal, State, or local governmental program whose purpose, as appears to be ODMRDD's in this community living subsidy program, is to provide social service, is excluded from income. 20 C.F.R. § 416.1103(b)(1) (1996). For SSI purposes, a social service is any non-medical service intended to assist a handicapped or socially disadvantaged individual to function in society on a level which is comparable to an individual who is without such handicap or disadvantage. POMS SI 00815.050C.1. Social service programs include those whose goal is to prevent or reduce inappropriate institutional care by providing for community-based care, home-based care, or other forms of less intensive care. POMS SI 00815.050C.2.a.4. The ODMRDD's community living subsidy payments are clearly made to provide for community-based or home-based care, as indicated by their Medicaid waiver, and meet the definition of social service assistance. These payments should therefore be excluded from income.


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PS 01605.039 - Ohio - 04/14/2008
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:04/14/2008