Section 8 housing rules for live-in caregivers

Did you know that if a person with physical or cognitive disabilities resides in section 8 funded HUD housing, the law requires the Public Housing Agency (PHA) to allow a necessary home health aide to reside with the tenant? The concept is that the PHA is required to make a reasonable accommodation for the tenant’s needs pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, to enable the participating tenant to reap full benefit from this federal housing program to enable them to dwell in the community and avoid nursing home placement. The regulation is in surprisingly plain English:

             “24 USC § 982.316 Live-in aide. (a) A family that consists of one or more elderly, near-elderly or disabled persons may request that the PHA approve a live-in aide to reside in the unit and provide necessary supportive services for a family member who is a person with disabilities. The PHA must approve a live-in aide if needed as a reasonable accommodation in accordance with 24 CFR part 8 to make the program accessible to and usable by the family member with a disability. (See § 982.402(b)(6) concerning effect of live-in aide on family unit size.)”

Normally, the income of other occupants of the apartment will be counted in the household income calculation for Section 8. However, if the person resides there because s/he serves as the live-in aide, his/her income is not counted. The criteria for exclusion of that person’s income are in the federal regulations and are basically that (1) the aide’s services are essential to the care and well being of the person(s); (2) the aide is not under a legal obligation to support the person(s) with the disabilities, and (3) the aide would not be living in the unit except to provide the necessary supportive services. The tenant needs to formally request the accommodation by submitting an application to the PHA. The tenant who is applying for this special accommodation would need to provide relevant and necessary medical proofs as to the disability and need for a live-in aide, including physicians’; opinion reports, and evidence concerning the identity of the aide and services to be provided. A sample detailed explanation of the requirements for this application are here, from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

The person being proposed as the live-in aide must still be eligible to reside in HUD housing based on other federal criteria, but that is a different topic.

Senior care planning involves looking at the opportunities to enable a person to age in place in his or her preferred environment. There are a wide array of legal questions that are relevant to that planning, including the public benefits that might be available.

Call us for advice about planning for senior care …. 732-382-6070


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6 thoughts on “Section 8 housing rules for live-in caregivers

  1. hello i have been a live in caregiver to a woman who is under psychiatric care i was wondering if i am entitled to compensation she has section 8 housing and i am her legal aid i am legally on the lease thank you for any information you can give me on the subject

  2. I am on Section 8 and I live alone. My Aunt lives in her own house (not on Section 8). She is now at the age where she can not live alone; she need someone she can trust to look after her and I am the best candidate. I do not intend on moving in because I do not want to loose my housing while helping her just in case she passes before me.
    Am I allowed to be a caregiver for my aunt and receive any pay (I think it is approximately $10/hr) and maintain my section 8 housing?
    If so will that income count towards rent?
    How will that work for my situation?

  3. If I have a live in aid and I get a 2 bedroom apartment. Can I lose my voucher if I lose my aid?? Need to know before I make a life changing decision. Any info would be of great help. BTW thanks in advance everyone
    Oops … If I lose my aid would I will my rent go up for having 2 bedrooms with the aid not staying there??

  4. Hi Tyrell,

    In this case your best move is to contact your local Legal Services office.

  5. I need help, I need a live in aide I was just released from home hospice care and need the extra assistance, my technician says it will take to long and I have only 40:days untill must move the doctors paperwork shouldn’t take long to get I have currently palitive care and physical therapy at home can this be s problem? My daughter had been carrying for me since I left hospice facility than St home hospice now I’m in palitive care currently
    What do I need to prove from my doctor that says I need a live in aide ? Please help I need her help with daily chores? Sincerely Stephanie HELP ME FIND A DECENT HOME. In expensive Drnver Colorado.

  6. Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for the inquiry. We recommend that you contact a local elder law attorney in Colorado, for specific legal advice about your situation. In addition, you can tell your doctor that you are asking for Medicare home care benefits for a housebound patient, and they should know what to write down for you in that case.

    Good luck!

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