SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home2186. Interim Assistance Reimbursement

2186.1 What is interim assistance?

“Interim assistance” is cash or vendor payments furnished by States or political subdivisions to you for meeting basic needs while your application for SSI or appeal of SSA's eligibility determination is pending.

2186.2 How does interim assistance affect your benefit payment?

We may withhold the retroactive SSI payments due you at the time the first payment is made when:

  1. We receive a written authorization from you or the State; or

  2. We receive notice from the State that it has such an authorization, if the automated authorization notification procedure applies.

When SSA decides you are eligible for SSI, SSA tells the State what months are available for reimbursement from your retroactive SSI payments. We then ask the State the amount of interim assistance paid to you. Once we pay the State what they are due, we will pay the remaining money (if any) to you based SSI payment rules.

2186.3 What is the scope of interim assistance?

Effective January 1, 1989, the definition of interim assistance was expanded to cover aid provided by States or political subdivisions to individuals:

  1. Whose SSI benefits are suspended or terminated; and

  2. Are later found eligible for payments.

Last Revised: Aug. 1, 2011