Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2008 Christine, Community Member, asks

Q: does social security cover nursing home care

I cannot care for my mother who has alzheimers; will her social security be enough to qualify for a nursing home?

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Answers (5)
AFA Social Services, Health Guide
10/ 1/08 9:18am

Choosing a nursing facility and financing care are two challenging tasks.  It is important to be educated and informed on the nursing home admission process, especially related to costs.  Most people's social security income cannot cover the required costs of nursing care on a monthly basis.  Nursing home costs vary based on what the facility provides and where it is located.  Depending on these conditions, you can expect that care costs can be as much as $350 a day.  Most nursing home admissions are supported financially by Medicare (under the conditions of short-term stay, such as after a hospitalization) or Medicaid (under the terms of a long term or permanent stay).  Some long term care insurance policies will also cover your mother's care, if she has an existing policy.  It is recommended you tour a few facilities before deciding where you will eventually place your mother.  At the time of these tours you should ask about costs and types of coverage accepted at the facility.  If you decide that you need further assistance in managing her long term care plan you may want to consult a geriatric care manager or elder law attorney for more information.

Drew, Community Member
10/16/08 2:56pm

Does you mother have a long-term care insurance policy?  If she does, odds are she is covered, depending on the actual policy wording.  Having said that, the answer to your question is no.  Social Security may help pay for nursing home care, but there are no special provisions.  Medicaid is the number one payer of long-term care insurance.  Depending on your mothers' assets, Medicaid is probably a good option.  You can contact your local Medicaid board to begin qualifying.  Note that there are income and asset requriements that must be met.

Cathy Beam, Community Member
3/ 3/10 8:47pm

My mother is in an assisted living and is presently private pay. She will run out of funds in about 6 months. When she is on Medicaid,has Medicare,and draws about 1600 dollars a month social security what are our options? She has sundowners and needs extra supervision at night but functions fairly well during the day. She has arthritis,hypertension,high cholesterol,adult onset diabetes which are all well controlled. She is 81 years of age and resides in Yancey County NC at present. She has 2 children in Spruce Pine NC and one child in Shelby NC. I think she will have to move from an assisted living to a skilled nursing facility but would she qualify for an alzheimer or dementia or memory loss facility and would Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare pay for this?

Cleo Mondragon, Community Member
6/20/11 8:26pm

I too have this problem, I am 60 just ost my job after 31 years, My sister is 72 and has had mom for a few years.Mom now knows  no one not even family.

My sister is looking for a home for mom on mom's social security as none of us have any money, but are not wanting mom at 95 to suffer. home in McMinnville Oregon needed.



Carol Bradley Bursack, Health Guide
6/21/11 8:18am

Hi Christine,

Medicare does not cover nursing home care, except for a few days after a hospital release.

If she has few assets and SS is her only income, she will likely qualify for Medicaid which does cover nursing home care. I'd contact your local Social services office, if she has few resources. They will tell you what to do to help her qualify. She'll have to pay for the care until her assets reach less than $2000 (in most states that is true -things vary a little by state). Then, they'd take all but a small amount of her SS check toward her care and Medicaid would cover the rest.

Good luck - there's paper work involved, but it's worth it. You need to get help.


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By Christine, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/19/13, First Published: 09/25/08