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Rising inflation has exacerbated an existing problem for millions of older Americans: they don’t have enough to live comfortably in retirement.
If there isn’t enough to save, and the average Social Security check is just over $ 1,500 a month, many retirees struggle to meet needs.
The good news is there are thousands of resources that can provide relief to retirees who are short of money.
Here are some of them.
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Many older people are not taking advantage of all the food assistance available to them, experts say. A 2015 study, for example, found that less than half of eligible seniors participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
“There’s usually a lot of misunderstanding about the program and a lot of stigma, and unfortunately it prevents people from asking for help,” said Josh Prota, vice president of the nonprofit MAZON: a response of Jews to hunger.
However, the extra SNAP money can be very beneficial for retirees on fixed incomes. The maximum benefit per month for a single person household is $ 250. Grocery stores, online retailers and farmers’ markets receive funds.
SNAP has rules about how many assets you can own and earn income to get help, and Social Security checks count. However, some costs can be deducted, including your rent and child care costs, and experts say anyone who suspects they may be eligible should apply.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a Commodity Supplementary Feeding Program, where certain low -income people over the age of 60 are entitled to a monthly food parcel containing fruits, vegetables, cheese and more. pa.
Meanwhile, retirees covered by a Medicaid health plan can qualify for free meals through a convenience food delivery company called Mom’s Meals. Some Medicare Advantage health plans also offer dietary benefits under the program for people who have recently been discharged from the hospital or have chronic illnesses.
Meals are usually served every two to three weeks and include dishes such as Salisbury steak, pasta and meatballs, and sweet and sour chicken. People in the program can report any allergies and they accept diets that are suitable for vegetarians as well as people with certain conditions such as cancer or diabetes.
A spokesperson for Mom’s Meals recommends seniors who think they might qualify for free meals contact a Medicaid or Medicare representative.
Help with health insurance and drug costs
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High health insurance and prescription costs can reduce retirees ’income.
Some may be eligible for help with their monthly premiums under the Health Savings Program mentioned Caitlin Donovan, spokeswoman for the National Patient Advocate Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps patients access care health and pay them.
“If you qualify, your premiums, deductibles and copayments will be covered, which will be a huge financial help for anyone,” Donovan said.
Additionally, those enrolled in Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions, should be checked to see if they qualify for Extra Help. This program can reduce your drug costs. The benefit could cost more than $ 5,000 a year, Donovan said.
There are also several charities that help seniors with their health care costs. For example, at Copays.org you can request funds to be used for copayments, premiums, deductibles, and over-the-counter drugs.
The National Patient Advocate Foundation has a directory of financial resources where you can seek local help on everything from dental care to end -of -life services.
Although you must be of very low income to qualify, some retirees will qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program, a tested program for people over 65 or with disabilities.
In December 2021, more than 2.5 million people received Social Security and a top-up payment, which could reach $ 841 per month for an individual. You can apply through the Social Security Administration website or by calling 1-800-325-0778.
For more help, the National Council on Aging has a “Testing Benefits” website where you can discover more than 2,000 resources available for struggling seniors by zip code.
The council also has a guide called You Give Now Save, which includes information about the most generous benefits that help older people with expenses like their phone bills and property taxes.