Will social security pay for caregiver services?

29 Jun 2021

Taking care of a severe injury or chronic illness demands medical expenses. The longer the treatment takes, the higher it costs from the pocket of care recipients and their families. It is inevitable then to find financial help from any institution to lessen the burden. In this aspect, one of the go-to institutions is social security. But how open is it for any medical support? Does it have conditions or limitations if someone opts for caregiver services it approves? 

Social security and caregiver service

Run by Social Security Administration (SSA), social security is a program in the USA that assists old-age, survivors, disabled, and even dependents of beneficiaries. However, in terms of support, SSA does not directly pay caregiver services. Conversely, it offers financial benefits for its members, which can employ in-home care providers. Alternatively, a family carer can also ask for support from SSA.

So, who is eligible for SSA? 

Old age is about the retirees, who are at least 62 years old or considered the early retirement age. 

To be qualified for the SSA benefits, the member should pay for a minimum of ten years. But the retirees could expect to get more if they contributed more. One step to achieve it, the payee may retire at 66 to 67 years old, which is the full retirement age, or better at 70 years old. One benefit, it is up to the retirees where they spend the financial benefits they receive. In this manner, eligible seniors who contributed to the SSA can use their payments for caregiving services.

Survivor is the qualified family member of the payees of social security, who died already. The family member can be:

  • The parents of contributors. They should be the dependents of the payees for at least half of their contributing years in SSA. 
  • The children of the payees. Typically, they should be 18 years old or younger when receiving benefits. And for certain conditions, the adopted child, a stepchild, or others can also qualify. An unmarried child who happens to become disabled before 22 years old can also apply. 
  • Non-remarried spouses of deceased members. The eligible widow must be: 
  • 60 years old or above
  • 50 years old or above if disabled
  • a younger surviving spouse who has 16- year-old child or younger

Disability covers people that have problems with mental and physical ability who need short or long-term support. SSA conducts qualifying assessments for this before applicants or their beneficiaries become eligible for this assistance.

Take note that these are some of the general ideas of eligibility for social security. There are more details to know, which you can verify with SSA. Moreover, the calculation of benefits to receive of members is subject to adjustments. SSA considers the place, financial or assets, and the condition of an applicant for eligibility.

Ways to get care services with a Social Security benefit

In most cases, it is the spouse or a family caregiver that SSA aids financially. They are priorities if their patients have cancer, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, or other severe illnesses that demand long-term medication.  

On the other hand, SSA programs can offer monthly financial assistance to avail caregiving services. An example of this is the Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is for the individuals who temporarily become disable and cannot work.