Florida Optional State Supplementation (OSS) for Assisted Living

What is the Optional State Supplementation?
This program, abbreviated as OSS, is offered by the Florida Department of Children & Families. It provides financial assistance to low income seniors that cannot live independently and therefore require residential care, either in a family care home, assisted living residence or a mental health treatment center. Financial assistance comes in the form of a cash payment made directly to the individual that requires care.
OSS Eligibility Guidelines for 2013
This cash benefit is available to US Citizens who are legal Florida residents and aged 65 and older (or younger if blind or disabled). Residents must meet both the functional and financial eligibility guidelines. Functionally, individuals must by assessed and certified as requiring placement in residential care by an Adult Services or Mental Health case manager.

Financially, the eligibility requirements are similar to Medicaid however this is not a Medicaid program. The monthly income limit depends on the type of residential care into which the individual is placed. For 2013, for seniors in family care homes or assisted living, the limit is $776.40. Couples, if both are residing in the care facility, can have monthly income of up to $1552.80. If the residential care facility is for mental health, the income limits are slightly higher, $883.00 and $1766.00 for an individual and couple respectively.

There are also assets limits and the rules here are similar to Medicaid. Individuals can have up to $2,000 in resources and couples up to $3,000.

Individuals receiving this benefit cannot also being receiving Medicaid assistance for assisted living.
OSS Benefits
The program offers a direct cash payment to individuals up to a maximum of $700 / month to be used towards the cost of assisted living, family care or mental health residential care. The exact benefit amount is determined on a case-by-case basis and takes into consideration the cost of care at the individual's selected residential care facility and their income and marital status. Spouse's who live independently will be allocated sufficient resources to continue to do so.
Availability / How to Apply
This program is available across Florida. One can apply online at Florida's Department of Children and Families website.

Use our Eldercare Financial Resource Locator Tool to find other public and private programs that can help pay for or reduce the costs of long term care for the elderly.
Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan 2013