Seniors living in Arizona are considered low-income if they make less than 80% of the median annual income in their area for their household size. According to the 2021 U.S. Census, the median annual household income in Arizona is $65,913, and the per capita income is $34,644. Using these figures, a senior household would be considered low-income in Arizona with a household income of less than $65,913. A single senior would be considered low-income with an annual income of less than $27,715.20 per year. These numbers work out to a household receiving less than $5,492.75 or a single senior receiving less than $2,309.60 per month. 12.8% of people in Arizona live in poverty.

Low-income seniors can receive federal and state assistance to pay for living expenses and long-term care, including home health care. However, these programs are often offered to very low-income households, which tend to have much lower eligibility thresholds than low-income households. Each program will have its own financial eligibility requirements that may differ from these numbers. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines very low income as less than 50% of the annual median area income. Under this definition, senior households with less than $32,956.5 annually or single seniors with less than $17,322 annually would be classified as very low income.

Health Care Assistance for Low-Income Seniors in Arizona

Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona’s state Medicaid program and is available to certain low-income households. Seniors may qualify for this program if their household income is under the eligibility limit and they are 65 or older. The gross monthly income limit for this program, as of February 2023, is $1,215 for a single applicant or $1,644 for an applicant and their spouse. This works out to $14,580 annually for a single applicant or $19,728 for a two-person household.

AHCCCS provides comprehensive health care without premiums or copays. The state Medicaid program also offers the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) for seniors or individuals with a disability who require a nursing facility level of care. Services under this program are provided in an institution, home or community-based settings.

Other Assistance for Low-Income Seniors in Arizona

Other programs available in Arizona provide assistance with food, housing and money for living expenses. Nutrition Assistance is Arizona’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and provides monthly benefits for use on food items. HUD also partners with Public Housing Agencies in Arizona to provide rental assistance and subsidized apartments to people with qualifying incomes. 

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits can also provide low-income seniors with cash assistance for living expenses. The SSI program is independent of Social Security benefits, and seniors do not have to pay into the program to receive benefits. To be eligible, individuals must have a disability or be over the age of 65 with low income and limited resources.