[Excerpted from the 2000 "Green Book" of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The full table of contents of the SSI section is below, for the entire section
in pdf click here.]
 
             SECTION 3. SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI)

                                CONTENTS

Background
Trends
Basic Eligibility
  Categorical Requirements
  Citizenship and Residency Requirements
  Prohibition of Payment to Felons and Fugitives
  Income and Resource Requirements
  Presumptive SSI Eligibility for Persons with AIDS and HIV
  Public Institution Requirement
Application to Other Programs Requirement
  Eligibility for Social Security
  Eligibility for Medicaid
  Eligibility for Food Stamps
Self-Sufficiency and SSI
SSI Benefits
  Federal SSI Benefit Standard
  Benefits for Persons Living in the Household of Another
  Benefits for Persons Living in a Medicaid Institution
  Benefits of Former Recipients of State Assistance
  Overpayments
  Faster Initial SSI (and Social Security) Payments
  State Supplementation
  Maximum SSI and Food Stamp Benefits for Individuals Living 
            Independently
  Comparison of SSI Payment Levels to Poverty Thresholds
Trends in the SSI Caseload
  Number of Recipients
  Characteristics of Adult Disabled and Blind Recipients
  Characteristics of Recipients Receiving Benefits on the Basis 
            of Age
  Characteristics of Children Receiving Benefits
  Overview of Caseload Developments
Eligibility of Drug Addicts and Alcoholics
Eligibility of Noncitizens for SSI
Eligibility of the Homeless
Special SSI Provisions for the Working Disabled
  Earned Income Disregards
  Eliminating Work Disincentives
  Special Benefits for Certain World War II Veterans
Measures of SSI Participation and Growth
  SSI Participation Rates
  Changes in Number of Recipients, 1970-99
  SSI Program Costs
Legislative History
  104th Congress
  105th Congress
  106th Congress
References

                               BACKGROUND

    The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program is a means-
tested, federally administered, income assistance program 
authorized by title XVI of the Social Security Act. Established 
in 1972 (Public Law 92-603) and begun in 1974, SSI provides 
monthly cash payments in accordance with uniform, nationwide 
eligibility requirements to needy aged, blind and disabled 
persons.
    The SSI Program replaced the Federal-State Programs of Old-
Age Assistance and Aid to the Blind established by the original 
Social Security Act of 1935 as well as the Program of Aid to 
the Permanently and Totally Disabled established by the Social 
Security Amendments of 1950. Under the former programs, Federal 
matching funds were offered to the States to enable them to 
give cash relief, ``as far as practicable'' in each State, to 
eligible persons whom the States deemed needy. The States set 
benefit levels and administered these programs. The Federal-
State adult assistance programs continue to operate in Guam, 
Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Under the Covenant to 
Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 
enacted as Public Law 94-241 on March 24, 1976, the Northern 
Mariana Islands became the only U.S. jurisdiction outside the 
50 States and the District of Columbia authorized to operate an 
SSI Program.
    The Congress intended the new SSI Program to be more than 
just a Federal version of the former State adult assistance 
programs which it replaced. In describing the new program, the 
report of the Committee on Finance stated: ``The Committee bill 
would make a major departure from the traditional concept of 
public assistance as it now applies to the aged, the blind and 
the disabled. Building on the present Social Security Program, 
it would create a new Federal program administered by the 
Social Security Administration (SSA), designed to provide a 
positive assurance that the Nation's aged, blind, and disabled 
people would no longer have to subsist on below poverty-level 
incomes'' (U.S. Senate, 1972, p. 384).
    The SSI Program was envisioned as a basic national income 
maintenance system for the aged, blind, and disabled which 
would differ from the State programs it replaced in a number of 
ways. It would be administered by SSA in a manner as comparable 
as possible to the way in which benefits were administered 
under the Social Security Program. While it was understood that 
modifications would be necessary to make SSA's systems work for 
the new program, SSI was seen as an add-on rather than a new 
system. SSA had a longstanding reputation for dealing with the 
public on a fair and humane basis, but with scrupulous regard 
for the requirements of law. Thus, it was expected that both 
recipients and taxpayers would be pleased with the outcome.
    Under the former adult assistance programs the amount of 
assistance could vary from person to person according to an 
evaluation of the individual's needs. The SSI Program, by 
contrast, represented a ``flat grant'' approach in which there 
would be a uniform Federal income support level.
    In contrast to the former State programs with their 
provisions for liens against property and relative support 
requirements, the SSI Program was intended to have minimal 
barriers to eligibility other than a lack of income. Even here, 
the new SSI Program incorporated more generous provisions for 
disregarding income--particularly earned income--than was 
provided under the Old-Age Assistance Program. The report of 
the House Committee on Ways and Means stated that the SSI 
Program was designed to provide incentives and opportunities 
for those able to work or to be rehabilitated that would enable 
them to escape dependency (U.S. House, 1971, p. 147).
    For the most part, the nature of the SSI Program is 
expressed by its title. It was conceived as a guaranteed 
minimum income for the aged, blind, and disabled which would 
supplement the Social Security Program and act as an income-
related program to provide for those who were not covered or 
minimally covered under Social Security or who had earned only 
a minimal entitlement under the program.
    It should be noted that even though SSA administers the SSI 
Program, SSI is not the same as Social Security. The SSI 
Program is funded by general revenues of the U.S. Treasury--
personal income taxes, corporation taxes, and other taxes. 
Social Security benefits are funded by the Social Security 
taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. 
The programs also differ in other ways such as the conditions 
of eligibility and the method of determining payments. In 
addition, States have the option of supplementing the basic 
Federal SSI payment. In some cases, State supplementary 
payments are administered by the State instead of SSA.

                                 TRENDS

    Table 3-1 summarizes the trends in the SSI Program since 
its inception in 1974:
 1. The number of recipients on SSI has risen from nearly 4 
        million in 1974 to nearly 6.6 million in December 1999. 
        The number of SSI recipients declined early in the 
        program as the number of aged individuals on SSI 
        declined, but that trend reversed in the mideighties as 
        rapid growth in disabled recipients outstripped the 
        minimal change in the elderly and blind SSI 
        populations. However, since 1996, there has been a 
        slight decrease in the total number of SSI recipients.
 2. Total annual benefits paid under the SSI Program rose from 
        about $5.2 billion in 1974 to $31.3 billion in 1999.
 3. The monthly Federal benefit rates for individuals and 
        couples rose from $140 and $210 in 1974 to $512 and 
        $769 in 2000 (2000 figures are not in table), 
        respectively. Nearly all of these changes resulted from 
        the statutory indexation of the Federal benefit rates 
        to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

                                                            TABLE 3-1.--SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME SUMMARY, SELECTED YEARS 1974-99
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                            Year
                           Item                            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               1974       1978       1980       1984        1986        1988       1990       1992       1994       1996       1998       1999
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recipients: \1\
    Aged..................................................  2,285,909  1,967,900  1,807,776   1,530,289   1,473,428  1,433,420  1,454,041  1,471,022  1,465,905  1,412,632  1,331,782  1,308,062
    Blind.................................................     74,616     77,135     78,401      80,524      83,115     82,864     83,686     85,400     84,911     82,137     80,243     79,291
    Disabled..............................................  1,635,539  2,171,890  2,255,840   2,418,522   2,712,641  2,947,585  3,279,400  4,009,767  4,744,470  5,118,949  5,154,044  5,169,281
                                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...............................................  3,996,064  4,216,925  4,142,017   4,029,333   4,269,184  4,463,869  4,817,127  5,566,189  6,295,786  6,613,718  6,566,069  6,566,634
                                                           =====================================================================================================================================
Number with section 1619(a)...............................         NA         NA         NA  406 (8/84)  992 (1/86)     19,920  \2\ 13,99     17,603     24,315     31,085     37,271     25,528
                                                                                                                                        4
Number with section 1619(b)...............................         NA         NA         NA       6,804       8,106     15,625     23,517     31,649     40,683     51,905     59,542     69,265
Annual payments (in millions):
    Federal benefits......................................     $3,833     $4,881     $5,866      $8,281      $9,498    $10,734    $12,894    $18,247    $22,175    $25,265     26,405     26,805
    Federally administered State supplementation..........      1,264      1,491      1,848       1,792       2,243      2,671      3,239      3,435      3,116      2,988      3,003      3,301
    State administered State supplementation..............        149        180        226         299         340        381        466    \3\ 556        579        539        808    \4\ 808
                                                           -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Total...............................................     $5,246     $6,552     $7,940     $10,372     $12,081    $13,786    $16,599    $22,238    $25,870    $28,252     30,216     30,914
                                                           =====================================================================================================================================
Annual payments (in millions of 1999 dollars).............    $18,630    $16,969    $16,427     $16,682     $18,293    $19,501    $23,821    $26,414    $29,074    $30,824    $30,793    $32,153
Monthly Federal benefits:
    Individuals...........................................    $140.00    $177.80    $208.20     $314.00     $336.00    $354.00    $386.00    $422.00    $446.00    $470.00    $494.00    $500.00
    Couples...............................................     210.00     266.70     357.00      472.00      504.00     532.00     579.00     633.00     687.00     705.00     741.00     751.00
Average Federal SSI payments: \1\
    All recipients........................................     $95.11    $111.98    $143.35     $196.16     $215.40    $227.49    $261.47    $329.74    $325.26    $339.24     359.45     368.53
    Aged individuals......................................      78.48      91.22     112.45      143.24      151.38     159.36     175.29     195.86     211.55     227.42     271.66     282.37
    Aged couples..........................................      93.02     120.48     157.56      221.98      246.07     273.18     322.82     448.61     505.64     563.39     611.00     642.29
Average federally administered: \1\
    State supplementation.................................     $70.92     $75.00     $99.15      $97.61     $115.41    $122.68    $139.79    $118.08    $101.46    $104.58     102.33     110.92
Percent of recipients with other income: \1\
    Social Security benefits..............................       52.7       51.7       51.0        49.6        48.9       47.8       45.9       41.3       39.1       37.0       36.5       36.3
    Other unearned income.................................       10.5       11.5       11.0        11.2        12.1       12.4       13.0       14.5       13.1       12.4       11.7       11.7
    Earnings..............................................        2.8        3.1        3.2         3.5         3.9        4.4        4.7        4.4        4.2        4.4        4.5        4.5
Average amount of: \1\
    Social Security benefits..............................    $130.01    $156.50    $196.94     $250.61     $263.29    $286.49    $318.57    $335.72    $345.20    $382.56     374.60     383.82
    Other unearned income.................................      61.10      66.93      74.35       84.56       86.40      85.92      98.13      91.96     101.13     112.46     129.90     128.99
    Earnings..............................................      80.00      99.32     106.95      126.47      142.17     173.09     195.64     207.55     225.01     258.42     282.52     286.62
Poverty thresholds (age 65 and over):
    Individual............................................     $2,364     $3,127     $3,949      $4,979      $5,255     $5,674     $6,268     $6,729     $7,108     $7,525     $7,818     $7,990
    Couple................................................      2,982      3,944      4,983       6,282       6,630      7,158      7,905      8,489      8,967      9,491      9,862     10,070
Federal benefit as a percent of poverty:
    Individual............................................       74.1       72.7       72.3        75.6        76.7       74.9       73.9       75.3       75.3       75.0       75.8       75.0
    Couple................................................       88.1       86.4       86.0        90.2        91.2       89.2       87.9       89.5       89.5       89.1       90.2       89.3
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ December data. Includes Federal SSI and federally administered State supplements.
\2\ The decrease in 1619(a) participants in 1990 was caused by the increase in the substantial gainful activity level to $500 monthly.
\3\ Fiscal year 1992 data.
\4\ Estimated.

