One of the lesser known programs at DDA is a cash benefit alternative to Individual & Family Services. It’s called SSP (State Supplementary Payment) in lieu of IFS. For many, it’s a great way to pay for services and supports without being limited to approved services and contracted providers. To be eligible for SSP in lieu of IFS, an individual must be:
- a client of DDA;
- income-eligible for SSI; and,
- eligible for Individual & Family Services.
In addition to having the same functional eligibility requirements (including living in the family home), SSP has the same funding levels as IFS. The amount of funding is based on assessed need.
How Is SSP Different Than IFS?
The monthly benefit is delivered in the form of a monthly payment, either by paper check or direct deposit. No receipts or reporting to DDA are required. The money is for the benefit of the individual’s needs beyond what SSI pays for. In this way, it’s more flexible and easier to use than the IFS waiver program, which is limited to contract services only and does not cover reimbursements.
Does SSP Affect Other Benefits I receive?
It should not impact the client’s SSI amount, but it could impact food benefits because the Community Services Office takes that resource into consideration. Clients and their families should always include this unearned income whenever they are asked about the resources available to them.
Can I Move from IFS to SSP?
Yes, as long as s/he is income eligible and there is capacity on the program (i.e. funding is available). DDA currently has capacity on SSP, but funding is always subject to change. Once SSP enrollment is filled, funding will only be available as other clients leave the program. Clients wanting to switch from IFS to SSP can request to do so at their annual assessment.
Can I Move from SSP to IFS?
Yes, if there are enrollment openings in IFS (i.e., funding is available). Right now, as thousands of enrollments are about to open up in IFS, being able to switch from SSP to IFS is possible. Once enrollment is filled, there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. Clients wanting to switch from SSP to IFS can request to do so at their annual assessment.
Can I Stay on the State-Only IFS Program?
Everyone who is currently on the state-only program will be transitioned to the federal IFS waiver at their annual assessment. A very small number of individuals (those who are ineligible for the IFS waiver program) will remain on the state-only program. If you are income-eligible for SSI, then the SSP program will give you the flexibility (and more) of the state-only program that is being phased out.