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Will Social Security Pay For Assisted Living

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Income Limits For Medicaid In Illinois

Using social security to pay for assisted living

The income limits for AABD Medical are different depending on whether you live in the community or in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Income Limits for People Living in the Community

AABD Medical covers elderly, blind, and disabled residents living in the community with income up to 100% of the federal poverty level . In 2019, that is $1,041/month for a household of one or $1,409/month for a household of two.

If your income is more than the FPL, you can still qualify for AABD Medical by “spending down” your excess income every month on certain expenses. The state determines your spend-down amount based on your income. You qualify for Medicaid every month you can show the state that you have incurred the expenses. You do not have to actually pay the bills, just show the state that you have incurred them.

For example, Mrs. Brown has excess income above the AABD Medical income standard. Illinois tells Mrs. Brown her spend-down amount is $120/month. She has a doctor’s appointment that will cost her $250 out of pocket. She has met her spend-down and qualifies for AABD Medical that month.

Income Limits for People Living in a Facility

If your monthly income exceeds the cost of the nursing or supportive living facility, then you may still qualify for AABD Medical benefits if you spend-down your excess income every month on other eligible expenses.

Finding A Way To Pay For Assisted Living

Seniors can use more than one source of funds and financial assistance to cover assisted living costs. There are many options available, and seniors and their families should consider those that apply to their situation. Before taking risks with investments and assets or making major financial decisions, be sure to speak with a reputable financial advisor and possibly an elder law attorney. Local Area Agencies on Aging also provide free benefits counseling and information on government programs like Medicaid and other resources.

Thoughts On What Happens When My Money For Assisted Living Runs Out

  • Marvin Segel

    I have both a Supplemental medicare and LTC policy.I am a very healthy 80 year old.Both of these policies have increased 30% over the years.It has become harder and harder to meet all of my needssince my annual income is 20,000 dollars.I realize there is nothing I can do to move toward supplementalincome because my SS income is to high. With all other expenses moving up, I just have to tough it out.

  • Vince Burns

    I think it would be really sad to have the money run out for someone that is in an assisted living facility. It would make it hard on the family, but I know that sometimes you have to do just that. I find that most families that have family in the assisted living facilities have the money to keep them there for a while.

  • sue sweet

    my mother in law is moving to an assisted living facility in mayo fl they have advised that when her money runs out, medicaid will take over and she can stay.

    unfortunately i have tried to plan but with the hit i took in 2008 my retirement savings is down to next to nothing, i will be at the mercy of the system. this was certainly not my plan. i have no kids and no family so i am in one heck of a position. i better keep my health for many years to come.

  • Fletcher L. Hart
  • Fletcher L. Hart

    Needing HELP on how to get into an ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY and how to get on MEDICAID after my money runs out, thank you, Fletcher Hart

  • D. P.
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    Assisted Living Medicaid Policy

    Eligible residents may be able to use the Alabama Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver to cover some costs of care in an assisted living facility. However, not all facilities accept Medicaid or Medicaid-related programs. If you or your loved one plans to use the Medicaid waiver to help pay for assisted living, be sure to check with the facility to see if they accept the waiver program as payment.

    What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities

    Does Social Security Pay for Assisted Living?

    Catered toward the middle to upper-income households, CCRCs offer transitional senior care and move patients to different retirement/senior living situations based on their developing needs. For example, a 55-year-old entering retirement would likely go into an active senior apartment. However, upon developing medical issues, they would be transferred to a nursing home. Once their condition betters, they might be moved again to an assisted living facility. CCRC entry fees can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, with additional monthly fees.

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    Medicaid’s Benefits For Assisted Living Facility Residents

      Assisted living facilities are a housing option for people who can still live independently but who need some assistance. Costs can range from $2,000 to more than $6,000 a month, depending on location. Medicare wont pay for this type of care, but Medicaid might. Almost all state Medicaid programs will cover at least some assisted living costs for eligible residents.

      Unlike with nursing home stays, there is no requirement that Medicaid pay for assisted living, and no state Medicaid program can pay directly for a Medicaid recipients room and board in an assisted living facility. But with assisted living costs roughly half those of a semi-private nursing home room, state officials understand that they can save money by offering financial assistance to elderly individuals who are trying to stay out of nursing homes.

      Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City

      City, State

      As of 2019, 44 states and the District of Columbia provided some level of financial assistance to individuals in assisted living, according to the website Paying for Senior Care, which features a State by State Guide to Medicaid Coverage for Assisted Living Benefits that gives details on each states programs. According to the website, the Medicaid programs of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are the only ones that provide no coverage of assisted living, although non-Medicaid assistance may be available.

