In 2018, 10.2% of older Californians had incomes that fell under the federal poverty line (FPL) and there are also large numbers of older adults with incomes hovering just above the federal poverty guideline. Older adults of color are more likely than non-Latino whites to both live below the poverty line or to be slightly above the poverty line but still economically insecure.

Contributing to the higher rates of poverty among older people and people with disabilities is the high out of pocket costs of long-term services and supports. In order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of long-term services and supports, many middle-income people “spend down” and use their assets to pay for care until they have very little left and qualify for Medicaid.

The lack of a sustainably financed, well-functioning, and broadly accessible system of universal long-term services and supports is a heavy burden on families in California and the country overall. The economic contributions and quality of life of seniors and working-age people with disabilities is increasingly limited due to a lack of vision and planning at the state and federal levels. These problems will only worsen in the future due to COVID-19 and the continued aging of the U.S. population.

This forum examined how a universal, social insurance based long-term services and supports program in California can reduce poverty and economic inequality for seniors, people with disabilities, and direct care workers.

Download the report: Designing Universal Family Care: State-Based Social Insurance Programs for Early Child Care and Education, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Long-Term Services and Supports

[WPSM_AC id=1024]


This event was co-sponsored by the National Academy of Social Insurance, Caring Across Generations, and United Domestic Workers of America. A special thanks to the Ford Foundation for providing funding for this webinar. 



California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (SD 39)

California State Senate




Kim McCoy Wade

Director, California Department of Aging, California Health and Human Services Agency




Christina Mills

Executive Director, California Foundation for Independent Living Centers




Dr. Richard Pan, California State Senator (SD 6)

California State Senate




Fernando Torres-Gil

Director, Center for Policy Research on Aging; Professor of Social Welfare and Public Policy, UCLA




Moderator: Kim Alvarenga

Director, California Domestic Workers Coalition  

September 24th, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:15 AM
Topics Long-Term Care, Disability, Poverty and Income Assistance
Contact Name Meghan Griffin
Contact Email