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Seeking Help for Low Income Seniors

Seeking Help for Low Income Seniors

Where to find government grants, programs, assistance, and help for low income seniors? This article answers this query by listing the various government sources available to seniors to get financial and other aid.
Aastha Dogra
Life for seniors after retirement can be pretty hard if they do not have enough money to sustain themselves. Although friends and family might help from time to time, still, in order to have a decent, dignified living, one can opt for the various government grants and programs, which are especially designed to provide help. So, for all those who are looking for such after-retirement help initiatives started by the government, here is some useful information on the same.
Get in Touch with the Social Security Office
Help for low income seniors can be sought in the form of food stamps. In order to apply for these, one has to get in touch with the local social security office. If the seniors meet the eligibility criteria, i.e., their assets should not be more than $3,000 (other than their house), they will qualify for these food stamps. These stamps can thereafter be used by them to buy food items at any of the participating grocery stores.
Visit the Local Public Housing Agency Office
Seniors who are looking for affordable homes should visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website (HUD). This government department has various schemes to provide housing assistance for low-income families, through the local public housing agencies (PHAs). From the website, address and contact details of the local PHA can be taken. Thereafter, they should get in touch with the official at PHA to find if they are eligible for the housing vouchers. If they meet the eligibility criteria and submit the application and other necessary documents, they can use the housing vouchers to take on rent privately owned houses at subsidized rates. The local PHA will directly pay the housing subsidy amount to the landlord.
Visit the 'United States Department of Health and Human Services' Website
Financial help for low income seniors, so that they are able to pay off their medical bills, is offered by this US State Government department in the form of a program known as 'Medicaid'. They have to meet certain eligibility criteria before they are accepted into this financial aid program. To check the eligibility requirements as well as to apply for 'Medicaid', one needs to visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services website. If they are eligible, their medical bills, including bills for hospitals or nursing homes, will be paid totally or partially by the state government, depending upon the senior's income.
Apply for 'Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program' (LIHEAP)
This program provides financial help for seniors in the form of discounts to pay off their monthly bills like telephone bill, cable bill, water bill, etc. To know the eligibility criteria as well as to apply for this program, visit the 'Administration for Children and Families' website. On the home page of the website, there is an option to search for the various programs. Click on the 'Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program' option, and you will find each and every detail with regards to this program, along with the contact details of the person you need to get in touch with to avail these benefits.
Visit the 'Partnership for Prescription Assistance' Website
The Prescription Assistance Program provides financial help to seniors who are unable to pay for the prescription drugs. As of January 2010, the income eligibility criteria for this program has been changed to $21,855 for couples and $16,245 for seniors who are staying alone. The assets including bank accounts, shares, bonds should not be more than $25,010 for couples and $12,510 for singles. Under the 'extra help' initiative started by the government in 2010, insurance policies value as well as any financial help by relatives of seniors will not be counted in calculating the income and assets of seniors. To know in detail about the benefits and eligibility criteria of this program, visit their website.
Besides these, there will be other programs too for seniors, which you can inquire about at your local social security office. Life after retirement can become very easy and comfortable if seniors are aware of all such initiatives taken by the government to provide help.