If you’re a senior citizen, there are many sources of help available to you. For instance, federal and state programs exist to assist senior citizens. One of the best ways to find resources is to search the Internet. Using good search terms will produce the best results.
Many seniors discover that retirement and a fixed income can pose unexpected financial challenges. Fortunately, there are federal programs that can relieve some of the economic pressure.
Housing Solutions for Seniors
Housing usually takes the biggest bite out of a budget. For this reason, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers some solutions. Vouchers can be issued to assist senior citizens who are paying rent. As a result, housing costs can be greatly reduced.
A HUD Reverse Mortgage has been a solution to seniors who own homes and need added income each month. If you have equity in your home, you can receive a payment each month to boost your income. No interest or repayment is needed as long as the seniors live in the home. Contact your local HUD agency for more details on the program,
Federal Healthcare Programs
Adequate healthcare is important to senior citizens. There are federal programs that fill this need. The Extra Help program, offered by Social Security, eliminates premiums and deductibles. There is only a small charge for covered medications. Medicare has four savings programs designed to help struggling seniors.
. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
. Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
You can easily apply for these programs so contact your local social security office. You can determine if you qualify for any of these programs.
PACE Support for Seniors
Another program that offers additional support for seniors is PACE. (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) While struggling with healthcare costs, the goal of PACE is to allow the elderly to continue living independently in their homes. Some of the services offered include home care, meals and nutritional counseling. In addition, the program provides dental care, hospitalization and emergency services. Also, laboratory and x-ray tests are a benefit. Lastly, medical specialty services, prescription drug coverage and, when necessary, nursing home care may also be provided. Due to the many benefits of PACE, it is certainly worthwhile to see if you qualify.
SNAP Program Helps with Food Expenses
Proper nutrition is essential for all, especially seniors. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides help in purchasing groceries. Another federal program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) also helps with emergency nutritional support. Finally, for senior citizens who face hunger, The National Hunger Hotline (1-866-348-6479) can help. In order to benefit, call and they will offer information about local sources of food.
Tax Counselling for the Elderly
Equally important is tax counselling for the elderly. Therefore, a program run by the IRS which helps seniors prepare and file tax returns is available. In fact, the program name is Tax Counselling for the Elderly. The centers are staffed by IRS certified volunteers. Of course, there is no charge for the service.
State Health Programs for Senior Citizens
State programs are another source of assistance. The population they serve is limited when compared to federal programs. Consequently, their service can be more personalized. While many qualify for Medicare, the program can be costly for those on a limited budget. Medicaid can help pay premiums, deductibles, and copayments. In addition, Medicare can provide nursing home care. Each state designs its own Medicaid program.
Furthermore, there are state programs that offer assistance navigating the complicated Medicare program. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is one of the state programs that helps seniors. Their purpose is to help seniors participate in federal programs. They offer assistance by helping them file for benefits and fill out forms.
Home Repair Programs for Senior Citizens
The federal government’s Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program offers loans and grants to senior citizens. Low income seniors who need to make repairs to their homes can apply. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development manages the program. Veterans should check with the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) for help in identifying programs that might prove useful in maintaining a home.
Some states offer their own programs. Weatherization repairs, including upgrading heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, and windows, can help lower electric bills. Earthquake Brace and Bolt are examples of state programs that allow homeowners to upgrade a house structure so it’s better able to withstand an earthquake.
This federal government website offers information on the many programs available to the elderly. Maintained by the U.S. Administration on Aging (1-800-677-1116), it provides information about services available to seniors. Topics include elder rights, housing, transportation, health, insurance and benefits, and general services. It can be searched by location, so seniors can find local sources of assistance.
If you need help paying your energy bills, the federal government has a program available to those that qualify. It is the Home Energy Assistance Program. It is commonly referred to as HEAP. This program supplies a cash grant for energy bills to individuals or families. The program is managed by each state. Using their own rules, they decide the amount of assistance that each family will receive. In addition, each state will have its own guidelines in order to determine who qualifies. The State Office for the Aging in your local area will have more information and details.