Does Social Security Stop if in Assisted Living?

Author: Tiffany Stockton
Reviewed By: Kristi Bickmann

Social Security benefits don’t stop if you move into assisted living. Payments of these benefits, including retirement, disability and Supplemental Security Income, continue when you transition to assisted living or other care facilities. However, they may not cover the entire cost of assisted living. You may need to use a combination of your Social Security benefits, personal savings and other sources of income to cover your expenses.

Understanding Social Security

While you can set Social Security retirement benefits to begin as early as age 62, the benefit increases the longer you delay, with the maximum benefit paid when you begin receiving benefits at age 70. You receive a monthly amount based on your years in the workforce and how much you paid into the program. You can apply for Social Security retirement benefits as early as 4 months before you want payments to begin. The day of the month your birthday occurs determines the monthly payment date of your retirement benefits.

The program provides retirement income for almost every American worker and SSI to some individuals who have limited income and resources. Changes in living arrangements and income may affect the amount of this needs-based program benefit. Supplements and additional state funding can help with this. Consult with the Social Security Administration to understand how transitioning to assisted living may affect SSI benefits.

Optional state supplements

When Social Security benefits aren’t enough to cover the full costs of assisted living, and your savings or insurance don’t make up the difference, you may qualify for other federal programs, such as SSI or Medicaid. Optional State Supplements, also known as State Supplementary Payments, are additional benefits certain states provide to SSI recipients.

Each state has its own eligibility criteria, benefit amounts and application process. OSS provides additional financial support where the standard federal SSI benefit may not fully meet basic needs, such as covering assisted living costs, with payments made directly to the facility. Each state determines eligibility for OSS. Eligibility factors may include living arrangements, income and resources.