Senior Citizens across the United States need financial assistance in a wide variety of areas in order to ensure they live a high quality of life. Many seniors need help with housing, health care, as well as financial assistance and advice. Fortunately, there are some great resources and programs that are designed to assist seniors in a variety of ways. This article will provide a list of all the different programs that are available to seniors.
This list of resources is updated for 2016.
Health Care Resources for Senior Citizens
There are some great health care resources available to seniors that come from different sources, such as federal programs, state programs, as well as non profit organizations.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for senior citizens aged 65 or older. Most seniors are automatically enrolled for Medicare, especially if they are getting social security benefits. Generally, the Medicare program provides financial assistance by paying for approximately 50% of the total medical and health costs. The out of pocket expenses that the senior will need to pay, vary on a few factors such as income, as well as the amount of health care the Medicare patient needs.
If you are not getting social security benefits you can apply for Medicare by visiting medicare.gov.
Medicare Part D
Part D of Medicare needs its own section because it is a very important as it helps seniors pay for their prescriptions.
Seniors can apply for this part of Medicare by visiting medicare.gov, or by contacting the pharmaceutical companies which provide the medications they need. Once you are accepted you will either receive free of discounted medications.
In addition, Part D of Medicare also includes a Prescription Savings Discount Card. These cards will allow you to save on each of your prescription costs.
Partnership for prescription insurance
This is a great program for seniors to use to save money on their prescription medications. The partnership for prescription insurance is sponsored by America’s pharmaceutical companies, and provides financial assistance by helping seniors get free, or reduced cost prescription medications.
To learn more, and to apply, visit pparx.org. Here you will input some personal information, as well as your medications, and the website will give you a list of the different prescription programs you are eligible to use.
Housing Assistance Resources for Senior Citizens
Financial assistance needed for senior citizens in the United States is very high. Many seniors face difficulties affording the basic necessities for housing such as rent, and property tax etc. There are many different financial assistance programs available for seniors to ensure they can afford to live in their homes.
Housing Solutions Center – AARP
The AARP is a wonderful non profit organization that provides an array of services and programs for senior citizens. The Housing Solutions Centre program is designed to assist seniors who are having trouble paying their mortgage, or nearing a foreclosure.
This program will offer free expert advice on how to avoid foreclosure or to catch up on your payments. If you are interested, they have a toll free nationwide number at 855-850-2525, or you can request an appointment online by using this contact form.
Low Income Public Housing Program
This program created by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development provides adequate rental housing to senior citizens in homes such as apartments, condos, etc. This program provides financial assistance by covering a portion of the rent payments, making it easier for seniors to afford their rent. The one drawback of this program is you cannot choose where you want to live, however it is still a useful financial living resource.
Housing Choice Voucher Program
This is a very useful rental assistance program available to senior citizens, which is managed by the U.S. department of Housing and Urban Development. The recipient looks for a suitable apartment through the voucher program, in which the recipient pays only 30% to 40% of the rent, while the rest of the financial assistance is paid for by the government. The good thing about this program is you get to choose your own housing, which you can not do with the Low Income Public Housing Program.
Supportive Housing For The Elderly Program
This program is designed specially for seniors aged 62 years and older, with very low household income, at 50% of the average area median income, to receive assistance to be able to live as independently as possible. The program provides financial assistance by paying for a large portion of repairs, as well as remodelling to make the house more accessible for seniors to be able to cook, clean, and other basic actions.
The participants will only have to pay 30% of their total household income towards their monthly housing expenses. To apply for this program, select your state to find proper contact information.
Financial Assistance for Senior Citizens
Many seniors are faced with difficulties handling their finances, which can include managing their expenses, and not having enough income to meet their basic needs.
Supplemental Security Income
Senior Citizens aged 65 or older could be entitled to Supplemental Security Income(SSI), which provides financial assistance in the form of monthly government cash benefits. The monthly cash payments can range between $300 to $1000 for a senior or $500 to $1200 for a couple.
To apply, go online to the official social security website to find your nearest social security office and make an appointment. Keep in mind you will need documents such as proof of income, and living expenses etc.
Finances 50+ AARP Foundation
This program run by the AARP Foundation focuses on helping participants aged 50 and up take control of their finances. This program teaches the participants to take control of their financial future and offers free services in:
- goal setting and budget planning
- reducing debt and repairing credit
- building and maintaining assets
If you are interested in learning more, and to find your local area’s Finances 50+ program email AARP at [email protected].
This is a resource for seniors that will help them locate any financial assistance they might need in a wide variety of areas such as, healthcare, food, rent and more. Basically, you specify what kind of assistance you are looking for, and input your location and as a result, it will recommend programs that will benefit you. To use this resource please visit benefitscheckup.org
Legal Assistance for Senior Citizens
Some senior citizens might run into the issue of needing legal assistance or advice when it comes to a number of things such as debt issues, health issues and costs, and even possible law suits. There are some legal assistance programs available to seniors that provide insight on the situation and tell them what steps to take next.
AARP Foundation Litigation
This litigation program by the AARP is an advocate in courts across the United States for people aged 50 and over. This program will help address legal issues to help ensure that the participants will have a voice heard in the judicial system.
