A State-by-State Guide to Social Security Benefits & Assisted Living

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Does Social Security pay for assisted living?

Yes, Social Security can be put towards the cost of assisted living. However, monthly benefits usually aren’t enough to cover the full cost.

The median cost of assisted living in 2023 was $4,807 per month, according to A Place for Mom’s proprietary data. Social Security benefits in 2024 range between $2,710 and $4,873, depending on the age someone retired, which Social Security benefit they qualify for, and other factors.The average monthly benefit was approximately $1,770 as of February 2024.

Typically, Social Security benefits are deposited directly into a person’s bank account. A senior can then pay their assisted living community its monthly dues with that income. Seniors can also use Social Security payments to pay for home care services, as well. To cover the remaining costs of long-term care, residents rely on other forms of income, such as savings or other retirement income.

Paying for assisted living with Social Security disability benefits

People who qualify specifically for the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit can use these funds to help pay for assisted living. As with other Social Security programs, this benefit alone likely won’t cover the entire cost. In 2019, the average monthly disability benefit was $1,234, and for many beneficiaries, this was their only source of income.[05]

SSDI offers coverage to workers who have paid Social Security taxes on their income. To get benefits, a person must have a severe medical condition that’s expected to last longer than a year or result in death. That medical condition must prevent them from doing work they’ve done in the past and adjusting to other types of work. Once someone receiving SSDI benefits reaches full retirement age, their monthly payment is converted to the Social Security retirement benefit.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another Social Security program that can help seniors pay for assisted living. SSI provides monthly payments to people with limited income or resources that are either over the age of 65, blind, or disabled. In 2024, the maximum monthly SSI benefit for an individual is $943 and $1,415 for a couple.[06] Oftentimes, people who qualify for SSI can also qualify for Medicaid, which can sometimes help pay for care services related to assisted living.

Using optional state supplementation to pay for assisted living

Many states provide additional assistance on top of the SSI benefits. These are commonly referred to as an optional state supplement (sometimes abbreviated as OSS) or a state supplementary payment.

Sometimes, optional state supplementation can be used by seniors to help pay for assisted living, but not all states provide this. The benefit amount typically depends on the senior’s income, living arrangement, and other factors. Typically, residents must go through an application process to determine whether they’re eligible and what their payment amount will be.

A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Advisors can help seniors and their families find care options in their area. They can also advise families on how to pay for assisted living in their state.

Here’s a state-by-state guide — including Washington, D.C. — of state supplements to SSI benefits.

Alabama

Alabama doesn’t provide a state supplement to SSI recipients who reside in an assisted living community.

Alaska

In Alaska, the Adult Public Assistance program offers a $30 monthly state supplementary payment to an individual living in an assisted living community.

Arizona

Arizona does not offer an optional state supplement to people who receive SSI, regardless of whether they live in assisted living.

Arkansas

Arkansas doesn’t provide an optional state supplement to SSI beneficiaries in any living situation, including seniors in assisted living.

California

In 2024, California provides a monthly SSI state supplement of about $630 to residents of assisted living communities. Because the Social Security Administration oversees the supplement for California, beneficiaries get a single payment that combines federal and state aid.

Colorado

The Aid to the Needy Disabled-Colorado Supplement program provides a supplement to residents age 59 and younger. Recipients must receive SSI benefits due to a disability or blindness and can’t receive the full SSI benefit.

Additionally, the Old Age Pension program in Colorado provides up to $952 monthly for eligible seniors over age 60 with limited resources. Their income from Social Security, SSI, and other sources may reduce their monthly assisted living payment. The program is funded entirely by the state.[11]

Connecticut

The State Supplement to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled program provides cash assistance to help pay the cost of assisted living in Connecticut. If a senior meets certain eligibility requirements, the state will further examine their financial situation to determine their cash benefit. The state allows a higher income limit for assisted living residents because it factors in monthly costs for residing there when determining financial eligibility.

Delaware

Delaware provides a state supplement to certain seniors receiving SSI benefits and who reside in assisted living communities. Generally, the payment amount depends the level of assistance they’re receiving.

Florida

Florida provides an optional state supplement paid directly to assisted living communities to help eligible seniors cover the cost of room and board. The state also provides a $54 personal needs allowance that’s kept by the resident.

Georgia

Georgia doesn’t offer an optional state supplement to help seniors pay for assisted living, although it does offer an optional supplement to seniors in a nursing home.

