Seniors in Virginia are considered to be on a low income for Medicaid purposes if their income is less than 80% of the Federal Poverty Level. The 2023 Poverty Guidelines list the federal poverty level as being $14,580 per year for a single person and $19,720 for a couple. These guidelines are reviewed every year to reflect changes in the cost of living.

Many state and federal benefits and support programs base their eligibility requirements on poverty figures, including Medicaid waivers, home winterization programs and energy assistance programs. The Department of Energy guidelines for home weatherization assistance, for example, state that families with an income of up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for support.

Medicaid for Persons Who are Elderly and Disabled

The Medicaid for Persons Who are Elderly and Disabled program has tiered requirements depending on the type of care the senior requires. Seniors who require non-institutional support, such as home health care, may qualify for partial financial aid if their income is below $1,313 per month. Those who require nursing home care may qualify for support if their income is lower than the cost of nursing home care.

Medicaid Spenddown Programs Can Help Seniors Meet Income Limits

Seniors who meet all other eligibility requirements for Medicaid but are slightly over the income limit may be able to take advantage of spend down programs to bring themselves within the eligibility requirements. Under these programs, seniors can pay for the cost of allowable forms of medical care themselves and deduct those costs from their income. If these expenses total enough to bring their countable income under the eligibility limits for Medicaid, they may be considered eligible for Medicaid until the end of the spend down period.