 NA--Not available.

 Source: Social Security Administration (1999 and various years) and unpublished data.

 4. The proportion of SSI recipients receiving Social Security 
        benefits declined from nearly 53 percent in 1974 to 36 
        percent in 1999. The fraction of SSI recipients 
        receiving some other type of unearned income rose 
        slightly from about 11 percent in 1974 to nearly 12 
        percent in 1999, and the fraction with earnings 
        increased slightly from less than 3 percent in 1974 to 
        more than 4 percent in December 1999.
 5. The Federal benefit rate as a percent of the appropriate 
        poverty level for individuals has ranged from 72 to 77 
        percent and was 75 percent in 1999; for couples it has 
        ranged from 86 to 91 percent and was 89 percent in 
        1999. Most States supplement the Federal benefit for at 
        least some participants.
 6. The SSI Program pays benefits to children who are blind or 
        have other disabilities. Some of the increases in 
        participation since 1991 reflect the revised definition 
        of disability for children as a result of the Supreme 
        Court's decision in the Sullivan v. Zebley case. Public 
        Law 104-193 (enacted August 22, 1996) established a 
        more restrictive disability definition for children 
        which is expected to result in a slower rate of growth 
        in the number of children receiving SSI benefits.

                           BASIC ELIGIBILITY

                        Categorical Requirements

    To qualify for SSI payments, a person must satisfy the 
program criteria for age, blindness or disability. The aged are 
defined as persons 65 years and older. The blind are 
individuals with 20/200 vision or less with the use of a 
correcting lens in the person's better eye, or those with 
tunnel vision of 20 degrees or less. Disabled individuals are 
those unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by 
reason of a medically determined physical or mental impairment 
expected to result in death or that has lasted, or can be 
expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 
months. The test of ``substantial gainful activity'' is to earn 
$700 monthly in counted income, with impairment-related 
expenses subtracted from earnings. Generally, the individual 
must be unable to do any kind of work that exists in the 
national economy, taking into account age, education, and work 
experience.
     Children may qualify for SSI if they are under age 18 (or 
under age 22 if a full-time student), unmarried, and meet the 
applicable SSI disability or blindness, income, and resource 
requirements. Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility 
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996, 
established a new disability definition for children under age 
18 which requires a child to have ``a medically determinable 
physical or mental impairment which results in marked and 
severe functional limitations, and which can be expected to 
result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last 
for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.''
     Under pre-1996 law, low-income children could qualify for 
SSI benefits in two ways: their disability could match one of 
the impairments in the medical ``listing of impairments'' or 
they could be evaluated under an individualized functional 
assessment disability determination procedure (generally 
considered a less stringent process) that determined whether an 
unlisted impairment seriously limited a child's ability to 
perform activities normal for his age. Both methods were 
stipulated in Federal regulations. Until the Supreme Court's 
1990 ruling in Sullivan v. Zebley, the medical listings were 
the only way to determine a child's eligibility for SSI 
benefits. Adults, in contrast, could receive an assessment of 
their functional and vocational capacities even if they did not 
meet one of the listings. The Court ruled that sole reliance on 
the listings did not satisfy the law's requirement to gauge 
whether children's disorders were of comparable severity to 
impairments that would disable adults.
    The 1996 welfare reform law discontinued the individualized 
functional assessment and the ``comparable severity'' standard 
upon which it was based. Many children on the rolls as a result 
of an individualized functional assessment will have their 
benefits terminated, and future awards based on individualized 
functional assessments will be barred. Thus, the SSI Program 
for Children will be restricted to those who have impairments 
that meet or equal at least one of the listings. Pursuant to 
the 1996 law, the listing of impairments has been changed to 
reflect the new disability definition for children.

                 Citizenship and Residency Requirements

     To qualify for SSI a person must be a citizen of the 
United States or, if not a citizen, be a refugee or asylee who 
has been in the country for less than 7 years, or be a 
``qualified alien'' who was receiving SSI as of August 22, 1996 
or who was living in the United States on August 22, 1996 and 
subsequently became disabled. (For more detailed information on 
eligibility requirements for noncitizens, see appendix J.)
    In addition to the citizenship requirement, a person must 
be a resident of the United States or the Northern Mariana 
Islands, or a child of a person in the military stationed 
outside the United States, or a student temporarily abroad; 
must apply for all other benefits to which she is entitled; and 
must, if she is disabled, accept vocational rehabilitation 
services if they are offered.

             Prohibition of Payment to Felons and Fugitives

    The 1996 welfare reform law provides that, as of August 22, 
1996, SSI benefits may not be paid to individuals who are 
fleeing to avoid prosecution for a felony crime, or fleeing to 
avoid custody or confinement after conviction for a felony 
crime, or violating a condition of probation or parole imposed 
under Federal or State law.

                    Income and Resource Requirements

Income
    Individuals and couples are eligible for SSI if their 
incomes fall below the Federal maximum monthly SSI benefit, 
currently $512 for an individual and $769 for a couple 
(calendar year 2000 standards). If only one member of a couple 
qualifies for SSI, part of the ineligible spouse's income is 
considered to be that of the eligible spouse (this procedure is 
called ``deeming''). If a couple separates, each person is 
treated as an individual in the month following the month of 
separation. If an unmarried child living at home is under age 
18, some of the parent's income is deemed to that child. If an 
immigrant is sponsored into the United States, some of the 
sponsor's and the sponsor's spouse's income may be deemed to 
that immigrant.
    Income includes cash, checks, and items received ``in 
kind'' such as food and shelter. Wages, net earnings from self-
employment, and income from sheltered workshops are considered 
earned income. Social Security benefits, workers' or veterans 
compensation annuities, rent, and interest are counted as 
unearned income.
    An individual does not have to be totally without income to 
be eligible for SSI benefits. Maximum SSI benefits are paid, 
assuming the other conditions of eligibility are met, if the 
individual or couple has no ``countable'' income in that 
particular month. If the individual or couple has ``countable'' 
income, a dollar-for-dollar reduction is made against the 
maximum payment. Not all income is counted for SSI purposes. 
Since 1972, the major exclusions have included the first $20 of 
monthly income from virtually any source (such as Social 
Security benefits), and the first $65 of monthly earned income 
plus one-half of remaining earnings.
    Income received in sheltered workshops and work activity 
centers is considered earned income and qualifies for the 
earned income exclusion. Table 3-2 shows the maximum income 
that an individual and couple can have, taking into account 
these income exclusions, and still remain eligible for Federal 
SSI benefits.

                    TABLE 3-2.--MAXIMUM INCOME FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERAL SSI BENEFITS, 2000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Receiving only Social    Receiving only wage
                                                                         Security                 income
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                    Monthly    Annually     Monthly    Annually
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Individual......................................................        $532      $6,384      $1,109     $13,308
Couple..........................................................         789       9,468       1,623     19,476
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, Social Security Administration.


