Many seniors know that making a living on a steady income isn't always easy -- especially when the price of just about everything is rising every day. Whether you are in a situation where you need extra help or are caring for a loved one who needs help, know that help is available for seniors. Below we look at the top 5 government benefits for seniors.
Government programs for seniors who need assistance
Life can be stressful and expensive, especially in your golden years. Luckily, when you find yourself in need, various utilities can help you. Federal government benefits for seniors can help with food, employment, monthly income, and even housing.
The top 5 government benefits for seniors include:
- Social Security Benefits
- Medicare Health Insurance
- food aid
- employment support
- housing allowance
Social benefits for seniors
Social Security benefits are designed for older adults aged 65 and over. Average monthly benefits are around $1,614 for older Americans. Most retirees receive Social Security.
And for seniors who rely solely on Social Security benefits, SSI (Additional Security Income) can help generate additional monthly income. The average SSI amount per month in 2022 is about $841 for a single adult and about $1,261 per couple.
Medicare Health Insurance
Nearly 59 million citizens receive medical care through Medicare. Healthcare spending can be sky-high, especially for seniors.
With an already stretched budget, paying for doctor's appointments, prescriptions, emergencies, and hospital stays can be overwhelming for many.Medicareis a premier health insurance plan for seniors in the United States and one of the oldest federal programs.
Medicare helps cover bills resulting from hospitalization (Medicare Part A), doctor visits (part B) and recipe costs (Part D). Although Medicare can help seniors save big bucks, it's not entirely free.
Medicare covers 80% of your medical expenses, and you are responsible for the remaining 20%, deductibles, and co-payments.
Should you find that you need extra help with the cost of your prescriptions, know that there are prescription drug savings cards that can ultimately help reduce your medication expenses.
Additional Senior Medical Assistance programs
In addition to Medicare, seniors can inquire about several other programs that may be helpful.
Medicaidis available to those who meet the qualifications based on income. Medicaid benefits can cover both outpatient and inpatient services and help cover Medicare deductibles and premium costs.
The speed (Program of all-inclusive care for the elderly) program is another useful program that can assist seniors with additional care.dental care, Home Nursing, X-rays, Nursing Homes and Meals are just a few of the services this program can cover.
The Dental Lifeline Network helps qualified patients receive appropriate dental care. Medicare typically offers minimal dental coverage, and many seniors may find that all-inclusive Medicare plans such as Advantage plans or Medigap plans may not fit their budget.
The ship (Health insurance assistance program for seniors) program helps with medical bills and insurance payments. Seniors are even financially supported through vouchers for prescription drugs. The group of volunteers at SHIP will even help Medicare beneficiaries with insurance appeals and denials.
Similarly, Health Insurance Advice has health insurance specialist consultants who can help explain anything and everything about Medicare. The experienced advisors can even help you with medical questions about long-term care insurance.
Transportation may not always be easy to obtain. Fortunately, seniors can get transportation to and from doctor's appointments from various organizations. Churches, aged care centers and other charities can help provide these services.extra helpis a federal program that offers savings and rebates on prescription drugs.
Both private organizations and government agencies can help provide seniors with DME (Durable medical equipment). DME can include wheelchairs, walkers, lift chairs and more. Seniors in need can get these devices at a discounted rate and may even be able to borrow these devices for free.
A Medicaid Waiver can help seniors who need long-term care stay in a community instead of moving to a long-term care facility. The Senior Medicare Hotline is an excellent resource for seniors who need help learning to pay for their medical expenses. In addition to helping seniors educate themselves, the nonprofit also offers medical bill grants.
Nutritional assistance for seniors
Food is necessary; Grocery budgets are becoming tight for many seniors as the cost of goods increases and fixed incomes remain the same. Several government elder benefit programs help seniors with the cost of groceries, whether through direct donations or a program that provides seniors with grocery store funds.
SNAP (Das Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is a state grocery program that provides seniors with qualifying monthly deposits into a low-income EBT (Electronic Benefits Card) card specifically for groceries. Food Stamps is another name for the SNAP program.
