Can Social Security Pay for Assisted Living (Answers & More)?

February 13, 2024 | News | Reading Time 11:00 Minutes

If you’re a senior thinking of assisted living, social security can help cover some of the cost. The question is can seniors on social security pay for the entire cost of assisted living?

What about other supplemental state income? Given the rising costs of senior care, it’s figuring out what types of payment for assisted living are available can be downright confusing.

We understand. Can we make your life a little easier?

Village Green here: we’re an assisted living facility in the heart of the hamlet of Levittown. And we have good news.

If you’re looking for more information about covering the cost of assisted living with Social Security, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss what social security and supplemental income you can use to fund the next exciting chapter of your or a loved one’s life.

We’ll also look at how social security funding differs across states and what’s most important to know when it comes to funding assisted living.

Hop aboard, and join us. We’ll guide you through assisted living funding with social security income.

Key article takeaways

  • Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental State Income (SSI), and Optional State Supplement (OSS) can help cover the cost of assisted living.
  • To qualify for SSDI, you’ll need to be out of work for a period of time, take various qualifying tests, and have a medical condition lasting a year or longer.
  • To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be at least 65 years old, identify as low-income, and as having little to no assets.
  • Optional state supplements can also help fund social security. Each state has different laws in place, so it’s important to double check your state’s OSS laws.
  • has found that the median monthly cost of assisted living is $4,500 per month.

What’s assisted living?

Seniors smiling and giving a thumbs up to the camera

Before diving into financial support and eligibility requirements for funding assisted living, we need to have a working definition of the term “assisted living.” Assisted living are communities that offer seniors help with activities of daily living (ADLs), such as:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
  • Medication management
  • Basic mobility

Some assisted living communities provide different levels of care. The higher the level of care, the more expensive the facility tends to be.

As a result, many seniors use Social Security benefits to help cover the cost of assisted living.

How does social security work with assisted living?

A woman taking the blood pressure of an elderly man

Before looking at how Social Security can help with assisted living, let’s define Social Security. Social security is a monthly benefit that seniors can take advantage of at age 62.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), social security “replaces a percentage of a worker’s pre-retirement income based on their lifetime earnings.” If you wait to withdraw social security until age 66 or 67, your benefits will be higher.

In essence, you’ll have more money to draw from.

Social Security earnings and other funding sources can cover the cost of assisted living. In the next section, we’ll explore to what extent social security can help pay for assisted living costs.

Social security provides reliable coverage for assisted living

An elderly couple smiling with a cut-out of a heart on a table in an assisted living facility

While social security may be one of the most stable sources of income available, seniors and their families shouldn’t expect to use their social security benefits to pay for the entire cost of assisted living.

A data set from found that the annual median cost of a private bedroom in an assisted living facility was $54,000. has also found that social security can pay between $1,600 and $2,100 per month.

If we do the math, social security alone won’t likely cover the entire cost of long-term care. But, with the help of other sources of income, social security can help make assisted living a reality.

Seniors and their families can also rely on other sources of income to help pay for the cost of assisted living. One of those sources of income is disability payments.

Social security disability payments and assisted living

A group of seniors and a young man in a suit smiling behind a computer

Seniors living with disabilities can offset the cost of assisted living with Social Security disability benefits. Disability benefits are disbursed through two federal programs:

1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and
2. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

We’ll help you better understand both options in the next sections.\

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) explained

SSDI is for individuals who aren’t able to work because of a verified medical condition. This medical condition must last a year or more.

The funding a person receives each month from the federal government depends on the age they became disabled and the number of years they worked before becoming disabled.

SSDI benefits may be reduced depending on whether a person received other state benefits or disability payments in the past.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) explained

SSDI is a federal benefit for individuals with limited assets or income. To qualify for SSI, a person must be 65 years old, blind, disabled, or identify as low-income or as having few assets.

Like SSDI, federal SSI benefits are also paid to a person instead of to assisted living facilities. The good news is that there aren’t any restrictions on how a person chooses to spend their SSI or SSDI benefits.

Table: Qualifying for SSDI and SSI

Qualifications for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)Qualifications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
1. You must be out of work because of a medical condition.
2. Your medical condition must last for at least one year or more.
3. You must pass a work test, which identifies when you became disabled and how long you worked before becoming disabled.
1. You must be age 65 or older, live with blindness, or have a disability.
2. You must identity as low-income.
3. You must identify as having low assets.

Did you know?

