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Legal Q&A: Housing Options For A Low-Income Elder With Dementia

Question: My elderly mother has Dementia, and is about to lose her home and only has SSI for income. I've got someone looking into a place for her but was informed it would cost more than what she can afford. I don't know where to turn to find help for my mom. Can you please provide some guidance?

Answer: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal program that provides stipends to low-income people who are either aged (65 or older), blind, or disabled. Usually, an eligible person has no or little income and total assets of less than a few thousand dollars (excluding a home used for self-support, an automobile, household goods and personal effects, and life insurance). The individual also must have U.S. citizenship or qualified alien status and be a resident of the United States.

Maryland provides additional cash benefits to supplement the federal SSI payment, depending on the living situation of the individual. For example a person living independently may receive one amount; someone receiving home care may receive a different amount and a person in an assisted living residence a third amount.

If your mother is disabled, she may qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals age 65 and older and certain disabled people, but it does not pay for assisted living.

Medicaid is a joint Federal-State program, varying from state to state, which pays for certain medical services to eligible low-income individuals and families.

It may be possible for SSI and Medicaid together to pay for assisted living for your mother. If your mother is a military veteran, or is the widow of a veteran, she may qualify for the Aid and Attendance Program to help cover the costs of her living situation and care.

The attorneys at Michael Hodes, LLC specialize in elder law matters, so it also may be beneficial for you to meet and discuss your family's situation. If you have additional questions, you may want to talk with an attorney at Michael Hodes, LLC (410) 769-8002 about this matter.

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Above content provided by Michael Hodes, LLC. For advice about Legal issues, consult a licensed Attorney.

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