Legit Grants for Senior Citizens Who Need Financial Assistance
Many seniors live on a fixed income, and could have trouble covering various costs, which puts them in a difficult position. Fortunately, there are several grants available for seniors that can assist them in different needs they might have, which could increase their quality of life. Grants for seniors come from different sources such as the federal government, non profit organizations and charities.
It is important to note that many of the grants that senior citizens can benefit from, are not given directly to the seniors themselves. The grants are given to various non profit organizations, and charities, to use the funds to assist the senior citizens in a variety of areas.
This article will list and describe the various grants available for seniors throughout the United States directly, and through non profit organizations and charities. Not all of these programs listed are directly grants (as in money or assistance directly given to an individual). We list a number of low income programs offered various sources too. But the programs do offer help of some sort — and all the programs target elderly or senior citizens directly.
Keep in mind that the availability of these grants will depend on your local government’s budget. Depending on where you live you might be able to access more grants if you are in an area that offers more local benefits for low income seniors. It is important for you to visit your local government office to see what regional assitance programs are avaialble to you.
1. Very Low Income Housing Repair Program
This is a federal grant administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (USDA) available to low income seniors to repair, improve or remodel a seniors home to remove health and safety hazards, as well as making the homes accessible for seniors with mobility issues. The maximum amount one can receive for this grant is $7500.
Eligibility: To be eligible for this grant you must:
- be 62 years of age and older
- have low income resulting in not having the ability to repay a home repair loan
- you must live in certain areas rural areas with populations of 10 000 or lower
There are no deadlines or specified time frames to apply. To see if you live in a eligible area and to start the application process contact your local USDA office.
2. Section 202 Supportive Housing For The Elderly Program
This grant program is designed for seniors aged 62 years or above, with very low household income. This program is similar to the Very Low Income Housing Repair Program, as the program provides options that allow the seniors to live independently in an environment that provides support activities such as cooking, cleaning, and transportation. Basically this program prevents seniors from having to move into a nursing home, as it makes their home easy to perform basic tasks.
The program pays the difference between what the landlord is charging, and the 30% of the tenants income, so this program involves the federal government, landlord and the tenant.
To be eligible you must be 62 years or older and be a low income, at 50% of the areas median income. To benefit from this grant, select your local HUD office to set up a meeting.
3. Administration on Aging Nutrition Program
This program provides grants to local community centres and non profit organizations to provide seniors aged 60 and above with adequate nutrition. The goals of this program are to:
- reduce hunger
- promote the health and well being of older individuals
- provide healthy, nutritious food for the elderly
To benefit from this program in your area, visit the Eldercare Locator
4. Capital Assistance Program for Elderly People
This program issues grants to non profit organizations to meet the transportation needs of senior citizens where public transportation is either unavailable, or insufficient. The funding is available in rural, urbanized, and small urban centers throughout the United States. If you are a senior who feel your area needs better transpiration alternatives for seniors, you can contact the Federal Transit Administration or your local administration on aging.
5. Foster Grandparent Program
This is a federal level grant that promotes volunteer services to individuals aged 55 and up with limited incomes, to spend time and mentor children in the community. This program keeps older individuals active in the community which can go a long way in maintaining good health. The individuals will help the children by:
- help children learn to read
- mentor and provide advice to troubled teenagers
- help children who have been abused or neglected
The Foster grandparent will usually spend anywhere from 15 to 40 hours per week in schools, day care centers, hospitals and community centers. The volunteers will receive:
- pre service orientation
- training from the specific orientation they will serve
- accident and liability insurance
- free meals
- low income, eligible volunteers will receive small payments
To learn more about this program visit Foster Grandparents.
6. Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
This is a federal level grant program similar to the Foster Grandparent Program, as it allows seniors to volunteer in the community to keep seniors active and healthy. Seniors will volunteer in a variety of areas which include:
- participating in neighborhood watch programs
- help renovate and fix homes
- teaching English to immigrants
The senior volunteers in this program get to choose where and how often they will volunteer, and will receive supplemental insurance while on duty. They will also be covered for costs incurred while on duty. To learn more visit RSVP Program
7. Pell Grants For Education
A Pell Grant is a need based grant which grants low income individuals money to use to pursue college or university education. Pell grants are available to individuals who are striving toward their first bachelor’s or professional degree. There are no age restrictions to apply for Pell Grants, making it ideal for seniors and older individuals to apply for.
Furthermore, a national study on postsecondary education showed that non traditional students (older individuals) are more likely to receive a Pell Grant then traditional students.
You can apply for a Pell Grant three different ways:
- You can apply online with the Department of Education’s website at ed.gov
- You can apply by downloading and completing the PDF version which can be found at the above website
- You can apply by completing a paper version of the application which is mailed to you when call the Department of Education’s toll free number.
Along with the PELL grants, there are also some Federal grants for education for specific circumstances, such as the TEACH GRANT which covers part of your schooling if you study in sectors approved by the government (usually to do with education and teaching). If you do not complete your education, the grant becomes a loan and you must pay it back.
Keep in mind, as a Senior Citizen, you may qualify for free education at universities, so education grants may be unnecessary when it comes to subsidizing your tuition.
8. Foundation Grants
Foundation grants are grant / assistance given out by non profits.
Various Non Profit Foundation Grants
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation awards grants that help support and care for older adults and seniors. The grants are awarded to community centers, nursing homes, and assisted living homes, to use the funds to improve their facilities and to assist seniors in a variety of ways.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation strives to improve the health of Americans, with a large number of the grants being awarded to organizations for the care for the elderly as well as universities and colleges.
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation awards grants to improve the well being of the elderly across the United States. Non profit organizations and charities must submit a formal application to be considered.
The Met Life Foundation offers grants to support research for Alzheimers disease, as well as healthy aging. Non profit organizations are invited to apply online.
AARP Foundation Grants
The AARP provides a variety of grants available to non profit organizations and charities which are used to assist seniors in areas of need. The following list some of the grants the AARP has to offer.
Habitat For Humanity 50+ Repair Program
The AARP provides grants to the Habitat For Humanity, which use the funds to assist homeowners aged 50 and older to make the necessary repairs to their homes, so they can remain living in their homes as they age. To see how you can benefit from this grant, and to find your local Habitat for Humanity, please visit habitat.org.
AARP Back to Work 50+ Program
The AARP provides income grants to any interested non profit organizations and charities as well as community colleges to help seniors secure and maintain financial assets through the Back To Work 50+ program. This program offers the following :
- skills training to individuals for in demand jobs
- supports institutions that have strong ties with potential employers
- assists 50+ job seekers in building skills and connecting that can lead to full time jobs and job security
- career counselling and job coaching and skills development for job seekers
This program targets individuals aged 50-64 years of age. If interested click here for a list of Back to Work 50+ program locations.
AARP Tax Aide Program
The AARP provides grants to various organizations to assist low to moderate income seniors aged 60 and over in completing their taxes, as well as giving financial advice. This program also helps seniors ensure they have more discretionary income for everyday expenses, including food and housing, by ensuring they receive the proper tax credits and deductions. To find out more please visit AARP Tax Aide.
There are some grant databases which allow you to search for specific grants by location, age, and areas of interest. Some of the grants are educational grants for seniors wishing to go back to college or university, while others are assistance grants to improve the qualify of life for seniors. The following are some of the best grant databases available:
- grants.gov: this website is the best federal online database to find and apply for grants, as it has thousands of different grants. Note that most of the grants are for businesses and non profits, though you may be able to find some personal grants for certain sectors you may qualify for if you meet that criteria.
- GrantsWatch.com: this database allows you to search all the different grants available for senior citizens throughout the U.S., clicking here will take you to the page of grants specifically for seniors.
- http://www.federalgrantswire.com/senior-citizens-federal-grants.html: this database will display grants available specifically for senior citizens.