Virginia Auxiliary Grants (AG) for Assisted Living and Adult Foster Care

Program Description

Virginia residents who reside in assisted living or adult foster care homes can receive direct financial assistance under the Auxiliary Grant (AG) program to help offset the cost of their monthly fees. Applicants must reside in an approved residence and meet a variety of other criteria. Initially designed only for persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), in recent years the eligibility criteria has become less restrictive and today persons with income over $735 per month can receive assistance.

The State's Department of Social Services’ Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services serves as the general administrator of the AG program. However, much of the assessment and detailed work is performed by local agencies. The program receives no federal funding; instead it is funded in its entirety by using state and local dollars.

 Did You Know?  Over 90% of seniors residing in assisted living communities are satisfied with the care they receive, their independence and overall quality of life. 

  

Eligibility Guidelines

The eligibility criteria for the Auxiliary Grant are exceedingly complex.  This webpage makes no effort to reproduce the rules in their entirety instead it attempts to simplify and summarize the requirements to allow the reader to more easily determine if they or their loved one will qualify.  The full legal eligibility documents can be downloaded here

There are 4 areas of eligibility criteria.

Age - applicants must be at least 65 years of age with two exceptions: those who are legally blind and those designated as disabled by the Social Security Administration.

Residency - applicants must be legal Virginia residents at the time of application and they must be living in an assisted living community or an adult foster care home.  It is important to note that residency is determined by the applicant's last address prior to moving into the care facility.  Those individuals who move from out of state directly to a Virginia care facility are not eligible. 

Functional Ability - although the functional ability criteria differ slightly for those in adult foster care vs. assisted living, generally speaking individuals must require assistance to perform at least 1-2 activities of daily living or 4 or more instrumental activities of daily living. All applicants, regardless of residential location, must be assessed by the Department of Social Services annually and found to have a continued and ongoing need for those types of care.

Financial Requirements - the financial requirements for the AG program are very similar to that of SSI. Individuals who qualify for SSI are eligible financially for the AG. Persons who do not qualify for SSI may still be eligible.

The financial asset limit for SSI and the AG program are one in the same. In 2017, $2,000 in countable resources for an individual and $3,000 for a couple is permitted.

The monthly income limits for SSI and the AG program are different. In 2017, SSI's monthly income limits for an individual and couple respectively are $735 and $1,103. The Auxiliary Grant is less restrictive, stating only that the applicant's countable monthly income must be less than the monthly cost of their assisted living or foster care at licensed facilities.

 

Benefits and Services

The Auxiliary Grant provides monthly assistance directly to the individual for the specific purpose of paying for their assisted living or adult foster care fees. This assistance should be distinguished from Medicaid assistance which by law cannot be used to pay for room and board in assisted living, only for care services.

From a services perspective, assisted living and adult foster care offer:

  • Furnished room 
  • Housekeeping
  • Meals and snacks (including specialty diets)
  • Laundry
  • Assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming, and dressing
  • Medication reminders, oversight, and administration
  • Assistance arranging medical appointments, transportation, and purchasing personal items
  • Social and recreational activities
  • General supervision

 

How to Apply / Learn More

Important to apply for the Auxiliary Grant, state residents must be living in an assisted living facility or adult foster care home at the time of application.  Also important, approval for the grant does not mean immediate assistance. Approved candidates commonly have to wait for a "bed" to become available in a certified residence.

To apply, one should contact their local social services office.  A complete list of offices is available here.

Did You Know?  In Virginia free assistance is available to help residents find assisted living communities within their financial means.  Get started here.