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8 Senior Care Government Programs Every Caregiver Should Know About

Your 1+1 Team
August 18, 2022

You may have a fear of being the sole caregiver of your loved one, however, no caregiver is expected to handle all the responsibilities of the role on their own. It is encouraged to reach out to services that specialize in helping seniors and caregiving! There are a variety of government resources that can assist you with finances, respite care, advocacy, and other forms of support.

Here are 8 Senior Care Government Programs:

Medicare

The national health insurance program covers all costs of medically necessary home care on a limited basis for those who cannot leave their home without aid. Original Medicare can cover skilled nursing care, physical and speech therapy, and routine home care only on a part-time or intermittent basis. However, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have the option to provide broader and longer-term coverage for in-home care and other services.

  • Part A (hospital insurance): If your loved one is 65 or older and collecting social security benefits, they likely will receive Medicare Part A for free.
  • Part B (medical insurance): Medicare Part B premiums are automatically removed from the monthly benefits they get from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • Part D (prescription drug plans): Part D is subsidized by Medicare through funding from private insurance companies for the cost of medications. Extra Help, another Medicare program, can help lower costs for Part D prescription drug plans.

Supplemental Security Income

If your aging parent earned their social security benefits from lower-paying jobs and those benefits are their only source of income, they may qualify for SSA’s broader monthly benefits program called the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI issues monthly payments to help supplement the income of seniors and blind or disabled individuals. SSI is a needs-based program, so applicants must fit certain income and asset conditions to qualify.

The Administration on Aging (AoA)

AAA has over 620 locations across America that offer services to help seniors. Many of the typical programs in each area include:

  • Caregiver support
  • Insurance counseling
  • Medicaid/Medicare application assistance
  • Meal programs
  • Transportation
  • Information about assistance programs and referrals to administrators

Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)

If the person you’re caring for is a military veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran, they could qualify for a variety of benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Benefits from VA include but are not limited to:

  • Health care services
  • Long-term care services
  • Pensions
  • Disability compensation
  • Burial benefits
  • The application and approval process is quite extensive but the best place to start is to find a veteran’s discharge papers (DD form 214).

The Americans with Disabilities National Act Network

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) is a civil rights law that protects disabled individuals against discrimination in all aspects of public life such as:

  • Employment
  • Transportation
  • Public accommodations
  • State and federal government programs
  • Telecommunications
  • Commercial facilities
  • The Department of Health and Human Services started the ADA National Network to supply information, briefings, and free publications on the policies allowing universal access to the disabled.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIA operates under the National Institutes of Health as a federal agency. They actively research the health and aging of older individuals. Their website offers educational information on a variety of topics that can help seniors better understand their aging journey. If your loved one is prescribed medications, this is the perfect place to find out more about the prescription drugs they’re taking.

Medicaid

The joint federal-state program can pay for in-home care, nursing home care, and some residential and assisted living care. Over half of Medicaid’s spending has been toward home- and community-based services. Eligibility for coverage of in-home care is less limited than Medicare, but it can vary because each program is run differently depending on the state.

State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

All states run an ombudsman program with the purpose to assist long-term care residents and their families in understanding their legal rights. The team will have individuals visit residents in long-term care settings to investigate and resolve complaints, promote quality care, and educate seniors and their families on their rights.

These Senior Care Government Programs can help provide the information and services you need to make sure your loved one receives the best quality of care. You can access government programs and benefits through benefits.gov and benefitscheckup.org.

1 + 1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience. Get In-Home Care Today.

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