As poverty among older adults increases, these resources can help struggling seniors

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Apply for food benefits

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Experts say that many seniors do not take advantage of all the food support available to them. One year 2015 research found that less than half of seniors qualify for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

“For seniors, there is a tendency to misunderstand the program and there is a lot of stigma, and unfortunately, that hinders those who are seeking help,” Josh Protasvice president for public policy at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Famine.

The extra money can go a long way for retirees on a fixed income: The maximum one-month benefit for a household is $250. Grocery, Online Retailers and farmers markets accept payments.

SNAP has rules around How many properties can you own and earn for assistance and Social Security checks are included. However, certain expenses, including your rent and childcare expenses, can be deductible, and experts say anyone who doubts they might qualify should application.

The United States Department of Agriculture also has Commodity Food Supplement Programwhereby certain low-income people over 60 are eligible for a monthly food package that includes fruit, vegetables, cheese and more.

Meanwhile, retirees covered by Medicaid health plan benefits may be eligible for free food through Mom’s Meal. And some Medicare Advantage health plans offer program meal benefits to people who have just been discharged from the hospital or are being treated for a chronic condition.

Meals are usually delivered every two to three weeks, and include dishes like Salisbury steak, pasta and meatballs, and sweet and sour chicken. People can tell the program about any allergies, and they offer diets that are suitable for vegetarians as well as people with certain medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes.

A spokesperson for Meals for Mom has suggested that seniors who think they may be eligible for free meals contact a Medicaid or Medicare representative.

Get help with health insurance and drug costs

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Expensive health insurance and prescription costs can have a big impact on a retiree’s income.

Fortunately, some may be eligible for assistance with their monthly premium under Medicare Savings Programspeak Caitlin Donovanspokesperson for the National Patient Advocate Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps patients access and pay for health care.

“If you qualify, your premiums, deductibles, and copays will be covered, which would be a huge financial relief for anyone,” Donovan said.

In addition, people enrolled in Medicare Part D, which includes prescriptions, should consider whether they are eligible for More help. That plan can reduce your drug-related costs. Benefits can be worth more than $5,000 a year, says Donovan.

There are also a number of charities that assist seniors with their healthcare costs. For example, at you can ask for money to include copays, premiums, deductibles, and over-the-counter drugs.

The National Patient Advocacy Fund has financial resources directory in which you can search for local aid for everything from teeth care to end-of-life services.

Other choices…

While you must be on extremely low income to qualify, some retirees will qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program, a vehicle-tested program for people over 65 or disabled. disabilities.

Last December, more than 2.5 million people received both Social Security and additional payments, which can be as high as $841 a month for an individual. You can apply on the Social Security Administration website or by calling 800-325-0778.

For more help, the National Council on Aging has a “check benefits“website where you can learn about over 2,000 resources for struggling seniors using ZIP codes. The board also has a guide called You Got It, Now Saveincludes information on the most generous benefits that help seniors pay for expenses such as their phone bills and property taxes.

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Finally, some older people can take on at least part-time jobs to increase their income.

More than a third of Americans over the age of 65 are now doing so, follow to Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the new school’s Retirement Equity Lab.

The United States Department of Labor has a program That would help unemployed, low-income seniors find work and certain training, Ghilarducci points out. Another resource is a national non-profit organization SERand a network of community organizations that provide job training services.

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