Is There Financial Assistance for Seniors?
Yes, there is financial assistance for seniors. Most sources of financial help come from government or state-funded programs, although private organizations can also provide support.
Financial assistance is available for a wide variety of needs and is used by a large population of adults. According to one study, 60 percent of all households headed by adults over the age of 60 reported having debt. Another one-third of Americans over the age of 55 are struggling with retirement savings.
Financial assistance is meant to help make up those gaps and make it easier for individuals and couples to afford a safe environment with supportive living arrangements if needed.
Types of Financial Assistance for Seniors
Depending on your income level and location, there are a variety of programs that offer benefits, additional income and financial support for older adults. These programs don’t just offer financial help, but they can make it easier for you to pay for medication, healthcare, utilities, memory care and assisted living.
This article will go into more detail on the types of financial assistance you may qualify for and what they provide. For more information on whether you’re eligible for the programs below, take a look at Benefits Check Up, a free tool designed to help you locate federal, state and private benefit programs in your area.
Let’s take a look at some of the most programs that could help.
Supplemental Income from Social Security
Benefits from Social Security can offer you monthly payments averaging about $1,503 a month, or $18,036 a year. While you can start receiving benefits at age 62, claiming benefits before your full retirement age, typically 65-67, will reduce the amount you receive. You can also wait longer to increase the amount you receive every month. Some adults wait until age 70 to maximize the amount they receive.
In most cases, standard Social Security income will only cover part of your living expenses. It’s worth taking a look at other forms of Social Security in order to bolster your income. Here are a few to check out:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is available for those over the age of 65 who qualify as low-income or have a disability
- Social Security Disability Insurance covers anyone with a disability who has worked in a job covered by Social Security
- Social Security also offers Survivor Benefits for widows or survivors of a worker who has died, which can be paid out to a spouse, child or parent
Assistance for Veterans
If you or a spouse served in the armed forces during a time of war, you may be eligible for financial support from the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
The VA pension program provides a monthly income for war veterans. These funds — which can be around $1,500 to $2,000 per month — can be used to cover living at home or in assisted living communities.
Healthcare Assistance from Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are federally funded programs aimed to help Americans pay for healthcare expenses. Medicaid provides health coverage to millions of low-income people while Medicare is offered to all adults over the age of 65 regardless of income level. In total, 12 million people are “dually eligible” to enroll in both Medicaid and Medicare.
As the primary healthcare subsidy for people over 65, Medicare is split into three different parts. Part A covers hospitalization costs. Part B covers physician services like doctor visits, rehabilitation, lab and x-ray services, medical equipment and more. Part C covers the cost of prescriptions.
If you’re having trouble paying any of your premiums, see if you qualify for these Medicare savings programs:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
- Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
- Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
State Assistance Programs
If you’re looking for financial assistance in a specific area, you can look into state programs. For Texas financial aid, the main form of state assistance is the Community Care for Aged/Disabled (CCAD) program. This program provides personal care services and support to eligible individuals who are living at home.
Other assistance programs, like HHS Services to Assist Independent Living (SAIL) and In-Home and Family Support (IFHS) are no longer available after the abolishment of the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services in 2017. However, similar services may be available through your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA).
Financial Assistance for Assisted Living
While the above funds can be used for a variety of different needs, including the day-to-day requirements of living at home, there is also financial assistance for seniors who need other living situations. If you’ve decided assisted living or another type of supportive living community is right for you, there are different programs to help you make costs more affordable.
Medicaid and Assisted Living
Various programs funded by Medicaid can help support those seeking assisted living. The most common form of financial assistance is Medicaid Waivers. These waivers assist eligible individuals by providing for personal wellness and other supportive services in assisted living communities.
Not all states offer Medicaid Waivers, and other states have limitations attached. For the state of Texas, Medicaid helps with the cost of services provided in an assisted living community through the STAR PLUS Program.
Veteran’s Administration and Assisted Living
For United States veterans, you can find financial assistance for assisted living and long-term care through Aid and Attendance. This pension can provide up to $1,800 per month for a single veteran and over $2,000 per month for a couple. However, you must meet all eligibility requirements and there can be a waiting period.
Another option for veterans is the Veterans’ Directed Care, which covers independent living communities. Under this program, you can receive funds to support a personal care attendant to assist veterans in independent living.
Non-Medicaid State Programs and Assisted Living
Texas’s Community Care for Aged/Disabled (CCAD) program covers assisted living costs as well as the cost of in-home care. The services differ depending on the living situation, but CCAD offers the Residential Care program for assisted living.
Residential Care (RC) includes assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, shopping, cooking and more. The program helps pay for these supportive services, but it doesn’t cover room and board.
Find Financial Assistance and the Right Living Arrangement
Above all, the most important part of finding financial assistance for assisted living and other retirement needs is planning ahead. Whether you’re applying for assistance through Medicare or filing for state assistance, you need to be prepared by researching what you’re eligible for and which programs will provide the support you need. You should also be prepared with all of the needed paperwork.
With these financial resources in mind, you can follow new interests and pursue an exceptional life without financial stress.
As you’re looking into financial assistance, you should also be looking into the right living arrangements for your needs. Many adults prefer assisted living, which allows them to be independent but receive some help in areas where they need or want support. Finding the right supportive living or care arrangement can make financial planning easier and help you determine which financial assistance programs you qualify for.
If you’re currently looking for an assisted living community that provides personalized support that empowers you to live your best life, consider The Monarch at Richardson. Our assisted living pricing can be personalized for your needs, but always includes beautiful accommodations and support with daily activities. Contact us for more information or check out our photo gallery to get a better idea of life in our community.