SSI Facilitation-Introduction

Revised March 21, 2023

Clarifying Information

Supplemental Security  Income (SSI)

  1. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  2. SSI (Title 16) is a Federal assistance program that provides cash and medical benefits to people who:
    1. Do not have qualifying work quarters for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI, Title 2),
    2. Meet the same disability criteria as SSDI, and
    3. Meet financial resource and income limits set by SSA.
  3. When SSI is approved, and a valid authorization 18-235 is established, SSA reimburses the state for assistance provided to ABD cash recipients while the SSI application is pending (interim assistance).

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  1. SSA determines SSDI eligibility for every person who applies for SSI.
  2. A concurrent claim means that a person has applied for both SSI and SSDI.
  3. To be eligible for SSDI, a person must have worked and contributed to Social Security for a required number of work quarters.
  4. States do not receive interim assistance reimbursement for SSDI payments.

 Benefits of Receiving SSI

  1. ABD cash or TANF recipients who are approved for SSI typically receive:
    1. Increased income,
    2. Access to vocational retraining programs and supported work programs, and
    3. Long term eligibility for cash and medical assistance.
  2. DSHS benefits through recovery of interim assistance and reduced caseloads.
  3. Households receiving TANF receive higher income because SSI payments are not counted as income to the rest of the household.

Presumptive Disability

SSA may find that persons who meet certain severe disability criteria are presumptively disabled.  The list of allegations that meet Social Security Administration (SSA) presumptive disability criteria are maintained on the SSA website.

Worker Responsibilities

When a client appears to meet SSA presumptive disability criteria:

  1. Refer the client directly to SSA and instruct them to claim financial hardship.
  2. When SSA decides the person has a presumptive disability, they authorize SSI benefits for up to six months while the Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS) reviews the disability.
  3. Presumptive payments may end if DDDS is unable to make a determination within the review period, but DDDS will continue to process the case until a final determination is made.
  4. It is critical that the person's payment status is tracked and cash assistance not provided while a person is receiving presumptive disability payments.  SSA provides these payments as emergency assistance (which is why the person must claim financial hardship to get them), which excludes them from reimbursement as interim assistance.
  5. Notify financial services to terminate an ABD cash recipient’s benefits when the person begins receiving presumptive SSI benefits.

Compassionate Allowances

SSA has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that they clearly meet disability standards.  Compassionate Allowances allow SSA to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances based on minimal objective medical evidence that can be obtained quickly.

The List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions can be found on the SSA website.  Be sure to check the list regularly for new conditions.

Worker Responsibilities

When a person appears to meet SSA Compassionate Allowances criteria:

  1. Refer the client directly to SSA for a Compassionate Allowances determination.
  2. Notify financial services to terminate an ABD cash recipient's benefits when the person begins receiving SSI benefits.

Disability Listings

SSA refers to their disability criteria as the “Listings” and publishes them in Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. SSA considers a person disabled when the medical disorder meets or equals the listed disability criteria.

Disability Decision

The Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS):

  1. Decides if a person applying for SSI, SSDI, or Non-Grant Medical Assistance (NGMA) meets disability criteria;
  2. Uses a sequential evaluation  similar to the ABD cash process  to determine the effect of the physical and/or mental impairment and the combined effect of multiple impairments; and
  3. Considers the effect of the following on the person’s ability to work:
    1. Current and past work activity.
    2. Severity of impairment.
    3. Residual functional capacity.
    4. Age.
    5. Education.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Assist ALL ABD, RCA, or TANF recipients who appear to be eligible for SSI. Assistance includes:
    1.  Assessing client needs and appropriateness for SSI facilitation.
    2.  Helping complete SSA application forms.
    3.  Tracking SSA applications.
    4.  Coordinating services.
  2. Provide facilitation services to All:
    1. ABD cash recipients who meet SSI citizenship/immigration requirements.
    2. RCA cash recipients who appear to meet SSI disability criteria.
    3. TANF recipients who appear to meet SSI disability criteria.
    NOTE:  Refer all non-citizen ABD recipients directly to SSA to determine whether they meet SSI citizenship/immigration requirements.  When SSA verifies the non-citizen is eligible to apply for SSI, provide SSI facilitation.
    NOTE:  Clients who are age 65 or older, terminally ill (TERI cases), Compassionate Allowances, and those that meet presumptive listing criteria should be immediately referred to SSA.  Do not submit an SSI application. SSA must process these claims directly.
  3. Develop professional working relationships with:
    1. Social Security District Office (SSADO).
    2. Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS).
    3. Home and Community Services (HCS).
  4. Provide Equal Access (EA) assessment, planning, and services as appropriate.
  5. Adhere to the following timeframes and procedures:
    1. Assist the person with filing the initial SSI application within 60 calendar days of an ABD cash approval and within 90 days of the date a person receiving TANF is referred for facilitation services.
    2. Meet filing deadlines for reconsideration requests and hearings.
    3. Verify that a current DSHS 18-235, Interim Assistance Reimbursement Authorization (IARA), is on file with Social Security Administration (SSA) within 10 working days after approval for ABD cash, or 30 days after the date the form is signed by the person (whichever date comes first).

Social Security Links:

Social Security Listings

Evidentiary Requirements

Social Security Administration


Social Security Employment Programs

Search IESA Clarification Database