West Virginia's Lighthouse Program

Program Description

West Virginia's Lighthouse Program was created to provide services to seniors who require assistance with the activities and instrumental activities of daily living but do not qualify for assistance from Medicaid. The program is funded by the state and managed at the county level. The Lighthouse Program provides four areas of support to the elderly (ages 60+) in their homes: personal care services, mobility assistance, nutrition and housekeeping / chore services.

Under this program (in most WV counties) certain family members are eligible to be paid caregivers for their loved ones.  

The Lighthouse Program works as follows; a Plan of Care is developed by a medical professional and county caseworker in which the specific tasks and frequency of assistance is determined. Each activity with which the participant requires assistance is determined and the number of care hours per month is calculated, up to a maximum of 60 hours/ month.  Caregivers are hired by the county and receive training. It is worth noting that certain family members of the individual in need of care can be hired to provide care services.  Spouses are excluded from being paid caregivers but the adult children are not. Make note, this is based on county policy, as some counties allow family members to provide care, while others do not. 

This model of allowing the care recipient to choose their paid caregiver is sometimes, inaccurately, referred to as Cash and Counseling.  That term is specific to Medicaid programs.  A more appropriate term is Consumer Directed. 

 Did You Know?  WV Seniors can receive free estimates for bath safety modifications such as the addition of a walk-in bath tub to replace hazardous showers.  Learn more.

Eligibility Guidelines

To qualify for the Lighthouse Program in 2018, participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a West Virginia resident of at least 60 years of age.
  • Require significant assistance with at least 2 of their activities of daily living, as determined by a medical evaluation.
  • Strictly speaking, there are no financial limits for participation in the Lighthouse Program. However, one's income level determines the amount of financial assistance an individual receives. If the applicant is married, joint income is considered. 
  • The assets and income of other members of the household is not considered, only that of the care recipient and his or her spouse, if applicable.

Individuals cannot also be receiving assistance from Medicaid, such as the Personal Care Program and the Aged and Disabled Waiver. One can, however, receive services from both the Lighthouse Program and the Family Alzheimer’s In-Home Respite Program, given services are not duplicated. Services received under these programs must be done so within the state's borders.

 

Benefits and Services

The Lighthouse Program provides up to a maximum of 60 hours of assistance each month in the following four areas:

1) Assistance with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.
2) Mobility assistance, such as walking or transferring oneself from lying or sitting to standing.
3) Nutritional assistance, which includes activities such as meal planning, grocery shopping, and food preparation.
4) Homemaker services such as housekeeping, changing bed linens, dishwashing, and laundry.

The cost of services is determined on a sliding scale based on the annual income of the individual receiving care, as well as his or her spouse. Hourly fees charged to the individual range from $1.50 - $16. Their assets are not considered factors, just the care recipient’s and his or her spouses’ income.

Note the information in the table below may be revised annually. The reader should not consider these income levels in absolute terms, but instead should consider this an approximate guide. (The figures below were accurate as of February 2018). In addition, one can deduct medical expenses, such as health insurance premiums and prescription medications from their annual income, effectively lowering their considered income.

Individual Annual Income

Individual & Spouse Annual Income

Hourly Rate

$24,280 and under

$32,920 and under

$1.50

Up to $29,280

Up to $39,920

$2.00

Up to $34,280

Up to $46,920

$4.00

Up to $39,280

Up to $53,920

$6.00

Up to $44,280

Up to $60,920

$8.00

Up to $49,280

Up to $67,920

$10.00

Up to $54,280

Up to $74,920

$12.00

Up to $59,280

Up to $81,920

$14.00

Over $59,281

Over $81,921

$16.00


 

How to Apply / Learn More

To apply for the Lighthouse Program, contact your local County Aging Provider.   To learn more, visit their webpage. One can also call WV Bureau of Senior Services at 877-987-3646 or 304-558-3317.

 There are other non-Medicaid programs available in West Virginia for the elderly and disabled.  Read about assistance from the Ron Yost Program and the FAIR Program.