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Does Social Security Pay For Nursing Home Care

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Paying For Nursing Home Care With Private Pay Options

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In addition to state and federal programs, many families pay for nursing homes using personal resources. Consider the following options, and consult your loved one about their savings and funds.

Savings. Personal savings, or out-of-pocket payments, are the primary way seniors fund nursing home care, according to the National Institute on Aging.

Pensions. A pension is a sum of money paid monthly by a retirees former employer. Pension amounts are generally based on position, years of service, and age of retirement.

Retirement income. Retirement income can include social security benefits, benefits from annuities, retirement or profit sharing plans, insurance contracts, or IRAs. Retirement income is often taxable. Speak with an accountant about potential tax breaks and credits for using retirement income to pay for nursing home care.

Stocks. Stock portfolios can be sold to pay for nursing home care. Speak with your loved ones portfolio advisor to determine the best course of action.

Does Social Security Cover Nursing Home Costs

For many Americans approaching retirement age, its a very real worry: Will there be enough in Social Security to cover my needs? How can I get the most to support myself? And what about my spouse? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles that address these concerns, and usually they involve an enormous amount of trepidation and volumes of paperwork if you choose to apply on your own.

When people think of nursing home expenses, they often think solely of Social Security. But there is also something called Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. In some situations, SSI can be combined with Social Security benefits to help buffer expenses, particularly for those who might have any type of disability. Breaking down these two programs and how they work allows for a better understanding of whether they can successfully help cover the expense of a nursing home.

Seniors Are Too Often Targeted By Financial Thieves

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      It’s a sad fact of modern life: Senior citizens are often targeted by thieves and financial tricksters, and those residing in nursing homes can be the most vulnerable of all. If your loved one is in a facilityor will soon be entering onehow can you make sure their pension-plan payments, Social Security income, annuity income, and any other funds are protected from unscrupulous employees? Here are a few pointers.

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      Talk With A Senior Living Advisor

      Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

      Home sale. Selling a house to pay for senior care is common. In fact, people older than 55 accounted for more than half of all home sellers in 2019 and 2020, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

      Assistance from family. Who pays for nursing home care if an elderly loved one hasnt saved or planned in advance? That responsibility often falls to family members. Financial discussions can be difficult, especially when multiple family members will be paying for nursing home care jointly. Avoid sibling disputes by planning in advance.

      Bridge loans. These quickly available, short-term loans can be used to pay for a move to a skilled nursing facility or nursing home while assets are being liquidated or while a home is being sold.

      Can I Pay Myself To Care For My Parent

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      One of the most frequent questions asked at Family Caregiver Alliance is, How can I be paid to be a caregiver to my parent? If you are going to be the primary caregiver, is there a way that your parent or the care receiver can pay you for the help you provide? The short answer is yes, as long as all parties agree.

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      Cover Nursing Home Costs

      Still overwhelmed? Start slow. Get the power of attorney paperwork completed and filed. Look through finances and get an understanding of how much money is coming in each month in Social Security and other income. Be honest on your loved ones nursing home application share all sources of income. The facility will be able to determine if your loved ones current income is enough or steps need to be taken to apply for additional assistance.

      Even if you dont think your loved one needs Medicaid right now, it may be needed in the future, so organization is key. Consider saving any receipts for large payments or deposits over $2,000 in preparation for Medicaids five-year financial review.

    • Powers of Attorney & Medicaid: What You Need To Know.Medicaid Planning Assistance, American Council of Aging, 29 July 2019,
    • Social Security Administration Facts for Nursing Homes.SSA,
    • Cost of Care Survey 2019.Genworth. 29 November 2019,
    • How to Apply for Medicaid Long Term Care.Medicaid Planning Assistance, American Council of Aging, 13 March 2019,
    • VA Nursing Homes, assisted living, home health care.VA, US Department of Veteran Affairs, 8 August 2019,
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      What Are Optional State Supplements

      Optional State Supplements help pay room and board at senior care facilities options for certain low-income individuals. OSS benefits are paid in addition to normal Social Security benefits the exact amount depends on the applicants income. In some cases, OSS benefits can be less than $100 per month, but some recipients get more than $1,000 per month. All payments are made directly to the assisted living facility or other care location. The OSS program operates under some other names as well. Wisconsins program is called SSI Exceptional Expense Supplement, and Marylands program is known as the Assisted Living Subsidy. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia do not offer Optional State Supplements. Some of these states have their own unique programs to subsidize assisted living.

