The Housing Support program (formerly Group Residential Housing) helps pay for room and board in authorized locations for people with low income who have disabilities or other conditions. Housing Support may also help pay for additional services if you are not eligible for MA-Waiver programs or personal care assistance (PCA) services through MA.

You can apply for Housing Support online using ApplyMN or fill out the Combined Application Form and turn it in to your county human services agency. Note on your application that you are requesting Housing Support and the name, address, and telephone number of the location where you plan to live. If you do not mention that you are applying for Housing Support, the county may not check if you are eligible.

Learn more about Housing Support on Housing Benefits 101.

Get expert help about Housing Support

If you need help understanding how Housing Support works, filling out an application, or finding a location authorized by Housing Support, contact your county human services agency or Chat with a Hub expert.

Eligibility

To get Housing Support, you must be over age 65 or have a disabling condition. To qualify, you must have either:

  1. A General Assistance (GA) basis of eligibility, or
  2. A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) basis of eligibility.

For both, you need to live in a location approved by Housing Support.

The eligibility rules for Housing Support are not exactly the same as for GA or SSI. Most people who get Housing Support also get GA or SSI, but some people qualify for Housing Support even though they do not actually get GA or SSI cash benefits.

Housing Support with a GA Basis of Eligibility

You may qualify for Housing Support with a GA basis of eligibility if you have $10,000 or less in assets, and either:

  • Get GA benefits, or
  • Would qualify for GA benefits if your income or assets were lower. If this is the case, your income still must be below Housing Support's income limit. See DB101’s GA article for more information about GA’s eligibility requirements.

Note: If your disability began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account where you can save up to $15,000 in assets each year and not have them counted by Housing Support. Learn more about ABLE accounts.

Either way, you also must meet GA's standards for at least one of these situations:

  • Permanent or temporary illness or incapacity
  • Pending application for SSI and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Medically certified as having a developmental disability or mental illness
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Require services in residence
  • Learning disability impacting employment
  • Advanced age (55 or older) impacting employment
  • Unemployable.

Note: If you get GA benefits with a different basis of eligibility that is not on this list, you will not qualify for Housing Support.

If you are approved for Housing Support with a GA basis of eligibility, you have to apply for SSI benefits if you appear eligible. If you are approved for SSI, you will switch to having Housing Support with an SSI basis of eligibility.

Housing Support with an SSI Basis of Eligibility

You may qualify for Housing Support with an SSI basis of eligibility if you have $10,000 or less in assets, and either:

  • Get SSI benefits, or
  • Would qualify for SSI benefits if your income or assets were lower. If this is the case, your income still must be below Housing Support's income limit. See DB101’s SSI article for more information about SSI’s eligibility requirements.

Note: If your disability began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account where you can save up to $15,000 in assets each year and not have them counted by GA or SSI. (If you get SSI benefits, they'lll be suspended if your ABLE account balance goes over $100,000.) Learn more about ABLE accounts.

Income Limits

Your income includes money you get from work, benefits, or other sources. You can only qualify for Housing Support if your countable income is below the highest possible combined amount that Housing Support would pay your provider for:

  • Room and board (Housing Support pays at most $922 per month), and
  • Services you need (Housing Support pays at most $482.84 per month).
    • Note: Most people on Housing Support get services paid for by MA-Waiver programs. Housing Support will not pay for services if you qualify for MA-Waiver programs or for PCA services through MA.

This means your countable income limit for Housing Support may range from $922 per month to $1,404.84 per month, depending on the provider and whether you need and qualify for services. And for some people who get services, the limit can be even higher.

Tip: Housing Support doesn’t count all of your income, so even if you think you have too much income to get Housing Support, you might still qualify.

How Your Income Is Counted and What You Contribute for Your Room and Board

Housing Support looks at your income to:

  • Figure out whether you qualify, and
  • See how much you need to contribute for your room and board each month.

How Housing Support looks at your income depends on whether you get SSI benefits.

If You Get SSI Benefits

If you get SSI benefits, no matter how much you get in SSI or how much you earn, your countable income for Housing Support is $669.

You have to pay the $669 for room and board (and services, if Housing Support helps pay for your services). You get to keep any other income you have.

Example (Housing Support with an SSI benefit)

Evelyn makes $1,400 per month at a job and gets $113.50 in SSI benefits, for a total gross income of $1,513.50. Her countable income is $669.

She will have to pay the $669 each month to her housing provider. She keeps the rest of her income ($844.50) for her personal expenses.

Your Monthly Income (Housing Support with an SSI benefit):

If You Do Not Get SSI Benefits

If you have a GA or SSI basis of eligibility and you do not get SSI benefits, follow these steps to see your countable income:

  1. If you have any earned income, subtract a $65 earned income exclusion from it.
    • You get to keep the $65.
  2. Divide the resulting amount of earned income by two. This is your countable earned income.
    • Less than half of your initial earned income is counted. You get to keep the rest.
  3. Add your countable earned income from step two to any unearned income you have and subtract $102 from that number.
    • The $102 is called your personal needs allowance. It is yours to spend on whatever you want or need.
  4. The final number is your countable income.
    • If you qualify for Housing Support, you have to pay the full amount of your countable income for room and board.

Note: Other rules not discussed here may let you keep even more of your earned income and pay even less for room and board. To learn about these work incentives, Chat with a Hub expert.

Example (Housing Support without SSI benefits)

Anna makes $200 per month at a job and gets $750 per month in spousal support, for a total of $950 in gross income.

Anna's Monthly Income (no SSI benefit):
Your Monthly Income (Housing Support without SSI benefits):

You Are Better Off Working

If you work, you’ll be better off. You’ll get to keep more money for your own expenses and you’ll keep getting Housing Support benefits if you need them. Here are some important things to remember:

  • If you get Housing Support and SSI benefits at the same time, your maximum contribution for your room and board will be $669, no matter how much you earn.
  • If you get Housing Support and you don’t get SSI benefits, you can save a lot of your earned income, because Housing Support's rules count less than half of what you earn.

The Bottom Line: It is good to work and you do not need to worry that if you qualify with an SSI basis of eligibility, you’ll lose your Housing Support or will have to spend all your work income on room and board.

Your Housing Support Eligibility and SNAP

Many people who get Housing Support are not eligible for SNAP (formerly Food Support/Food Stamps). However, if you are eligible for SNAP, you shouldn’t worry that if you apply for SSI, you’ll lose your full SNAP benefits. It is possible your SNAP benefits will go down, but most people should still get more than $100 per month in SNAP.

If you started getting SSI benefits and your SNAP went below $100 a month, there may be a mistake and you should Chat with a Hub expert.

Learn how Minnesota benefits can help you get ahead when you work by watching the short video below.