Social Security and Medicaid Benefits for the Elderly

Senior woman talking on phone while looking at papers
Understanding social security and Medicaid benefits is helpful for older loved ones.

Is Social Security a program paid for by taxpayers or an insurance program the elderly paid into their entire lives?

The answer is: both. Technically, Social Security is an entitlement program: Federally funded benefits paid out as allowed by current legislation.

To be eligible for conventional Social Security benefits, the elderly need earnings from which social security taxes were withheld for forty quarters (ten years) from the employee and employer. If someone worked very few years or worked under the table, they will receive less than someone who was consistently employed by a taxpaying business.

In rare circumstances, low earners may receive benefits above those allowed by their earnings. According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2019 only 32 thousand out of 64 million beneficiaries received a minimum benefit that was larger than their earned benefit. Widows and widowers may also apply for survival benefits and may receive whichever benefit is higher.

Women who stop working outside the home to care for their children or parents often have very low Social Security benefits and live below the poverty line. If this situation applies to your family, the Adults and People with Disabilities office may assist with benefits like food stamps, home delivered meals, and caregiving.

The telephone number for the Roseburg office is: 541-440-3580. When you call, ask for “the worker of the day,” who will explain application requirements. The application process for food benefits is generally quick and efficient. However, applications for caregiving assistance take at least 45 days to complete under normal circumstances.  There is currently a longer than usual waiting time due to unprecedented demand.

Please read this press release about applying for general Medicaid benefits.

If your family member is approved for home care services, rest assured that Advantage Home Care accepts Medicaid funding and partners with the case managers at Adults and People with Disabilities.

Advantage Home Care has been providing exceptional in-home companion care in Winchester and throughout Douglas County since 2007. To learn more about how we can help you navigate Social Security and Medicaid benefits or to inquire about our trusted home care services, contact us today.