Does Social Security Pay for Assisted Living?

Author: Ashlee Shefer
Reviewed By: Kristi Bickmann

Social Security doesn’t directly pay for assisted living, but individuals can use their benefits to cover care costs. The Social Security Administration deposits benefits into the recipient’s bank account each month, with no limitations or restrictions on usage. These funds help eligible low-income, disabled or retired adults afford monthly expenses, including assisted living costs.  

Does Social Security cover the full cost of assisted living?

Social Security likely won’t cover the full cost of assisted living. According to the 2021 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, the national average for assisted living is $4,500 per month, although this price varies depending on location, services and amenities.

As of November 2023, the Social Security Administration reports the average monthly retirement benefit payment falls at $1,797.23. However, many seniors use other forms of financial assistance to help cover assisted living costs, including long-term care insurance and Medicaid benefits

What types of Social Security benefits are available?

Several types of Social Security benefits are available, all with varying eligibility requirements. The Social Security Retirement benefit offers a monthly check to adults aged 62 and older who’ve worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least 10 years. For disabled adults, the administration offers Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Although two separate programs, they both require proof of medical condition for eligibility. 

Additionally, the administration provides survivor benefits for widows, widowers or dependents of eligible workers. This means if a person paying into Social Security dies, their spouse can receive benefits based on their earnings. 

Can you receive multiple Social Security benefits?

Yes, you can receive multiple Social Security benefits by meeting eligibility requirements. For example, you can receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits along with Supplemental Security Income benefits when meeting income, age and medical requirements. Apply for benefits online or by visiting your local Social Security office