Hawaii

Hawaii provides an optional state supplement to residents of assisted living communities, which the state also refers to as adult residential care homes. For communities with five or fewer residents, the combined monthly state and federal SSI and state supplement for 2024 is $1,594.90. Residents in communities with more than five residents receive $1,702.90. Because the Social Security Administration oversees the program, residents receive a single payment for the federal and state assistance.

Idaho

Idaho provides a small state supplement to SSI for seniors in assisted living through the Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled cash assistance program. The amount depends on the type of living arrangement and the cost of the community.

Illinois

Illinois’ Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled cash assistance program can help seniors pay for assisted living if they’re receiving SSI benefits or if they’ve been denied SSI due to their income. The state factors in income, resources, and expenses when determining the payment amount.[18]

Indiana

The Residential Care Assistance Program can help Indiana seniors pay for assisted living if they’re receiving Medicaid or SSI benefits. The state pays the supplement directly to approved communities on behalf of the resident.

Iowa

Iowa’s State Supplementary Assistance program may provide assistance to seniors who receive SSI benefits or would receive SSI if not for excess income. The program offers cash assistance in six different categories, one of which is intended for people in residential care communities. In 2024, residential care residents can receive $123 for a personal needs allowance and up to a $36.82 per diem for cost-related expenses.

Kansas

In Kansas, the State Supplement Payment Program provides cash assistance to residents whose SSI benefit is reduced due to Medicaid paying for at least half of their assisted living costs.

Kentucky

Kentucky provides a state supplement to help residents pay for an assisted living community, which the state refers to as a personal care home. In 2024, the state supplement for a personal care home resident equals $1,559 per month, minus their countable income. As an example, $1,559 minus the SSI benefit of $914 equals a payment of $645.

Louisiana

Louisiana provides an $8 optional state supplement to some residents of long-term care communities, which may include assisted living. The benefit is intended to help them pay for personal needs.

Maine

Seniors in Maine can get a state supplement to pay for assisted living if they’re receiving SSI benefits or would receive SSI if not for their income. The benefit can range from $10 to $234 monthly for an individual, depending on the type of assisted living.

Maryland

Maryland’s Senior Assisted Living Subsidy can help eligible seniors pay for services in an assisted living community.The individual must live in an assisted living community that’s entered into an agreement with the local Area Agency on Aging, and subsidies are sent directly to the community. The maximum payment is $1,056 per month. Financial eligibility isn’t based on SSI benefits but rather is available to seniors whose income is at or less than 60% of the state median income.

Massachusetts

The State Supplement Program in Massachusetts provides cash assistance on top of SSI benefits, which can be used to help pay for assisted living. If a senior resides in assisted living, the state supplement is $340.50 in 2024.

Michigan

Michigan provides a state supplement to the SSI benefit for seniors in several types of assisted living, including domiciliary care, personal care, and home for the aged communities. In 2024, the supplement ranges from $87 to $179, depending on the living arrangement. Because Social Security administers the program for Michigan, residents receive a single payment with the combined federal and state assistance.

Minnesota

Minnesota Supplement Aid can provide additional cash assistance to seniors who are receiving SSI benefits and those who didn’t get SSI because their income was too high. While the payments vary depending on where a senior lives, they can be used to help pay for assisted living.

Mississippi

Mississippi doesn’t provide an optional state supplement to seniors receiving SSI benefits, regardless of whether or not they reside in assisted living.

Missouri

In Missouri, the Supplemental Nursing Care program can help seniors pay for care in an assisted living community and other types of long-term care facilities. The maximum payment for the resident of an assisted living community is $292.

Montana

Montana provides a state supplement to help seniors receiving SSI benefits pay for care in assisted living communities, which the state refers to as personal care facilities. The maximum state supplement for the resident of a personal care facility is $94. Because Social Security administers the payments, residents will receive a single payment with the combined federal and state assistance.

Nebraska

Nebraska’s Aid to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled program provides cash assistance that can help seniors pay for assisted living. The program is intended for people who are ineligible for Medicaid, and for people who’ve been denied SSI benefits because their disability is expected to last less than a year.

Nevada

In Nevada, a senior residing in an assisted living community with 16 or fewer people can get a state supplement to their SSI benefit. In 2024, the state supplement for someone in this type of assisted living arrangement is $391 on top of the federal benefit. Social Security administers the benefit for the state, so residents receive a single payment that combines both the federal and state aid.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s State Supplement Program can help seniors pay for assisted living. It may provide cash assistance to people who are blind, disabled, or age 65 and older. The payment amount depends on the applicant’s income and living arrangement.