    Work-related expenses are disregarded (i.e., subtracted 
from income) in the case of blind applicants or recipients and 
impairment-related work expenses are disregarded in the case of 
disabled applicants or recipients.
    The SSI Program also does not count income and resources 
that are set aside as part of an approved plan for achieving 
self-support (PASS). A PASS is an income and resource exclusion 
that allows an SSI recipient who is blind or disabled to set 
aside income and resources for a work goal. The money set aside 
can be used to pay for such items or services as education, 
vocational training, or starting a business.
    The value of any in-kind assistance is counted as income 
unless such in-kind assistance is specifically excluded by 
statute. Generally, in-kind assistance provided by or under the 
auspices of a federally assisted program, or by a State or 
local government (for example, nutrition, food stamps, housing 
or social services), will not be counted as income. As 
described later, if an SSI applicant or recipient is living in 
the household of another and receiving in-kind support and 
maintenance from him, the SSI benefit standard for such an 
individual is reduced by one-third. By regulation, SSA has also 
ruled that the value of any in-kind support and maintenance 
received (other than in-kind assistance received by reason of 
living in another's household) is presumed to equal one-third 
of the Federal SSI benefit standard plus $20. The individual 
can rebut this presumption. If it is determined that the actual 
value is less than the one-third amount, the lower actual value 
will be counted as unearned income.
    In-kind support and maintenance provided by a private 
nonprofit organization to aged, blind, or disabled individuals 
is excluded under the SSI Program if the State determines that 
the assistance is provided on the basis of need. Certain types 
of assistance provided to help meet home energy needs are also 
excluded from income. Assistance provided to an aged, blind, or 
disabled individual for the purpose of meeting home energy 
costs either in cash or in kind and which is furnished by a 
home heating oil or gas supplier or by a utility company is 
also excluded. Assistance for home energy costs provided in 
kind by a private nonprofit organization is also excluded.
    As countable income increases, a recipient's SSI benefit 
amount decreases. Ineligibility for SSI occurs when countable 
income equals the Federal benefit standard plus the amount of 
State supplementation, if any.
Resources
    SSI eligibility is restricted to qualified persons who have 
resources of not more than $2,000, or $3,000 in the case of a 
couple. The resource limit for a couple applies even if only 
one member of a couple is eligible. If the couple has been 
separated or living independently for over 6 months, each 
person is treated as an individual. If an unmarried child 
living at home is under age 18, the parent's assets are 
considered to be the child's (i.e., deemed to the child).
    In determining countable resources, a number of items are 
not included, such as the individual's home; and, within 
reasonable limits set by SSA: household goods, personal 
effects, an automobile, and a burial space for the individual, 
spouse, and members of the immediate family. Regulations place 
a limit of $2,000 in equity value on excluded household goods 
and personal effects and exclude the first $4,500 in current 
market value of an auto (100 percent of the auto's value is 
excluded if it is used to obtain medical treatment or for 
employment or has been modified for use by or transportation of 
a handicapped person or is necessary to perform essential daily 
activities because of distance, climate or terrain). The value 
of property which is used in a person's trade, or business, or 
by the person as an employee is also excluded. The value of 
certain other property that produces income, goods, or services 
essential to a person's self-support may be excluded within 
limits set by SSA in regulations. SSI and Social Security 
retroactive benefit payments may not be considered as a 
resource for a period of 6 months after the month in which the 
retroactive benefit is received. Resources set aside under a 
PASS are also excluded.
    The cash surrender value of life insurance policies if the 
total face value of all policies is $1,500 or less are not 
counted toward the $2,000 or $3,000 countable resources limit. 
The entire cash surrender value of life insurance policies if 
the total face value of all policies on an individual's life is 
greater than $1,500 counts toward the resources limit, but may 
be excludable under one of the other resource provisions.
    An individual and spouse may have excluded up to $1,500 
each of burial funds. However, the $1,500 maximum amount is 
reduced by the face value of any excluded life insurance 
policies and the value of any irrevocable burial contracts, 
trusts, or arrangements. If left to accumulate, interest earned 
on excluded burial funds and burial spaces is not countable as 
either income or resources for SSI purposes.
    Individuals who give away or sell any nonexcludable 
resource for less than fair market value are subject to 
penalty. However, such a transfer may make the individual 
ineligible for certain Medicaid covered nursing services. SSA 
must notify individuals of the penalty and provide information 
upon request to the States regarding transfers of resources.
    The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-369) 
requires the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to furnish SSA with 
certain nonwage information about SSI recipients. The IRS 
information consists primarily of reports of interest payments 
submitted to IRS by financial institutions but also includes 
income from dividends, unemployment compensation, and other 
sources. In fiscal year 1987, computer matches between IRS tax 
files and SSI records resulted in 239,000 matches. Only cases 
involving IRS reports of interest income of $51 or more were 
examined. The resulting savings to the SSI Program were $64 
million. As a result of SSA's evaluation of these cases, the 
tolerance level was lowered to $41 beginning with fiscal year 
1988 and 398,000 matches were identified. In fiscal year 1989, 
there were 508,000 matches. SSA has evaluated and adjusted the 
tolerance levels several times over the years. Effective 
October 1993, the tolerance level for income from resources--
e.g., interest and dividends--is $60. The tolerance level for 
other nonwage income not from resources--e.g., unemployment 
compensation and pensions--is $1,000. Also, a special tolerance 
was developed for cases that had been matched before; if the 
current year's resources are less than $10 more than the prior 
year's resource indicators, the IRS report is not examined. All 
match information is sent to Social Security offices for 
verification of the information. For fiscal year 1999 there 
were 76,000 matches.
    Based on a study of the 1993 matches, SSA decided to apply 
a statistical profiling technique to the IRS matches. 
Statistical profiling increases the cost effectiveness of the 
IRS process by targeting the more error-prone matches and 
eliminating the less productive matches. The resulting savings 
to the SSI Program were $45 million.
    Prior to the 1984 Deficit Reduction Act, if in any month a 
recipient's assets exceeded the asset limit, the individual was 
ineligible for benefits in that month and the entire amount of 
the benefit paid for that month was considered an overpayment 
subject to recovery. Effective October 1, 1984, SSI law 
provides that in cases where there is an overpayment based 
solely on an excess of assets of $50 or less, the recipient is 
deemed to be without fault for purposes of waiving the 
overpayment and the overpayment is not recovered unless the 
Secretary finds that the failure to accurately and timely 
report the excess was knowing and willful on the part of the 
recipient.
    An individual may receive SSI benefits for a limited time 
even though he has certain nonliquid property that, if counted, 
would make him ineligible. These benefits are conditioned upon 
the disposal of the property, and are subject to recovery as 
overpayments when the property is sold. The 1987 Budget 
Reconciliation Act provides, in addition, for the exclusion of 
real property if it cannot be sold because it is jointly owned 
and sale would cause undue hardship to the joint owner due to 
loss of housing, because there are legal impediments to its 
sale, or because reasonable efforts to sell it have been 
unsuccessful.

Deeming of income and resources

    The income of an ineligible spouse who lives with an adult 
SSI applicant or recipient is considered in determining the 
eligibility and amount of payment to the individual. The income 
of the parents of a child under the age of 18 who is blind or 
disabled is also considered in determining the eligibility and 
payment for the child. However, since 1990, children with 
disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid at home under State 
home care plans, who previously received SSI personal needs 
allowances (PNAs) while in medical institutions, and who 
otherwise would be ineligible for SSI because of their parents' 
income or resources, have been eligible for the $30 monthly PNA 
that would be payable if they were institutionalized, without 
regard to their parents' income and resources. Effective 
October 1, 1993, an ineligible parent or spouse who is absent 
from a household due solely to a duty assignment as a member of 
the Armed Forces is considered, absent evidence to the 
contrary, to be living in the same household as the SSI 
applicant or recipient for deeming purposes.
    By regulation, the Commissioner of Social Security has 
provided that in determining the amount of the income of an 
ineligible spouse or parent to be deemed to the SSI applicant 
or recipient, the needs of the spouse or parent and other 
children in the household are taken into account. In addition, 
the SSI earned and unearned income exclusions are applied in 
determining the amount of income to be deemed to the SSI 
applicant or recipient. If the combined countable income of an 
SSI applicant and an ineligible spouse does not exceed the SSI 
benefit standard for an eligible couple in that State 
(including any federally administered State supplementary 
payment), the SSI applicant would be eligible to receive an SSI 
and/or State supplementary benefit.
    For example, in 2000 in a State with no supplementation, 
here is how the deeming procedure would work in the case of an 
ineligible spouse earning $600 per month living with an 
eligible individual with $200 of Social Security benefits:

Unearned income of eligible individual.....................      $200.00
Less $20 exclusion.........................................       -20.00
                                                            ------------
      Countable unearned income............................       180.00
                                                            ============
Earned income of ineligible individual.....................       600.00
Less $65 earned income disregard...........................       -65.00
Less one-half of remaining earnings ($535).................      -267.50
                                                            ------------
      Countable earned income..............................       267.50
Plus countable unearned income.............................       180.00
                                                            ------------
      Couple's total countable income......................       447.50
                                                            ============
SSI payment standard for couples...........................       769.00
Less countable income......................................      -447.50
                                                            ------------
      Benefit payable to eligible individual...............       321.50
                                                            ============


    Thus, the benefit for the eligible individual will be $321 
(SSI law requires that benefits be rounded down to the next 
lower dollar). Without deeming and as an individual, the 
recipient would have received $332 [$512 - ($200 less $20 
exclusion)]. The $20 exclusion can only be used once and is 
first applied to unearned income, which in this example is the 
$200 of Social Security income.
    An individual's resources are deemed to include those of 
the ineligible spouse (or in the case of a child under the age 
of 18, those of the parents) with whom the individual is 
living. Under SSI regulations, in determining the amount of the 
spouse's or parents' resources that can be deemed, all 
applicable exclusions are applied. In the case of a child, only 
the value of the parents' resources that exceeds the applicable 
limits ($2,000 for a single parent, and $3,000 for two parents) 
is deemed to the child. Also, under regulations, pension funds 
of an ineligible spouse or parent are excluded from deeming.
    In December 1999, there were about 130,500 children's cases 
in which deeming reduced benefits. This figure does not take 
into account, however, the number of children who were not 
eligible because of the deeming provision. (For a discussion of 
deeming rules for noncitizens, see appendix J.)

