A Guide to Low-Income Assisted Living in NJ
If you live in New Jersey and you’re ready for fewer responsibilities and more relaxation, you may be considering assisted living. Assisted living is a great option for capable adults who need some help with everyday tasks, but it can be expensive. There are options for all income levels, however, if you know where to look and what questions to ask. This guide will help you find the right assisted living option for you based on your finances.
Why Choose Assisted Living?
Assisted living communities are designed to ease the stress of everyday challenges while providing opportunities for residents to enjoy life and continue to learn and grow.
In an assisted living community, you can get the assistance you need with everyday tasks such as eating, dressing or personal care. That support is designed to make your life easier and empower you to own the rest of your time, pursuing your interests or taking part in the features and amenities included in assisted living communities. Here are some of the features you’ll enjoy in this type of supportive living environment.
- Open outdoor spaces with well-maintained grounds, living quarters and common areas
- Help with housekeeping and laundry
- Group outings for fun and learning
- Wellness programs to enhance your physical and mental health
- Open opportunities for family and friends to visit and enjoy special events
Also, you will have peace of mind knowing that your support needs will be taken care of. Assisted living communities typically have emergency response systems in place in bathrooms and bedrooms and also have health professionals either on site or on call. Residents can even get help with managing medications and access to other social services.
Who Qualifies for Low-Income Assisted Living?
If you’re sold on living in a supportive community but you’re worried about paying for it, here’s some good news: it is possible to find low-income assisted living in New Jersey. Some communities are surprisingly affordable, and there are various kinds of assistance available for those who qualify. No Medicare plans cover assisted living, but some individuals can qualify for assistance through Medicaid. The stipend available will not cover the entire cost of an assisted living residence (ALR), but it may pay enough to make the cost manageable.
You may have been told that Medicaid doesn’t pay for assisted living, but that’s not entirely true. States can now waive certain requirements of the original Medicaid legislation and create programs that will provide some coverage for in-home care and assisted living communities. Such waivers are designed to offer alternatives to the high cost of traditional support and health care. They also allow individuals to choose the supportive living environment that suits them best. This is what is meant when an assisted living community states that it participates in a Medicaid waiver program.
Here are some of the qualifications for receiving ALR assistance through Medicaid, as of this writing:
- You must be 65 or older, blind, or disabled
- You must require assistance with at least three of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include eating, dressing, toileting, mobility and personal hygiene
- Your income must not exceed a specified amount per month
- If you are part of a couple, the two of you are allowed twice the income of a single person
- If your income is higher than the qualifying amount but you have significant medical expenses, you may be able to use those expenses to reduce your income to a qualifying level
- Your assets must also fall below a certain level. This amount can vary according to several criteria. Your residence does not count unless it exceeds a certain evaluation. One vehicle is also exempt from being counted.
If you qualify for a Medicaid waiver program, it will be administered through a system called Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS). If you do not qualify for assistance through Medicaid, you may be eligible for help through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Veterans and their spouses living in New Jersey may also be eligible for Aid and Attendance benefits that can help with appropriate housing.
What Are the Benefits of Low-Income Assisted Living?
Affordable assisted living allows you to access the support you need without putting family members in a bind. Without this option, your family might have to provide many of the services you need. And receiving some financial assistance will allow you to budget for other needs. Your stress may also become more manageable when you have a little cushion to cover unexpected expenses.
Learn More About Options for Low-Income Assisted Living
Navigating the many program names and differences in terminology can be confusing. The staff at assisted living residences that work with Medicaid may be able to give you some help, but applications will be done through your local Area Agency on Aging. Some families choose to work with a Medicaid planner who can provide expert assistance in navigating the system. Often, such planners offer an initial consultation free of charge.
The following websites will be helpful as you look for options for low-income assisted living.
- NJ Family Care is a website created by the New Jersey Department of Human Services that allows you to apply for Medicaid online
- The State of New Jersey has a page on Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports
- A web page maintained by the State of New Jersey will help you find your local Area Agency on Aging
- Information about Low Income Housing Tax Credits is available on a web page managed by the State of New Jersey
All individuals deserve living environments that allow them to feel safe, comfortable and valued. The right assisted living community can help.
New Standard Senior Living in Cumberland County provides Medicaid and low-income assisted living options. Surrounded by woodlands, our community is located near medical facilities, shopping and the scenic Riverfront area to provide a beautiful yet practical environment. Our entire team is committed to providing quality support and an engaging lifestyle for all residents. You can live and pursue your passions while getting the worry-free assistance you need.
If you are in search of low-income assisted living in NJ, contact us. We’re happy to help answer any questions you have about our community and point you in the right direction for information on low-income housing options.