Does Social Security Disability Pay for Assisted Living?

Author: Tiffany Stockton
Reviewed By: Kristi Bickmann

Social Security Disability doesn’t pay for assisted living, but recipients can use their monthly SSDI benefits to help pay for assisted living costs. This program supports individuals who cannot work and certain members of their families. While these benefits provide a valuable financial lifeline, the coverage is limited. You may need to find other options to cover the comprehensive costs associated with assisted living.

How do you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a disability that prevents you from completing substantial income-earning activities. Your disability must be long-term and expected to last at least 12 months or end in death. 

The Social Security Administration evaluates medical evidence, your work history and the severity of your disability when determining eligibility. Not everyone receives the same benefit amount. How much you receive depends on how long you’ve worked and the amount you’ve contributed to the program. 

The waiting period before SSDI benefits start is 5 months from the onset of your disability. Periodic reviews of your condition may disqualify you entirely if your condition improves, so you need to plan for potential financial gaps in the payment of SSDI benefits.

Alternative funding and assistance programs

To bridge the gap between SSDI benefits and the expenses associated with assisted living, explore alternative funding options, such as personal savings, long-term care insurance, pensions and any investments.

Find out if you qualify for Medicaid. While Medicaid doesn’t cover room and board in assisted living, it can assist with health care-related costs if eligibility criteria are met. Your situation is unique. Consult with financial advisors or eldercare specialists to get personalized guidance on covering assisted living costs based on your financial and health care needs.