       Presumptive SSI Eligibility for Persons with AIDS and HIV

    Section 1631(a)(4)(B) of the Social Security Act provides 
that the Commissioner of Social Security may pay up to 6 months 
of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to a person 
applying for SSI based on disability or blindness prior to the 
determination of the individual's disability or blindness if 
the individual is presumptively disabled or blind and otherwise 
eligible. A finding of presumptive disability or blindness may 
be made at the Social Security field offices only for specified 
impairment categories because the field office employees 
generally are not trained disability adjudicators; however, at 
the State agencies where there are disability adjudicators a 
finding of presumptive eligibility may be made for any 
impairment category.
    On February 11, 1985, acquired immune deficiency syndrome 
(AIDS), as defined by the Centers for Disease Control, was 
added (pursuant to interim Federal regulations) to the 
impairment categories, thus allowing field offices to find 
presumptive disability for persons claiming they had AIDS. 
These regulations were scheduled to expire February 11, 1988, 
but were extended until December 31, 1989; and in 1989 they 
were extended until December 31, 1991. In December 1991, a new 
more liberal regulation was implemented. Under the new 
procedures, the Social Security field offices may make a 
finding of presumptive disability for any individual with the 
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) whose disease manifestations 
are of listing-level severity, rather than only for those who 
have been diagnosed with AIDS.
    The Social Security Administration (SSA) standards 
governing presumptive SSI eligibility for persons with HIV 
disease have been challenged in court in at least one State on 
the grounds that they discriminate against women. The 
contention is that the listing of impairments reflects the 
course of HIV disease in men, while women tend to have 
different symptoms and are therefore excluded. Others have 
argued that the Centers for Disease Control definition and the 
somewhat broader SSA listing have failed to keep pace with 
changing manifestations of HIV disease.

                     Public Institution Requirement

    Public institutions are prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, 
or any institution that is operated or administered by a 
governmental unit. The governmental unit could be the Federal, 
State, city, or county government, or another political 
subdivision of the State. Residents of public institutions for 
a full calendar month are ineligible for SSI unless one of the 
following exceptions applies:
 1. The public institution is a medical treatment facility and 
        Medicaid pays more than 50 percent of the cost of care.
 2. The individual is residing in a publicly operated community 
        residence which serves no more than 16 residents. Such 
        a facility must provide an alternative living 
        arrangement to a large institution and be residential 
        (i.e., not a correctional, educational or medical 
        facility).
 3. The public institution is a public emergency shelter for 
        the homeless. Such a facility provides food, a place to 
        sleep, and some services to homeless individuals on a 
        temporary basis. Payments to a resident of a public 
        emergency shelter for the homeless are limited to no 
        more than 6 months in any 9-month period.
 4. The individual is in a public institution primarily to 
        receive educational or vocational training. To qualify, 
        the training must be an approved program and must be 
        designed to prepare an individual for gainful 
        employment.
 5. The individual was eligible for SSI under one of the 
        special provisions of section 1619 of the Social 
        Security Act (see section on ``Special SSI Provisions 
        for the Working Disabled'') in the month preceding the 
        first full month of residency in a medical or 
        psychiatric institution which agrees to permit the 
        individual to retain benefit payments. Payment may be 
        made for the first full month of institutionalization 
        and the subsequent month.
 6. A physician certifies that the recipient's stay in a 
        medical facility is likely not to exceed 3 months and 
        the recipient needs to continue to maintain and provide 
        for the expenses of the home to which she may return. 
        Payments may be made for up to the first 3 full months 
        of institutionalization.
    To help institutionalized individuals return to community 
living, the SSI Program includes a prerelease procedure for 
institutionalized individuals. Some individuals are medically 
ready to be released from an institution but are financially 
unable to support themselves. The prerelease procedure allows 
such individuals to apply for SSI payments and food stamps 
several months in advance of their anticipated release so 
benefits can commence quickly after release. A formal 
prerelease agreement can be developed between an institution 
and the local Social Security office. However, an individual 
can file an application for SSI under prerelease without the 
existence of such an agreement.
    Under Federal law, residents of public institutions for a 
full calendar month generally are ineligible for SSI benefits. 
Prisons are considered public institutions. The bar against SSI 
benefits to prisoners has been enforced through an exchange of 
computerized data between the Social Security Administration 
and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, State prisons, and some 
county prisons. According to the SSA's Office of the Inspector 
General, these computerized arrangements generally covered 
about three-quarters of inmates--all Federal and State 
prisoners but only about 15 percent of county prisoners. The 
agreements were voluntary and until recently involved no 
payments to the institutions. However, the 1996 welfare reform 
law (Public Law 104-193), required the Commissioner of Social 
Security to enter into a contract with any interested State or 
local institution (such as a prison, jail, or mental hospital) 
under which the institution must provide to the Commissioner on 
a monthly basis the names, Social Security numbers, dates of 
birth, and such other identifying information concerning the 
inmates or residents of the institution to help the 
Commissioner enforce the ``prohibition of payments to residents 
of public institutions'' rule. The Commissioner must pay the 
institution up to $400 for each resident if the information is 
provided to the Commissioner within 30 days after such 
individual becomes a resident or up to $200 for each inmate if 
the information is provided after 30 days but within 90 days of 
the person becoming a resident.
     Between March 1, 1997 and August 2, 1999, SSA paid $19.2 
million for 53,900 incentive payments.
     In 1999, Congress acted to further tighten restrictions on 
the payment of Federal benefits to prisoners. Public Law 106-
169, signed into law on December 14, 1999, expands the SSI 
Program's benefit suspension rules and incentive payments 
regarding State and local prisoners to include individuals 
receiving Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) 
benefits. (Payments to prisons will be reduced by 50 percent 
for multiple reports on individuals who receive both SSI and 
OASDI benefits.)
     Public Law 106-169 also requires State prisons to provide 
inmate information to Federal and federally assisted benefit 
programs, including SSA. To help reduce fraudulent benefit 
payments of food stamps, veterans benefits, unemployment 
benefits, and educational aid, Public Law 106-169 directs SSA 
to share its prisoner database with other Federal agencies and 
departments.

               APPLICATION TO OTHER PROGRAMS REQUIREMENT

    Since SSI payments are reduced by other income, applicants 
and recipients must apply for any other money benefits due 
them. SSA works with recipients and helps them get any other 
benefits for which they are eligible.

                    Eligibility for Social Security

    Since its inception SSI has been viewed as the ``program of 
last resort.'' That is, after evaluating all other income, SSI 
pays what is necessary to bring an individual to the 
statutorily prescribed income ``floor.'' As of December 1999, 
36.3 percent of all SSI recipients also received Social 
Security benefits (60 percent of the aged, 30 percent of the 
disabled, and 35 percent of the blind). Social Security 
benefits are the single highest source of income for SSI 
recipients. The SSI Program considers Social Security benefits 
unearned income and thus counts all but $20 monthly in 
determining the SSI benefit amount.

                        Eligibility for Medicaid

    States have three options as to how they treat SSI 
recipients in relation to Medicaid eligibility. Section 1634 of 
SSI law allows SSA to enter into agreements with States to 
cover all SSI recipients with Medicaid eligibility. SSI 
recipients are not required to make a separate application for 
Medicaid under this arrangement. As of January 1, 2000, 32 
States and the District of Columbia chose this option, and SSI 
recipients in these States account for approximately 79 percent 
of all SSI recipients nationwide.
    Under the second option, States elect to provide Medicaid 
eligibility for all SSI recipients, but only if the recipient 
completes a separate application with the State agency which 
administers the Medicaid Program. Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, 
Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah and the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands, affecting about 5 percent of SSI 
recipients nationwide, have elected this option.
    The third and most restrictive option is known as the 
``209(b)'' option, under which States may impose Medicaid 
eligibility criteria which are more restrictive than SSI 
criteria, so long as the criteria chosen are not more 
restrictive than the State's approved Medicaid State plan in 
January 1972. The 209(b) States may be more restrictive in 
defining blindness or disability, and/or more restrictive in 
their financial requirements for eligibility, and/or require a 
Medicaid application with the State. However, aged, blind, and 
disabled SSI recipients who are Medicaid applicants must be 
allowed to spend down in 209(b) States, regardless of whether 
the State has a medically needy program. Currently 11 States 
use the 209(b) option for Medicaid coverage of aged, blind, and 
disabled SSI recipients. About 16 percent of the SSI recipient 
population nationwide lives in these 209(b) States. The 11 
States that use this option are Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, 
Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, 
Ohio, Oklahoma, and Virginia.
    An amendment included in the 1986 SSI Disability Amendments 
(Public Law 99-643) required, effective July 1, 1987, that 
209(b) States continue Medicaid coverage for individuals in 
section 1619 status if they had been eligible for Medicaid for 
the month preceding their becoming eligible under section 1619 
(see section below on ``Special SSI Provisions for the Working 
Disabled'').
    The same legislation required States to provide continued 
Medicaid coverage for those individuals who lose eligibility 
for SSI on or after July 1, 1987 when their income increases 
because they become newly eligible for Social Security benefits 
as an adult who was disabled as a child (disabled adult child) 
or because of an increase in their benefits as an adult who was 
disabled as a child. ``Disabled adult children'' who otherwise 
would be eligible for SSI continue to be considered SSI 
recipients for Medicaid purposes. Protection against loss of 
Medicaid also is provided for certain blind or disabled 
individuals who lose their SSI benefits when they qualify for 
Social Security disabled widow or widower's benefits beginning 
as early as age 50. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 
1990 provides that such individuals, who otherwise would 
continue to qualify for SSI on the basis of blindness or 
disability, will be deemed to be SSI recipients for purposes of 
Medicaid eligibility until they become eligible for Medicare.

