720.2 Eligibility for SSP

The following individuals are eligible for the optional SSP:

55 Pa Code § 299.21(a)  

55 Pa. Code § 299.36

The categories associated with SSI are:

A – Aged – Individual must be age 65 or older.         

55 Pa. Code § 299.36(a)(1)(i)

J – Disabled – Individual has a mental or physical impairment medically verified and expected to last 12 months or longer.       

55 Pa. Code § 299.36(a)(1)(iii)

OR Individual was receiving Aid to Disabled assistance in December 1973 and prior to July 1993 or met the State Aid to Disabled criteria in October 1972.

M – Blind – Individual meets the Federal statutory definition of central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the best correcting lenses, and/or they meet field of vision qualifications            

55 Pa. Code § 299.36(a)(1)(ii)


720.21 Eligibility for SSP-Only

The Central Unit (CU) is responsible for determining eligibility for SSP-Only. An application is not necessary. The CU will review cases that are rejected or denied by the SSA due to income that exceeds the FBR, but only when that income is less than the FBR plus the appropriate SSP amount. The CU will also review budgets for SSP-Only that are referred by the CAO.               

55 Pa. Code § 299.36(b)

For example, Mr. X lives in his own home and is receiving a Social Security retirement pension of $760 per month. The first $20 of unearned income is excluded per SSA regulations, so Mr. X’s countable income is $740 per month. His SSP allotment is computed by the CU as follows:             

20 CFR 416.1124(c)(12)

Maximum Federal Benefit Rate
Plus Maximum SSP
Equals Total Maximum Income for Eligibility

+ 22.10

Total Maximum Income for Eligibility
Minus Mr. X’s countable income
Equals the Maximum monthly SSP eligibility

- 740.00
$ 15.10

In this case, Mr. X is eligible for a maximum SSP payment of $15.10 per month.

NOTE:  The FBR used in this example is a 2015 rate. The SSA publishes an updated FBR list yearly. See Appendix B for current rates.

The CU will send the information necessary to open SSP-Only budgets to the individual’s local County Assistance Office. The CAO will process any actions in eCIS based on information provided by the CU and narrate all actions taken. The CAO should not compute eligibility for SSP-Only cases and should direct any questions to the CU via their SSP Liaison.

The CU will follow the same policies in 20 CFR 416 for eligibility as SSA does for SSI applicants/recipients. Applicants/recipients must:

55 Pa. Code § 299.36(a)(2)(i)

20 CFR 416.202

55 Pa. Code § 155.2

20 CFR Part 416 Subparts K and L

55 Pa. Code § 201.4

The CAO should not close an A, J or M budget with a PSC of 44 unless directed to do so by the Central Unit, with the following exceptions:


720.22 Eligibility for SSI/SSP

Most individuals or couples who are eligible for SSI are eligible for SSP, either through the SSA or DHS. These cases will be opened manually or through the established procedures outlined in the Medical Assistance Eligibility Handbook Chapter 387, Appendix D, Automated SSI Open Process.       

55 Pa. Code§299.21(a)


A, J, or M cases will be opened:

720.23 Representative Payees

Individuals may have SSI and/or SSP benefits paid to a representative payee. This is an individual or organization that receives payment on behalf of the actual recipient. The law requires that minor children and legally incompetent adults have representative payees. An individual may also choose to have a spouse, relative or friend as a payee. The payee must use the funds for the current and foreseeable needs of the beneficiary and must save any remaining funds for the beneficiary’s future use. SSI representative payees are held accountable for all funds and must report yearly to SSA on the use of the funds.

The SSA determines need for a payee for SSI recipients. This information is transmitted on the SDX file for display in CIS on the CQSSNA screen and also on IEVS.                

20 CFR Part 416 Subpart F


The SSP CU is responsible for determining representative payees for SSP-Only cases.       

55 Pa. Code § 299.34


The designation of a representative payee does not affect an individual’s eligibility. However, the method of payment is affected when an individual has a representative payee. See Section 720.5, Payment Methods.

720.24 Resources

SSP program resource limits are:       

55 Pa. Code § 178.1

Refer to Medical Assistance Eligibility Handbook Chapter 340, Resources, for further information concerning resource limits, countable and excluded resources, and resource disposition. Although SSP cases are cash cases, resource limits are the same as for SSI related Medicaid.

Since SSP budgets are cash budgets, the SSI related Medicaid exclusion of resources for applicants/recipients who exercise care and control of a child under the age of 21 living in the household does not apply.

The CAO must verify and provide information of all resources of the recipient on the referral to the CU. The CU uses this information to determine resource eligibility.

Resources for cases referred by the SSA to the CU will be verified by the CU through the use of CIS information, IEVS, contact with the CAO, or contact with the recipient or financial institutions. Resource eligibility for these cases is determined by the CU.


Reissued December 8,  2014, replacing December 2,  2013