Florida Home Care for the Elderly (HCE) Program

Page Reviewed / Updated - Mar. 2016

Program Description

This program provides payments to caregivers to help them support low-income elders in their homes or in the homes of the individual who requires care. There are 2 types of payments: Basic and Special. The Basic Payment is meant to help with the cost for housing, food, clothing and medical services. The Special Payment is for necessary medical items such as durable medical equipment.

The Home Care for the Elderly program is somewhat unique among the states as it provides financial assistance directly to the caregiver instead of the individual who requires care. Caregivers can be related, but it is not a requirement that they be family members. However, it is required that the caregivers be approved by both the care recipient and the case manager. The home, in which the individual will receive care, must also be approved by the case manager.

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In 2015, nearly 3000 Florida elders benefited from the subsidy. Funding levels and participation rates are expected to remain the same for the program in 2016.


Eligibility Guidelines

To qualify for the HCE Program, a Florida resident must be at risk for nursing home placement, 60+ years old and financially eligible. 

Recipients of any of the following federal programs automatically meet the financial qualifications: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), or Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). 

Otherwise, the income and asset limits are the same as Medicaid Institutional Care Program. In 2016, an individual applicant must have less than $2,199 in gross monthly income and less than $2,000 in savings and property, excluding the home and vehicle. Note that participants cannot be concurrently enrolled in and receiving benefits from both the HCE program and the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care program.


Benefits and Services

This HCE Program provides financial assistance to caregivers to help them care for elderly individuals in their homes. The assistance can be as much as $370 / month to be used for rent, housing and medical services. However the majority of recipients receive monthly payments closer to $106. The final amount is determined by the client’s income.

There are two types of subsidies: Basic and Special.  The Basic is a recurring monthly payment and the Special is for one-time or extraordinary purchases.  Subsidies can be used for a variety of services and supplies including, but not limited to the following.

  • Disposable continence products
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Home access modifications
  • Home care
  • Nutritional supplements


How to Apply / Learn More

The Home Care for the Elderly Program is administered by the Florida Area Agencies on Aging. The Home Care for the Elderly Program is administered by the Florida Area Agencies on Aging. As funding is limited, new applicants are only accepted when vacancies arise and, therefore, qualified applicants can expect to wait for an opportunity to begin to receive payments through the service.

To apply one should contact their local Florida AAA here or Florida's Elder Helpline at 1-800-963-5337.  The Department of Elder Affairs maintains a webpage about the program here.

 The Home Care for the Elderly program assists approximately 3,000 individuals annually.  There are other assistance programs in Florida that help a wider audience.  Read about them here.