                      Eligibility for Food Stamps

    Except in California, which has converted food stamp 
benefits to cash that is included in the State supplementary 
payments, SSI recipients may be eligible to receive food 
stamps. SSI beneficiaries living alone or in a household where 
all other members of the household receive or are applying for 
SSI benefits can file for food stamps at an SSA office. If all 
household members receive SSI, they do not need to meet the 
Food Stamp Program financial eligibility standards to 
participate in the program because they are categorically 
eligible. However, SSI beneficiaries living in households where 
other household members do not receive or are not applying for 
SSI benefits are referred to the local food stamp office to 
file for food stamps. These households must meet the net income 
eligibility standard of the Food Stamp Program to be eligible 
for food stamp benefits.
    The interaction with the Food Stamp Program has important 
financial implications for a State which desires to increase 
the income of its SSI recipients by $1. Because food stamps are 
reduced by $0.30 for each additional $1 of SSI income including 
State supplements, the State must expend $1.43 to obtain an 
effective $1 increase in SSI recipients' total income.

* * * *
                             SSI BENEFITS


                      Federal SSI Benefit Standard

    The Federal SSI benefit standard for 2000 is $512 a month 
for an individual and $769 for a couple. As is discussed later, 
most States supplement the Federal SSI benefit. The result is a 
combined Federal SSI/State supplemental benefit standard 
against which countable income is compared in determining 
eligibility and benefit amount. However, many States limit 
their supplementation to certain categories of individuals 
based on specific indicators of need--especially special 
housing needs.
    Like Social Security benefits, Federal SSI benefits are 
indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Indexing occurs 
through a reference in the SSI law to the Social Security cost-
of-living adjustment (COLA) provision. Prior to the Social 
Security Amendments of 1983 (Public Law 98-21), the SSI and 
Social Security cost-of-living increases occurred in benefits 
paid in July. Public law 98-21 delayed the Social Security and 
SSI COLAs from July 1983 to January 1984. However, in lieu of a 
COLA increase in the SSI benefit standard, the Federal SSI 
benefit was increased in July 1983 by $20 a month for an 
individual and $30 a month for a couple. Table 3-3 shows the 
Federal SSI benefit from the beginning of the SSI Program until 
the present time.

                                TABLE 3-3.--FEDERAL SSI BENEFIT LEVELS, 1974-2000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Eligibility status
                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Own household              Household of another
                 Year                     Medicaid  ------------------------------------------------------------
                                        institution                      Essential                     Essential
                                                      Single    Couple     person    Single   Couple     person
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Initial...............................      $25.00    $130.00   $195.00    $65.00    $86.67   $130.00    $43.34
Jan. 1974.............................       25.00     140.00    210.00     70.00     93.34    140.00     46.67
July 1974.............................       25.00     146.00    219.00     73.00     97.34    146.00     48.67
July 1975.............................       25.00     157.70    236.60     78.90    105.14    157.74     52.60
July 1976.............................       25.00     167.80    251.80     84.00    111.87    167.87     56.00
July 1977.............................       25.00     177.80    266.70     89.00    118.54    177.80     59.34
July 1978.............................       25.00     189.40    284.10     94.80    126.27    189.40     63.20
July 1979.............................       25.00     208.20    312.30    104.20    138.80    208.20     69.47
July 1980.............................       25.00     238.00    357.00    119.20    158.67    238.00     79.47
July 1981.............................       25.00     264.70    397.00    132.60    176.47    264.67     88.40
July 1982.............................       25.00     284.30    426.40    142.50    189.54    284.27     95.00
July 1983.............................       25.00     304.30    456.40    152.50    202.87    304.27    101.67
Jan. 1984 \1\.........................       25.00     314.00    472.00    157.00    209.34    314.67    104.67
Jan. 1985.............................       25.00     325.00    488.00    163.00    216.67    325.34    108.67
Jan. 1986.............................       25.00     336.00    504.00    168.00    224.00    336.00    112.00
Jan. 1987.............................       25.00     340.00    510.00    170.00    226.67    340.00    113.34
Jan. 1988.............................       25.00     354.00    532.00    177.00    236.00    354.67    118.00
Jan. 1989.............................       30.00     368.00    553.00    184.00    245.34    368.67    122.67
Jan. 1990.............................       30.00     386.00    579.00    193.00    257.34    386.00    128.67
Jan. 1991.............................       30.00     407.00    610.00    204.00    271.34    406.67    136.00
Jan. 1992.............................       30.00     422.00    633.00    211.00    281.34    422.00    140.67
Jan. 1993.............................       30.00     434.00    652.00    217.00    289.34    434.67    144.67
Jan. 1994.............................       30.00     446.00    669.00    223.00    297.34    446.00    148.67
Jan. 1995.............................       30.00     458.00    687.00    229.00    305.34    458.00    152.66
Jan. 1996.............................       30.00     470.00    705.00    235.00    313.34    470.00    152.57
Jan. 1997.............................       30.00     484.00    726.00    242.00    322.67    484.00    161.33
Jan. 1998.............................       30.00     494.00    741.00    247.00    329.34    494.00    164.67
Jan. 1999.............................       30.00     500.00    751.00    250.00    333.34    500.67    166.67
Jan. 2000.............................       30.00     512.00    769.00    256.00    341.34    512.67    170.67
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Cost-of-living adjustments to Federal SSI benefit levels are rounded to the next lower whole dollar
  beginning with the increase effective January 1984.

 Source: Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, Social Security Administration.

     In calendar year 1999, about 757,580 applicants were 
awarded SSI benefits. Under previous law, new recipients 
received a prorated SSI benefit for the month in which they 
applied. For example, a person who applied on the 15th of the 
month could receive 2 weeks of benefits for that month. (The 
typical applicant did not get that money immediately because 
SSA might take several months to process the application.) The 
1996 welfare reform law changes the effective date of an SSI 
application to the later of the first day of the month 
following the date the application is filed or the date the 
individual first becomes eligible for SSI benefits.

        Benefits for Persons Living in the Household of Another

    SSI law provides that if an applicant or recipient is 
``living in another person's household and receiving support 
and maintenance in kind from such person,'' the Federal SSI 
benefit applicable to such individual or couple is two-thirds 
of the regular Federal SSI benefit. As shown in table 3-3, the 
Federal SSI benefit in 2000 for those determined to be living 
in the household of another is $341 for an individual and $513 
for a couple.
    Regulations specify the criteria for determining when this 
reduced benefit applies. It does not apply to an individual who 
owns or rents, buys food separately, eats meals out rather than 
eating with the household, or pays a pro rata share of the 
household's food and shelter expenses.
    In December 1999 4.1 percent, or about 268,800 SSI 
recipients, had their benefits determined on the basis of this 
``one-third reduction'' benefit standard. Sixty-five percent of 
those recipients were receiving benefits on the basis of 
disability (see table 3-4).

  TABLE 3-4.--PERCENTAGE AND NUMBER OF PERSONS RECEIVING FEDERALLY ADMINISTERED PAYMENTS, BY LIVING ARRANGEMENT
                                           AND CATEGORY, DECEMBER 1999
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Reason for eligibility
                      Living arrangement \1\                          Total   ----------------------------------
                                                                                  Aged      Blind      Disabled
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Own household.....................................................       93.7       91.0       92.3         94.4
Another's household...............................................        4.1        7.0        5.1          3.4
Institutional care covered by Medicaid............................        2.2        2.0        2.6          2.2
                                                                   ---------------------------------------------
    Total percent.................................................      100.0      100.0      100.0        100.0
                                                                   =============================================
    Total number..................................................  6,556,634  1,308,062  \2\ 79,29  \3\ 5,169,2
                                                                                                  1          81
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ As defined for determination of Federal SSI payment standards.
\2\ Includes approximately 19,200 persons aged 65 or older.
\3\ Includes approximately 690,400 persons aged 65 or older.

 Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, Division of SSI
  Statistics and Analysis.

         Benefits for Persons Living in a Medicaid Institution

    When individuals enter a hospital or other medical 
institution in which more than half of the bill is paid by the 
Medicaid Program, their monthly SSI benefit standard is reduced 
to $30, beginning with the first full calendar month of 
residence. This benefit, called a personal needs allowance 
(PNA), is intended to take care of small personal expenses, 
with the cost of maintenance and medical care being provided 
through Medicaid. The 1996 welfare reform law requires that 
children (under age 18) residing in medical institutions who 
have private medical insurance be eligible only for the $30 SSI 
PNA, just like those with Medicaid coverage. The Federal PNA 
benefit of $25 was increased to $30 a month on July 1, 1988--
the first increase since the SSI Program began in 1974. The 
annual cost-of-living increase for SSI does not apply to the 
PNA. However, the 1987 Budget Reconciliation Act provides that 
if a physician certifies that the recipient's stay in such a 
medical institution is not likely to exceed 3 months and they 
need to continue to maintain a home to which they may return, 
SSI benefits will not be reduced and recipients will continue 
to receive full SSI benefits for up to the first 3 months of 
institutionalization.
    Approximately 142,813 or 2.2 percent of SSI recipients 
received benefits as of December 1999 on the basis of this 
personal needs allowance. The average benefit was $21.80. For 
those individuals whose income from non-SSI sources exceeds the 
$30 benefit standard (including those who were receiving both 
Social Security and SSI before entering an institution), 
Medicaid regulations require States to allow SSI recipients 
(and other non-SSI Medicaid eligibles) to retain no less than 
$30 a month of their income as a ``personal needs allowance'' 
when their income is applied, along with Medicaid 
reimbursement, to pay for their institutional medical care. 
These regulations are applicable to individuals whose income 
from non-SSI sources exceeds the $30 benefit standard 
(including those who were receiving both Social Security and 
SSI before entering an institution).
    Eighteen State programs have exercised their option to 
supplement the PNA. Prior to the 1985 Budget Reconciliation 
Act, SSI regulations would not allow for Federal administration 
of State PNA supplements. An amendment included in that 
legislation now requires SSA, at the request of a State, to 
administer such State supplementary payments. As of December 
1999, California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, 
Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont had 
opted for Federal administration. Approximately 30 States allow 
some or all of those individuals affected by the Medicaid PNA 
regulations to retain more than $30 a month.

