Will social security pay for assisted living? The short answer is yes, but the short answer never tells you the real story! Find out the details below.
Social Security Administration is a program that the federal agency runs, and it provides Social Security for Disability Insurance, Survivors, and Old-age, popularly known as the OASDI program.
Social Security works as the foundation for economic security, which is given to millions of Americans who can be any of these: deceased or chronically ill workers, retired families, disabled persons, and retirees. Social Security mostly talks about retirement benefits and also provides disability income and survivor benefits.
The income of Social Security is given to those who age 62, so if you are someone who is close to turning 62, then start claiming for benefits now. Though social security insurance money will help cover assisted living costs, it may not help you sustain completely.
These sustenance issues are of major concern to most of the elderly. It is because expenses on medicines, skilled nursing, and other services in the long term will burn the savings of the elderly.
When elderly do not have a monthly income, they will pay the assisted living costs using their personal assets, retirement savings, and investment incomes. Some elders may be relying on the SSI payment, but this may not be sufficient.
Will Social Security Pay for Assisted Living
Yes, Social Security will pay for assisted living. Social Security makes use of optional state supplements and will offer assistance to the seniors who stay in the assisted living.
But, the assistance is only provided if the eligibility criteria of the federal authorities are met by the applicant. Let us see how much financial assistance is provided by Social Security for assisted living.
The benefits of Social Security vary based on the earnings, using which you paid the taxes for Social Security. For example, in 2020, insurance payment for Social Security was $18,036; based on this, benefits vary. But there is a cap on the income that should be accounted for when benefits of social security are calculated.
To consider an example, in 2019 cap on income was $137,700, above which benefits are not calculated. So, a retiree who has filed for the benefits in 2020 has received $3,011 monthly
But the cap set is closer to the lowest average of assisted living costs, which will not benefit much for those who live in assisted living facilities as the money they get is very less.
So, they will have to add extra money picked from their savings, investments or pensions, to pay the costs of the nursing home or assisted living facilities. Most of the older adults use money from private funds to cover these extra expenses.
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Eligibility requirements for Social Security Benefits when the applicant is a Worker:
When a person is a worker and if he wants to get Social Security Benefits he has to be:
- Aged 62 or more, or blind or disabled and
- Have enough work credits and must be Insured.
What to do when Social Security payments do not cover the assisted living program?
The older adult can make use of financial channels or government programs other than the benefits of Social Security to pay for the assisted living.
You need to make a list of the government programs or financial channels that will give you money once you pick the apt one; you can calculate how to put the Social Security benefits and these funds together to pay for the assisted living.
Before you plan to pick anything, you better calculate the payments of Social Security payments, which will give a clear idea on how to use and what to expect of the money you get from the Social Security program.
Let us talk about other programs for assisted living:
#1 Supplemental Security Income:
Meaning of Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income, popularly known as SSI, is a kind of federal financial help that is given to seniors having limited assets and income. This is administered by social security.
Eligibility Requirements for Supplemental Security Income
Before a person qualifies for the SSI program, his income is first evaluated by the government. Once assessed, the government agrees to proceed. Further, the program will supplement the required money for filling the gap and bringing the income to a pre-established amount. Monthly income is a major criteria in deciding eligibility
For a senior citizen to be eligible for the benefits of federal SSI, he has to prove he has a monthly income (combined with a partner or individually) less than the amount that is set for that year.
If you are deemed eligible to get Supplemental Security Income, then they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits. Application for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security benefits are the same. But some additional information is needed from a person before Social Security benefits are awarded to him.
#2 Optional State Supplements
What Are Optional State Supplements?
Optional State Supplements, also known as OSS, are financial help that is state-based which are given on top of the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security also administers these. These are also referred to as State Supplementary Payments (SSP).
In some states, those seniors who live in assisted living facilities qualify for Optional State Supplements. These financial benefits are generally based on the level of income and will help in paying for a room and also board costs at the assisted living facilities.
You should remember that you must be eligible for SSI benefits. This explains that the Optional State Supplement benefits can be provided on top of the benefits of SSI.
The Optional State Supplement benefits will not be directly received like SSI or Social Security benefits. The Optional State Supplement benefits will be directly paid to the assisted living facility.
How Does OSS Work?
Optional State Supplements are complicated and confusing to understand easily. But we have to remember about one point of Optional State Supplements:
It is good to focus on those states that can help low-income retirees to afford for assisted living costs in the following two ways:
- By limiting the amount of money which an assisted living facilities can charge for board and room
- By paying for an assisted living room and board costs through Optional State Supplements
Eligibility criteria for Optional State Supplements
Eligibility rules vary from state to state. But these all are based on the income of an individual. Say, for example, you will be eligible for Optional State Supplements if the income level is below or at the federal SSI benefit level.
This explains that money available via Optional State Supplement benefits and the eligibility rules will vary between states.
When we talk about Optional State Supplement eligibility criteria, remember that some states may pick entirely different scales while setting Optional State Supplement eligibility criteria or income eligibility levels.
Some states will prefer to set the income cut-off lower or higher than the federal SSI level. One criteria being:
Senior Living Arrangement
If you have to be eligible for Optional State Supplements, you have to stay in an adult foster care home or an assisted living facility.
Different states have different definitions stating the criteria of living in an adult foster care or assisted living means. So you have to find out from your states what the eligibility rules are and plan accordingly.
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Does Location Matter When We Talk about Optional State Supplements?
States like Mississippi, Alabama, Washington and Kansas will not offer Option States Supplements like the other states. Some states cap the chargeable amount of a room of the assisted living facilities.
These capped amounts will match with the Income benefits of the federal supplemental security. This states that a senior who is qualified for the SSI benefits can be able to afford the costs of assisted living costs making use of these SSI benefits. This type of arrangement can be seen in the states like Ohio and Indiana.
But all assisted living facilities need not hold to this cap. The facility can charge longer as they want when they don’t accept Medicaid. This explains that those assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid have to apply these caps on the chargeable amounts.
Documents that are Required for Applying for Optional State Supplements
The application processes and administering agencies for OSS will vary from each state. Certain states give eligibility based on Medicaid. If you are receiving Medicaid benefits, then you automatically will be eligible for OSS and SSI.
But some states may want you to apply to receive the Optional State Supplements benefits. The documents that you have to give as a piece of evidence for the eligibility are:
- Age proof (the adult must be 65 and above)
- Social Security Number
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of income
- Work history
- Living arrangements – proof (you will have to prove that you live in an adult foster care facility or an assisted living facility)
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There Are Many Programs Apart From SSI For Assisted Living
Social security pays for the assisted living, and some other government programs also provide benefits, which are discussed above. We are hoping that the information in this article was helpful and informative to you. We will be happy to hear from you through the comment sections and will take in your suggestions!