Can Assisted Living Take Your Savings or IRA?

Author: Ashlee Shefer

Reviewed By: Rachel Rose

Assisted living can’t take your savings or IRA if you can no longer afford to pay for care. These facilities don’t have access to your personal savings or retirement accounts. However, some states allow assisted living communities to take legal action for unpaid bills or require a caregiver or family member to assume financial responsibility if a resident can’t afford to pay. 

What Happens if You Can No Longer Afford Assisted Living Expenses?

Assisted living communities may discharge residents who can’t afford their expenses. Laws vary by state, but facilities must provide written notice 30 days before the discharge date and create a discharge plan detailing resident health information and recommended next steps. Some communities offer benevolent care for residents experiencing financial difficulties. In these cases, benevolent funds cover the difference when a resident can’t afford the full price of care. Faith-based communities commonly offer benevolent care. 

Additionally, residents can ask their family or friends for financial assistance or consider relocating to a more affordable community. They can also research financial assistance options to see if they meet eligibility requirements.  

What Financial Assistance Programs Exist for Assisted Living Expenses?

Qualifying seniors can use Medicaid or VA benefits to cover assisted living expenses. Medicaid eligibility varies by state, but many offer Home & Community-Based Services waivers to help low-income individuals access needed care. The VA offers Aid and Attendance benefits for veterans who receive a monthly VA pension and need daily living assistance to live comfortably. Long-term care insurance also provides monthly payments to assist with care costs. Exact benefits vary depending on the policy. Additionally, some seniors use their savings, pensions, Social Security retirement benefits and other sources of personal income. You can use a combination of personal income and financial assistance to cover assisted living expenses to avoid eviction or legal action. However, some communities don’t accept certain types of financial assistance or only accommodate a set number of residents receiving it, particularly when it comes to Medicaid waivers. Ask your community about its policies before seeking assistance.