State Supplemental Payments for Children with Disabilities

The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program assists low-income individuals who are living with a disability, or who are 65 years old or older. The federal SSI program sets the national minimum amount of assistance, but does not take into account the differences in the cost of living throughout the country. Congress allows states to provide additional assistance through State Supplementary Payment (SSP) programs. SSP programs can provide state-funded financial assistance to older Americans and Americans of all ages with disabilities. Many states require that SSP applicants adhere to the baseline federal eligibility criteria. Additionally, state SSP regulations can include additional eligibility criteria, income exclusions, and payment categories.

SSI and SSP benefits can provide vulnerable individuals a stable source of income, reduce insecurity, and improve children’s lives. SSI and SSP benefits help families pay rent and put food on the table, helping to maintain a stable home environment. The benefits also pay for a broad range of disability-related expenses, many of which are not offered by schools or covered by insurance — including specialized therapies, medically prescribed diets, diapers for older children, and home modifications for accessibility. SSI modification is listed in a recent case study by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine as one of 10 options to reduce child poverty.

This map identifies and displays key features of state-level supplemental security payment laws for children with disabilities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect beginning January 1, 1996 to November 1, 2018. 

Click here to explore a complementary project, which maps the federal Supplemental Security Income program from January 1, 1996 to November 1, 2018.

This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38OT000141 awarded to ChangeLab Solutions and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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