New Jersey

New Jersey provides a state supplement to SSI benefits that can help seniors pay for assisted living. In 2024, the state supplement for an individual in assisted living is $150. Because the Social Security Administration oversees the program for New Jersey, residents receive a single payment that combines the federal and state aid.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, the state provides a supplement to SSI recipients who reside in assisted living communities, which are referred to as adult residential care homes.[35] According to the most recently available data, the supplement was $100.

New York

New York provides a state supplement to most SSI recipients. In 2024, the supplement ranges from $435 to $694 for individuals in assisted living, depending on the level of care and where they live.[37]

North Carolina

The State and County Special Assistance program in North Carolina provides a supplement to help seniors pay for room and board in adult care homes, family care homes, and group homes.[38] The amount of assistance depends on the applicant’s income.

North Dakota

North Dakota doesn’t offer a state supplement to the SSI benefit, even if a resident lives in assisted living.

Ohio

Ohio’s Residential State Supplement can help eligible seniors pay for rent in certain assisted living communities with up to 16 residents, which the state refers to as Class Two Residential Facilities. Assisted living communities with more than 16 residents aren’t eligible to accept the supplement unless approved on an individual basis. The benefit added to the senior’s income should equal the rental fee charged by the community, with an additional $200 for personal expenses. As of July 2023, this amount is $1,600 per month.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma provides cash assistance to eligible seniors through the State Supplemental Payment plan. The amount depends on the applicant’s other sources of income.

Oregon

Oregon does not appear to provide a state supplement to SSI benefits for seniors residing in an assisted living community. The state does offer cash assistance to seniors through the Oregon Supplemental Income Program. This assistance is intended to help seniors pay for special needs like transportation or one-time payments to help them remain independent.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers a state supplement to SSI benefits, which can be used to help pay for assisted living. Seniors can reside in domiciliary care — smaller homes owned by the provider — or larger personal care homes. As of 2022, the supplemental payment for residents in domiciliary care is $434, while the payment for someone at a personal care home is $439. Social Security administers the program for Pennsylvania, so residents will receive a single payment with the combined federal and state benefit.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, eligible seniors receiving SSI benefits can get a $332 state supplement to help them pay for assisted living. Social Security administers the program for Rhode Island, meaning residents get a single payment with the combined federal and state aid.

South Carolina

The Optional State Supplementation Program in South Carolina can help eligible seniors pay for their stays in assisted living communities, which the state refers to as community residential care facilities. The payment amount depends on the applicant’s income.

South Dakota

South Dakota does provide a state supplement, but seniors in assisted living are not eligible.

Tennessee

Tennessee doesn’t offer a state supplement to SSI benefits, regardless of whether or not a senior resides in assisted living.

Texas

Texas provides a small supplement to SSI recipients who reside in assisted living and other long-term care facilities.

Utah

Utah doesn’t offer a state supplement to the SSI benefit for seniors who are residing in an assisted living community.

Vermont

In Vermont, seniors can get a state supplement to their SSI benefit to help pay for assisted living. The state provides a supplement up to $224, depending on the type of community or home. Because the Social Security Administration oversees the program for Vermont, residents will receive a single payment with the combined federal and state aid.

Virginia

Virginia seniors who receive SSI benefits can get a state supplement to help them pay for assisted living through the Auxiliary Grant Program.[46] The payment amount depends on the type of assisted living community and whether the resident lives in Northern Virginia (where the rate is higher) or elsewhere in the state.

Washington

The state of Washington doesn’t provide a supplement to help SSI recipients pay for assisted living.

Washington, D.C.

The Optional State Supplement Payment Program in Washington, D.C., provides an extra payment to SSI recipients who reside in assisted living, which is referred to as adult foster care. In 2024, the maximum benefit for adult foster care with 50 or fewer beds is $674. It’s $784 for adult foster care with more than 50 beds.

West Virginia

West Virginia doesn’t provide a state supplement to SSI recipients, regardless of whether they reside in assisted living.

Wisconsin

A program called the Exceptional Expense Supplement for Members of Supplemental Security Income in Wisconsin (SSI-E) can help seniors receiving SSI benefits get help paying for assisted living. It pays a monthly cash benefit up to $95.99.

Wyoming

Wyoming doesn’t offer a state supplement to SSI recipients who reside in an assisted living community.

This article originally appeared on APlaceForMom and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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