Are you worried about your medical bills or other necessities and meeting unexpected emergencies? Read this article from Respect Caregivers on Government benefits for seniors.
Retirement means the end of your steady income. That’s why you should work hard to save money for your golden years so that you can use it for your health treatments, buying medicines, or other vital purposes.
You need to save at least 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to live in a comfortable way after retirement. For instance, if your annual income is $100,000, you need to save enough to get $80,000 each year to maintain the lifestyle you had in your working period.
However, many Americans are struggling to save money for retirement purposes. A 2019 research study says that 22 percent of adults in the United States have saved less than $5000 for retirement, and 15 percent have not saved any money for retirement.
If you are struggling financially, there are several government resources that provide financial aid to older adults. This article discusses government benefits for seniors. Read on and learn all about the aid that you are entitled to.
Nutrition Assistance Programs For Seniors
According to Feeding America, one in 14 people above 60 years old faces hunger. Hunger takes a heavy toll on seniors’ health and puts them at risk of chronic health diseases like diabetes, depression, and asthma.
Research shows many people are eligible for nutrition assistance, but unfortunately, they are not aware of these benefits. Some people know about the nutrition assistance programs provided by the government, but they fear to take help.
There are multiple nutrition assistance programs for senior people. Some of them are described below.
#1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP)
The SNAP supplements the food budget to purchase healthy food and groceries. You have to apply to the State Snap agency or the local SNAP office.
The State agency verifies your application and sends you a notice about whether you are eligible to get benefits or not within 30 days. If the agency finds you qualified, you have to give an interview and show all the proofs of the information you have provided.
Once you are found eligible to get benefits, you will receive all the benefits based on the date you have submitted your application.
You will get an Electronic benefit transfer(EBT) card which works the same as your debit card. The benefits are loaded on your account each month. You have to use this card while buying groceries from a good retailer.
#2. The Emergency Food Assistance Programs (TEFAP)
TEFAP provides nutritious food from the USDA(United States Department Of Agriculture)directly to a local organization that serves the public directly.
The food offered by TEFAP includes healthy fruits, vegetables, meat, milk, and cheese. The TEFAP program is free, but each State differs in eligibility criteria like maximum income of the household and others.
#3. Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Program
The Senior market nutrition program provides locally grown fruits and vegetables to lower-income senior persons.
If you are 60 years old and above and have household incomes not more than 185 percent of federal property income guidelines, you are eligible for getting benefits from this program.
Employment Assistance Program For Seniors
#1.Senior Community Service Employment Program(SCSEP)
The Senior Community Service Employment Program provides employment opportunities to people above 55 years old and unemployed. You have to work an average of 20 hours per week in different community service activities and be paid at least federal minimum wage.
#2. Tax Counseling For Elderly(TCE)
The Tax Counseling For Elderly (TCE) program is designed to provide free tax assistance to senior people above 60 years old and are not working.
The IRS certified volunteers would help you prepare basic income tax returns and electronic filing at various community locations. The community locations can be banks, libraries, local malls.
You don’t need any application to benefit from this program. You have to locate the nearest TCE site for services. Most of the TCE sites are operated by AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program.
Financial Assistance Program For Seniors
#1.National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program or icanConnect provides training and equipment to seniors with hearing and vision loss. The program helps cover the cost of the computer, braille displays, smartphones, and tablets.
This program is located in 50 states of the United States. To get the benefits from this program, you have to contact your local icanConnect program or download the application from the iCanConnect web page.
You have to submit the completed application form that includes a disability verification attested by any professional that your hearing or vision loss meets iCanConnect guidelines and proof that you meet the income guidelines of iCanConnect.
Once they accept your application, the representative of iCanConnect will fix an appointment, and together you will determine the equipment which will be most helpful to you.
#2.USDA Housing Repair Grants
The USDA Housing Repair Grants are also known as Section 504 Home repair programs. It provides loans to lower-income homeowners for modernizing the house or grants to reduce senior income adults to remove health and safety hazards. Your age should be 62 and above to get the benefits.
#3.Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP)
Energy costs can become a significant financial burden for seniors or lower-income households. The U.S Energy Information Administration says households spend nearly $ 117 each month on home energy bills.
Well, the price may differ from one State to another. For example, if you stay in Connecticut, you need to spend almost $162 every month on a home energy bill, but staying in Columbia may cost you less.
You have to pay $89 as a home energy bill in Columbia each month. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides federally funded assistance to senior adults. It helps manage energy bills and minor home repairs related to energy.
However, LIHEAP is not responsible for covering all your home’s energy bills every month. It depends on various factors like the location of your house, the size of the family, and income.
Medicaid is a program that helps lower-income Americans of all ages, including senior people, to pay the costs associated with medical and custodial care.
Some of the benefits provided by Medicaid are as follows.
- Inpatient and outpatient hospital services
- Nursing facility
- Home health services
- Laboratory and X Ray services
- Family planning services
- Physician services
- Rural health clinic services
Medicare subsidizes the health care costs of senior adults aged 65 years and above. There are mainly two types of Original Medicare, i.e. Medicare Part A and Medicare part B.
Medicare part A covers all the expenses related to a hospital. That’s why it is also called hospital insurance. You don’t have to pay a premium for Medicare part A if you have paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years of your working period.
Medicare part B is also known as medical insurance. It covers lab tests, mental health, doctor visits, and outpatient services. Remember, you have to pay a premium for Medicare part B.
If you are a Medicare beneficiary with limited income, you are eligible to participate in the Extra help program that provides prescription health worth $5000 per year.
Some senior adults face difficulty in paying the premiums of Medicare. But you don’t need to worry. You can get help from your State who will help you cover the premiums of Medicare. In some cases, the Medicare savings program helps you in paying the premiums of Medicare part A, Medicare part B, coinsurance, and deductibles.
The federal government funds the social security benefits for retired seniors. If you wish to retire early, i.e. at the age of 62, you will get the monthly benefits of $2324.However, if you retire at age 67, you will get monthly benefits of $3148. If you wait till the age of 70 to get social security benefits, you will get $3895 as a monthly benefit.
#7. Supplemental Security Income
The supplemental security income provides monthly benefits to lower-income people who are blind or have any other disability or senior adults above 65 years old.
#8. Benefits Check-up
The Benefits check-up provides 2,500 benefit programs for senior people, i.e., medications to health care, employment, and tax relief.
#9. IRS Elderly Tax Credit
The IRS Elderly tax credit helps reduce taxes of senior people if you meet specific eligibility criteria.
Senior adults find it challenging to live in limited retired income sources. So you can take advantage of the above programs, which will help you with everything from medication to food and energy bills.
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