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Helpful Resources

Having supported seniors for over 25 years, we have found helpful resources related to senior living and care. We hope these are just as helpful for your needs.

Financial Comparison

Many families are not fully aware of their or their loved one’s current living expenses to then compare with alternative accommodations like a retirement facility. We can help families identify expenses and evaluate options with our helpful comparison tool  to compare the monthly living cost of a house, apartment or other retirement community with all-inclusive Independent Living and Personal Care at the Ecumenical Retirement Community.

Cost Saving Accommodations: Companion Living

Sharing a suite with another Ecumenical resident is an affordable option at a lower monthly rate. We use common interests that may serve as the basis for a friendship to match potential roommates. Plus, companion living also can ease the transition in making the move by being paired with someone who has gone through the experience.

Tax Deductible Expenses

The cost of assisted living facility or personal care services may be a tax-deductible medical expense. Depending on the services received and diagnosis, residents may be eligible to deduct their complete assisted living or personal care expenses for federal income tax purposes. Eligible deductions also may be available to a resident’s family member if the family member is able to claim the resident as a dependent for federal income tax purposes. If applicable, this tax deduction could result in a 10-20% discount on the cost of retirement living expenses. Consult your attorney or tax accountant to determine how these rules apply to your individual circumstances.

Veterans Benefits Assistance Program

This is a pension benefit available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for wartime veterans and their spouses who have limited income and are in need of the regular aid and attendance of another person to perform functions required in everyday living either in a personal care or assisted living community or in their own home.

Maximum Benefit Amounts:

Per the VA’s 2019 guidelines, the monthly amount awarded is determined by an individual’s assets, income and medical expenses.

  • up to $1,881 per month for the veteran
  • up to $1,209 per month for a surviving spouse
  • up to $2,230 per month for the veteran and his/her spouse

Maximum Value of Assets:

The application should not be submitted until a person has $127,061 or less in assets. A home is not an asset until it is sold and the money is deposited in the bank account.

Maximum Income Amount:

Since your income can be reduced by the amount of your medical expenses, you should not necessarily be concerned about the income. It’s best to file the claim and let the VA make that determination.

Timing Expectations:

On average, it takes seven to eight months to receive payment. Benefits typically are backdated to the month after the application is submitted.

We offer assistance to residents and their families throughout the entire application process. For more information about this program or how we can assist you, contact us at vetbenefits@ecumenicalretirement.org or 1-855-838-5094.

Government Assistance

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is a federal income supplemental program that issues monthly payments to individuals with little to no income and few resources and are 65 years or older, blind or disabled. To qualify, you must be a U.S. resident1who owns less than $2,000 in resources ($3,000 as a couple) and has a limited monthly gross income of no more than $771 (no more than $1,157 for a couple2) qualifies for SSI (based on 2019 SSI Program—rates are subject to change).

Personal Care Home Boarding Supplement (PCHBS)

PCHBS is a state-funded supplement, providing a combined payment with SSI to qualifying residents of non-medical residential care facilities, licensed by the Department of Welfare as a personal care home. The supplement increases the resident’s monthly income to compensate the care provider. To qualify, you must be a U.S.resident1 who owns less than $2,000 in resources ($3,000 as a couple) and has a limited monthly gross income of no more than $1,210.30 (no more than $2,114.40 a couple2) (based on 2019 SSI Program—rates are subject to change).

1 If not a U.S. citizen, one must lawfully reside in the U.S.; must not be absent from the country for more than a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days.

2 The higher limit applies even if only one member of the couple qualifies for SSI. If only one member of a couple qualifies for SSI, part of the ineligible member’s income may be considered the eligible spouse’s as well.

To qualify to live at Ecumenical Retirement Community in either program, a qualifying prospect must be 65 years or older, able to pay first month’s rent and the application fee, live self-sufficiently with minimal assistance and have a third-party guarantor to help manage the resident’s SSI account.

Reverse Mortgage

If you own your own home, a reverse mortgage may provide an option for raising funds to pay for personal care or skilled nursing care. To qualify, one spouse must continue to live in the home. Contact your bank for more information.

Pennsylvania’s Retirement-Friendly Tax Benefits

If considering moving to Pennsylvania, the state has been hailed by Forbes as one of the “Best (Unknown) Retirement Tax Havens” in America and recognized in Kiplinger’s “Best States for Retiree Taxes” in part to its retired living-friendly tax benefits*.
*Federation of Tax Administration, January 2012; Forbes.com “2007 Seven Best (Unknown) Retirement Tax Havens”; Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine “Best and Worst States for Retiree Taxes,” 11/18/2010.

All content contained within this page is provided for general information only and should not be treated as a substitute for advice and information from a professional financial or tax advisor. Ecumenical Retirement Community is not a provider of these financial products or of financial and tax advice and does not endorse or take responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained on the websites listed and does not receive incentive compensation from the companies and products listed here. Individuals should consult with their personal financial or tax advisor for advice about what financial options are best for them.