Page Reviewed / Updated - January 27, 2020
Connecticut's Assisted Living Program is contained within the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE), a state Medicaid waiver. Given that care is provided in assisted living residences instead of at home, we have included it separately on this page. This financial assistance program helps low income, elderly state residents afford the high cost of assisted living (non-skilled nursing, residential care).
Presently, all of Connecticut’s Medicaid funding for assisted living is administered through the CHCPE. The Assisted Living Program is a collection of four smaller programs that offer assisted living support in different locations. Many Connecticut seniors prefer assisted living to other long term care options, as it allows for them to continue living independently, in an individual studio, or one bedroom apartment, while gaining a team of onsite caregivers and services in a social environment.
The Assisted Living Program is available to all Connecticut residents who are at least 65 years of age. Program participants must need assistance to complete activities of daily living and must be “in need of short or long term nursing home care." For those who don't yet require this level of care, they may be placed on a waiting list.
The Assisted Living Program is open to both Medicaid eligible individuals and those who are not Medicaid eligible. There are different financial requirements depending on whether the applicant is enrolled or seeking to enroll in Connecticut’s Medicaid program.
The program does not have a hard income limit. However, persons with incomes over 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines will be required to contribute to the cost of their care. In 2020, this means individuals with incomes greater than $25,520 a year ($2,127 / month) must pay a percentage of their income. An applicant's assets are also considered. The 2020 asset limits for individuals and married couples are $38,592 and $51,456, respectively.
To qualify, an individual must have total assets of less than $1,600. If married and one's spouse is also seeking or receiving assistance from Medicaid, then their combined total assets must be less than $3,200. Monthly income for a single applicant must be below 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which is equivalent to $2,349 per month ($28,188 per year) in 2020. Married couples with both spouses applying for benefits are each allowed up to $2,349 / month in income. For those couples in which only one spouse receives Medicaid, the non-applicant spouses may receive an income allowance from the applicant spouse, as well as a greater portion of the couples’ assets to ensure the non-applicant spouse can continue to afford to live independently. These are known as spousal impoverishment rules.
Persons unsure if they or their loved one will meet the eligibility criteria for this program should consider consulting with a Medicaid planning professional. Read more.
In cases where the applicant is very low income and has no significant assets, the program pays the complete cost of an assisted living stay. In other cases, the program covers only the cost of care services in assisted living communities, but not for room and board (rent and meals). For non-Medicaid participants with income and assets over the Medicaid levels, the participant is required to make co-payments.
Typically, assisted living communities provide personal care, meal services, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities, and medication oversight.
To apply online for the Assisted Living benefits from the CHCPE, go to the new online application. Those who prefer to apply in person can find the local field offices for the Department of Social Services available here. Be aware that there is a cap on the number of participants allowed in the program. Therefore, a waiting list may exist.
To learn more about the assisted living option, a flyer with limited information is available for download here.