State Assistance Programs for SSI Recipients, January 2009


State Supplementation

Mandatory Minimum Supplementation

Administration: Social Security Administration.

Optional State Supplementation

Administration: Social Security Administration.

Effective date: January 1, 1974.

Statutory basis for payment: General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, chapter 118A, section 1.


Administration: State funds.

Assistance: State funds.

Passalong method: Maintaining payment levels.

Place of application: Social Security Administration field offices.

Scope of coverage: Optional state supplement provided to every aged, blind, and disabled SSI recipient, including children, and recipients in private medical facilities where the Medicaid program provides 50 percent or less of the cost of care.

Resource limitations: Federal SSI regulations apply.

Income exclusions: Federal SSI regulations apply.

Recoveries, liens, and assignments: None.

Financial responsibility of relatives: None.

Interim assistance: State participates.

Payment calculation method: The state supplementation is added to the federal payment. Countable income is deducted first from the federal payment. Any income that remains to be counted after the federal payment has been reduced to zero is then deducted from the state supplementary payment.

Payment levels: See Table 1.

Table 1. Optional state supplementation payment levels, January 2009 (in dollars)
Living arrangement State code Combined federal and state State supplementation
Individual Couple a Individual Couple a
Living independently A  
Aged 802.82 1,212.72 128.82 201.72
Blind   823.74 1,647.48 149.74 636.48
Disabled   788.39 1,191.06 114.39 180.06
Shared living expenses B  
Aged   713.26 1,212.72 39.26 201.72
Blind   823.74 1,647.48 149.74 636.48
Disabled   704.40 1,191.06 30.40 180.06
Living in the household of another C  
Aged   553.70 889.80 104.36 215.80
Blind   823.74 1,647.48 374.40 973.48
Disabled   536.92 868.18 87.58 194.18
Licensed rest home E  
Aged and disabled   967.00 1,934.00 293.00 923.00
Blind   823.74 1,647.48 149.74 636.48
Medicaid facility F 72.80 145.60 42.80 85.60
Assisted living facility G 1,128.00 1,692.00 454.00 681.00
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Office of Income Security Programs.
NOTE: Blind individuals aged 65 or older are entitled to the highest payment category for which they qualify.
a. The amounts given apply when both members of a couple belong to the same eligibility category. When members belong to different eligibility categories, the two respective individual benefits are added to obtain the couple's benefit.
A: Living independently.
Includes recipients who live:
  • Alone;
  • Only with an eligible spouse;
  • With an eligible spouse and with ineligible children who do not receive income maintenance payments; or
  • With an ineligible spouse or ineligible children, none of whom receive income maintenance payments. Also includes recipients residing in a federal Code C living arrangement who do not live with any persons receiving income maintenance payments. Persons not meeting these criteria may be included if they are residing in a federal Code A or C living arrangement and pay at least two-thirds of the household expenses. Recipients living in public congregate housing developments are also included.
B: Shared living expenses.
Includes recipients who reside in a federal Code A or C living arrangement and do not meet the criteria for state living arrangement A or E. It therefore includes recipients who reside in group care facilities (such as halfway houses), private medical facilities where Medicaid is paying 50 percent or less of the cost of care, foster homes, commercial boarding homes, or other facilities that do not meet the criteria for state living arrangement A or E. It also includes:
  • Recipients who reside in households where they do not pay at least two-thirds of the household expenses and one or more household members receive an income maintenance payment; and
  • Transients, the homeless, and residents of public emergency shelters.
C: Living in the household of another.
Includes recipients residing in a federal Code B living arrangement.
E: Licensed rest home.
Includes recipients residing in a licensed rest home that has a provider agreement with the state.
F: Medicaid facility.
Includes recipients residing in a federal Code D living arrangement.
G: Assisted living facility.
Includes recipients residing in nonpublic subsidized assisted living facilities that have been registered with the state.

Number of recipients: See Table 2.

Table 2. Number of persons receiving optional state supplementation, January 2009
Living arrangement State code Total Aged Blind Disabled
Adults Children
All recipients   179,322 45,348 3,701 101,119 29,154
Living independently A 79,027 26,444 1,209 44,078 7,296
Shared living expenses B 80,577 12,440 1,773 47,028 19,336
Living in the household of another C 13,966 3,487 584 7,817 2,078
Licensed rest home E 1,598 867 14 713 4
Medicaid facility F + Z 2,939 1,080 111 1,308 440
Assisted living facility G 1,215 1,030 10 175 0
SOURCE: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Record, 100 percent data.

Total expenditures: The Social Security Administration reported expenditures of $175,065,720 for calendar year 2008 in federally administered payments to SSI recipients.

State Assistance for Special Needs


State Department of Transitional Assistance and Commission for the Blind.

Special Needs Circumstances

Vendor payments in lieu of cash payments.

Disaster benefits: Replacement of specific items of furniture, household equipment, supplies, food, and clothing for SSI recipients when these items were lost because of a natural disaster or fire. (Amounts exempted in determining SSI eligibility.)

Burial expenses: Payment of funeral and burial expenses for SSI recipients must not exceed $1,100, and the total expense must not exceed $1,500. When a resource exists, it is deductible from the total expense (maximum $1,500), and the payment by the department must not exceed $1,100 of the balance.

Rest home subsidies: When cost exceeds the total available income, excluding personal needs allowance, the state will pay difference up to established maximum rates.

Moving expenses: The cost of moving within the state for SSI recipients may be paid once in a 12-month period if:

Total payment not to exceed $150.

Homemaker and housekeeper services: The Department of Elder Affairs performs homemaker and housekeeping services for recipients aged 60 or older. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission provides these services for recipients under age 60.



Criteria: SSI program guidelines (Title XVI).

Determined by: Social Security Administration.

Medically Needy Program

State provides a program for the aged, blind, and disabled medically needy.

Unpaid Medical Expenses

The Social Security Administration obtains this information.