Today I am going to wrap up our discussion by speaking about two additional programs that are available to help low-income seniors: Assistive Care Services and VA Aid and Attendance.
Despite the number of low-income seniors needing long term care subsidies to remain at home, except for Mississippi, Florida has one of the lowest reimbursement rates for services. In order to entice private providers to accept clients into their assisted living facilities, the state decided to create the Assistive Care Service (ACS) funding program. This program is a matching fund. By taking some state funds and requesting the federal government to match it, the state was able to provide $9.28 per resident per day to help pay for services. Separate from the Medicaid program, Veterans are eligible to have services paid through the Aid and Attendance program. Unlike the Medicaid waiver program, this is an entitlement program, meaning if you are eligible, you receive it, no waiting lists. However, the time it takes for the VA to approve applications can be long, on average 6 months. Following are the requirements to apply for both the ACS and the VA Aid and Attendance programs.
ACS-Assistive Care Services (State Program)
Call DCF (Department of Children and Families)
Must be 65 years or older, or 18 years of age and blind or disabled.
- Must be a U.S. Citizen or qualified non-citizen.
- Must be a resident of Florida.
- Must have a social security number or have filed for one.
- Physician must complete the 1823 for the client to be admitted to the ALF.
- Client must be in an ALF.
- Total asset limit is $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple.
- The client will receive $9.28 per day to help offset the cost of living in an ALF. The program will not pay for any day the client is not at the ALF, i.e. days in the hospital or on vacation.
- If applying for ACS, the client can NOT be on the Medicaid Diversion program.
VA Benefits – Veterans Aid and Attendance
Call the Department of Elderly and Veterans Services
Broward County: 954-357-6622
Must be eligible (served over a 90 day period, some of that time must be during wartime).
- Any age may apply. The program takes 3 – 6 months to process; residents are responsible for the full rent until approved.
- Program will pay retro-active from the date the application was submitted.
- Must meet the medical criteria. Must meet the financial requirements.
- Needs to be in an Assisted Living Facility to apply:
- Veterans are eligible for up to, approximately, $1,703/month (2013 rate)
- Widows are eligible for up to, approximately, $1,095/month (2013 rate)
- Married couples are eligible for up to, approximately, $2,020/month (2013 rate)
- Cannot exceed $80,000 in assets, not including a home.
- Residents can apply for Medicaid Diversion and VA benefits. If qualifications for both programs are met, may receive both benefits.
I hope that I have helped to inform you of some of the programs and options that exist to help you care for your aging, low-income parents.