Finacial Aid for Elderly or Disabled in California? Need advice


I don’t live in California, but right now there is a big family & financial problem and I’m hoping I can get some help about programs or anything that may provide help for the elderly or disabled. That’s my main question.
I hope someone here has advice or suggestions.

It’s complicated and I don’t think I need to mention it, but perhaps I should give an idea of what the situation is in case you want to know.

Uncle B worked basically all his life in a factory that closed and left to China. So he was out of work in his 50s and to top it off he suffered a stroke which left him with his face half paralyzed and he has some other health problems. He’s not married and has no kids, but lives with a woman.

Shortly after that, my younger Uncle J (in his 30’s) suffered a severe stroke. He was in the hospital and the hospice for many months. Fortunately he can walk now, but he can’t move one of his arms and he can’t really talk.
Uncle J basically handled a grocery business for Aunt A. Aunt A works at her business, but Uncle J did everything, all the accounting etc.
Uncle J was the main one who took care of my two grandparents (grandma has diabetes and problems and grandpa has problems as well). Uncle J and my grandparents lived with Aunt A (I think in her garage, at least that’s where they are now). Uncle J used to pay rent and help out a lot, but ofcourse now he can’t and because of the stroke, he acts childish many times.

So now Uncle B is trying to take care and tend to all three of them. He had a lot of trouble getting any financial aid and then he got a little bit of aid when he mentioned that he is taking care of my grandparents now.

But it’s all such a mess, they really need people to look out for them and take care of them and right now Uncle B is doing that but he’s not working and neither is Uncle J (he can’t really work anyways).

Now it seems that Aunt A wants to kick them out. Uncle J still gives her money from the bit of savings he has. But Aunt A is not the nicest person. Money is everything to her, but it now seems her business is going down because she can’t manage it and Uncle J was the one who did all the managing and accounting before he suffered the stroke.

I just don’t know how to help.


Uncle B, Uncle J, and your grandparents need to contact the California Department of Social Services in the county in which they reside.


First advice was best advice but I’ll add this. If your family has any specific ethnicity (Chinese, Filipino, Pacific Islander, Russian, etc.), there are indeed much smaller agencies within many communitites in CA that work to serve such minorities. Even a look into the yellow pages at Social Services could be helpful and might be available online for your convenience.


I know that many people who have always worked are hesitant to apply for aid from the government, but it sounds like some of these people may qualify for disability from Social Security. If they paid into the system then they can apply for Disability Insurance Benefits which is not welfare! Part of what is paid to Social Security (for self-employed people who participate or workers whose employers participate) is for retirement and part is to make them qualify for disability insurance. Even if the people have never paid into the system, there is a program called supplemental security income that helps those people who are permanently disabled from all types of full-time work.

Both of these programs require that a person be unable to perform any of their work done in the past 15 years. They must also be unable to perform even very simple jobs on a full-time basis due to their medical conditions. It cannot hurt to apply. It can even be done online nowdays at the Social Security website.

OP, see if you can make sure that your grandparents are getting any Soc. Sec. benefits that they may be entitled to receive. Also see if the disabled relatives have applied for anything and everything that they might remotely qualify to receive. The older the disabled person is, the easier it is to show that they cannot work any longer. Having a mental deficiency (such as with a stroke victim) with a signficant physical limitation makes the person much more likely to qualify for benefits.


Thank you all for the advice and web sites to look at. I hope we can work something out. I know Uncle B tried getting Disability aid, but he was rejected. But I’ll try to see what else I can come up with.
I’m trying to keep positive and figure out some sort of plan.
Thank you all again.
Happy New Year!


FYI, disability (federal “SSI”) turns down almost everyone on the first two tries. Four tries are allowed and one must live through the first two (or three) rejections and continue to submit an “appeal.” IOW, your uncle need not give up. The government is more in the business of trying to avoid giving out moneys.


Have you tried Catholic Charities? I believe they have social services resources and could work as an advocate. Otherwise, I second the advice for your uncle to contact the Department of Health and Human services for the county.


Did anyone serve in the US Miliitary? If so there maybe healthcare benefits through the VA system. But, again the first afvice was the best advice!


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