Long term care expenses exceeds the yearly income of many California seniors living alone, a study by the University of California at Los Angeles finds.

In Los Angeles County, the annual cost of in-home care services for seniors living alone is now $319 more than this group’s median annual income of $17,000, according to data combined by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, Oakland, Calif.

If other basic expenses, such as food and rent, are combined with LTC expenses, a Los Angeles senior living alone would need twice that median income to survive, according to data released by the study groups.

In all 58 California counties, long term health care is far out of reach of seniors living alone who are disabled, according to the report.

The cost of 16 hours a week of home care, which researchers considered a medium level of care, was often equal to or greater than the median income that single female seniors receive from a combination of Social Security, pensions and other sources. Female seniors living alone are the group most likely to need paid in-home assistance when they become disabled, the researchers noted.

Jenny Chung, attorney and program manager at the Insight Center, notes that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed eliminating state Medicaid funding of in-home support services for up to 400,000 disabled seniors as he tries to close the state’s budget gap.