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SSBG Legislation Legislative Authority

Published: January 1, 2007
Audience:
Social Services Block Grants (SSBG)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Statute/Legislation

Legislative Authority


On January 4, 1975, a new Title XX was added to the Social Security Act, which authorized an entitlement to States for the provision of social services. Prior to Title XX, States received matching Federal funds for specified categories of services, with eligibility for the services limited to receipt of public assistance under several titles of the Social Security Act.

Under Title XX, States were given increased flexibility to offer a wider range of services to a broader population of adults and children. The statute also included requirements regarding planning, public participation, income eligibility, and administration.

In 1981, Title XX was amended to establish the SSBG program. The block grant statute gave States even greater flexibility in their use of these funds. Within the limitations specified by law, States determine what services are provided, the eligible categories and populations of adults and children, the geographic areas of the State in which each service will be provided, and whether the services will be provided by State or local agency staff or through grants or contracts with private organizations.

Funds are allocated to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. To receive SSBG grants, matching funds are not required.

Services funded by the SSBG must be directed at one or more of five broad statutory goals:

  • Achieving or maintaining economic self-support to prevent, reduce, or eliminate dependency
  • Achieving or maintaining self-sufficiency, including reduction or prevention of dependency
  • Preventing or remedying neglect, abuse, or exploitations of children and adults unable to protect their own interest or preserving, rehabilitating, or reuniting families
  • Preventing or reducing inappropriate institutional care by providing for community-based care, home-based care, or other forms of less intensive care
  • Securing referral or admission for institutional care when other forms of care are not appropriate or providing services to individuals in institutions

Summary of FY 2007 Activities
In fiscal year 2007, all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four insular areas received grants each quarter amounting to $1.7 billion. As authorized by Title V of Public Law 95-134, the Omnibus Territories Act, the four insular areas--American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the Virgin Islands--consolidated a number of programs into a single grant under the SSBG program.

Program Requirements
States, territories, insular areas, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are eligible grantees.

States must prepare an annual report on the activities carried out with the funds made available through this program. The report must be in such form and contain such information that it can determine the extent to which funds were spent in a manner consistent with the report of projected activities submitted prior to funding.

Application Process
Each year States must submit a report on the intended use of funds under this Block Grant. Prior to December 1 of each fiscal year, OCS publishes a notification of allotment for States to facilitate State planning and preparation of their required reports.

If you have questions or comments, please refer to the SSBG Contact page.