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By Amy C. O’Hara, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP

New York State residents who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also receive a state supplement. For 2014, the maximum federal SSI amount is $721 and the NYS supplement is $87 bringing the maximum SSI benefit to $808 per month.  At this time, New York State residents receive these benefits in one payment from the Social Security Administration (SSA), usually direct deposited into the recipient’s bank account.  Starting October 1, 2014, New York SSI recipients will receive their federal SSI benefit and the state supplement benefit separately.  The reason for this change is because New York State will realize significant savings by administering the state supplement benefits directly instead of paying the SSA to administer this program on its behalf.

The New York State Supplement Program, Bureau in the Center for Employment and Economic Supports within the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) will be responsible for administering this benefit. All business will be conducted by telephone, fax or mail only. There will not be walk-in offices to handle questions or requests. A customer support center with a toll free number will be available to assist recipients and is expected to be available starting August 2014.

The only change NYS SSI recipients will notice is that they will receive two monthly payments instead of one.  NYS SSI recipients will receive their state supplement benefits in the same manner that they receive their SSI benefit. Direct deposits will go into the same account and payments will be issued on or before the first of each month.  Starting in August 2014, NYS SSI recipients should receive notice by the State Supplement Program Bureau of this change. If the recipient has a representative payee for SSI purposes, this payee will remain the same for the state supplement benefit.

For more information please visit http://otda.ny.gov/programs/ssp/.