Alzheimer's Disease: Government Benefits
Several federal government benefits programs and state services may help Alzheimer’s patients and their family members pay for support like medical care, disability, and respite care.
Federal Government Benefits for People with Alzheimer's Disease
If you’re having difficulty paying for long-term care or medical treatment for yourself or a loved one, you may qualify for one or more of these federal programs.
This federal health insurance program is for people age 65 or older who are receiving Social Security retirement benefits, or people under age 65 with certain disabilities.
Medicare can cover some, but not all, of the services a person with Alzheimer’s may need. Medicare tends to focus on medical acute care, paying for things like doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital stays. Medicare does not generally pay for long-term care, but will help with short stays in a skilled nursing facility or home health care under certain circumstances for up to 100 days.
Alzheimer's patients must meet specific eligibility requirements to receive Medicare assistance. Visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-633-4227.
This federal program is typically administered by a state agency for certain individuals and families with low incomes and resources. Eligibility and benefits vary from state to state.
Unlike the Medicare program, Medicaid can cover all or a portion of nursing home or long-term care costs. However, people with Alzheimer’s can qualify for this coverage only if they have met certain requirements, including low income and low cash assets. Sadly, people with Alzheimer’s may qualify after using up their assets due to the considerable costs of Alzheimer’s care. You can search online by state at http://medicaid.gov or call 1-877-267-2323. Your State Medical Assistance office should also have information on how to qualify for Medicaid in your state.
This federal program provides retirement income, disability payments, and other payments to workers who contributed to the plan when they were employed and their dependents. Visit www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213.
Veterans Benefit Programs
An Alzheimer’s patient who served in the armed services may qualify for certain Veterans Administration program benefits, which may include long-term care. Visit http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits or call 1-800-827-1000.
State and Local Benefits Programs
Each state and territory in the United States has programs that can help you find affordable health care services for a loved one with Alzheimer's. For both resources, check the phone book or search online to locate their offices by state or area.
State and Area Agencies on Aging
State and area agencies on aging provide information on programs that may help with the care of an individual with Alzheimer’s, including specific supports and legal services.
State Departments of Health and Social Services (DHSS)
State Departments of Health and Social Services can provide information on state and local programs, including respite services and facilities and financial assistance in some programs.
For More Information
You can find a range of information on the different federal assistance programs and how to apply for them by visiting https://benefits.gov or calling 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636).