Three ways to get a live-in aide if you or your child are disabled:
Option One: Provides a Bedroom for Your Aide – You must apply for or be living in one of these: HUD housing, housing vouchers, public housing, or USDA rural rental assistance properties. See below for details.
Option Two: Provides a Salary for Your Aide – You do not need to be a special housing program. You can live anywhere. See below for details.
Option Three: Buildings that Come with Aides – Some HUD buildings or assisted living properties comes with aides on-site. You do not need a voucher. See below for details.
Bonus: Apply for Both Bedroom and Salary – You can apply for both option one and option two. If you qualify for both, your aide can get both a bedroom and a salary.
More details on each of these options:
OPTION ONE: HUD HOUSING LIVE IN AIDE
This is a HUD housing policy that can provide a bedroom for your aide. It is also possible in USDA rural rental assistance properties.
How it works: You find someone who wants to be your live-in aide and then request to have that person added as an aide to your voucher or to your HUD apartment.
Who Qualifies: You must be disabled and your doctor must sign that you are in need of an aide. Disabled children can also have live-in aides. HUD definition is of disabled is different than Social Security definition. You do not need to be on Social Security. Some housing programs have additional criteria.
Who Can Be Your Aide: You choose the person you want to be your aide. It cannot be a spouse and it usually cannot be someone who is already on your voucher or already living in HUD housing with you. Aides must pass criminal background checks. There are a few additional criteria.
How to apply: You and your doctor will fill out forms verifying that you need an aide. You make your own arrangements with the person you choose to be your aide. Your aide will also have to complete HUD paperwork.
Type of Assistance: HUD will provide an extra bedroom for your aide. Your aide will not be paid (unless you are paying them yourself or you are in another program that pays them). Although the extra bedroom is usually automatic, it is possible that some Housing Authorities might require you to submit a reasonable accommodation request for the extra bedroom along with your request to have an aide.
Rent – Section 8, HUD, Public Housing, USDA Rural Rental, Vouchers: Your aide’s finances will not be included in rental calculations and your aide will not pay rent. You will be given an extra bedroom with no change to rent.
Rent – Other Affordable Housing Buildings: Your aide’s finances will not be included in rental calculations. However…. your rent may increase if you move to an apartment with an additional bedroom.
Do I Need to Move? – If you can accommodate your aide in your current apartment, you do not need to move. If you need a larger place so your aide can have a separate bedroom, obviously you would need to move somewhere with more bedrooms. You can move to a new building. Or if your landlord has apartments with larger bedrooms, you can request priority transfer to transfer apartments and skip the waiting list.
Learn More: How to Request a Live-In Aide in HUD Housing
OPTION TWO: STATE HOME AIDE PROGRAMS
This program provides a small salary for your aide. This program is not run by HUD. It has nothing to do with HUD. It’s just a program you can apply for to get an aide.
How it works: You apply for a home aide program in your state. If you are approved, you can hire an aide you choose or you can request an aide be sent from an agency.
Care Qualifications: Not all disabled people will qualify. This programs is designed to help keep people out of nursing homes and institutions and there are specific criteria to be approved. Criteria varies by state. (In California and New York, you can qualify even if your needs are less severe). In most states, you do not need to be on Social Security disability.
Financial Qualifications: Rules vary by state. Anyone currently on medicaid will automatically meet the financial criteria. If you are not on Medicaid (or you have too much money for Medicaid) you may still be able to qualify.
Who Can Be Your Aide: You can choose the person you want to be your aide and that person can live in or live out. Or you can request to have an aide sent from an agency and will be live out. In most cases, your aide can be a family member, but in some states, you cannot choose a spouse. Aides must pass limited criminal background checks. Some states have additional criteria. It does not matter if your aide is already living with you or not.
How to apply: There is a formal screening and assessment process of your care needs to see if you qualify for this program.
Type of Assistance: This program will pay a small salary to your aide, based on number of hours you are approved for. Type of assistance usually includes personal care (bathing, dressing, eating). Most programs also cover household care (shopping, cooking, cleaning).
Learn More: How To Apply for State Home Aide Programs
If you don’t qualify for State Aides, you can also try: More options for home aides
OPTION THREE: ASSISTED LIVING OR CONGREGATE LIVING
These are buildings or properties that have staff onsite who provide help in your apartment. Sometimes they are also funded through HUD, making the rent cheap.
In some states, Medicaid will pay for the staff services, and HUD will pay for the rent. Medicaid does not cover assisted living in all states. Does medicaid pay for assisted living in my state?
If you have too much money to qualify for Medicaid, you may still be able to qualify for the type of Medicaid that pays for Assisted Living.
In some states, the process to qualify will be the same as the process for applying for home aides. Important information about: How to qualify for a state home aide
We haven’t heard from many readers in these type of properties, so we don’t know a great deal about them or what services they offer. If you live in one of these programs, please share your story in the comments below.
Here’s a few examples of programs:
Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly – Brighton, MA
Laconia Housing Authority – Laconia, NH
Manchester Housing and Redevelopment Authority – Manchester, NH
Housing Authority of the City of Old Town – Old Town, ME
BACK UP PLAN
You can also look to see if there are any other programs in your area that provide home services for people with disabilities. Not available in all areas, and much more limited in services, but may be helpful in some circumstances: How to Get a Caregiver
THANKS FOR READING
🌷 This page is part of the free online guide: The Sleepy Girl Affordable Housing Survival Guide
🌷 Plus the guide: The Sleepy Girl Guide to State Home Aides
🌸 Sample story of living in the HUD housing with a home aide: Meet Jane and Sally
🌸 Here’s a great fact sheet with more details on Live In Aides and Section 8
🌸 Other programs that are helpful if you have an aide: Services for People with Live-In Aides
🌷 Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.
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