What Benefits are Available for Senior Citizens?
Life can be expensive! By the time you’re a senior, you may not always have enough money stashed away to get you through each month. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. There are many reasons for this, but that’s irrelevant right now, because our goal is to help you get the help you need. We’ve put together this list of benefits and programs that exist to help senior citizens.
Previously, we’ve covered discounts for senior citizens, and things that seniors can get for free. Those types of things can help, but a discount is only useful if you’re spending money, whereas a benefit can help you if you don’t have that money in the first place.
Before we get into the specific benefits that you should consider, we want to remind you that you are entitled to any benefits for which you qualify. There’s no shame in accepting benefits that you are meant to have. Some seniors are too proud to take advantage of help that exists specifically to help them, so please, if you need something, don’t be afraid to reach out and accept it.
Why Don’t More Seniors Take Advantage of Benefits?
There are a few reasons for this. One of the reasons, as previously mentioned, is the pride factor where some people don’t want to reach out for help. Another reason is that they simply aren’t aware that these benefits exist to help them, which also contributes to people not claiming these benefits. There typically won’t be somebody knocking at your door to let you know that you’re entitled to benefits, it’s usually something that people have to find on their own. Hopefully, this list of senior benefits helps get the word out.
Benefits for Senior Citizens
Different organizations offer various types of resources and benefits for seniors. There’s a website called BenefitsCheckup.org by the National Council on Aging, which helps seniors find benefits that are relevant to their needs. You simply enter your zipcode and they’ll show you what’s available in your state, since benefits programs can vary from state to state.
Respite Care and Adult Day Care for Seniors
Adult day care can be a form of respite care which allows for the caregiver of a senior citizen to get some time off. In some cases, the costs of these programs can be covered by Medicare/Medicaid, or various other state organizations, or at least subsidized to some degree when the caregiver or recipient of care isn’t able to comfortably pay for these services.
Property Tax Relief Befefits for Seniors
In some states, seniors who own their own homes may be eligible for relief on the property tax bill. This can come in different forms including relief, a rebate, or exemptions from certain parts of the property tax.
Supplemental Security Income is a benefit program for seniors that is managed by the SSA. It’s meant for people who are older, or who have disabilities. It’s for people with lower incomes. Often (but not always), receiving SSI benefits will also mean that you qualify for Medicaid. Also, depending on which state you live in, you also also qualify for the Medicare Part D low income subsidy.
The Lifeline Assistance Program
This is commonly referred to as the “Obama phone”, it’s a program that helps provide free cellphone access to senior citizens and low-income people. Having a phone can quite literally be a lifeline, so if you’re unable to afford a phone or it would put a big strain on your budget, this is worth looking into. Some cellphone providers will also have senior discounts, so that’s always worth looking into. There are cellphones with larger buttons and easier-to-see screens that are designed for senior citizens who want a phone for practical reasons, rather than for using all of the latest apps. Having said that, there are some excellent apps for seniors that are worth exploring, too.