Seniors who live in certain areas and meet functional level of care needs, alongside other criteria, may qualify for assisted living financial assistance in California. Although financial aid for assisted living isn’t covered by Medicaid directly, qualifying seniors may be able to get support via the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) program. The waiver program doesn’t cover the costs of bed and board in a facility, but it does cover assistance with everyday activities and personal care.  

California’s Assisted Living Waiver Program: Eligibility Requirements

Individuals must meet specific criteria to qualify for financial help for assisted living in California. They must also be able to provide proof of meeting the various requirements. Applicants must live in California and be U.S. citizens, nationals or legal aliens. They must also be either at least 65 years old or disabled. Applicants are also subject to income and asset limits. The monthly maximum income is $1,564, and the asset cap is $130,000.

In California, only those who meet level of care requirements can qualify for financial assistance for assisted living. Seniors who need the high-level care or therapeutic services of a nursing home can opt to receive services in an assisted living community if it is safe and practical for them to do so.

California’s Assisted Living Waiver Program: Availability

Although all residents of California can apply for the program, benefits are only available for those who live in approved residential facilities. Such communities are presently only located in the following counties:

  • Alameda
  • Contra Costa
  • Fresno
  • Kern
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Bernardino
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Joaquin
  • San Mateo
  • Santa Clara
  • Sonoma  

   Additionally, participation is limited; those who qualify may need to wait for services.