To be considered low-income, Illinois seniors must fall below the income eligibility limits set for the state’s Medicaid program. There are a few income sources that may be exempt from this calculation and marital status may impact the maximum allowable income. Total assets have their own limits that must be met to maintain eligibility.

Qualifying for low-income status opens the door to several benefits to assist seniors with their cost of living through government and private organizations. This can include everyday expenses and more specific living needs, such as financial help with home health care or assisted living communities.

Medicaid Low-Income Standards for Seniors

Residents who are aged 65 years or older are eligible if their total countable income falls below 100% of the federal poverty level. For individuals, as of 2023, monthly income must not exceed $1,133 from counted sources and total assets must be below $2,000. For married couples, the combined monthly income limit is $1,526, and the combined asset limit is $3,000. While these limits are intended to determine eligibility for Medicaid, most government and private programs rely on these limits to qualify seniors for additional benefits.

What Income Sources and Assets are Counted?

Almost every income source is counted toward the limit in Illinois. This includes payments from employment, alimony, pension payments, Social Security income, Social Security Disability payments, stock dividends and withdrawals from an IRA. The only payments the state holds as exempt are Holocaust restitution payments.Countable assets include any cash, bank account balances, investments, stocks, bonds, IRAs, remaining balances from Covid-19 stimulus checks and any real estate that isn’t considered the primary residence. Exempt assets include the primary home, household furnishings, personal belongings, one vehicle and irrevocable burial trusts with a value of up to $15,000.