The litigation programs covers a wide ranges of issues that include the following:
- age discrimination
- consumer and financial fraud issues
- employee benefits (pensions)
- health and long term care services, such as Medicaid and Medicare
- housing as well as unfair mortgage practices
- low income benefits
If you feel you need legal assistance you can contact the litigation toll free number at 888-667-2277 or visit AARP Litigation.
There are many websites that provide free legal assistance that involve the elderly laws. A great resource for this can be found at the National Legal Resource Center.
Grant Programs for Senior Citizens
There are some good grant programs available at different sources for senior citizens that cover a variety of topics, that senior citizens can really benefit from.
Also check out our specific article: Legit Grants for Senior Citizens
Very Low Income Housing Repair Program
Seniors can receive funds in the form of a grant that will allow them to use the funds to repair any safety hazards, or to remodel their homes to make them more accessible for individuals with disabilities, or mobility issues. To see if you qualify and to get started contact your local USDA specialist.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
This program provides grants to participants aged 55 and older to encourage them to volunteer for community service. This program is designed to keep older individuals active in the community to promote their wellbeing. To learn more about the RSVP program click here.
Similar to grants, there are some good scholarship programs available to senior citizens through the United States, that help seniors in a variety of ways if you look in the right places.
Many colleges and universities offer scholarships to seniors in the form of tuition waivers. This means that if you are a senior, they will waive all or most of the tuition fee. The best way to find a tuition waiver is to contact the college or university nearest you that you want to attend and ask.
Many scholarships do not have an age requirement, making many scholarships available to seniors. A great database which allows you to narrow your search for scholarships can be found at scholarships.com.
There are also some independent scholarships designed specifically for seniors. A great example of this is the Edward M.Kennedy Serve America Act, which awards $1000 scholarships to seniors aged 55 and older.
Charity Help for Senior Citizens
There are several great charities that offer many programs and services that can really help senior citizens in many different areas, by providing financial assistance to fund their programs.
This great foundation focuses on individuals aged 50 years and up to provide assistance in the area’s that can have the largest negative impact on an older person. These areas of impact include hunger, income, housing, and isolation. They offer programs in each of these areas throughout the United States.
For a general overview of what the AARP Foundation offers, and to learn more please visit aarp.org.
The Salvation Army is a very useful resource to assist low income seniors who are experiencing difficulties paying rent and any other living expenses. Many people do not realize the great assistance that the Salvation Army can provide.
The Salvation Army gives priority to low income families, single parents, the elderly as well as people with disabilities. There is most likely a Salvation Army centre in your area which can be found by visiting salvationarmyusa.org.
The United Way is one of the largest charities in the world, which offers a variety of programs to helps seniors live vibrant lives.
The United Way provides caregivers to seniors in need of someone to care for them, if they have no one else to help them. They also provide caregivers so family members can enjoy a nice break from being a caregiver. Many of these caregivers are volunteers who are doing this from the good of there heart to make an impact in their communities. To learn more about the United Way please visit unitedway.org.
Jobs for Senior Citizens
It’s possible to get a job as a senior citizen which can help supplement your income. Most of the easy jobs available will be in the realm of part time jobs such as places like fast food restaurants and grocery stores and other easy-to-obtain jobs. Fast food companies may not pay a lot, but they often don’t discriminate by age.
If you do have a specific skill, it’s possible to work as a consultant.
Another opportunity might be to look at tutoring high school and college kids if you have a higher education and were particularly good in one area (math, science, English). Becoming a tutor is especially something to consider if you were a teacher years ago when you did work.
Also consider looking at becoming a freelancer. You can pursue part time (even full time) work as a web article content writer (you write articles for clients about topics for various websites). If you have other skills, you can seek to freelance those skills over the web (language translate, personal Virtual Assistant, Copy Editor, Programmer, Web Designer, Data Entry, and more). I recommend you look at UPWORK.com and FREELANCER.com. You can create a free profile one each of these sites. Once you create a profile, you can start BIDDING for jobs employers post.
If you want to actually get a physical job in your local area, there are various websites online that seek to match up senior citizens (and Over 50’s) with local jobs. It’s worth trying some of these out (though watch out for scams — you shouldn’t have to pay any money or send in your credit card details!) as a means of getting hired as a senior. One legit place you can check out would be AARP.org
Finally, there may be some legit work from home opportunities as a senior. Read our article about finding a work from home job as a senior citizen.
Free Programs/Services for Seniors
There are some good free programs, services, and products available to seniors if you know where to look. Here are some of these free items.
- Free caregiver support programs: A good data base of caregiver support programs can be found at agingcare.com.
- Free Tax Preparation: Seniors can get their tax returns for free with the Tax Counselling for the Elderly program by clicking here.
- Free Adult Day Care: Some community centers offer free day care for seniors, who cannot be alone during the day. A great source to locate these day care centers is your local Office for the Aging or by using this locator.
- Free checking accounts: Many financial institutions offer free checking account as well as free checks for seniors. If you are paying a fee for your account, contact your financial institution to inquire about a free checking account.
- Free Home Repair Service: Seniors that do not have the ability to perform minor home repairs could receive free home repair service. To find a free senior repair service in your area click here.
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For a longer list of more free stuff available for seniors please click here(insert link to freebies for seniors)