      Taking Out A Bridge Loan To Help Pay For Assisted Living

      Bridge loans are a risky option that should be used with caution. A bridge loan is a short-term loan that may be appropriate for seniors whose financial situations are not currently conducive to a move to long-term care.

      For example, it is common for an elder to sell their home and use the proceeds to fund their move to assisted living. But, if their care needs suddenly become too urgent to wait until the house sells before moving to assisted living , this plan can unravel. For people affected by conditions out of their control, a bridge loan, typically for 6 to 12 months, may be a viable option for temporarily funding their care. In this case, the senior assumes that their home will sell within the length of time specified in the contract for a sum that will cover repayment of the loan.

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      Optional State Social Security Supplements

      In some states, some seniors living in assisted living may qualify for Optional State Supplements . These are benefits, based on income, available for people living in assisted living facilities or adult foster care, to help pay the room and board costs at those facilities. If a senior qualifies for Supplemental Security Income benefits, or SSI benefits, they might be eligible for OSS benefits. OSS benefits are distributed on top of SSI benefits. Recipients dont get the payments, though, like they do with Social Security and SSI. The money from OSS payments goes straight to the assisted living facility.

      Both eligibility rules and amounts of available OSS benefits vary by state. If a state offers the OSS benefits, the state sets its own eligibility requirements. The requirements are usually based on income. In most states that offer OSS, if a seniors income level is below the federal requirements for receiving SSI benefits, they probably meet the states requirements for OSS benefits, too. In 2019, to qualify for the federal SSI benefit, individuals had to have an income of less than $771 per month.

      Alabama Medicaid Elderly And Disabled Waiver

      Social Security cost of living adjustments increasing due to inflation

      The Alabama Medicaid Elderly and Disabled Waiver is a Home and Community Based Waiver designed to help elderly and disabled residents of the state maintain some independence while still accessing the care that they need. Seniors who participate in the waiver program will work with a case manager, who develops a plan of care to meet their needs. Some of the services offered through the program include meal delivery, companion services, and personal care services. The waiver can help bridge the gap for seniors who need daily assistance, but are not ready for nursing care.

      Who Is Eligible?Applicants must require a nursing facility level of care, and have a maximum income of $2,250 per month. The resource limit for recipients is $2,000 per month.

      How to ApplyInterested applicants can contact the Alabama Department of Senior Services online or by phone at 1-800-243-5463 to apply.

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      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.

      Applying For Va Benefits To Pay For Assisted Living

      The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers pension funds to some eligible wartime veterans who have low income and limited assets. The Aid and Attendance benefit is an increased monthly pension that many veterans and their families do not know about. This higher pension amount is awarded to eligible veterans and surviving spouses who require the assistance of another person to perform activities of daily living , such as bathing, dressing, toileting and feeding. Assisted living facilities provide these kinds of personal care services.

      In 2021, an eligible veteran may receive up to $1,936 monthly, a surviving spouse with no dependents is eligible for up to $1,244 monthly, and a veteran with a non-veteran spouse is eligible for up to $2,295 monthly through the A& A pension program.

      For more information on this and other VA benefits, what these programs cover, eligibility criteria and how to apply, download AgingCare.coms FREE Veterans Benefits eBook.

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      Reach Out To A Care Counselor

      Now, its time to start reaching out to communities in your area. Find a couple communities you would like to learn more about and contact their senior care counselors who can answer your questions. UMH senior care counselors are free to talk to and if they cant answer your specific questions on how to pay for assisted living, they can point you in the right direction. Their main objective is to make sure your loved one finds the perfect senior living community, based on their needs, desires and finances.

      Terms Acronyms & Definitions

      Social Security Pay for Assisted Living Facilities

      Before we get into our guide, let’s break down a few common terms to help you better understand their meanings.

      OSS These are state-based assistance funds given in addition to those paid out by SSI. The final amount each person receives will depend on their living arrangements and level of need. Social Security cant pay for assisted living directly and will often use OSS as a method of offering payment assistance. OSS may also be called SSP depending on your location.

      Assisted Living This is a residential community or facility that offers long term care for seniors and other adults. The care provided is not medical and only assistive in nature. This can include help with bathing, grooming, mobility, meals and other general daily tasks.

      Social Security This is a form of income provided for citizens once they retire. There is a certain number of credits a person must pay into the program over their lifetime in order to qualify. You can read more about the specifics of Social Security here.

