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New Income Cap for Aging Waiver and LIFE Programs

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Pennsylvania’s Aging Waiver and LIFE programs provide support and services that allow frail older adults to continue to live in their homes. Both programs are financed with Medicaid funding which requires applicants to be financially eligible. 

The income limit Medicaid puts on persons seeking to qualify for these programs is going up on January 1, 2015.   

Income Cap Increasing to $2,199 per Month

In October, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.7% cost of living adjustment for the SSI program for 2015. This means the maximum federal SSI benefit for an individual will rise from $721 per month (2014) to $733 (2015). The federal maximum SSI benefit amount is sometimes referred to as the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR).

The FBR is used as a base to determine income eligibility for a number of Medicaid funded public benefit programs including Pennsylvania’s Aging Waiver Program and Life Program.  

Medicaid’s income limit for the Aging Waiver and LIFE programs is equal to 300% of the SSI Federal Benefit rate for an individual. This means the new income ceiling for the programs will become $2199 per month effective January 1, 2015. 

Otherwise qualified individuals with incomes above this ceiling will be denied Medicaid funding for Aging Waiver or LIFE services. 

Care recipients and their families should consult with an experienced elder law attorney for further information and assistance with qualification for these important home care programs.  

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Social Security Changes (Social Security Administration)