* * * *
           Faster Initial SSI (and Social Security) Payments

    Making initial payments faster for those who are 
presumptively or proven eligible is a goal of the Supplemental 
Security Income (SSI) Program. The provisions for a one-time 
emergency advance payment continues to permit a faster response 
to presumptive or proven eligibility in new claims with 
critical needs. Pursuant to the 1996 welfare reform 
legislation, these emergency advance payments must be repaid 
through proportionate reductions in SSI benefits over a period 
of not more than 6 months. In fiscal year 1999, Social Security 
offices made 6,510 emergency advance payments using their 
third-party drafts in these new claims situations totaling 
$3,137,417 with an average payment amount of $474.
    Beginning in October 1985, local Social Security offices 
were given the authority to make ``immediate payments'' for 
Social Security and SSI cases at management's discretion when 
the local offices found that benefits were due but unpaid and 
an expedited Treasury payment would be too slow. ``Immediate'' 
usually means while the beneficiary waits or the next day at 
the latest. Payments are made using third-party drafts issued 
by the local field office. Payments are limited to the maximum 
per beneficiary of $400 or the amount due, whichever is less, 
once in a 30-day period. The payment must be approved by office 
management. During fiscal year 1999, 61,563 Social Security and 
71,778 SSI immediate payments were issued under this procedure. 
The total amount of these payments equalled $49,269,896 for an 
average of $369 per payment.

                         State Supplementation

* * * *

Optional State supplementation

    In addition to any mandatory supplementation States must 
provide, a State (or political subdivision) may choose to 
provide an optional supplement to Federal SSI payments. This 
optional supplement also is intended to help individuals meet 
needs which are not fully met by the Federal payment. The State 
determines whether it will make such a payment, to whom, and in 
what amount. States have the option of covering recipients of 
mandatory supplementation under their program of optional 
supplementation.
    At the present time, all but seven States and jurisdictions 
provide some form of optional State supplementation. States 
that provide no supplement are: Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, 
Mississippi, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 
Tennessee, and West Virginia. States (or local jurisdictions) 
may elect to administer their supplementary payments themselves 
or may contract with SSA for Federal administration. Fifteen 
States and the District of Columbia have contracted with SSA to 
administer the State optional supplementation program. Since 
the SSI Program began in 1974, seven States have shifted from 
Federal to State administration of their optional State 
supplementation program.
    Section 1618 of the Social Security Act requires States 
that have chosen to supplement the Federal SSI benefit to 
continue to provide supplementation and to maintain the 
supplementary payments (or spending for supplements) at 
specified levels. The purpose of section 1618 is to require 
States to pass along to SSI recipients the amount of any 
Federal benefit increase. Some States had not done this before 
the enactment of section 1618 on October 21, 1976 (Public Law 
94-585). Instead, when Congress enacted cost-of-living 
increases in the Federal SSI benefit amount, some States would 
reduce the levels of the State supplementary payments by the 
amount of the Federal benefit increase. Congress responded by 
enacting the section 1618 pass-along/maintenance-of-effort 
provision for State supplementary payments.
    Section 1618 allows States to comply with the pass along 
requirement by either (1) maintaining their State supplementary 
payment levels for specified types of living arrangements at or 
above March 1983 levels (sometimes referred to as the payment 
level method) or (2) maintaining their supplementary payment 
spending so that total annual Federal and State expenditures 
will be at least equal to what they were in the prior 12-month 
period plus any Federal cost-of-living increase, provided the 
State was in compliance for that period (sometimes referred to 
as the total expenditures method). In effect, section 1618 
requires that once a State elects to provide supplementary 
payments, it must continue to do so.
    Under section 1618, a State that is found to be out of 
compliance under the maintenance-of-effort rules is subject to 
loss of its Federal Medicaid reimbursement. In California's 
case, a further ``penalty'' would be levied for failure to meet 
the pass along/maintenance-of-effort mandate. It would lose 
permission to ``cash out'' food stamp benefits for SSI 
recipients, and regular food stamp allotments would have to be 
offered to them.

Variation in payment amount

    In addition to categorical variations which may apply 
(i.e., aged, blind, disabled), a State may elect a number of 
variations in optional supplementary payments to account for 
specific differences in living costs to a recipient. The type 
and amount of the variations selected must be specified in the 
Federal-State agreement. A State may make variations in its 
payments to account for both geographic and living arrangement 
cost differences.
    A significant number of the aged, disabled, and blind 
receiving SSI cannot live alone because of mental or physical 
limitations and have a need for housing which includes services 
beyond room and board. These services often include supervision 
for daily living and protective services for the mentally 
retarded, chronically mentally ill, or the frail or confused 
elderly. Such nonmedical supervised and/or group living 
arrangements generally cost more than the Federal SSI benefit 
needs standard of $512 a month in 2000, and often more than the 
combined Federal and SSI State supplementation for those 
classified as living independently. Thus, all but 10 of the 50 
States and the District of Columbia have Federal- or State-
administered State supplementation which is specifically 
directed at covering the additional cost of providing housing 
in a protective, supervised, or group living arrangement.
    These living arrangements are identified by a variety of 
terms including: adult foster care homes; domiciliary care 
homes; congregate care; group homes for the mentally retarded, 
and other terms. The amount of supplementation by the State 
also varies a great deal. For example, in the State of Maryland 
under a State-administered supplementation program, a 
``specialized and intensive supervision'' group living facility 
has a State supplementation of $666 a month in addition to the 
Federal benefit of $512. Thus the maximum total Federal and 
State SSI payment in a month in Maryland is $1,178. In one 
State, the State supplementation is less than $2 a month for 
those who need little supervision and care. However, in some 
States the cost of supervised group living care is also 
partially met by direct State funding of the staff. Some States 
make payments for nonmedical group care directly to private 
residential facilities based on a rate negotiated by the State 
with each facility. In such cases, there is often a PNA payment 
made directly to or on behalf of the residents of the facility.

* * * *

State SSI supplement levels over time

     Throughout the period from July 1975 to January 2000, 23 
States have continuously provided supplemental SSI payments to 
aged individuals living independently.
    During the period from July 1975 to January 2000, no State 
increased supplements faster than inflation for aged 
individuals living independently or aged couples living 
independently (see tables 3-5 and 3-6).
    As of December 1999, there were 2,441,482 beneficiaries (37 
percent) receiving a State supplement. For those SSI 
recipients, other than those receiving a State supplement 
because they are living in some type of group living 
arrangement, the amount of State supplement ranges from $1.70 a 
month to $362 a month for an individual. At present, 25 States 
supplement the Federal standard for individuals living 
independently.

              TABLE 3-5.--STATE SSI SUPPLEMENTS FOR AGED INDIVIDUALS WITHOUT COUNTABLE INCOME LIVING INDEPENDENTLY, SELECTED YEARS 1975-99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                               Percent
                           State                              July   July   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.    Jan.   change 1975-
                                                              1975   1980   1985   1988   1990   1992   1994   1996   1997   1998    1999      99 \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska \2\.................................................   $142   $235   $261   $305   $331   $362   $362   $362   $362    $362    $362           -20
California.................................................    101    182    179    221    244    223    157    156    156     156     176           -45
Colorado...................................................     27     55     58     58     54     56     56     56     62      39      36           -58
Connecticut \3\............................................     NA    102    141    403    366    325    301  \3\ N    243     253     247            NA
                                                                                                                  A
District of Columbia.......................................      0     15     15     15     15     15     15      5      0       0       0            NA

Hawaii.....................................................     17     15      5      5      5      5      5      5      5       5       5           -91
Idaho......................................................     63     74     78     73     73     70     45     37     48      48      48           -76
Illinois \3\...............................................     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA       0       0            NA
Maine......................................................     10     10     10     10     10     10     10     10     10      10      10           -69
Massachusetts..............................................    111    137    129    129    129    129    129    126    126     129     129           -64

Michigan...................................................     12     24     27     30     30     14     14     14     14      14      14           -64
Minnesota \4\..............................................     31     34     35     35     75     81     81     81     81      81      81           -18
Nebraska...................................................     67     75     69     43     38     30     21     12      8       8      27           -87
Nevada.....................................................     55     47     36     36     36     36     36     36     36      36      36           -79
New Hampshire..............................................     12     46     27     27     27     27     27     27     27      27      27           -30

New Jersey.................................................     24     23     31     31     31     31     31     31     31      31      31           -59
New York...................................................     61     63     61     72     86     86     86     86     86      86      87           -55
Oklahoma...................................................     27     79     60     64     64     64     57     54     53      53      53           -39
Oregon.....................................................     17     12      2      2      2      2      2      2      2       2       2           -97
Pennsylvania...............................................     20     32     32     32     32     32     32     27     27      27      27           -57

Rhode Island...............................................     31     42     54     58     64     67     64     64     64      64      64           -35
South Dakota...............................................      0     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15      15      15            NA
Utah.......................................................      0     10     10      9      6      5      1      0      0       0       0            NA
Vermont....................................................     29     41     53     59     63     65     55     47     55      55      55           -41
Washington \5\.............................................     36     43     38     28     28     28     28     25     28       7      27           -77

Wisconsin..................................................     70    100    100    103    103     93     85     84     84      84      84           -63
Wyoming....................................................      0     20     20     20     20     20     10     10     10      10      10            NA
                                                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Median...................................................     31     43     36     36     37     32     31     31     36   31.25   31.25          -68
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The percentage change in constant dollars was computed by inflating July 1975 to January 1999 by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
  (CPI-U). The July 1975 index value is 51.8 and the January 1999 value is 165.5.
\2\ Through 1982 the State supplement was less if shelter costs were below $35 monthly.
\3\ State decides benefit on a case-by-case basis.
\4\ State has two geographic payment levels--Hennepin County and the remainder of Minnesota. Level shown is for Hennepin County, the area with the
  largest number of SSI recipients.
\5\ State has two geographic payment levels--highest levels are shown in table. Sum paid in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties.

