Financial Resources to Help You Afford Care

As you explore available options for funding long-term care for you or a loved one, consider the following as sources of income:

Tax deductions — Assure that you are claiming all tax deductions available to you and your family when paying for community care.

Veteran’s benefits — There are veteran benefits available to assist in paying for the veteran’s senior living. Check with the veteran’s assigned social worker.  Potential monthly awards currently range from $1,244 to $2,295 monthly, based on eligibility..

Real Estate — Proceeds from the sale of your home or property can be used to pay for care.  If possible, it is recommended that you explore using a senior-focused realtor.

Long-term care insurance — If you are currently carrying long-term healthcare insurance, review your policy to assure that it still covers the types of senior care expenses you see looking forward.

Life insurance cash value — Some life insurance policies can be transformed into a pre-funded financial account that can disburse a monthly benefit to help pay for long-term care needs for you or your loved one.

Short-term bridge loan — This loan will allow you to pay for care you are currently receiving until permanent funding is arranged.

If none of the above is available to you or your loved one to help subsidize your assisted living costs, there are government agencies that may, based on eligibility, subsidize senior care and assisted living. The major participating agencies are Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid.

Social Security — In most states, Social Security (through Optional State Supplements) provides financial assistance for persons who reside in assisted living communities, provided they meet eligibility requirements. People who work or who have a work history may qualify for this benefit, based on work history. The amount received is calculated based on prior earnings history.

Supplemental Security Income — SSI is a needs-based program for people with limited income and resources.  The payable benefits amount is calculated based on where you live, who you live with and what income you receive.

To see if you qualify for either Social Security or SSI, contact Social Security at 800-772-1213, or call your local Social Security office.

Medicaid — Many seniors rely on Medicaid to pay for long-term nursing home care.  Medicaid is a form of public assistance, so to be eligible, you must become “impoverished” under the program’s guidelines.

To become eligible, some seniors choose to “pay down” or transfer their assets in order to meet Medicaid guidelines in their states.  This must occur five years prior to applying for the Medicaid benefit. 

All nursing homes do not accept Medicaid patients outright. Should you enter senior care using private funds or subsidies that expire over time and necessitate a future application for Medicaid, your residency remains permanent.

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