Are you worried about your medical bills or other necessities and meeting unexpected emergencies? 

If you are struggling financially, there are several government resources that provide financial aid to older adults. This article discusses government benefits for seniors.

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.

4.Social Security

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

 

7. IRS Elderly Tax Credit

The IRS Elderly tax credit helps reduce taxes of senior people if you meet specific eligibility criteria. 

Source: An Overview Of Government Benefits For Seniors - RespectCareGivers