I hope this email finds you well. I noticed you provide valuable information for your community, and I thought you might be interested in our resource for seniors.
According to the Federation of American Scientists, 4.9 million seniors live in poverty. Federal and state governments have developed various programs to help seniors meet their housing, health care, and transportation needs.
Our new resource outlines the federal and state organizations offering public benefits and offers state-specific guides for financial assistance for seniors.
You can view it here: https://www.seniorhousingnet.com/advice-and-planning/federal-and-state-financial-assistance-resources.
It would be great if you could include our resource on your website https://countyproperties.net/community-outreach-and-senior-advocate/. It would be of tremendous value to your community’s senior citizens and their families.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Seniors are often on a fixed income,
such as an annuity, pension or Social Security. This can make it difficult to meet living costs, especially in the face of inflation. Studies have found that 4.9 million seniors live in poverty and more than 7 million are food insecure. This means that many seniors in the United States struggle with hunger, isolation, housing and income worries.
Thankfully, federal, state and local governments have programs aimed at helping seniors meet their needs. Federal and state governments offer financial assistance for housing, health care, transport, food and more. To help you easily access the resources you need, this article identifies available trusted public federal and state organizations that offer public benefits.
Types of Federal and State Financial Assistance Programs
Federal and state governments have assistance available for people as they age. There may be some overlap, with both federal and state programs offering assistance. In other instances, the federal government provides funding, but state governments administer programs.
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income
All Americans who work pay Social Security taxes. People who earn 40 credits, normally through working for 10 years, are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. On average, beneficiaries receive 40% of their pre-retirement income. Social Security also provides Supplemental Security Income to people with limited income. This is available to those aged 65 and older or people who are blind or disabled.
Medicare provides health insurance to people aged 65 and over, people with end-stage renal disease and certain young people with disabilities. Part A provides hospital insurance, and Part B provides medical insurance, which often covers 80% of the cost of services such as doctor’s visits and outpatient care. Part D is prescription drug coverage. Most people don’t pay a premium for Part A; however, there are monthly premiums for Parts B and D.
Medicare Advantage, or Part C, is an alternative that’s provided by private companies. It covers everything included in Parts A and B. Most plans also include prescription drug coverage known as part D coverage.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the primary source of nutritional assistance from the federal government. People who meet the eligibility criteria receive benefits in the form of a card that can be used to purchase groceries at authorized stores. Seniors can apply through local agencies.
The federal government also has the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. Available to people aged 60 or older who are financially eligible, the program provides vouchers for participants to redeem at local farmers’ markets and roadside stalls. It helps older residents access fresh fruit and vegetables while also supporting local farmers.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides support to help build low-income housing for seniors through the Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program. This provides capital to organizations to help them build accommodations. It also offers rent assistance to very low-income households living in these buildings as long as at least one person is aged 62 or older when they move in. Seniors can also access the housing choice voucher program, which provides rent assistance to low-income households. Applications are managed by local public housing agencies.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, provides assistance to people who need help paying for energy bills, weatherization and minor energy-related home repairs. The program is funded federally and administered by state organizations. To be eligible, applicants must meet the financial eligibility guidelines, although people enrolled in certain other benefits, such as SNAP or SSI, may be automatically eligible.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a range of programs to help people who served in the military. The Veterans Pension and VA Survivors Pension can provide funds to veterans aged 65 and older or to their surviving spouses who are on a low income. Aid and Attendance benefits and the Housebound allowance help senior veterans pay for assisted living or in-home care if they have a disability or need help to perform activities of daily living. Veterans may also be able to access health care through the VA. Vet Centers located throughout the country can help people access these benefits.
The assistance available in each state can vary widely. Check the exact benefits available in your location as well as the eligibility criteria to be able to access programs.
Despite this, programs can be found in most states. They provide assistance with health care, personal care, transport and nutrition. Some may even offer cash benefits. You may be able to access the following resources in your state.
Area Agencies on Aging
The Older Americans Act requires that all states have Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) that act as a local center for information and services to help vulnerable older adults. USAging is the national association that represents the country’s 600 AAAs. In addition to referring seniors to local resources, AAAs often administer transport, home care, home modification and social engagement programs as well as grant programs such as National Family Caregiver Grant and Dementia Respite Grants.
Medicaid is jointly funded by the federal and state governments, but it’s administered by states. This means that applications are processed by state departments, and the exact eligibility criteria are set by states. In addition to health insurance, many states have Medicaid waivers, also called Home and Community Based Services waivers. These provide services such as personal care for older adults who wish to remain living in their homes. Some also cover care provided in a residential home, such as assisted living.
Health Care Assistance
Many states have additional health care assistance programs available to seniors. Prescription assistance is a common program that’s especially important for older Americans, as studies show 3.5 million adults aged 65 and older struggle to pay for their medication. Some states have programs that provide personal care for seniors who aren’t eligible for Medicaid, and other programs may assist with paying for room and board in assisted living facilities.
Optional Supplemental State
People receiving Supplemental Security Income may be eligible for an optional state supplement. This is additional money paid to recipients by the states. Not every state offers an OSS, and those that do may only provide it to people in certain situations. Depending on the program, this money may be cash that can be used for anything, or the money may be intended to pay for specific bills, such as assisted living.
The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures equal access to people with disabilities. This means that public transport must have accessible options. Many public transit organizations offer paratransit to people who can’t use or access fixed-route services, and these are often available to seniors. They generally provide a door-to-door or curb-to-curb service commonly known as Dial-A-Ride. Many states also offer senior transportation through AAAs or provide discounted fares for regular public transportation services.
States may run nutrition programs to help ease food insecurity for older residents. Some provide home-delivered meals, either in-house or through partnerships with Meals on Wheels or other providers. Many states also offer congregate meals at senior centers.
State-level departments that manage veterans affairs may have funding that provides emergency grants or other one-off payments to residents who served in the military. Some states also have veteran’s homes that provide skilled nursing or assisted living care to veterans and their spouses.
Guides to Financial Assistance for Seniors in Every State
Find your state below to read about the financial assistance resources that may be available to you.