      SSI SSI is a form of financial assistance for those who have a limited number of assets and lower-income. This program will evaluate a senior’s total income and offer a supplemental balance to bring their income to a pre-arranged monthly amount. The benefit will vary from person to person depending on their income level.

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      Alabama Legal Assistance Program

      The Legal Assistance Program assists Alabama residents age 60 and over with non-criminal legal matters. The program is staffed by lawyers licensed by the State Bar of Alabama, and offers representation free of charge. The program assists with legal matters such as elder abuse, advanced directives, powers of attorney, accessing long-term care, and more. To find out if you are eligible or obtain assistance, contact your local AAA or call 1-800-AGE-LINE .

      What Is Public Housing

      Public housing provides safe rental housing for low-income families, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. HUD provides federal aid to local housing agencies, which manage to house for residents at prices they can afford .


      Has determined eligibility based on annual gross income, age/disability/family, and U.S. citizenship/immigration eligibility. Public housing agencies do not grant housing to those who could cause disruptions to local tenants. Income limits are set by the state but run under these categories: lower-income and very low income .

      Role of the Housing Agency

      HAs manage the local public housing program and ensure that its on-going functions are running smoothly. They assure that resident parties are complying with their leases , set charges, reexamine familys income once every 12 months, or transfer families in case of emergency or request .


      Rent is determined by Total Tenant Payment, based on a familys anticipated gross annual income , excluding exemptions. These include $480 for a dependent and $400 for an elder or disabled individual. An HA reserves the right to allow and manage exemptions. TTP is determined by taking the 30% of monthly adjusted income , 10% of monthly income, and welfare rent . These values are all rounded up to the nearest dollar.

      Application process

    • Names, sex, DOB, and relationship to familial head of all individuals living in a unit
    • Current address and telephone number
    • Family status or circumstance
    • Lease

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      Social Security Beneficiaries May Be Eligible For Medicaid

      Most SSI recipients are eligible for Medicaid. This is a means-tested program that helps those living on a low income offset the cost of health care. Medicaid recipients receive assistance with the premiums and deductibles associated with Medicare, which means they may be able to have 100% of the costs of a lift chair covered if the chair is medically necessary and has been prescribed by a health care professional.

      Seniors hoping to have the cost of a lift chair covered by their benefits must make sure the chair they purchase is from an approved supplier and that their prescription clearly states why the features of that chair make it necessary. In most cases, a lift chair will only be covered if the senior is incapable of standing up from a regular chair but can walk once they are standing. A senior who requires a wheelchair or scooter for general mobility is not likely to be eligible for financial aid for a lift chair.

      How Much Does Medicare Pay For Assisted Living

      Social Security payments to increase by 6% l GMA

      Medicare will pay for 100% of the cost of care for up to 20 days in a qualified nursing facility and about 80% of the cost for up to 80 days more. Care should be for recovery after a hospital stay. Medicare does not cover any assisted living costs.

      How much will Medicaid pay for assisted living? Costs can range from $ 2,000 to more than $ 6,000 per month, depending on the location. Medicare will not pay for this type of care, but Medicaid could. Almost all state Medicaid programs will cover at least some assisted living costs for eligible residents.

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      Finding Appropriate Housing In Your Area

      Of course, your final decision on a facility will depend on more than cost alone. Youll want to find a community that fits the needs of your loved one in a convenient location that will also keep them happy and fulfilled each day. HUD has compiled an exhaustive multifamily inventory of housing units for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Though not all housing units qualify as assisted living, they are all subsidized HUD housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. You can click the link for your state, and begin to make inquiries at locations that sound promising.

      • Category pages

      What Assisted Living Services Does Medicaid Cover

      Not all states offer financial assistance for assisted living, and those that do rarely cover the full costs associated with it. States pick and choose what services they will cover for enrollees. That said, there are a few common services that Medicaid will typically pay for, at least in part. These include:

      • Case management

      • Registered nurses or health aides

      • Transportation

      While fees for room and board arent covered through Medicaid directly, some programs might cover the cost of food preparation and dining services, though not the food itself. In some states, like Ohio, Medicaid might also pay for recreational activities and housekeeping, as well as help families transition from rehabilitation facilities to assisted living facilities. Those who are eligible to receive Medicaid benefits might still need to pay a co-pay or some subset of the costs, even for services covered under the states program, says Tyler White, an elder law attorney at JacksonWhite Attorneys at Law in Mesa, Arizona.

      As a rule of thumb, single Medicaid members are entitled to keep a personal needs allowance of about $115.00, White says.

      The rest of their income goes toward covering their share of assisted living costs.

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