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      What Happens To Your Monthly Income If You Go Into A Nursing Home

      • Home What happens to your monthly income if you go into a nursing home?

      What happens to your monthly income if you go into a nursing home?

      By Thomas V. Trainer and Brian R. Jenney

      Unfortunately, we face an increasing risk of spending some part of our lives living in a nursing home. Most of us now know how expensive nursing homes are, $90,000 a year or more, and we know that few people have the resources to pay this for long. Absent planning, what typically happens is that the person who moves into a nursing home quickly spends down all his or her assets, and then, once impoverished, is put on the Medicaid program. What most of us dont know is what happens to ones monthly Social Security and pension checks once the person uses up all of his or her assets.

      The basic rule is that all your monthly income goes to the nursing home, and Medicaid then pays the nursing home the difference between your monthly income, and the amount that the nursing home is allowed under its Medicaid contract. The only exception that always applies is that Medicaid will allow you to keep the first $60 of your money each month to pay for your Personal Needs, such as the beauty shop, or postage stamps, or for the phone in your room.

      As with any rule involving Medicaid and health care, these exceptions can be tricky to understand, or use. If this is ever a concern of yours, please contact us, and well assist you in getting the help you need.

      One: Take A Look At Finances

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      Take time to look at the amount of money that comes in and goes out of your loved ones accounts. Poke around in retirement accounts, pensions, annuities, insurance policies, and more.

      The average cost per day starts at $245 for a semi-private room, according to a Genworth study. Use the $245 figure as a guide to pencil in how much itll take to cover nursing home expenses.

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      State Supplements To Ssi

      Most states give additional money to SSI recipients in the form of a supplement to the federal monthly SSI payment. For example, California pays a $20 supplement to SSI recipients who live in nursing homes and are eligible for the reduced federal $30/month SSI payment. Alaska adds a $45 supplement to the $30 reduced federal SSI amount.

      As mentioned above, Medicaid will not pay for room and board costs at a non-medical facility like an assisted living facility. But since the monthly SSI amount is not enough to afford the typical cost of an assisted living facility, many states have separate programs through which they supplement the SSI payments of people in non-medical long-term care facilities. For instance, California adds a extra $423/month to individuals living in non-medical out-of-home care to supplement the federal SSI payment, for a monthly total of $1,217. Alaska adds $100/month, for a monthly total of $894.

      In some states, the SSI state supplement is paid directly to the facility.

      Social Security Definitions & Acronyms Explained

      • Social Security provides retirement income for seniors that have paid into the program, which includes almost everyone that has worked legally in the U.S. More.
      • Supplemental Security Income is financial help for persons with limited income and assets. SSI evaluates ones income and fills in the gap to bring their income up to a pre-set amount. More.
      • Optional State Supplements are state-based financial help provided on top of the federal SSI benefit. OSS benefit amounts differ for each recipient and may vary depending on where they live . It is under OSS where Social Security provides financial help for assisted living. OSS are also called State Supplementary Payments . More.
      • Assisted Living non-medical care, meals, and activities are provided in a group living environment. A staggering number of acronyms are used to essentially describe what is the same thing across the 50 states. A non-exhaustive list follows:

      AFC Adult Foster Care or Adult Family CareARCH Adult Residential Care HomesCBRF Community Based Residential FacilitiesCCFFH Community Care Foster Family HomesCRCF Community Residential Care FacilitiesNMOHC Non-Medical Out of Home CareOPNMI Other Private Non-Medical InstitutionRCAC Residential Care Apartment ComplexRCF Residential Care FacilitiesRCFE Residential Care Facilities for the ElderlySCU Special Care Unit

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      Nursing Homes That Are Covered By Medicaid

      If Medicaid is paying for over half the cost of your care, your SSI benefits will be reduced to $30 a month for individuals or $60 a month for couples. While some states will supplement this amount or let you keep more, those reductions are rarely significant. However, your SSI benefits will only be reduced if youre in a facility that is capable of providing inpatient care, and will not cover the cost of non-medical facilities such as assisted living facilities.

      What Va Benefits Cover

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      Benefits provided for custodial care are awarded through a priority system, with those assigned a higher priority category, such as someone injured through an act of war on active duty, receiving the first available care.

      Those assigned lower priority categories may have access to custodial care depending on the availability of resources in their geographic location however, it is not a guaranteed benefit, and individuals may be asked to cover their own expenses.

      The VAs Geriatrics and Extended Care program provides services for those who are elderly and have complex needs and veterans of any age who need daily support and assistance.