The monthly gross income of the beneficiary must be 130% of the poverty line or less. So, single households would need to earn $1,396 or less per month, and couples would need to make $1,888 or less per month in 2022.
Both federal and state governments offer nutrition programs aimed at educating seniors on nutrition and meal planning. For example, the Congregate Meal Site Program provides assistance at various senior homes and churches. The program offers hot meals and educational workshops.
The SFMNP (Nutrition program for seniors at the farmers market) is also an excellent resource for seniors. The program offers pamphlets full of coupons to low-income seniors at various farmers' markets. It is important to know that these coupons are only valid for fresh products, not for dried and canned food.
Seniors can also use the TEFAP (The emergency food aid program) program. Food donated includes meat, dairy, produce and canned goods. The program is administered by the state, and most who qualify for SNAP also qualify for TEFAP.
Othersfood helpThe program for those who need extra help is the CSFP (Commodity Supplemental Food Program). Low-income seniors are provided with hot and healthy meals and groceries.
food on wheelsis a fantastic program for seniors who are at home. Volunteers work to deliver meals and groceries while providing good company for seniors who are confined to their homes.
In addition to meals for seniors, the program also offers pet food for cat or dog owners. Even the holidays are factored into this program as volunteers work during the holidays to deliver delicious holiday meals.
Employment assistance for seniors
For those with stretched incomes, finding employment can mean additional monthly payments to cover expenses. Many even find that work helps alleviate boredom and loneliness, two things many seniors can experience in their golden years. The SCSEP (Employment program for seniors in civilian service) program employs people aged 55 and over in local or government agencies. Some of the positions available include technician and assistant apprenticeships.
The program provides in-depth training for various opportunities that give seniors an excellent chance of success. The program assesses previous work experience and may receive a free physical exam to assess physical ability for job training. Generally, seniors are initially offered part-time employment, but if successful this may develop into a full-time position.
Housing benefit for seniors
Housing costs are skyrocketing. Not only is the cost of renting or buying prohibitive, so is the cost of heating and cooling your home. The HUD (housing and urban development) program helps distribute rental assistance vouchers to those in need. In addition to rental assistance, the program can help provide transportation, meal, and cleaning services to eligible recipients.
Die Congregate Housing ServicesProgram provides state support and subsidies for qualified seniors. Income must be moderate or below and need to live in senior housing. Recipients of this program are typically much older or have serious medical conditions and may receive house cleaning and meals.
Lifeline is a program that helps cover the cost of phone service for low-income seniors. If you are a SNAP or Medicaid recipient, you automatically qualify for Lifeline telephone services. The LIHEAP (Energy assistance program for low-income households) program helps pay qualifying seniors for cooling and heating electricity bills.
The US Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program also assists seniors with energy-related maintenance and repairs. They can help install insulation, replace or repair water heaters and air conditioners, and replace thermostats. Eligible seniors are people over 60 with a disability.
frequently asked Questions
How old do you have to be to qualify for Medicare?
Medicare is for Americans 65 and older and those under 65 with certain health conditions and disabilities. Low-income individuals who do not yet meet the eligibility requirements for Medicare enrollment may apply for Medicaid.
What if I can't afford my Medicare premiums?
There are a fewMedicare savings programsfor low-income Medicare beneficiaries. These programs can help cover Medicare costs such as premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. Contact your local SHIP office if you do not qualify for an MSP. They have additional resources that may be able to help those on limited incomes.
What can I do if the food assistance is not enough?
You could look at a Medicare Advantage plan if you use Medicare. These supplemental Medicare plans sometimes include additional benefits such as a healthy food allowance. You can also contact the following programs for assistance.
- Commodity Supplemental Food Programm
- Nutrition program for seniors at the farmers market
- food on wheels
How do I apply for Medicare?
You can apply for Medicare through the Social Security Administration by going online, calling them to schedule an in-person appointment, or completing the application over the phone.
Get help with Medicare costs
Life is expensive and unexpected expenses can ruin an already tight budget. Don't let your health care expenses break your budget even further. Call our experienced Medicare experts today or fill out our online formquotation form. Our dedicated team will find the best supplement plan for you and your budget so you can sleep soundly at night.