 NA--Not available.

 Source: Office of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Administration and Congressional Research Service calculations.


                TABLE 3-6.--STATE SSI SUPPLEMENTS FOR AGED COUPLES WITHOUT COUNTABLE INCOME LIVING INDEPENDENTLY, SELECTED YEARS 1975-99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                               Percent
                            State                               July   July   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.   Jan.  change 1975-
                                                                1975   1980   1985   1988   1990   1992   1994   1996   1997   1998   1999     99 \1\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama......................................................     $9      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0          -100
Alaska \2\...................................................     43   $338   $371   $444   $484   $528   $528   $528   $528   $528   $528           -10
California...................................................    251    389    448    534    588    557    440    396    396    415    450           -44
Colorado.....................................................    133    229    278    292    309    323    323    323    346    345    321           -23
Connecticut \3\..............................................     NA     NA     86    602    525    461    425  \3\ N    368    353    343            NA
                                                                                                                    A

District of Columbia.........................................      0     30     30     30     30     30     30     15      0      0      0          -100
Hawaii.......................................................     28     24      9      9      9      9      9      9      9    8.8    8.8           -94
Idaho........................................................     49     80     46     44     45     45     21      9     16     17     17            NA
Illinois \3\.................................................     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA     NA      0      0          -100
Maine........................................................     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15           -97

Massachusetts................................................    173    214    202    202    202    202    202    197    197    202    202           251
Michigan.....................................................     18     36     40     45     45     21     21     28     28     28     28           -77
Minnesota \4\................................................     38     44     66     66     88    129    126    111    111    111    111           -48
Nebraska.....................................................     67    114    100     66     65     48     40     14      3     98     13           -96
Nevada.......................................................    106     90     74     74     74     74     74     74     74     74     74            NA

New Hampshire................................................      0     42     21     21     21     21     21     22     21     21     21           -49
New Jersey...................................................     13     12     25     25     25     25     25     25     25     25     25           -90
New York.....................................................     76     79     76     93    102    103    102    103    103    103    104           -40
Oklahoma.....................................................     54    158    120    128    128    128    114    108    106    106    106            95
Oregon.......................................................     17     10      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0      0          -100

Pennsylvania.................................................     30     49     49     49     49     49     49     44     44     44     44           -77
Rhode Island.................................................     59     79    102    111    120    127    120    121    121    121    121            NA
South Dakota.................................................      0     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15     15            NA
Utah.........................................................      0     20     20     18     12     11      5      5      5      5      5            NA
Vermont......................................................     61     76     96    106    115    118    103     92    103    103    103           -47

Washington \5\...............................................     40     44     37     22     22     22     22     20     22      0     21           -84
Wisconsin....................................................    105    161    161    166    166    146    134    132    132    132    132           -61
Wyoming......................................................      0     40     40     40     40     40     19     25     25     25     25            NA
                                                              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Median.....................................................     57     63     66     66     65     49     39     28     44   43.7     28          -78
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The percentage change in constant dollars was computed by inflating July 1975 to January 1999 by the CPI-U price index. The July 1975 index value is
  51.8 and the January 1999 value is 165.5.
\2\ Through 1982 the State supplement was less if shelter costs were below $35 monthly.
\3\ State decides benefit on a case-by-case basis.
\4\ State has various geographic payment levels. Level shown is for Hennepin County, the area with the largest number of SSI recipients. State
  supplemental SSI payment for individual whose entitlement began January 1, 1994. State supplement for individuals whose entitlement began before
  January 1, 1994 is an additional $15 per month.
\5\ State has two geographic payment levels--highest levels are shown in table. Sum paid in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties.

 NA--Not available.

 Source: Office of Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Administration and Congressional Research Service calculations.

      Maximum SSI and Food Stamp Benefits For Individuals Living 
                             Independently

    Table 3-7 for individuals and table 3-8 for couples 
illustrate by State the maximum potential payment from Federal 
SSI, State supplements, and food stamps for persons with no 
income. Approximately 65 percent of SSI households in the Food 
Stamp Program claim a shelter deduction for shelter expenses 
exceeding roughly one-third of their monthly income. About 3 
percent of SSI households claim a medical cost deduction for 
out-of-pocket expenses over $35 per month.

  TABLE 3-7.--MAXIMUM POTENTIAL SSI AND FOOD STAMP BENEFITS FOR AGED INDIVIDUALS LIVING INDEPENDENTLY, JANUARY
                                                    2000 \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Combined benefits
                              State                                 Maximum SSI   Food stamp -------------------
                                                                      benefit    benefit \2\  Monthly    Annual
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..........................................................          $512        $89       $600     $7,200
Alaska...........................................................           874        120        993     11,916
Arizona \3\......................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Arkansas.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
California.......................................................           692      \4\ 0        726      8,712
Colorado.........................................................           548         78        625      7,500
Connecticut......................................................           747         18    \5\ 765      9,180
Delaware.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
District of Columbia.............................................           512         89        600      7,200
Florida..........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Georgia..........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Hawaii...........................................................           517        159        676      8,112
Idaho............................................................       \6\ 565         73        637      7,644
Illinois.........................................................       \7\ 512         89        600      7,200
Indiana..........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Iowa.............................................................           534         82        616      7,392
Kansas...........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Kentucky.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Louisiana........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Maine............................................................           522         86        607      7,284
Maryland.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Massachusetts....................................................           641         50        690      8,280
Michigan.........................................................           526         84        610      7,320
Minnesota........................................................       \8\ 593         64        657      7,884
Mississippi......................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Missouri.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Montana..........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Nebraska.........................................................           519         87        605      7,260
Nevada...........................................................           548         78        626      7,512
New Hampshire....................................................           539         81        619      7,428
New Jersey.......................................................           543         79        622      7,464
New Mexico.......................................................           512         89        600      7,200
New York.........................................................           599         63        661      7,932
North Carolina...................................................           512         89        600      7,200
North Dakota.....................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Ohio.............................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Oklahoma.........................................................           565         73        637      7,644
Oregon...........................................................           514         88        601      7,212
Pennsylvania.....................................................           539         80        619      7,428
Rhode Island.....................................................           576         69        645      7,740
South Carolina...................................................           512         89        600      7,200
South Dakota \3\.................................................           527         84        611      7,332
Tennessee........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Texas............................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Utah.............................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Vermont..........................................................       \9\ 570         71        640      7,680
Virginia.........................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Washington.......................................................      \10\ 539         81        619      7,428
West Virginia....................................................           512         89        600      7,200
Wisconsin........................................................           596         63        659      7,908
Wyoming..........................................................           522         86        607     7,284
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ In most States these maximums apply also to blind or disabled SSI recipients who are living in their own
  households; but some States provide different benefit schedules for each category.
\2\ For one-person households, maximum food stamp benefits from October 1999 through September 2000 are $127 in
  the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, $158 in Alaska, and $199 in Hawaii.
For the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, the calculation of benefits assumes: (1) a
  ``standard'' deduction of $134 per month; (2) an excess deduction of $250 per month (the 1998 average
  deduction based on all claimed values for elderly individuals living alone). For Alaska and Hawaii, higher
  deduction levels were used, as provided by law ($663 and $546, respectively, for combined standard and excess
  shelter allowance).
\3\ January 2000 State supplemental payments unavailable. Calculations based on January 1999 payment rates.
\4\ SSI recipients in California are ineligible for food stamps. California provides increased cash aid in lieu
  of stamps.
\5\ Individual budget process.
\6\ State disregards $20 of SSI payment in determining the State supplementary payment.
\7\ State decides benefits on case-by-case basis.
\8\ Payment level for Hennepin County. State has two geographic payment levels--one for Hennepin County and the
  other for the remainder of the State.
\9\ State has two geographic payment levels--highest are shown in table.
\10\ Sum paid in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties.

 Source: Table prepared by the Congressional Research Service based on data from the Social Security
  Administration.

         Comparison of SSI Payment Levels to Poverty Thresholds

    Table 3-9 compares the Federal SSI benefit for a single 
individual to the Bureau of the Census poverty threshold. Both 
the poverty threshold and the benefit level are indexed to the 
Consumer Price Index. (The percentage increase for the poverty 
threshold and the SSI benefit increase varies slightly because 
of a difference in the method of calculation.) As a result of 
Public Law 98-21, SSI benefit levels were increased by $20 per 
month for individuals and $30 per month for couples in July 
1983. They were further increased by 3.5 percent in January 
1984. This explains why SSI benefits, in relation to the 
poverty level, increased to approximately 75 percent in 1984 
and 1985 compared to 71 percent in the 1975 to 1982 period. In 
1999, benefit levels were 76.8 percent of the poverty level.

