387.3 SSI Benefits

SSI individuals receive a cash benefit from SSA. The maximum SSI benefit depends on whether the individual is an “eligible individual,” or an eligible individual with an eligible spouse (eligible couple”). The eligible individual or couple may also receive increased SSI benefits if they have an “essential person.” (See Appendix A, SSI Payment Levels.)

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 the SSI recipient or the SSI recipient’s representative payee. The payments are made electronically, either onto a Direct Express® Debit Mastercard® or directly into a bank account.

387.31 State Supplement

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 SSI-related MA eligibility. The amounts shown in Appendix A include the state supplement.

The state supplement amount issued to SSI recipients may not be more than the optional amount unless the December 1973 assistance payment included a special allowance. The CAO must identify and monitor SSI budgets that include a special allowance by:

      NOTE: The special allowance cannot be increased, but it can be decreased or stopped.


NOTE: Per Supplemental Handbook 720.1 General Policy, individuals receiving SSI who were receiving state cash assistance in the Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Blind or Aid to the Disabled programs before December 31, 1973 receive a mandatory SSP administered by SSA. If the mandatory SSP they are receiving from SSA is less than the maximum optional benefit for their circumstance, then they are eligible for Pennsylvania to issue an SSP for the difference. 

387.311 Supplement for Personal Needs for Individual Residing in a Long-Term Care Facility

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 May 14, 2024, Replacing February 14, 2012