“The FBI estimates that senior citizens lose more than $3 billion each year to financial scams. Seniors: protect your personal information, and be wary of phone solicitors.” – Village Green Senior Living

Payouts: what to expect from SSDI benefits for assisted living

A senior couple walking down the street and looking into the opening of a store front

Depending on a person’s average lifetime earnings, most people receive anywhere between $800 and $1,800 from Social Security Disability Insurance. The amount of SSDI could go down if the person receives other federal and state benefits.

But, that’s not the case with federal benefits like supplemental security income (SSI).

What to expect from SSI benefits for assisted living

An elderly woman smiling and staring at her mobile tablet

Like SSDI, you can choose to spend SSI however you wish. The average amount received in Supplemental Security Income (SI) benefits won’t affect the social security pay you receive.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the maximum monthly payment for SSI is $943 for individuals and $1,415 for a couple in 2024. While SSI payments may not cover the average yearly cost of assisted living, you’ll have other options for paying for assisted living.

Supplemental option for paying for assisted living

An elderly couple smiling and laughing with their arms around each other

Social Security benefits generally don’t cover the entire cost of care in an assisted living facility. As a result, optional state supplements (OSS) are available to help seniors pay for some of the cost of assisted living.

Next, we’ll discuss which types of OSS are available to help cover assisted living costs.

OSS benefits and assisted living

An elderly woman sitting on a bench and reading a paper statement

OSS benefits are payments made directly to assisted living facilities to help seniors pay for assisted living. Payout amounts depend on an applicant’s income.

OSS funds can be used with federal SSI benefits to help pay for long-term care. The amount and type of OSS benefits and programs differ from state to state.

While SSI and SSDI are disbursed directly to seniors, OSS payments are made out to assisted living facilities. What’s more, some states don’t offer extensive OSS benefits.

Instead, states may mandate that assisted facilities limit the cost of room and board. In this way, seniors can receive some support in paying for assisted living.

Village Green assisted living accepts social security benefits

Seniors blowing out the candles of a cake in an assisted living facility

Understanding social security can be confusing. We get it.

While costs can vary from state to state, assisted living can generally costs upwards of $4,500 a month according to Seniors have options.

Seniors looking for long-term care funding options can use Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Optional State Supplement (OSS) benefits, and other forms of income to cover assisted living costs.

Eligibility criteria for SSDI, SSI, and OSS differs from state to state and from person to person. But, with the help of a senior living advisor, there’s no reason why seniors can’t better understand their options for funding assisted living.

At Village Green, we’re all about helping seniors understand their options. Our friendly senior living advisors and staff pride themselves on delivering comprehensive senior care in our assisted living and memory care facilities. They’d be happy to walk you through any and all social security-related questions you may have.

For more helpful information about social security, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to be of service!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Social Security

What type of benefits can help pay for assisted living?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Optional State Supplements (OSS), and Veteran Affairs (VA) benefits among others are some of the many benefits that can pay for the cost of assisted living.

Do all assisted living facilities accept social security benefits like SSDI, SSI, and OSS?

Yes! Assisted living communities do accept seniors using SSDI, SSI, and OSS. But, payment amounts and eligibility may differ depending on the state and facility.

Assisted living facilities tend to accept private insurance and self-payment more so than federal social security benefits. But, assisted living facilities do accept social security benefits to help offset the cost of assisted living.

How much does assisted living cost?

According to recent surveys, living in an assisted living facility costs about $4,500 a month. The median annual average cost is just north of $50,000 a year.

In some parts of the United States, assisted living can cost as much as $84,000 a year, according to

Besides social security, are there other ways to pay for assisted living?

Most definitely. Most people choose a variety of different ways to cover the cost of assisted living.

Most people use the following to help cover the cost of assisted living:

  • Life savings
  • Pensions
  • Retirement savings
  • Medicaid
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Loans
  • Personal investments
  • Money received from selling a home

Many seniors and their families consult with senior living advisors to plan out how to cover the cost of assisted living.

“They keep my mind at ease.”

Younger women smiling at the camera with their hands on an elderly person

“We had been looking for a safe place for Grandpa that still gave him the ability to hold on to his independence but allowed him the safety and security of professionals. Village Green Levittown was exactly what we needed.

Not only do the staff treat him with kindness, but they also have become a second family for him. The Director of Medical Service, Jennifer, is kind and extremely knowledgeable. Jessica, the main director, is always available if we have any questions.

They help keep my mind at ease while I am away. I’d highly recommend their facility to anyone looking to find the next steps in their loved one’s journey.” – Happy Village Green family member