SSI individuals get a cash benefit from SSA. The maximum SSI benefit depends on whether the individual is an “individual,” a “couple,” or an “essential person.” (See Appendix A, SSI Payment Levels.)
An eligible individual is an individual who meets all the rules for getting SSI. The individual may be married, but he or she is still considered an individual if the spouse does not meet the rules for getting SSI. SSA counts the income and resources of the spouse. It also counts the income and resources of the parents of a child who is applying for or getting SSI benefits.
An eligible couple is a husband and wife who live together and who both meet the rules for getting SSI.
An essential person is someone who received OAA, AD or AB in December 1973 as an essential person and was converted to SSI category A, J, or M. There may be more than one essential person included in an SSI payment.
SSI individuals living in Pennsylvania also receive a state supplement. (See Section 387.31.)
SSI benefits are paid monthly by the SSA on the first of each month. If the individual gets SSI benefits and Social Security Title II benefits, the benefits are paid monthly on the third of each month. If the first or the third of the month falls on a non-business day, the benefits will be paid the Friday before. The payment may be made to another individual. The individual or other individual may choose to have payment made to a bank account by direct deposit.
Federal standards for SSI do not allow for differences in the cost of living in different states. However, states can give an extra, or supplemental, payment to individuals who live in the state. Pennsylvania supplements the federal SSI benefit. SSA does not consider the supplement as income when deciding on SSI eligibility.
The supplement is not included with the monthly SSA benefits in the individual’s SSI payment. The amount of the supplement is combined with the federal SSI benefit rate to set the limit for deciding on eligibility. The amounts shown in Appendix A include the state supplement.
The state supplement may not be more than the optional amount unless the December 1973 assistance payment included a special allowance. The CAO must identify and keep watch on SSI budgets that include a special allowance by:
Reviewing the continued need for the special allowance at least every six months; and
Sending an SSA-8220 to the SSA if the need for the special allowance has stopped or decreased.
NOTE: The special allowance cannot be increased, but it can be decreased or stopped.
When an individual who receives SSI only and has no other income is admitted to a Long Term Care (LTC) facility, the individual can only receive an SSI payment of $30 monthly from the SSA.
The individual will also receive a state Supplement for Personal Needs (SPN) payment of $15 monthly.
The total amount of $45 is to be used for the individual’s personal needs allowance.
Updated February 14, 2012, Replacing December 17, 2008