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SSBG Fact Sheet

Published: May 7, 2015
Social Services Block Grants (SSBG)
About, Fact Sheet



To support social services directed towards achieving economic self-sufficiency; preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or the exploitation of children and adults; preventing or reducing inappropriate institutionalization; and securing referral for institutional care, where appropriate.

Legislative Authority:             

Title XX of the Social Security Act, as amended in 1981.


In FY 2013, Block Grant: $1.6 billion, Supplemental: $474.5 million

In FY 2014, Block Grant: $1.5 billion      

In FY 2015 Block Grant:  $1.5 billion

Eligible Applicants:                 

States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories (Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa).

Target Population:                  

Low-income households.


Services and eligibility requirements vary by State. The Uniform Definitions of Services, which include 29 service categories, provide guidelines to States for reporting purposes. Service categories most frequently supported by SSBG include child care, child welfare, services for persons with disabilities, case management services, and protective services for adults.

Type of Grant:                         

Block Grant

Program Requirements:         

States and territories must submit a plan specifying how grant funds will be used. An annual post-expenditure report is also required.  States may provide services directly, or sub-allocate funds to local qualified providers.  States may transfer up to 10% of their TANF funds to SSBG.

Program Highlights:                

In FY 2012, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 30 million individuals received services supported at least partially by SSBG funds. Top services funded using SSBG, included:

  • Foster Care Services – Children ($394 million in 35 States)
  • Day Care – Children ($296 million in 35 States)
  • Special Services – Disabled ($307 million in 21 States)
  • Protective Services – Children ($331 million in 38 States)
  • Case Management – ($222 million in 30 States)
  • Home-Based Services- ($154 million in 31 States)
  • Protective Services – Adults ($203 million in 36 States)
  • Prevention and Intervention ($195 million in 30 States)

In FY 2012, States reported $1.1 billion of TANF funds were transferred to SSBG.

In FY 2013, SSBG distributed 474.5 million in supplemental funds (Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Funds) to address necessary expenses resulting from Hurricane Sandy, including social, health, and mental health services for individuals, and for repair, renovation and rebuilding of health care facilities (including mental health facilities), child care facilities, and other social services facilities. Awards ranged from $516,428 to $235,434,600, and were distributed to five States (Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island).

Program Contact:                    

Social Services Block Grant, OCS