      Veterans can receive care at home, at VA medical centers or in the community. If you are eligible to receive care, this program may pay for the following:

      • 24/7 nursing and medical care
      • Physical therapy

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      Are There Assisted Living Facilities That Accept Ssi

      This is a good question but one that is difficult to answer.

      Assisted living facilities do not directly accept SSI benefits because those payments go directly to the recipient, who can use it to cover some of the assisted living costs.

      However, some assisted living facilities do accept OSS payments

      Many assisted living facilities accept Social Security benefits in the form of Optional State Supplements, but eligibility requirements and payment amounts can vary greatly from state to state and facility to facility.

      To get a clearer understanding, lets look at two examples:

    • Washington – The state of Washington does not offer OSS, but they do cap prices on room and board in assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid.

    • Idaho – Optional State Supplements for room and board are available in Idaho and range from around $320 to $455 per month. Not every assisted living facility is qualified to receive OSS, so seniors living in Idaho should verify proper OSS certification before applying.

      Social Security By The Numbers

      The average amount received from Social Security is $1,342 for an individual, and less than double that for a couple. If a person is able to combine it with SSI, that average increases by about $700 for an average sum of $2,042. It is also worth noting that SSI can only be applied to Social Security if a senior is 65 years of age and is on a needs-based program for those who are blind, elderly, or disabled with very low income and limited assets. Even with SSI and Social Security combined, this figure will be far short of the cost of assisted living, and dramatically insufficient if one spouse was in a nursing facility while another was home covering living expenses.

      Consider the average cost of a nursing home, which is a staggering $6,000 per month, contrast it with the income received from Social Security and/or SSI, and families will find themselves in a desperate situation fast.

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      Can Nursing Home Take Bank Account

      If your name is on a joint account and you enter a nursing home, the state will assume the assets in the account belong to you unless you can prove that you did not contribute to it. This means that either one of you could be ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time, depending on the amount of money in the account.

      How To Cover Nursing Home Costs With Social Security: Step

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        Have you been confronted with the decision to put a loved one into a nursing home? If so, it can be an emotional situation. Once the dust settles a bit, one of the first questions you might have could be this How much does it cost?

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        Your loved one may be collecting Social Security, so why not use that to cover some of the costs? Heres how Social Security can help your loved one who must go into a nursing home.

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        Paying For Assisted Living

        Assisted living costs are most frequently paid for out-of-pocket by residents and their families, using personal savings, retirement accounts, veterans benefits, pensions and annuities, as well as Social Security payments.

        Long-term care policies carried an average annual premium of about $2,800 in 2015, and 7.5 million individuals had such policies in 2014. But the insurance industry, which enthusiastically promoted long-term care insurance in the 1990s and early 2000s, has backed away after payments on policies increased dramatically. In 2000, 125 insurers offered long term care policies. By 2014, fewer than 15 did. Many insurance companies worry that increasing longevity will mean more cases of age-related dementia and Alzheimers Disease, major reasons why people need long-term care.

        Long-term care policies differ in what they cover and for how long. Most limit daily reimbursement and put a limit on how long payments will be made. The number of new policies issued each year plummeted from 380,000 in 1990 to 129,000 in 2014.

        Medicare does not pay for assisted living rent or services, but will pay for medical expenses incurred at an assisted living facility, just as it would if the care was delivered in a hospital, doctors office or private home.

        What Is Included In Social Security Assisted Living Benefits

        Perhaps you or your family member is already receiving Social Security.

        Assisted living options may also be at the forefront of your mind, but youre wondering if there are any Social Security assisted living benefits.

        Beyond what weve already discussed SSDI and SSI you will be glad to know that there are a few more resource options available to you or your loved one.

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        Will Nursing Home Take Social Security Check

        Neither the state nor the federal government has any particular requirements about how the Social Security check gets to the nursing home. In that case, the check could come to the resident or the spouse in the community and they would be responsible for paying the balance to the nursing home.

        Alice Sparrow

        Will Social Security Pay For A Caregiver

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        A 2020 report by AARP, in conjunction with the National Alliance for Caregiving , indicates that somewhere around 53 million Americans care for an aging or ailing loved one without compensation. On average, these caregivers work nearly 24 hours each week.

        Because they are sometimes forced to take on debt or, at the very least, cannot save money for their own families, these adult children and others providing care are looking for ways to mitigate the financial burden that this unpaid obligation imposes on them.

        One of the questions that frequently crops up concerns social security retirement benefits. In fact, will social security pay for a caregiver?

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