Page Reviewed / Updated – July 20, 2023

Program Description

The Group Adult Foster Care (GAFC) program provides assistance to elderly, low-income Massachusetts residents living in a group home. Benefits include personal care services, homemaker services and medication management and administration. But the program does not cover living costs, such as room and board.

However, Massachusetts does provide financial assistance for assisted living room and board costs through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI-G) Assisted Living Benefit. This can be used in combination with the GAFC program.

The GAFC program is under the administration of MassHealth —Massachusetts’ Medicaid program.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

To qualify for the GAFC program, Massachusetts resident must:

  • Be at least 22 years old.
  • Need help with at least one of his or her activities of daily living, e.g., dressing, bathing, or using the bathroom.
  • A medical doctor must document and certify the participant’s conditions and the level of care required.

Financial Requirements

Financially, the applicant must qualify for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. Massachusetts considers both the applicant’s income and their countable assets.

Income Limits
In 2023, the maximum monthly income for a single senior is $1,215 per month. A married couple, regardless of whether both spouses are applying, can have up to $1,643 per month in income. These income limits are set at 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which increases each year.

Asset Limits
The maximum value of the applicant’s countable assets is set at $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a married couple. However, there are many exceptions to this rule.

Countable assets do not include one’s home (given the applicant intends to return to the home or has a spouse living in the home and the equity value is no great than $1,033,000), personal effects, household items, and a motor vehicle.

Over the Financial Limits?

MassHealth eligibility is complicated, and there are many gray areas and different income levels depending on the applicant’s conditions. Persons who do not meet the strict financial limits are encouraged to consult with a MassHealth eligibility expert before completing an application to ensure the best possibility of acceptance into this program.

Benefits and Services

The Group Adult Foster Care program pays for the cost of personal care, medication administration, housecleaning, and transportation in group adult foster care or at approved assisted living communities throughout the state of Massachusetts. This program does not pay for room and board.

Personal care includes assistance with the five activities of daily living—bathing, transferring or mobility, toileting, dressing, and eating—as well as other important activities, such as personal hygiene.

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How to Apply / Learn More

Individuals interested in applying for the Group Adult Foster Care program must first be enrolled in MassHealth for senior services. Detailed information on applying for MassHealth can be found here.

Once enrolled in MassHealth, participants can contact their local Aging Services Access Point or call the MassHealth Customer Service Center at 800-841-2900 to obtain help in applying for the GAFC program.

Learn more about this Massachusetts Medicaid program here.