Government benefits and long-term care

Once people reach the age where they need long-term care, they are generally also receiving other types of government benefits, such as health care and Social Security. 

There are many rules about long-term care and benefits, so it is no surprise that many people worry they will lose their benefits if they enter a nursing home. However, that is not always the case. 

Supplemental Security Income

If a person receives Supplemental Security Income, he or she does so based on income and need. For adults, the Social Security Administration explains they may lose eligibility for benefits if they are not receiving Medicaid payments for more than half of the care expenses. If they do receive more than half of the care expenses under Medicaid, then they can receive a benefit of only $30, which is subject to reduction if they have any income. 

There is an exception if people plan to only be in a long-term care facility for less than 90 days. They can receive the full benefit for up to 90 days, so they will not experience any reduction. 

Medicare explains that a stay in a nursing facility will not impact eligibility. People should understand that it will not cover long-term care, but they can use it for other covered medical expenses. 


The American Council on Aging states that Georgia has various long-term care plans that people will need if they go into a facility. These plans do require meeting asset and income limits.   

There is one plan only available for those in a long-term care facility called Institutional or Nursing Home Medicaid. For example, a single person can only earn $2,382 a month and have $2,000 in assets. 

The state also has waivers, but this program has a limit on the number of waivers given each year. Plus, there is regular Medicaid, which is completely based on income and asset limits. 

When someone enters a long-term care facility, he or she will usually be able to keep most benefits they receive from the government, but there are some situations in which they may lose benefits. Individuals should check the program to determine their eligibility. 

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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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