  TABLE 3-8.--MAXIMUM POTENTIAL SSI AND FOOD STAMP BENEFITS FOR AGED COUPLES LIVING INDEPENDENTLY, JANUARY 2000
                                                       \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               Combined benefits
                              State                                 Maximum SSI   Food stamp -------------------
                                                                      benefit    benefit \2\  Monthly    Annual
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama..........................................................          $769       $126       $894    $10,728
Alaska...........................................................         1,297         23      1,320     15,840
Arizona \3\......................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Arkansas.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
California.......................................................         1,229      \4\ 0      1,216     14,592
Colorado.........................................................         1,096         28      1,123     13,476
Connecticut......................................................     \5\ 1,094         28      1,122     13,464
Delaware.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
District of Columbia.............................................           769        126        894     10,728
Florida..........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Georgia..........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Hawaii...........................................................           778        254      1,031     12,372
Idaho............................................................       \6\ 788        120        908     10,896
Illinois.........................................................       \7\ 769        126        894     10,728
Indiana..........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Iowa.............................................................           813        113        925     11,100
Kansas...........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Kentucky.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Louisiana........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Maine............................................................           784        121        905     10,860
Maryland.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Massachusetts....................................................           971         65      1,035     12,420
Michigan.........................................................           797        117        914     10,968
Minnesota \8\....................................................       \9\ 880         92        972     11,664
Mississippi......................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Missouri.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Montana..........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Nebraska.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Nevada...........................................................           843        103        946     11,352
New Hampshire....................................................           790        119        909     10,908
New Jersey.......................................................           794        118        912     10,944
New Mexico.......................................................           769        126        894     10,728
New York.........................................................           873         95        967     11,604
North Carolina...................................................           769        126        894     10,728
North Dakota.....................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Ohio.............................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Oklahoma.........................................................           875         94        968     11,616
Oregon...........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Pennsylvania.....................................................           813        113        925     11,100
Rhode Island.....................................................           890         90        979     11,748
South Carolina...................................................           769        126        894     10,728
South Dakota \3\.................................................           784        121        905     10,860
Tennessee........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Texas............................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Utah.............................................................           774        124        897     10,764
Vermont..........................................................      \10\ 877         93        970     11,640
Virginia.........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Washington.......................................................      \11\ 790        120        909     10,908
Wisconsin........................................................           769        126        894     10,728
Wyoming..........................................................           644        163        807      9,684
West Virginia....................................................           794        118        912    10,944
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ In most States these maximums apply also to blind or disabled SSI recipients who are living in their own
  households; but some States provide different benefit schedules for each category.
\2\ For two-person households, maximum food stamp benefits from October 1999 through September 2000 are $234 in
  the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, $290 in Alaska, and $365 in Hawaii.
For the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, the calculation of benefits assumes: (1) a
  ``standard'' deduction of $134 per month, (2) an excess deduction of $274 per month (the 1998 average
  deduction based on all claimed values for elderly individuals not living alone). For Alaska and Hawaii, higher
  deduction levels were used, as provided by law ($663 and $546, respectively, for combined standard and excess
  shelter allowance).
\3\ January 2000 State supplemental payments unavailable. Calculations based on January 1999 payment rates.
\4\ SSI recipients in California are ineligible for food stamps. California provides increased cash aid in lieu
  of stamps.
\5\ Individual budget process.
\6\ State disregards $20 monthly of SSI income in determining the State supplementary payment amounts.
\7\ State decides benefits on case-by-case basis.
\8\ State supplemental SSI payment for individual whose entitlement began January 1, 1994. State supplement for
  individuals whose entitlement began before January 1, 1994 is an additional $15 per month.
\9\ Payment level for Hennepin County. State has two geographic payment levels--one for Hennepin County and one
  for the remainder of the State.
\10\ State has two geographic payment levels--highest levels are shown in table.
\11\ Sum paid in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, and Thurston Counties.

 Source: Table prepared by the Congressional Research Service based on data from the Social Security
  Administration.

    Table 3-10 presents the same information for a couple. The 
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit for a couple is 91.6 
percent of the poverty threshold in 1999.

                       TRENDS IN THE SSI CASELOAD


                          Number of Recipients

    As shown in table 3-11, in December 1999, nearly 6.6 
million persons received federally administered SSI payments. 
Of these, 1.3 million received federally administered payments 
on the basis of being aged, 5.2 million on the basis of being 
disabled, and 79,000 on the basis of blindness. However, 
709,600 of those receiving benefits on the basis of disability 
or blindness were over the age of 65. Table 3-11 also indicates 
that approximately 4.1 million of those receiving federally 
administered SSI payments received only Federal SSI payments, 
2.2 million received a combination of Federal and State 
payments, and 282,000 received State supplements only.

   TABLE 3-9.--COMPARISON OF COMBINED BENEFITS TO POVERTY THRESHOLDS FOR ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING SSI; SSI AND SOCIAL SECURITY; AND SSI, SOCIAL
                                                    SECURITY, AND FOOD STAMPS, SELECTED YEARS 1975-99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                 Calendar year
            Poverty threshold and benefits            --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         1975     1980     1984     1986     1988     1990     1992     1994     1996     1998     1999
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poverty threshold....................................   $2,572   $3,941   $4,980   $5,255   $5,672   $6,268   $6,729   $7,107   $7,309   $7,818   $7,990
Federal SSI benefits:
    Dollars per year.................................   $1,822   $2,677   $3,768   $4,032   $4,248   $4,632   $5,064   $5,352   $5,640   $5,928   $6,000
    Percent of poverty...............................     70.8     72.3     75.6     76.7     74.9     73.9     75.3     75.3     77.2     75.8     75.0
Federal SSI and Social Security:
    Dollars per year.................................   $2,062   $2,917   $4,008   $4,272   $4,488   $4,872   $5,304   $5,592   $5,880   $6,168   $6,240
    Percent of poverty...............................     80.2     74.0     80.5     81.3     79.1     77.7     78.8     78.7     80.4     78.8     78.0
Federal SSI, Social Security, and food stamps: \1\
    Dollars per year.................................   $2,350   $3,345   $4,294   $4,488   $4,848   $5,318   $5,820   $6,072   $6,372   $6,672   $6,792
    Percent of poverty...............................     91.4     84.9     86.2     85.4     85.5     84.8     86.5     85.4     87.2     85.3     85.0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ In computing the food stamp benefit for 1975, average deductions among all elderly households are assumed. For later years (except 1996), the
  applicable standard deduction plus average among all elderly households is assumed. For 1999 the food stamp benefit calculation is based on the 1998
  average elderly individual deduction, the most current available. For 1996 the applicable standard deduction plus average shelter and medical
  deductions among all SSI households is assumed.

 Source: Congressional Research Service.


     TABLE 3-10.--COMPARISON OF COMBINED BENEFITS TO POVERTY THRESHOLDS FOR ELIGIBLE COUPLES RECEIVING SSI; SSI AND SOCIAL SECURITY; AND SSI, SOCIAL
                                                    SECURITY, AND FOOD STAMPS, SELECTED YEARS 1975-99
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                Calendar year
           Poverty threshold and benefits           ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       1975     1980     1984     1986     1988     1990     1992     1994     1996     1998      1999
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poverty threshold..................................   $3,232   $4,954   $6,280   $6,628   $7,156   $7,906   $8,489   $8,964   $9,221    $9,862   $10,070
Federal SSI benefits:
    Dollars per year...............................   $2,734   $4,016   $5,664   $6,048   $6,384   $6,948   $7,596   $8,028   $8,460    $8,892    $9,000
    Percent of poverty.............................     84.6     81.1     90.2     91.2     89.2     87.9     89.5     89.6     91.7      90.1      89.3
Federal SSI and Social Security:
    Dollars per year...............................   $2,974   $4,256   $5,904   $6,288   $6,624   $7,188   $7,836   $8,268   $8,700    $9,132    $9,240
    Percent of poverty.............................     92.0     86.0     94.0     94.9     92.6     90.9     92.3     92.2     94.3      92.5      91.7
Federal SSI, Social Security, and food stamps: \1\
    Dollars per year...............................   $3,430   $4,906   $6,393   $6,696   $7,200   $7,935   $8,700   $9,084   $9,540   $10,056   $10,260
    Percent of poverty.............................    106.1     99.0    101.8    101.0    100.6    100.4    102.5    101.3    103.5     101.9     101.8
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ In computing the food stamp benefit for 1975, average deductions among all elderly households are assumed. For later years (except 1996), the
  applicable standard deduction plus average shelter and medical deductions among all elderly households is assumed. For 1999, the food stamp benefit
  calculation is based on the 1998 average elderly couple deduction, the most current available. For 1996 the applicable standard deduction plus average
  shelter and medical deductions among all SSI households is assumed.

 Source: Congressional Research Service.


   TABLE 3-11.--NUMBER OF PERSONS RECEIVING FEDERALLY ADMINISTERED PAYMENTS, TOTAL AMOUNT AND AVERAGE MONTHLY
                            AMOUNT, BY SOURCE OF PAYMENT AND CATEGORY, DECEMBER 1999
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Source of payment                            Total       Aged    Blind \1\  Disabled \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Number of persons

                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
Federally administered payments.................................   6,556,634  1,308,062     79,291     5,169,281
    Federal payment only........................................   4,115,152    687,801     43,173     3,384,178
    Both Federal and State supplementation......................   2,159,555    515,255     30,406     1,613,894
    State supplementation only..................................     281,927    105,006      5,712       171,209
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
      Total Federal payment.....................................   6,274,707  1,203,056     73,579     4,998,072
      Total State supplementation...............................   2,441,482    620,261     36,118     1,785,103

                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                       Amount of payments [in thousands] \2\

                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
Federal payments................................................  $2,290,591   $304,775    $26,347    $1,959,469
State supplementation...........................................     283,428     79,579      6,246       197,603
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
      Total.....................................................   2,574,019    384,135     32,593     2,157,072

                                                                -----------------------------------------------
                                                                              Average monthly amount

                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
Federal payments................................................      341.86     249.36     350.72        364.24
State supplementation...........................................      110.92     125.90     167.64        104.52
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
      Total.....................................................      368.53     289.19     401.99       388.29
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Blind includes approximately 19,200 and disabled 690,400 persons aged 65 and older.
\2\ Includes retroactive payments.

 Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, Division of SSI
  Statistics and Analysis.

    Table 3-12 shows the trends in the numbers of persons 
receiving federally administered SSI payments from December 
1975 through December 1999, both by reason for eligibility and 
by age categories. There was a steady decline in the number of 
SSI recipients from 1975 until 1983. However, in the last 16 
years the number of SSI recipients has increased from about 3.9 
million to about 6.6 million, an increase of 69 percent.


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