Financial Help for Seniors
If you are a senior in the US and live on a small fixed income, there are numerous financial subsidies available to help reduce your cost of living. Seniors are able to take advantage of different programs including benefits from the government, special services from non-profits and numerous discounts from general businesses.
Learn about some of the more popular programs and ways to ease the costs of living and put more money in your back pocket.
Areas of help for seniors include:
- Help with utility bills
- Reduced rent
- Low cost & free medication
- Cash injections: loans
- Continued education or re-training
- Food/grocery assistance
- Tax assistance
How to Find Benefits
One of the easiest ways to see if you qualify for extra benefits beyond Social Security is through online benefit search engines. The National Council on Aging offers a free service named a Benefits Check Up, while the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also provides a Benefits Quick Link. Both of these search engines for benefits are quick and easy. While no online search engine for benefits will be entirely complete, they can offer one of the easiest ways to see if you are getting the benefits from the largest federal and state benefit programs available.
The AARP benefit search takes approximately 15 minutes and promises to find benefits for you at the state and federal level to save you money on medication, food, utilities, health care, children’s health care costs and more. AARP also provides benefit searches for those seniors that are unemployed or those that are looking for education programs that could benefit them.
Easing Health Care Costs
One retirement cost that is consistently underestimated is that of health care. Even those seniors that have planned for rising health care costs are often caught off guard by rising expenses, unanticipated long term ailments or emergencies. These situations may have caused financial ruin or the need to apply for free government health care programs.
These programs include Medicaid which is a joint state-federal program for low-income or disabled Americans, Medicare for Americans over the age of 65 or PACE for seniors that qualify for comprehensive medical coverage for nursing home care. Patient assistance programs from most pharmaceutical companies offer a severely reduced rate for medications for seniors that are in a low-income bracket that would not otherwise be able to get access to those medications. Consider organizations like Needymeds for low cost or free medication.
IRS Senior Tax Savings
The IRS has a number of savings programs for seniors in order to provide extra savings. Seniors enjoy a higher standard deduction, a Credit for the Elderly which is an additional tax credit, specialized deductions for itemized home improvements for health issues and free tax return preparation. Some of these extra credits or deductions can result in hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings per year.
Other special programs designed to help in specific circumstances include the LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) which helps low-income people in paying utility bills, SNAP (the USDA’s food stamp program) which can offer a substantial food benefit and even rental assistance programs for those low income families or seniors that need housing help.
The best place to start in finding financial help is to large organizations, such as AARP, that may be able to point you other directions for financial aid as well. Be sure to check state and municipal programs in your location for even more potential benefit programs for seniors in the across the states.
Below are quick links to additional resource to access huge savings and financial assistance.
- Learn about everyday businesses that provides loads of discounts to seniors.
- Eating healthy can sometimes be difficult due to the high cost of quality foods such as vegetables and meats. Learn how to get help with free food.
- One of the most difficult situations seniors have to go through is the death of a partner. Overnight life can become difficult and thinking about finances is the last thing anyone wants to do. Learn about widow assistance and help with funeral expenses.