Section 1. The department of transitional assistance, in this chapter called the department, shall administer a program of financial assistance for aged and disabled persons who reside within the commonwealth. Such assistance, which shall be called state supplementary payments, shall be based on need and granted in supplementation of benefits granted by the United States government to aged and disabled individuals, under the provisions of title XVI of the federal Social Security Act and amendments thereto, in this chapter called title XVI. Such assistance shall be granted to persons who, on account of age or disability, qualify for supplemental security income granted pursuant to title XVI and may, based on need, be granted to individuals who would, but for their income, be eligible for such supplemental security income.
The department shall establish, subject to the approval of the secretary of the executive office of human services, standard levels for state supplementary payments for the aged and disabled. Such payments may vary by category, by marital status, and by living arrangements to the extent allowed by title XVI and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
No assistance under this section shall be granted to an applicant who, at any time within two years immediately prior to the filing of an application for such assistance, has made an assignment or transfer or who has mortgaged or otherwise encumbered property so as to render himself eligible for such assistance.
No person receiving assistance under this section shall be prohibited from receiving benefits under the federal Food Stamp Act solely because of his status as a recipient of such assistance.