As we navigate the complexities of aging, one question that often looms in the minds of seniors and their families is the financial impact of transitioning to a nursing home.
The thought of losing a vital source of income can be daunting, adding an additional layer of stress to an already challenging situation.
Whether you’re a senior, a family member, or simply curious about how nursing homes work, dive in to explore the reality of nursing home policies regarding Social Security checks and uncover alternative ways to pay for nursing home expenses.
Do Nursing Homes Take Your Social Security Check? (Quick answer)
Nursing homes do not have the authorization to take your social security check directly. The recipient of social security has the liberty to spend the money in the manner they see fit, including co-paying for nursing home expenses.
Can Social Security Check Cover Nursing Home Costs?
The cost of living in a nursing home continues to get higher with a private room costing $8821 and $7756 for a semi-private room monthly. With no source of income, seniors may struggle to cover the cost and might get kicked out of the nursing home upon failure to pay.
Hence, it is essential for one to get the means to cover the nursing home costs. The social security check can pay the nursing costs partly. The average social security payment is $1827, an amount that is much lower than what a nursing home room costs on a monthly basis.
The Supplemental Security Income
These are benefits for individuals with a disability and low income. The purpose of the supplemental security income is for those who are not eligible for social security benefits.
The benefits for seniors over 65 years are a maximum of $914 for those who meet the set financial qualifications. Some of the qualifications to benefit from supplemental security income are:
- An individual should own limited access
- The individual limited pension or wages
- Age 65+, disabled, or blind
- Live within the 50 states
- Be a US citizen or meet certain criteria for foreigners
In some instances, there are seniors who qualify to get both social security and supplemental security income. Although the combination of the social security check and the supplemental security income may not cover the whole cost of nursing home living, it is a good boost for seniors with financial strains.
Other Alternative Means to Pay for Nursing Home Expenses
Since the social security check won’t cover all the nursing home costs, it can be used alongside other means of payment including the following:
Medicaid is a reliable means to cover nursing home costs for seniors with low incomes. For one to get Medicaid, there are certain financial requirements to meet.
For example, for one to be eligible for Medicaid, the source of income must be accounted for and should be below $14,580, varying according to state.
The best thing about Medicaid is that it can cover 100% of the nursing home costs for low-income individuals.
Note that you might not receive social security benefits because it counts as a source of income when Medicaid is concerned. Also, if you get supplementary security income, you may be eligible for Medicaid.
Personal Assets and Savings
Retirement savings such as 401k can come in handy when you need to cover health care costs, including nursing home care.
Before you dispose of your assets or withdraw your savings to cater for nursing home costs, ensure that you think of the long-term especially if your nursing home stay is quite long. It is therefore essential to consult a financial expert to guide you on the best way to use your savings to cover nursing home expenses.
The need for nursing home care for veterans can be high because of the nature of their previous work. If you are a retired veteran, you can get certain benefits to assist with nursing home costs.
The Department of veteran affairs offers retired veterans programs to help them pay for long-term care costs, including nursing home care. Also, retired veterans are paid some benefits that one can use to cover nursing home costs.
Your social security check is safe from an automatic cutting of nursing home expenses unless you authorize it. The social security check cannot cover all the nursing home expenses but can be used alongside other means of payment to help cover the full costs.
There are other means to cover nursing home expenses such as Medicaid, veteran benefits, savings, and personal assets.
Can nursing homes take all your money?
Nursing homes do not have authorization to seize any money. It is medical insurance such as Medicaid that looks into income and assets during the application process.
How much is assisted living?
Assisted living costs are a little lower than nursing home costs, the average cost in an assisted living facility is $5250/month.
How long do people stay in assisted living?
The average stay in assisted living facilities for most people is two years.